HOUSTON The Houston Astros will honor former players Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt in a ceremony prior to the team s game with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 5th.

Before the game, the two will sign one-day contracts so they can officially retire as members of the team which launches their respective careers.

Lance and Roy were also very popular with our fans and were outstanding representatives of the Astros organization, Astros president Reid Ryan said. On April 5, our fans will have the opportunity to celebrate their great careers with us.

Berkman, 38, spent 12 of his 15 Major League seasons in an Astros uniform after being the club s first pick in the 1997 June Draft out of Rice University. On the Astros all-time lists, Berkman currently ranks in the top five in several offensive categories, including games (1,592-4th); home runs (326-2nd); RBI (1,090-3rd) walks (1,040-3rd), runs (1,008-3rd) and slugging (.549-1st).

I m really looking forward to the this, Berkman said. It s great to come back to Houston full circle. I ve always considered myself an Astro and a Houstonian. I m very proud to have played on some great Astros teams and proud to have played in what was probably the best era in franchise history. It is very appropriate to retire as an Astro.

During his 10 seasons in an Astros uniform (2001-10), Oswalt was one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. A three-time All-Star, Oswalt reached 20 wins in back-to-back seasons (2004-05) and was a 19-game winner in 2002. After being selected in the 23rd round of the 1996 June Draft, he arrived in the Major Leagues in 2001, posting an outstanding 14-3 record in 28 appearances (20 starts) that season with a 2.73 ERA.

Oswalt was named MVP of the 2005 National League Championship Series after his memorable Game 6 performance against the St. Louis Cardinals. The victory clinched the organizations first trip to the World Series.

To come back and retire as an Astro means a lot to me, Oswalt said. I came up with the Astros organization and played on some great teams. Playing in the World Series in 2005 was the highlight of my big league career. I have a lot great memories from my years with the Astros.

The ceremony will include retirement gifts and several of Berkman and Oswalt s former teammates and family members.

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