Results tagged ‘ Clint Barmes ’

Clint’s Crew 2: Houston Jr. RBI

 By Rachel Frey

On Friday, May 27, members of Houston Jr. RBI program fwere welcomed to Minute Maid Park by Clint Barmes through his “Clint’s Crew” program. Clint’s Crew hosts kids in the Houston area once a month at Minute Maid Park.

Clint’s Crew groups are given 20 tickets to the game, which are loaded with $10 for food, beverages, or other merchandise. They also received a drawstring backpack filled with Astros items.

The Jr. RBI kids were allowed to watch batting practice on the field, and got autographs from Michael Bourn and Jason Bourgeois before Clint finished his practice swings and came over to meet them. Clint signed hats and baseballs for the kids before they posed for a group picture.

Houston Jr. RBI is made up of children 15 and under, and each coach was asked to pick members from their team for this opportunity. Houston RBI participants are also members of the Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy. Over 300 kids participate in the Houston RBI program, and last year, their senior division (18 and under) won the RBI World Series in Jupiter, FL.

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Rachel Frey is the Social Media and Broadcasting Intern for the Houston Astros. She studies Public Relations at The University of Texas at Austin, where she spends most of her time attending Texas Football and Baseball games. Connect with Rachel on her Twitter account: @RachelFrey or on her MLBlog: A Temporary Perspective.

Food and buses. Such is life in the big leagues.

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Caravans involve plenty of visits to hospitals, schools and military bases, but the time in between stops involves two things: riding on a bus, and eating.

All things being equal, I think the traveling party can agree the “party bus” we’re on during this tour through Central Texas is the way to go. We’re definitely not as exciting as a bachelor or wedding party, but I can see where this environment would be conducive to such events. Plenty of room, lots of TVs, a bathroom and a refrigerator to keep the bottled water cold.

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We’ve been given some fantastic recommendations for restaurants as well. On Tuesday, we had lunch at Salt Lick Barbecue near the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, and today, we had lunch at Threadgills — another fine southern-style establishment with a huge home-cookin’ menu.

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Getting up early, driving a couple of hours a day, eating too much…come to think of it, this is good practice for Spring Training.

Kids and military heroes. This is why we caravan.

Caravans traditionally are designed to reach out to fans in and around the Houston area, to get people excited about the season and introduce them to a few players who they might see in uniform in the coming months.

But so often, caravan visits engage people who have no idea who these players are, who have never been to a baseball game and don’t have many opportunities to watch them on TV.

Those are the visits that are often the most meaningful, as the Astros traveling party quickly discovered Tuesday evening when they stopped by the Helping Hand Home for Children in Austin. 

Armed with 24 large pizzas and four two-liters of Sprite, the caravaners — Chris Johnson, Clint Barmes, Brett Wallace and Bill Brown – walked into a room filled with enthusiastic kids who, on the outside, looked like your typical four to 13-year-olds: chatty, wide-eyed, curious.

These kids are anything but typical, however. They come from homes where they were severely abused, or neglected, or both. They were taken out of their homes by the court system and in some cases, the parental rights were completely terminated. In other cases, there’s hope for a reunion with a family member, or a foster family.

But for now — months, or sometimes, years — their place of residence is the Helping Hand Home for Children. And on Tuesday, they partied in style, with four choices of pizza not only provided by the Astros, but served by them as well. As far as I could tell, the players didn’t mess up a single order.

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Following dinner, it was playtime. Johnson engaged a bunch of kids in an intense round of Operation, while Wallace went toe-to-toe with a friendly seven-year-old in a game of Jenga. I sat down next to Wallace to watch the game, and the kid looks at Brett, looks at me, and says, “Are you his mother?”

ANYHOO…

We were asked not to take any pictures of the kids, for privacy/safety reasons. So we had to get a little creative:

CJ, playing Operator with the kids:

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Barmes, holding the various forms of origami given to us by one talented kid:

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Another youngster asked if he could take a picture with my camera, and as it turns out, it’s one of the few I could use for this blog:

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More presents from the kids:

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Earlier in the day, we visited Camp Mabry personnel at the Texas Military Forces Museum. The Astros had a meet and greet with Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard and Army and Marine Reserves:

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