Retired Lance Berkman heads back to school, will be student-coach
Retired former World Series MVP Lance Berkman will be wandering the ivy covered walls of Rice University this fall. At least proverbially. After walking away from playing baseball after the 2013 season, the Houston Chronicle reports he has enrolled in the elite University and will also volunteer as a student coach for his former head coach, Wayne Graham:
Berkman received the OK from the university on Thursday to enroll in classes for the fall semester and begin working on completion of his degree.
“I think it’s great,” Graham told the Houston Chronicle and KRIV. “He has no negatives. Lance brings all positives. He has a good personality, loves baseball and he’s been a credit to baseball and to Rice University. We all know he will conduct himself in the right way and he loves the kids.”
Berkman played for Graham from 1995-1997, including a ridiculous 41 home runs in 65 games in 1997, inwhich the Owls reached the College World Series for the first time in school history. Along side number three overall draft pick Jose Cruz Jr. in the same era due helped propel the Owls into the national spotlight eventually winning their only College World Series in 2003.
In his major league career, Berkman finished fifth all-time in home runs by a switch hitter (behind the likes of Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, Chipper Jones, and Carlos Beltran) with six All-Star games and two World Series with the Houston Astros (2005) and St. Louis Cardinals (2011). He was the MVP of the St. Louis Cardinals title run, batting .423 with 11 hits and 5 RBI in 7 games in the series. He also played for the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.
– David Whitlock