Following the conclusion of one baseball season leads to the preparation for the start of another. And so, as the MLB season comes to an end with the Texas Rangers winning the World Series, former Houston Astros and Texas Rangers great Lance Berkman is hard at work helping Houston Christian University prepare for the Huskies’ 2024 season.
Though he did spend some time with some other teams here and there, Berkman’s time with the Astros, and his time living here in Houston, are the defining years of his baseball career. Now the head baseball coach at HCU, Berkman continues to influence baseball in the Bayou City.
And because of the impact Berkman has had on the sport in Houston, the Houston Sports Hall of Fame wanted to ensure that Berkman’s legacy was enshrined.
The best way to do that? Well, it might just be to surprise the man and honor him as he’s trying to get ready for next season.
On a brisk Fall day, that’s exactly what Andy Pettitte, another Astros great who is helping with the Huskies’ baseball program, helped the Houston Sports Hall of Fame do.
“You were one of the greatest hitters I’ve ever played with. I’m a little biased, but one of the greatest switch hitters to play this game and one of the greatest clutch hitters that I have ever played with in the postseason,” Pettitte explained. “If there was ever an at bat that I wanted somebody up to get a big hit, I wanted you to be there.”
With Berkman’s family and friends gathered (and the shocking element of a police siren blaring to coax Berkman out of HCU’s practice facilities), Pettitte let HCU’s head baseball coach know he was set to be recognized for all he’s accomplished in Houston.
“That being said, that leads to the announcement we want to make. Lance, you’re being inducted into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame,” Pettitte stated.
As Berkman’s history as an Astro will continue to be celebrated for years to come, his work building the Huskies baseball team will carry on. The iconic presence and leadership he provides to HCU will allow the Huskies to build for the future. Being inducted into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame is a fitting honor for Lance Berkman’s storied career and lasting impact on baseball in the city of Houston.
While Berkman has achieved great accolades as a player, his legacy lives on through coaching and mentoring aspiring young ballplayers. The surprise the Houston Sports Hall of Fame provided underscores Berkman’s humility and dedication to keeping his focus on supporting HCU’s team. As a Houston legend, Berkman’s journey will inspire current and future Huskies to pursue excellence on and off the field.
Berkman and the Huskies will get the 2024 season started as they host Le Moyne on Friday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 18.