Lance Berkman

Last updated

Lance Berkman
Astros Opening Day-24 Lance Berkman.jpg
Berkman with the Houston Astros in 2009
Outfielder / First baseman
Born: (1976-02-10) February 10, 1976 (age 43)
Waco, Texas
Batted: SwitchThrew: Left
MLB debut
July 16, 1999, for the Houston Astros
Last MLB appearance
September 17, 2013, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Batting average .293
Home runs 366
Runs batted in 1,234
Teams
Career highlights and awards

William Lance Berkman (born February 10, 1976), nicknamed "Big Puma", is an American former professional baseball outfielder and first baseman. He played 15 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. Berkman is a six-time MLB All-Star and won a World Series championship and the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award with the Cardinals in 2011. He stands 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m), and weighs 220 pounds (100 kg). Berkman spent various seasons of his career as a regular at all three outfield positions.

Americans Citizens, or natives, of the United States of America

Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.

Professional baseball is played in leagues throughout the world. In these leagues and associated farm teams, baseball players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system.

Outfielder defensive position in baseball

An outfielder is a person playing in one of the three defensive positions in baseball or softball, farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder. As an outfielder, their duty is to catch fly balls and/ ground balls then to return them to the infield for the out or before the runner advances, if there is any runners on the bases. As an outfielder, they normally play behind the six players located in the field. By convention, each of the nine defensive positions in baseball is numbered. The outfield positions are 7, 8 and 9. These numbers are shorthand designations useful in baseball scorekeeping and are not necessarily the same as the squad numbers worn on player uniforms.

Contents

A standout baseball player at Canyon High School, Berkman attended Rice University, where he played college baseball for the Owls. Named the 1997 National College Player of the Year, the Astros selected Berkman in the first round of that year's amateur draft, and he debuted in the major leagues in 1999. He joined the Astros' vaunted "Killer B's" lineup that included Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio as all three players were instrumental in the club's playoff success. The Astros traded Berkman to the Yankees at the 2010 trade deadline. He signed with the Cardinals as a free agent for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Berkman played a key part in the Cardinals winning the 2011 World Series, hitting a game-tying single in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6, with the Cardinals just one strike away from elimination. He played the 2013 season with the Rangers before signing a one-day contract with Houston to officially retire as an Astro.

Comal Independent School District is a public school district based in New Braunfels, Texas (USA).

Rice University university in Houston, Texas, USA

William Marsh Rice University, commonly known as Rice University, is a private research university in Houston, Texas. The university is situated on a 300-acre campus near the Houston Museum District and is adjacent to the Texas Medical Center.

College baseball is baseball that is played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education. In comparison to football and basketball, college competition in the United States plays a smaller role in developing professional players, as baseball's professional minor leagues are more extensive, with a greater history of supplying players to the top professional league. Moving directly from high school to the professional level is more common in baseball than in football or basketball. However, if players do opt to enroll at a four-year college to play baseball, they must complete three years to regain professional eligibility, unless they reach age 21 before starting their third year of college. Players who enroll at junior colleges regain eligibility after one year at that level. In the most recently completed 2017 season, there were 298 NCAA Division I teams in the United States.

Active in charity work, Forbes recognized him on their list of "30 most generous celebrities" in 2012. [1] He has led a group called "Berkman's Bunch," an outreach for 50 underprivileged kids to meet Berkman before each Saturday home game for autographs and other gifts. In 2013, he purchased a fire truck and donated it to the City of West, Texas, after the West Fertilizer Company explosion.

<i>Forbes</i> American business magazine

Forbes is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law. Its headquarters is located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Primary competitors in the national business magazine category include Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including of the richest Americans, of the world's top companies, and The World's Billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool". Its chair and editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes, and its CEO is Mike Federle. In 2014, it was sold to a Hong Kong-based investment group, Integrated Whale Media Investments.

West, Texas City in Texas, United States

West is a city in McLennan County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,807. It is named after T.M. West, the first postmaster of the city. The city is located in the north-central part of Texas, approximately 70 miles (110 km) south of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, 20 miles north of Waco and 120 miles north of Austin, the state's capital.

