Apr 5, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; former Houston Astro Lance Berkman is honored prior to the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
One of the greatest players to ever put on an Astros uniform, Lance Berkman, will be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame as a Rice Owl. The induction ceremony will take place during the college baseball celebration in Lubbock, Texas on June 29th and 30th.
In his junior season at Rice, he had a remarkable season in 63 games played while leading the Owls to their first ever College World Series appearance in 1997. He hit 41 home runs, which is the third most in a single season, and drove in 134 RBI’s which is second all time. When you take into account the long balls, his slugging percentage that year of 1.031 is sixth all time and his 263 total bases rank fourth all time. He batted .431 on the season and had a .538 OBP.
To no surprise, his 1997 season earned him the honor of being named the 1997 National College Player of the Year along with being named a first time All-American.
In his three seasons at Rice, he batted .385 with 67 home runs and 272 RBI’s. He also produced a career .772 slugging percentage and a .484 OBP. Then in the first round of the MLB Draft, Berkman was drafted 16th overall by the Houston Astros.
And as we all know, Berkman went onto have a great career in Houston and was an instant fan-favorite. The last “Killer B” ended up retiring an Astro after signing a one-day contract on April 5, 2014 with longtime teammate Roy Oswalt. Berkman now serves as an assistant coach on the Rice Owls as he finishes up his degree.
On behalf of all Astros fans and the CTH staff, congratulations Big Puma. And more than anything, thank you for all the amazing memories in Houston as an Astro and an Owl.
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