There are some franchises that just do it the right way. The Houston Astros are, believe it or not, one of those franchises.
First, during their home opener, they set the tone for what’s going to be a long season of Derek Jeter celebrations by giving the retiring shortstop some parting gifts. And while I don’t ever see the New York Yankees captain ever wearing a cowboy hat or those God-awful boots…the Titleist golf clubs were legit.
Fast forward to Saturday.
The team signed fan favorites Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt to one-day contracts so they could retire as members of the Astros.
“It’s an honor to come back here and retire as an Astro,” Oswalt said. “Lance and I both came up through the organization about the same time. We got to play together for a long time. The best thing about Houston was that it was always home.”
“Regardless of whether we had come back and signed an official contract, in my heart I would always be a Houston Astro,” Berkman said. “It’s just great to get a chance to formally or publicly acknowledge that and put a period at the end of the sentence.”
The duo was presented with their framed 2005 World Series jerseys as well as rocking chairs and the requisite Stetson hats.
Oswalt made it to the Majors in 2001 and put together a pretty solid career, collecting a 163-102 record, 3.36 ERA and three All-Star Game appearances. In 2005, he was named MVP of the NLCS. Oswalt finished up his career in Houston one win shy of Joe Niekro’s club record 144 victories.
Berkman was the team’s first pick in the 1997 and two years later, made his debut for the Astros. He’d wrap up his career with a career .293 batting average, 1905 hits and 366 home runs.