Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – This Saturday and Sunday the Houston Astros will come back to town, following a three-game series with the Texas Rangers in Tampa, Florida after Hurricane Harvey forced them to stay on the road and not return home to Minute Maid Park.
With encouragement from Mayor Sylvester Turner and cooperation from the New York Mets and Major League Baseball. The Astros will get to have Friday off to be with family before starting a three-game series with the Mets in a day/night double header on Saturday and a day game on Sunday, in what hopefully will bring a smile to a city that has lost so much.
“We want to make this an event to bring joy to people’s lives,” Astros team President Reid Ryan said.
With help from the Mayor’s office, the Astros will be giving tickets to people who have been sheltering in the George R. Brown Convention Center.
“For those people who are sitting in the George R. Brown, they’re staring at the walls, wondering, what’s going to happen to their house, their lives,” Ryan said. “We want them to come out here and we are going to open up our facility to them, we are going to give them free tickets, come on out, our guys want to see them, our players want to touch them, and talk to them.”
Along with opening its doors, the Astros are providing people at the shelter with 10,000 Carlos Correa jerseys and Stro Zone T-shirts that were marked to be giving away during this weekend’s games, on top of that Jim Crane earlier in the week announced that he and his ownership group would be providing 4 million dollars to help aid Hurricane Harvey victims.
Much like the residents of Houston, the Astros have found themselves displaced, except for them, they’ve been 1,000 plus miles away from family, and able to do nothing but just watch everything from afar. Per Ryan, none of the player’s families have needed evacuation, but for a lot, this was their first Hurricane experience.
“Nobody was in a situation where they had to be rescued,” Ryan said. “We did have some players families, that weren’t prepared for the magnitude of the storm, that more than anything, just needed reassurance that it was going to be ok.”
Now with the team heading back in town after Thursday’s day game with the Rangers in Tampa, they along with the fans over the weekend hope to regain some sort of normalcy.
“Saturday is going to be an outpouring of love and emotion and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Ryan said. “For folks, whether they are watching at home, listening on the radio, or coming out to the ballpark, it’s going to give us a good feeling in the city of Houston.”
For those that do make it out to Minute Maid Park to enjoy a little break, the Astros are asking for you bring donations that they can in turn, give to the food bank. Anything helps, can food, non-perishable items, and even pet food for all of the aminals who are also being sheltered.