Nicknamed “Big Puma”, Lance Berkman signed a six year deal with the Houston Astros in 2005. Making a move to first base while Jeff Bagwell was injured, Lance ended the season with 24 home runs and 82 RBI’s. Game 4 of the 2005 National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, Lance hit a grand slam in the 8th inning, as the team’s battled for 9 more innings in what became the longest game in MLB playoff history, with the Astros winning. The 2006 season, he hit 45 home runs and had 136 RBI’s, which broke the Astros single season record.
In 2010, Lance was traded to the New York Yankees where he was a designated hitter and back-up first baseman. The 2011 season brought some change, as Lance became a St. Louis Cardinal. On July 5, 2011, he hit his 350th homerun and was a team leader in batting, home runs and RBI’s. He was awarded the NL Comeback Player of the Year and a member of the 2011 World Series Champions. The 2012 season came with various injuries and being on the disability list almost all season. October 2012 Lance had his last bat as a Cardinal and then agreed to a 1-year, $10 million dollar contract with the Texas Rangers. A few months later the Rangers declined the contract making Lance a free agent.
Always being a Houston Astro at heart he and former teammate Roy Oswalt signed a one day contract to officially retire as an Astro on April 5, 2014. Although Lance’s jersey has not officially been retired, no Astro has worn the number 17 since his trade in 2010 and it is understood that no one will in the near future. Most recently, Lance was hired as Second Baptist’s head baseball coach in June 2015. A devouted Christian, Lance Berkman is available for speaking engagements, sporting events and sports clinics.