Retired Lance Berkman heads back to school, will be student-coach

  • David Whitlock

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.”

Lance Berkman, Rice legend

Lance Berkman returns to Rice as a student-coach

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

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David Whitlock

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David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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