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Astros stars lead charitable Thanksgiving charge

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- Astros players have been busy in the community in the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick recently played softball at Minute Maid Park with children facing physical and developmental challenges, and Alex Bregman and Max Stassi handed out turkeys to the less fortunate last week.

The team's charitable arm, the Astros Foundation, stays active in the community all year with countless events at Minute Maid Park and around the city of Houston. It's certainly not uncommon for the players to take advantage of their status in the community and help those in need this time of year.

HOUSTON -- Astros players have been busy in the community in the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick recently played softball at Minute Maid Park with children facing physical and developmental challenges, and Alex Bregman and Max Stassi handed out turkeys to the less fortunate last week.

The team's charitable arm, the Astros Foundation, stays active in the community all year with countless events at Minute Maid Park and around the city of Houston. It's certainly not uncommon for the players to take advantage of their status in the community and help those in need this time of year.

Last week, Bregman partnered with Houston businessman and philanthropist Jim McIngvale to hand out 500 free turkeys in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Bregman was joined at McIngvale's Gallery Furniture story by Stassi.

"It's awesome," Bregman said. "[McIngvale] has done so much for this Houston community, and any chance we have to give back and help out, we're going to take that opportunity and hopefully impact some lives."

Giving back to a community that supported the Astros is what it's about for Stassi.

"Everyone supports us throughout the season," he said. "It's our offseason, so it's time for us to give back. It's the least we can do for this community."

On Nov. 10 at Minute Maid Park, Reddick and Correa helped play host to 10 Miracle League teams from the Greater Houston YMCA at Minute Maid Park, providing more than 100 children with physical and developmental challenges 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 and having a good time and being able to spend time with a couple of big leaguers are moments they'll never forget."

Reddick returned to his hometown of Springfield, Ga., on Saturday for the sixth-annual Josh Reddick Foundation Home Run Derby, which helped raise money for his community. The event was held at Josh Reddick Stadium, a handicap-accessible stadium that opened this summer. Reddick and his Astros teammates donated autographed items that were up for auction.

Giving back to the community in which he grew up has been a goal for Reddick. He was inspired by the physical struggles of his father, who lost two fingers in a work accident when Josh was an infant.

Bregman, meanwhile, has started a YouTube channel that has highlighted some of his involvement in the community. In the last couple of weeks, Bregman recently left a $500 tip to a Houston waitress whose car was broken into and crashed the wedding party of Astros fans Hayley and Steven Lopez.

"I wanted to showcase that people in baseball have a personality and you can have fun off the field," Bregman said. "At the same time, we need to use our platform in the right way and we're going to be doing a lot of giving back, and hopefully it inspires other people to give back as well."

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, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa