HOUSTON -- Jeff Kent, whose walk-off homer in Game 5 of the 2004 National League Championship Series against the Cardinals is one of the most memorable homers in Astros history, returned to Minute Maid Park on Friday to throw out the first pitch, though he gave the duties to his 9-year-old son, Kaeden.
The Astros have had a former player throw out the first pitch prior to every Friday home game this year as part of the team's 50th anniversary. Kent played two years with Houston (2003-04) and lives with his family in Austin.
"This is neat," Kent said. "It's always neat to get on the field, but always nice to go home and know I don't have to put the uniform on anymore."
These days, Kent remains busy coaching a Little League baseball team, as well as continuing to race dirt bikes. He had an accident last month in which he broke four ribs and punctured a lung and wound up spending a week in the hospital.
Kent also recently spent seven weeks in the Philippines as a contestant on the reality TV show "Survivor," which debuts a new season next week. Kent isn't allowed to say if he won the competition, but he was glad for the opportunity.
"I'm a fan of TV shows and I'm a dad and a competitor, and I love to do things outside the game," he said. "An opportunity came for me to challenge myself and compete socially, which was a challenge in itself. I watch all the reality shows and they can be kind of cheesy, but 'Survivor' was done with some class."