2020 Astros Hall of Fame class announced

January 18th, 2020

HOUSTON -- At FanFest on Saturday, the Astros announced the six members of the Astros Hall of Fame Class of 2020: Lance Berkman, César Cedeño, Roy Hofheinz, Roy Oswalt, Billy Wagner and Bob Watson. The news was shared on the field at Minute Maid Park before a large throng of fans.

The six members of the class of 2020 will be inducted into the Astros Hall of Fame presented by Houston Methodist in a ceremony on Aug. 8, prior to Houston's 6:10 p.m. CT game against the Blue Jays. Each inductee will receive an Astros Hall of Fame sports coat and custom Hall of Fame plaque.

Two of the electees were present or represented at Saturday's big reveal: Berkman and Dene Hofheinz Anton, daughter of the late Judge Hofheinz.

"I was extremely happy to have gotten the word that I got in," Berkman said. "I suspected I might. I don't know mean that in a way to be too egotistical or anything like that. It wasn't a huge shock, but it was a great honor for sure."

The class of 2020 will join the 16 members of the inaugural Astros Hall of Fame class of 2019, which featured the nine Astros with retired numbers as well as the members of the Astros Walk of Fame on Texas Ave: Bob Aspromonte, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Jose Cruz, Larry Dierker, Gene Elston, Milo Hamilton, Joe Morgan, Joe Niekro, Shane Reynolds, J.R. Richard, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Jim Umbricht, Don Wilson and Jimmy Wynn.

The 2020 class is the first that was elected by the Astros Hall of Fame committee, consisting of former players and current Astros executives and reporters.

"I think what the Astros have done in terms of trying to honor the former players that might not be in Cooperstown, but still have made a significant contribution to baseball and the city of Houston... you have to salute Reid [Ryan] and you have to salute Jim Crane and the organization for putting this together," Berkman said. "I've been in other organizations that have had similar things and it's really neat. It's great for the fans to learn the history of an organization."

Berkman, who played for the Astros from 1999-2010, is the Astros all-time leader in career on-base percentage (.410), slugging percentage (.549) and OPS (.959). Berkman, affably known as "Big Puma" during his time in Houston, helped lead the club to three playoff appearances, including its first appearance in the World Series in 2005.

A five-time Astros MVP, Berkman owns the single-season club records for RBIs (136 in 2006) and extra-base hits (94 in 2001).

Hofheinz was one of the founding fathers of Houston baseball. The first owner of the franchise, the former mayor and Harris County judge 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.

The ultimate five-tool player, Cedeño hit .285 with 199 homers, 436 doubles, 60 triples and 550 stolen bases across his 17-year Major League career, with 12 of his years spent in Houston. 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 over those five seasons.

Oswalt, who pitched for the Astros from 2001-10, was Houston's first bona fide ace in its new downtown ballpark, Minute Maid Park. After debuting as a rookie in 2001 with a 14-3 record and a 2.73 ERA -- good for a runner-up finish in the NL Rookie of the Year voting -- Oswalt went on to win 143 games with a 3.24 ERA in 303 games (291 starts) in an Astros uniform.

Wagner, the Astros' closer during most of his tenure with the club from 1995-03, was a seven-time All-Star and one of the most dominating closers in Major League history. He spent the first nine years of his standout 16-year MLB career with Houston, posting 225 saves and 694 strikeouts in 464 games.

Watson spent 14 of his 19 Major League seasons with the Astros, making two All-Star teams while 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 he became the first player in MLB history to hit for the cycle in both the National League and the American League. Watson played for the Astros from 1966-79.