West Fertilizer Company explosion explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas

On April 17, 2013, an ammonium nitrate explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility in West, Texas, eighteen miles (29 km) north of Waco, while emergency services personnel were responding to a fire at the facility. Fifteen people were killed, more than 160 were injured, and more than 150 buildings were damaged or destroyed. Investigators have confirmed that ammonium nitrate was the material that exploded. On May 11, 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives stated that the fire had been deliberately set.

Early life and college career

Berkman was born in Waco, Texas, the son of Cynthia Ann (née Thomas) and Larry Gene Berkman. [2] [3] [4] His paternal grandfather, whose family's surname was originally "Bjorkman", was of Swedish descent. [4] Berkman graduated from Canyon High School in New Braunfels, Texas, in 1994.

Waco, Texas City in Texas, United States

Waco is a city in central Texas and is the county seat of McLennan County, Texas, United States. It is situated along the Brazos River and I-35, halfway between Dallas and Austin. The city had a 2010 population of 124,805, making it the 22nd-most populous city in the state. The 2018 US Census population estimate is 138,183 The Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of McLennan and Falls Counties, which had a 2010 population of 234,906. Falls County was added to the Waco MSA in 2013. The 2018 US Census population estimate for the Waco MSA is 271,942.

New Braunfels, Texas City in Texas, United States

New Braunfels is a city in Comal and Guadalupe counties in the U.S. state of Texas, located in the northeastern part of Greater San Antonio. It is the seat of Comal County and 32 miles (51 km) from Downtown San Antonio. The city covers 44.9 square miles (116 km2) and has a 2017 estimated population of 79,152.

Berkman then attended Rice University playing on the Owls baseball team, where he was named the 1997 National College Player of the Year, playing for the legendary Wayne Graham, as well as named a first team All-America by Collegiate Baseball Magazine, Baseball America and The Sporting News . [5] He was invited to visit the White House and dined with President Clinton along with the rest of the Baseball America honorees.

Rice Owls baseball

The Rice Owls baseball team is the interscholastic baseball team representing Rice University in Houston, Texas, United States. The Owls have appeared often in the NCAA Tournament since the tenure of head coach Wayne Graham began in 1992. The program has participated in every tournament since 1995 and won the national championship in 2003, the first national championship for Rice athletics in any team sport.

Wayne Leon Graham is the former head coach of the Rice Owls baseball team in Houston, Texas. He has coached one College World Series championship team and five NJCAA World Series championship teams. Also a former professional baseball player, Graham played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

Baseball America is a sports magazine that covers baseball at every level, with a particular focus on up-and-coming players in high school, college, Japan, and the minor leagues. It is currently published in the form of a bi-weekly newspaper, five annual reference book titles, a weekly podcast, and a website. It also regularly produces lists of the top prospects in the sport, and covers aspects of the game from a scouting and player-development point of view. The publication's motto is "Baseball news you can't find anywhere else."

Throughout college, he batted a collective .385 with 67 home runs and 272 RBI. His 41 home runs in 1997 ranked third-most in NCAA history. That year he also made the all-time record book in RBIs (2nd-134), slugging percentage (6th-1.031) and total bases (4th-263) while leading the Rice Owls to their first College World Series appearance. [6]

Berkman returned to Rice in 2014 to finish his degree. [7]

Minor league career

The Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB) selected Berkman in the first round, with the 16th overall selection, of the 1997 MLB draft. [8] The team assigned him to play with the Kissimmee Cobras, their Class A-Advanced affiliate, of the Florida State League. In 53 games, he hit .293 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI.

In 1998, his second minor league season, the Astros promoted Berkman to the Jackson Generals of the Class AA Southern League. His potential was beginning to show, as he hit .306 with 24 home runs and 89 RBI over 122 games. The Astros granted him a mid-season promotion to the New Orleans Zephyrs of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. He played 17 games in New Orleans, and 1998 would prove to be his last full season in the minor leagues. In 1999, Berkman was midway through a great season in New Orleans when he was called up to the parent club, the Houston Astros. Prior to the promotion, he had been hitting .323 with 8 home runs and 49 RBI through 64 games.

