Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt Retirement Ceremony at Minute Maid Park

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photos by Marco Torres

It was more than just a game. At least that was the message emblazoned across the jumbotron at Minute Maid Park Saturday night as the Houston Astros hosted Albert Pujols and the rest of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It was a game where two of the most beloved and successful baseball players this city has ever cheered for signed a one-day contract in order to retire as Houston Astros.

Lance Berkman is a slugger who attended and played at Rice University before joining the Astros. A loveable, Babe-Ruthian figure, lovingly nick-named "The Big Puma" and even "Fat Elvis", he was all smiles as he took the field in front of nearly 30,000 fans in the stands. The ace fast-baller Roy "The Wizard" Oswalt from Mississippi followed, sporting that serious grin that kept hitters shaking in their cleats for so many years.

Former Astros commentator Milo Hamilton served as the Master of Ceremonies, bestowing each player with their very own custom Stetson cowboy hat, framed 2005 World Series jersey, and a hand-made rocking chair. "We will remember you always, don't forget us! Holy Toledo! What a night!" exclaimed Milo.

The video board also showed tributes and congratulations from teammates and baseball icons such as Brad Ausmus, Craig Biggio, Nolan Ryan, and Tony LaRussa. Berkman and Oswalt ended the night by throwing out the ceremonial first pitches of the game.

Here's a look at their accomplishments:
Berkman

Six-time All-Star
Five-time team MVP
100 RBIs six times in his career
30 home runs six times
40 home runs twice
.300 percentage five times
366 home runs

Oswalt
Won 20 games twice
Won 15 or more games five times
Three consecutive All-Star Games
Eight straight Opening Day starts

Adios, amigos! You will be missed. Happy Retirement!

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Continue for more photos from the Berkman, Oswalt retirement ceremony.


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