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Astros Foundation, Shriners extend agreement

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- The Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children announced the extension of a multi-year naming-rights agreement for the annual Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic held at Minute Maid Park in March.

The collaboration between the Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children will extend through March 2023, and The Astros Foundation will continue to operate the tournament -- which is considered one of the most prestigious regular-season tournaments in college baseball.

HOUSTON -- The Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children announced the extension of a multi-year naming-rights agreement for the annual Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic held at Minute Maid Park in March.

The collaboration between the Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children will extend through March 2023, and The Astros Foundation will continue to operate the tournament -- which is considered one of the most prestigious regular-season tournaments in college baseball.

"The Shriners Hospitals for Children do such amazing work in the community," said Twila Carter, executive director of the Astros Foundation. "It's heartwarming and it's a privilege for us to work with them. The partnership with the Foundation gives us the opportunity to invest in the community in a way that otherwise we may not have. What a gift."

Tweet from @astros: The #Astros and @shrinershosp annnounce five-year extension for College Classic naming right! 🙌. pic.twitter.com/aXDjM3ONAi

The announcement of the contract extension came during an event on Saturday at Minute Maid Park, where Astros players Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick helped play host to 10 Miracle League teams from the Greater Houston YMCA. They provided more than 100 children with physical and developmental challenges with the opportunity to live out a Major League Baseball experience.

The event is a collaboration between the Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children to raise funds and spread awareness for the international health-care system that provides care regardless of the families' ability to pay.

"It's a cool experience," Correa said. "When the Astros called me and told me about this event, I wanted to come. These kids, they need a reason to smile every day -- and coming to the ballpark ... having a good time and being able to spend time with a couple of big leaguers are moments they'll never forget."

Tweet from @brianmctaggart: Astros SS Carlos Correa at Shriners event at Minute Maid pic.twitter.com/HUL9ZtGlNC

Correa and Reddick took turns throwing slow-pitch batting practice to the kids, who were able to run the bases.

"These kids are great," Reddick said. "They're having a fun time and I'm having a blast. ... This is just fantastic to see these guys with smiles on their faces."

The Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic returns to Minute Maid Park from March 1-3, 2019. The invitation-only tournament next year features Baylor, Houston, Rice, TCU, Texas A&M and Texas State. The Astros Foundation will donate $1 from the sale of each ticket directly to Shriners Hospitals, as well as provide other fundraising and awareness opportunities.

Tickets for the 2019 tournament will go on sale on Nov. 27, at Astros.com/CollegeClassic. The tournament broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros, Carlos Correa, Josh Reddick