Major League career

Houston Astros

1999–2004: Early Astros career

Throughout his entire high school, college, and minor league career, Berkman had almost exclusively played first base. The Astros, who called him up to the major leagues for the first time in 1999 and already had Jeff Bagwell entrenched at first, shifted Berkman to the outfield so he could regularly hit in the starting lineup. Because of his last name and reputation as a strong hitter, Berkman gained distinction as one of the Astros' "Killer B's" early in his career, which included Bagwell and Craig Biggio, two formidable veteran players who helped established the club as perennial playoff contenders in the 1990s and 2000s. In fact, journalist Dayn Perry jocosely noted in 1999 that the Astros, "in pursuit of arcane history, used eight players whose last names began with 'B.'" [9] The eight included Bagwell, Paul Bako, Glen Barker, Derek Bell, Sean Berry, Berkman, Biggio, and Tim Bogar. [10] After appearing in 34 games in 1999, Houston demoted Berkman to the minor leagues for more seasoning.

The demotion proved brief, however; 31 games into the 2000 season, Houston again promoted Berkman. Moving from left field to right field, he dramatically increased his offensive production by hitting .297 with 21 HR and 67 RBI, resulting in him becoming a starter for the rest of his career in Houston. In 2001, Berkman hit .331, fourth in the National League (NL), posted a .430 on-base percentage (OBP) (5th in the NL), and drove in 126 runs (7th in the league). He also scored 110 runs and hit 34 home runs, while his 55 doubles led the league. 2001 also marked his first All-Star appearance (he would repeat in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008) and he was 5th in Most Valuable Player voting. [11]

2002 saw his batting average drop to .292, although he kept his OBP high at .405. His power output increased also, resulting in 42 home runs. Berkman scored 106 runs and drove in 128, good enough to lead the league. He made his second All-Star appearance and was third in the NL in the Most Valuable Player voting. [11]

In 2003, Berkman's batting average dipped to .288, but his OBP remained high at .412. He hit 25 home runs, and drove in 93 runs, scoring 110. In the field, he played every game in left field, moving to center field once. [11] Berkman also continued his reputation for being colorful and outspoken, advocating for the use of instant replay in games. [12]

In May 2004, Berkman produced a .785 slugging percentage with 24 RBI winning the National League Player of the Month honors for the first time in his career. [13] Berkman made the All-Star team, his third All-Star appearance, [11] and placed second in the 2004 Home Run Derby behind Miguel Tejada. [14] He hit the longest home run of the tournament at 497 feet (151 m). [15] Berkman's average for the season increased to .316 from the year before, and his OBP was .450, having walked 127 times. He hit 30 home runs, drove in 106, and scored 104 runs. He also hit 40 doubles and appeared in 160 games, the most in his career for a single season. Defensively, Berkman split 2004 between left and right field.

2005–10

Berkman signed a six-year, $85-million deal in March 2005. [16] He moved to first base early in the 2005 season while Bagwell spent a significant portion of the season injured. Berkman ended the season with 24 home runs and 82 RBIs.

Berkman in 2008 05.10.2008 Lance Berkman.jpg
Berkman in 2008

In Game 4 of the 2005 National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, Berkman hit a grand slam in the 8th inning. That brought the score to 6–5 in favor of the Braves, but the game was tied in the next inning on a two-out solo home run by Brad Ausmus. The teams then battled for 9 more innings in what became the longest game in Major League Baseball playoff history, with the Astros eventually winning the game (and the series) in the bottom of the 18th inning on a Chris Burke home run. Burke had replaced Berkman as a pinch runner in the 10th. In the 2005 World Series, Berkman's first, the Astros were swept by the Chicago White Sox in four games, though Berkman compiled a .385 average with two doubles. His six RBIs during that series were the most of any of the Astros' hitters.

On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, Berkman was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation. [17] On September 13, 2006, Berkman became only the second switch hitter in Major League history to hit 40 or more homers in multiple seasons, with Mickey Mantle being the first. [18]

During the 2006 season, Berkman hit 45 home runs and had 136 RBI. He broke the Astros' single season record for RBI, previously set by Bagwell in 1997 with 135. [19] He also had a .315 batting average, an on-base percentage of .420, as well as a slugging percentage of .621. [11] He also hit a career high 5 home runs from the right side of the plate. [20] He finished third in the MVP voting behind Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols. [21]

Berkman started the 2007 season in a bit of a slump, [22] batting .261, well below his career average, but rebounded for a strong second half of the season. Berkman finished the 2007 season with a .278 batting average, 34 home runs and 102 RBIs, along with 7 stolen bases.

Berkman started the 2008 season batting well above .385 through April, won the NL Player of the Month in May and two separate Player of the Week awards, one which he went 29–32 (batted .906) with 6 home runs, including a McCovey Cove splash landing. [23] At the All-Star break, he was in the NL's top four in batting average, with 22 home runs, and was on pace for 130+ RBIs. However, despite the rest of the team picking up steam behind the likes of Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodríguez, Hunter Pence, and Ty Wigginton's rebound second half, Berkman's individual performance dipped significantly, and by season's end, he batted .312, with 29 home runs (7 of which were right-handed, setting a new career high), and 106 RBI. Berkman was fifth in the voting for the 2008 NL MVP award, behind Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Ryan Braun, and Manny Ramirez. [24]

Berkman hit his 300th home run against Arizona Diamondbacks starter Jon Garland on June 13, 2009. [25]

New York Yankees (2010)

Berkman during his tenure with the New York Yankees in 2010 P1100257 Lance Berkman.jpg
Berkman during his tenure with the New York Yankees in 2010

On July 31, 2010, Berkman was traded to the New York Yankees for minor leaguers Jimmy Paredes and Mark Melancon. [26] [27] He served as both a designated hitter and back-up first baseman during his tenure with New York. During the 2010 ALCS, Berkman served first base for the rest of the post-season when Mark Teixeira went on the disabled list due to a hamstring injury. The Yankees eventually lost the ALCS to the Texas Rangers in 6 games.

The Yankees announced on October 27 that the club declined to exercise their option for Berkman for 2011. [28]

St. Louis Cardinals (2011–2012)

2011 season: Comeback and World Series championship

Berkman was under contract with the Cardinals for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

On July 5, 2011, Berkman hit his 350th career home run, and his long-ball was the second farthest home run ever hit in the new Busch Stadium.

2011 became a comeback year for Berkman, as he was one of the team leaders in batting average, home runs and RBI. He was named the NL Comeback Player of the Year.

Berkman playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011 Lance Berkman on June 29, 2011.jpg
Berkman playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011

Berkman made key contributions in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series vs the Texas Rangers. He hit his first home run in a World Series game in the first inning and in the ninth, with St. Louis down to their final strike before elimination, Berkman was driven home followed by Albert Pujols after a game-tying 2-run triple by David Freese. [29] After Texas scored two runs in the top of the tenth and Ryan Theriot hit a run-scoring groundout, Berkman hit a two-out two-strike RBI single scoring Jon Jay to tie the game. Berkman won his first World Series championship as the Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers in the series in 7 games.

2012 season

On April 22, 2012, Berkman was placed on the disabled list due to a calf injury. On May 21, 2012, Berkman was again placed on the disabled list due to right knee injury. An MRI revealed that there was significant cartilage damage to both sides of the knee and a torn meniscus, requiring arthroscopic surgery. Berkman returned on July 14, 2012. He was then placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 3, 2012 due to knee inflammation. It was the third time Berkman went on the DL in the 2012 season. On September 10, 2012, he was again put on the disabled list after having to go for a secondary meniscus surgery in the same knee. On October, 3rd, 2012, Berkman had his last at bat as a Cardinal. He spent the 2012 postseason on the physically unable to perform list as the Cardinals won the 2012 NLDS against the Washington Nationals but lost the 2012 NLCS against the San Francisco Giants.

