HOUSTON – The Astros have announced the honorees of their Hall of Fame class of 2020.
The class includes Lance Berkman, César Cedeño, Roy Hofheinz, Roy Oswalt, Billy Wagner and Bob Watson. The men will be inducted on Aug. 8 at the ceremony presented by Houston Methodist, per the Astros. The ceremony will take place before the Astros take on the Blue Jays.
Berkman is a fan favorite, a Waco native who played for the Astros from 1999 to 2010. He was a six-time All-Star. Berkman’s ties to Houston run deep, as the former Rice Owl and the 1997 National College Player of the Year. Berkman was part of the “Killer B’s” alongside Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio.
Berkman went on to become the Astros all-time leader in career on-base percentage (.410), slugging percentage (.549) and on-base plus slugging (.959). Known as “Big Puma," he helped lead the Astros to three playoff appearances, including the club’s first appearance in the World Series in 2005. A five-time Astros MVP, Berkman owns the single-season club records for RBI (136 in 2006) and extra-base hits (94 in 2001).
Cedeño quickly became one of the top outfielders in baseball at only 19 years old. Cedeño was versatile, hitting .285 with 199 homers, 436 doubles, 60 triples and 550 stolen bases across his 17-year Major League career. In 1972 at age 21, he began a stretch in which he received five consecutive Gold Glove awards (1972-76) while being named to four National League All-Star teams in that five-year stretch.
Cedeño stole at least 50 bases in six consecutive seasons from 1972-77, hit for the cycle twice, and hit .309 with 48 steals in 1980 to help push Houston to its first playoff berth. He spent 12 years in Houston.
Judge Hofheinz was the first owner of the Houston franchise. Hofheinz became a state legislator at age 22, a Harris County judge at age 24 and the mayor of Houston at age 40. Hofheinz played an instrumental role in getting the Colt .45s to Houston in 1962 and in 1965 renamed the club the Astros to coincide with the opening of the first domed stadium in professional sports history, the iconic Astrodome. Hofheinz made history when he decided to use an artificial playing surface now known as AstroTurf. Stadiums with domes can also be credited to Hofheinz, who passed away in 1982.
Oswalt was club’s first ace to pitch inside their new ballpark in downtown Houston, Minute Maid Park. Oswalt went on to win 143 games with a 3.24 ERA in 303 games (291 starts) in an Astros uniform and ranks second in franchise history in career wins, second in strikeouts (1593), third in innings pitched (1932.1) and fifth in ERA.
He went 4-0 in eight games during the 2004-05 playoffs, pitching Houston to wins in two series-clinching games, including Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS at St. Louis that sent the Astros to their first World Series berth in franchise history.
Wagner spent the first nine years of his standout 16-year MLB career with Houston, posting 225 saves and 694 strikeouts in 464 games with the Astros. He set an Astros single-season franchise record for saves in 1999 (39 saves), before topping his own club-record mark in 2003 with 44 saves. The Astros franchise leader in career saves, Wagner was known for his consistency, as he posted an ERA of 2.85-or-better in 15 of his 16 Major League seasons.
Watson spent 14 seasons with the Astros, batting .297 with 241 doubles, 139 home runs, 782 RBI and an .808 OPS in 1,381 games. He scored MLB’s one millionth run on May 4, 1975, and became the first player in MLB history to hit for the cycle in both the National League and the American League.
Watson was also known for his contributions beyond just playing. Following his playing career, Watson became the second African-American General Manager in Major League history when he was named GM of the Astros in 1994. In 1996, Watson became the first African-American GM to win a World Series when he did so as GM of the New York Yankees. In 2018, the Astros honored Watson by building the Bob Watson Education Center at the Astros Youth Academy in North Houston.
Statistics provided by the Houston Astros