Texas Rangers

Berkman with the Texas Rangers in 2013 spring training Lance Berkman 2013 (1).jpg
Berkman with the Texas Rangers in 2013 spring training

On January 5, 2013, Berkman agreed to a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers for approximately $10 million. [30] On October 31, the Rangers declined his option, which made him a free agent. [31] On January 29, 2014, he decided to retire. [32] Berkman, along with former teammate Roy Oswalt signed a one-day contract with Houston to officially retire as Astros on April 5, 2014. [33]

Coaching

In 2009, Berkman stated that after his major league career he would like to coach baseball at the University of Texas at Austin even though he attended Rice University. Since he didn't finish his degree at Rice, he would need to return to school and complete three more semesters to earn a business degree with a minor in sports management. He hypothesized then that "I know [Texas Coach Augie] Garrido's going to coach four or five more years. I figured that might dovetail nicely with the end of my career." [34] With Berkman's retirement in 2014, however, it is at his alma mater, Rice, that the former Owl has spent time assisting young hitters. Rice Coach Wayne Graham has made clear that Rice would be interested, stating that "[i]t sounds like he wants to coach. Hopefully at one time or another it will be here. We’ll manage to always find a place for him." [35]

As of 2015, Berkman is serving as the head baseball coach at Second Baptist School in Houston, Texas, along with his former Astros teammate Andy Pettitte serving as assistant coach. [36] Berkman and Pettitte led Second Baptist to a Tapps State Title in 2016.

Berkman was eligible to be elected into the Hall of Fame in 2019, but received less than 5% of the vote and became ineligible for the 2020 ballot.

Career achievements

Championships earned or shared
TitleTimesDatesRef
National League champion 2 2005, 2011
World Series champion 1 2011
Honors received
TitleDateRef
Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee2009
Awards
Statistical achievements

Notes: Per Baseball-Reference.com.

National League statistical leader
CategoryTimesDates
Doubles leader 2 2001, 2008
Runs batted in leader 1 2002
National League top-ten ranking
CategoryTimesSeasonsCategoryTimesSeasons
Adjusted on-base plus slugging 62001, 2004−06, 2008, 2011 Home runs 42002, 2006, 2007, 2011
Bases on balls 102001−09, 2011 On-base percentage 92001−06, 2008, 2009, 2011
Batting average 42001, 2004, 2006, 2008 On-base plus slugging percentage72006–08, 2010–13
Runs batted in 52001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008
Doubles 22001, 2008 Runs scored32002, 2003, 2008
Extra base hits 42001, 2002, 2004, 2008 Slugging percentage 52001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011
Games played32002, 2004, 2008
Hits 12001 Times on base 72001−04, 2006, 2008, 2011
Total bases 42001, 2002, 2006, 2008

Personal life

Berkman and his wife, Cara, live in Houston with their four daughters. Berkman has been very outspoken about his Christian beliefs throughout his career. [39] [40] Berkman uses his position as a professional athlete to discuss his religious beliefs with others. He told The 700 Club in May 2007: "What you’re running after, what you’re trying to find will not provide you with any lasting fulfillment. The only place you can find that is Jesus Christ. It's in the service of God you’ll find that lasting fulfillment." [41]

In 2001, Berkman began leading a charity called "Berkman's Bunch" where 50 underprivileged kids could meet Berkman before each Saturday home game for autographs and other gifts. [42] In April 2012, Forbes named Berkman one of the 30 most generous celebrities as he and his wife had donated $2,412,245 to a foundation they established called To The Lord's Fund. [43]

In July 2013, Berkman purchased a fire truck and had it overhauled by the City of Arlington. He then donated it to the City of West, Texas, in the wake of the West Fertilizer Company explosion that took place earlier in the year. The fire truck is white with a red Maltese cross on the doors and the name Berkman over the cross with his number "17" encircled within the cross. [44]

Lance accepted an invitation to film an advertisement against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which was aimed at protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination, and would have allowed men claiming to be transgender into girl's restrooms. The ordinance sought to ban discrimination on a variety of levels, including sex, race, color, ethnicity and other classifications. Berkman took to the airwaves to repeat a popular stance of HERO’s critics, arguing that the law would allow male predators dressed in drag to enter women’s bathrooms, stating that he had a wife and daughters that he wanted to protect from such exposure. Berkman’s appearance garnered criticism from some, but praise from many. One source of criticism came from former football player Chris Kluwe. The controversy flared when then Houston Mayor Annise Parker stated of Berkman, "That someone who made his name in our city would inject himself into this debate by taking to the airwaves to discredit an effort to ban discrimination in all forms did upset me. This ordinance protects all Houstonians and his remarks diminished it to something trivial." Berkman never returned the insults of former Mayor Parker, and stood by his message. The ordinance was rejected by Houston voters in a ballot initiative in November 2015. [45] [46] [47]

Nicknames

He is most popularly known as "Fat Elvis" and "The Big Puma." Before the 2006 season started, in an interview with a local Houston sports radio station, Lance joked "I'm more like a puma so I'm not sure why people call me Fat Elvis." [48] The show's hosts, John Granato and Lance Zierlein, ran with the moniker and Houston fans and media latched onto "The Big Puma." When questioned further, Berkman explained the nickname is simply logical. "Agile, athletic, sleek ... all the things that describe my game", he said, somewhat tongue-in-cheek. [49] With his outstanding start in 2008, this nickname also became known on a national level. [50] That same year, a Lance Berkman fan club calling themselves "The Little Pumas" emerged. During Berkman's long tenure with the Astros, they could be seen wearing puma costumes and foam puma paws at most Astros home games near the Conoco Pump in left-center field. The group became relatively well-known among Astros fans, as they were shown often during Astros broadcasts on Fox Sports Houston. [51]

Berkman was also one of the Astros' "Killer B's" in the mid-2000s, along with Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Derek Bell. [52]

See also

Related Research Articles

Houston Astros Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Houston, Texas, United States

The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston, Texas. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division, having moved to the division in 2013 after spending their first 51 seasons in the National League (NL). The Astros have played their home games at Minute Maid Park since 2000.

Carlos Beltrán Baseball player from Puerto Rico

Carlos Iván Beltrán is a Puerto Rican former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1998 to 2017 for the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers. A right-handed thrower and switch hitter, Beltrán stands 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighs 215 pounds (98 kg).

Jeff Bagwell American baseball player

Jeffrey Robert Bagwell is an American former professional first baseman and coach who spent his entire 15-year Major League Baseball (MLB) playing career with the Houston Astros. Originally a Boston Red Sox fourth-round selection from the University of Hartford as a third baseman in the 1989 amateur draft, he was then traded to the Astros in 1990. The National League (NL) Rookie of the Year in 1991, Bagwell then won the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1994, was a four-time MLB All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger winner and a Gold Glove recipient. Forming a core part of Astros lineups with Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman given the epithet "Killer B's", Houston finished in first or second place in the National League Central division in 11 of 12 seasons from 1994 to 2005. They qualified for the playoffs six times, culminating in Bagwell's lone World Series appearance in 2005. He was elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, and to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Craig Biggio American baseball player

Craig Alan Biggio is an American former second baseman, outfielder and catcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career from 1988 through 2007 for the Houston Astros. A seven-time National League (NL) All-Star often regarded as the greatest all-around player in Astros history, he is the only player ever to be named an All-Star at both catcher and second base. With longtime teammates Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman, he formed the core of the "Killer B's" who led Houston to six playoff appearances from 1997 to 2005, culminating in the franchise's first World Series appearance in 2005. At the end of his career he ranked sixth in NL history in games played (2,850), fifth in at bats (10,876), twenty-first in hits (3,060), and seventh in runs scored (1,844). His 668 career doubles ranked fifth in major league history, and are the most ever by a right-handed hitter; his 56 doubles in 1999 were the most in the major leagues in 63 years.

Carlos Lee Panamanian baseball player

Carlos Noriel Lee is a Panamanian former professional baseball first baseman and left fielder who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1999–2012 with the Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. He had 17 career grand slams, ranking him seventh in MLB history.

Sean Berry is a former Major League Baseball player he is currently the hitting coach for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. He served primarily as a third baseman from 1990-2000. He was a member of the Houston Astros' original "Killer B's", along with Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Derek Bell.

Rudy Jaramillo American baseball player-coach

Rudolpho "Rudy" Jaramillo [ha-dah-MEE-yoh] is former professional baseball coach and player. Jaramillo graduated from Dallas' Sunset High School in 1970 and attended the University of Texas at Austin. He is best known for being a hitting coach at the major league level, most recently for the Chicago Cubs. During his time with the Texas Rangers, Jaramillo was the first individual in Rangers history to serve more than eight seasons on their major league coaching staff. He served as the Rangers' major league hitting coach for 15 seasons, from 1995 to 2009. Jaramillo also had the longest tenure with one team as a hitting coach in Major League Baseball (MLB). Jaramillo has been credited for the development of players such as Jeff Bagwell, Juan González, Adrian Gonzalez, Iván Rodríguez, Mark Teixeira, and Michael Young, among others.

The Houston Astros' 2005 season was a season in which the Houston Astros qualified for the postseason for the second consecutive season. The Astros overcame a sluggish 15–30 start to claim the wild card playoff spot, and would go on to win the National League pennant to advance to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. It was longtime Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell's final season and first World Series appearance.

The Houston Astros' 2004 season was the 43rd in club history, their 43rd in the National League (NL), eleventh in the National League Central division, and fifth at Minute Maid Park. They hosted that year's All-Star Game, the first at Minute Maid Park. Despite a 44–44 record, Phil Garner replaced Jimy Williams as manager during the season. The Astros finished second in the Central division and captured the NL wild card. The Astros won a postseason series for the first time in franchise history by defeating the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series (NLDS), scoring an NLDS-record 36 runs. Roger Clemens won the NL Cy Young Award, becoming the fourth pitcher to win the award in both leagues, and the only one with seven overall.

The Houston Astros' 2003 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League Central.

The Houston Astros' 2001 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros winning the National League Central.

The 2000 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. They finished in fourth place in the National League Central division. It was their first season in their new ballpark, Minute Maid Park.

The 1997 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The Houston Astros won their first-ever National League Central division title, giving them their first playoff berth in 11 years.

The Houston Astros' 1996 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League Central.

The Houston Astros' 1994 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the inaugural season of the National League Central division; they finished in second place. First baseman Jeff Bagwell was a unanimous selection for the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Despite nearly the last two months of the being cancelled due to the 1994–95 strike, Bagwell set a then-club record for home runs with 39 and a club record for batting average (.368) and slugging percentage (.750).

Chris Carter (infielder) American baseball player

Vernon Christopher Carter is an American born professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League. He previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, and New York Yankees. In 2016, while playing for the Brewers, Carter led the National League in home runs, along with Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, with 41.

The Houston Astros' 2009 season is the 48th season for the franchise in the National League in Houston, Texas and their 10th season at Minute Maid Park. The Houston Astros attempted to win the NL Central for the fifth time, but failed.

Jimmy Paredes Baseball player from the Dominican Republic

Jimmy Santiago Paredes Terrero, is a Dominican professional baseball utility player who is a free agent. Paredes previously played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, and Philadelphia Phillies, in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Chiba Lotte Marines, and in the KBO League for the Doosan Bears.

2017 Houston Astros season

The 2017 Houston Astros season was the 56th season for the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in Houston, their 53rd as the Astros, fifth in both the American League (AL) and AL West division, and 18th at Minute Maid Park. The Astros began the regular season at home versus the Seattle Mariners on April 3, 2017, and concluded on the road at Fenway Park versus the Boston Red Sox on October 1. Following the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Astros added a patch on the front of their uniforms that read "Houston Strong". On September 17, the Astros clinched the AL West with a 7–1 victory over the Mariners, for their first AL West division title while qualifying for the postseason, and seventh division title overall. The Astros defeated Boston 3–2 on September 29 for their 100th win of the season, their first 100-win season since 1998. Overall, the Astros finished with a 101–61 regular season record, their second-highest win total in franchise history, for a .623 winning percentage.

References

  1. Antunes, Anderson. "The 30 Most Generous Celebrities". Forbes. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  2. "San Antonio Express-News, Archives | mySA.com". Nl.newsbank.com. June 15, 1996. Retrieved April 3, 2013.(subscription required)
  3. "NewsBank for Statesman | www.prod.statesman.com". Nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  4. 1 2 "William Lance BERKMAN: SweAme". Swedesintexas.com. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  5. Wild, Danny (October 16, 2009). "Path of the Pros: Lance Berkman". MLB.com . Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  6. "Rice University Records" (PDF). Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  7. Duarte, Joseph. "Berkman's back in the game as a student at Rice". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  8. "Astros Legend Lance Berkman Inducted into College HOF". Climbing Tal's Hill. March 4, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  9. Perry, Dayn (December 23, 2012). "Remembering the 'Killer B's'". CBSSports.com . Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  10. "1999 Houston Astros: Batting, pitching, & fielding statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 "Lance Berkman statistics & history". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  12. Lance Berkman wants instant replay. "We have the technology," Archived June 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine The Faster Times
  13. Footer, Alyson (June 2, 2004). "Berkman NL Player of the Month". MLB.com. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  14. "Home Run Derby (2000–2008)". baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved September 22, 2008.
  15. Antonen, Mel (July 12, 2004). "Tejada blasts way to victory in Derby". USA Today. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  16. Footer, Alyson (March 19, 2005). "Astros, Berkman reach six-year deal". MLB.com . Retrieved August 1, 2010.[ permanent dead link ]
  17. Lance Berkman Pink Louisville Slugger Bat for Breast Cancer Awareness Big Time Bats
  18. "BASEBALL: NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP; Peavy Is Dominant As Padres Rout Reds". The New York Times. September 14, 2006. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  19. "Houston Astros Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved September 22, 2008.
  20. Lance Berkman Player Profiles
  21. Molony, Jim (November 20, 2006). "Berkman finishes third in MVP voting". Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  22. Lance Berkman's long slump. Letterman books a real star. SportsJustice, by Richard Justice
  23. Splash Hits List MLB.com
  24. Leach, Matthew (November 17, 2008). "Crowning achievement: Pujols NL MVP | MLB.com: News". MLB.com . Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  25. Ortiz, Jose de Jesus (June 14, 2009). "Berkman, Tejada put milestones to good use". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  26. "Yankees make Berkman Deal Official". Yankees.lhblogs.com. July 31, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  27. McTaggart, Brian (July 30, 2010). "Astros finalize Berkman deal with Yankees". Pressbox.mlb.com. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  28. Yankees decline options on Berkman, Wood, Johnson The LoHud Yankees Blog
  29. Thriving Berkman marvels at Series' drama MLB.com
  30. "Rangers Reach Deal With Lance Berkman". CBS Dallas/Fort Worth. January 5, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  31. "Texas Rangers decline $12 million contract option for Lance Berkman". Dallas Morning News. Associated Press. October 31, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  32. Durrent, Richard (January 29, 2014). "Lance Berkman decides to retire". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  33. "Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt retire". ESPN.com. April 5, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  34. "Berkman has dreams of coaching at UT". MLB.com . Retrieved May 12, 2009.
  35. "Wayne Graham on Lance Berkman: 'A great legacy'". Ultimate Astros. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  36. "Former Astros great Lance Berkman hired as Second Baptist baseball coach". Sports Update. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  37. Lance Berkman Athletic Celebrity Marketing
  38. Berkman plays despite sore hand MLB.com
  39. "Berkman's Just Fine As Is". chron.com. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  40. "Faith and America's Favorite Pastime". chron.com. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  41. "Lance Berkman: True Satisfaction – The 700 Club". Cbn.com. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  42. Baldwin, Tony. "Berkman is clutch both on and off the field". EveryJoe. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  43. Pollock, Bill. "Berkman makes Forbes' list of 30 Most Generous Celebrities". MissouriNet. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  44. "Lance Berkman to donate fire truck to West". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  45. "Lance Berkman appears in controversial ad over Houston's equal rights bill – For The Win". For The Win. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  46. "Annise Parker hits back at Lance Berkman for anti-HERO advertisement". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  47. "In Houston, Voters Reject A Closely Watched Equal Rights Ordinance". NPR. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  48. "The Z Report: I am partly responsible for the nickname "Big Puma"...well, kind of". chron.com. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  49. "Mailbag: Berkman the 'Big Puma?'". MLB.com. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  50. "Berkman enjoying fruits of labor". MLB.com. Retrieved January 5, 2009.
  51. "Little Puma Roster". Thelittlepumas.com. May 23, 2008. Archived from the original on June 3, 2010. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  52. "MLB Pro Blog: NLCS: Astros v Cardinals". Birth of the B's. Major League Baseball. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
Preceded by
Barry Bonds
Chase Utley
National League Player of the Month
May 2004
May 2008
Succeeded by
Jim Thome
Hanley Ramírez