Astros kick off 'Play Green' campaign

Astros kick off 'Play Green' efforts

HOUSTON -- The Astros' primary colors are brick red and sand, but this week, they added a little green to the mix.

Major League teams everywhere are "going green," including the Astros, who celebrated Earth Day earlier this week and kicked off their season-long "Play Green" campaign.

On Wednesday, Hunter Pence and other team personalities helped build an energy-efficient Habitat for Humanity home. The next day, Geoff Blum visited Kolter Elementary School second graders to talk about the importance of being environmentally friendly.

Astros and Fox Sports Houston employees worked on the Habitat for Humanity home throughout the day and were joined by Pence and Fox Sports Houston broadcasters Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies.

"We hammered a few nails in, showed some support," Pence said. "We saw what they were doing, how they're building houses. Companies are donating money to help out to make economy-efficient and good-for-the-environment houses.

"It's a good cause and it makes a good home for a lot of people. For the second year 'Playing Green' for the Astros, it's good to be a part of it."

Blum read the book "William is Going Green" to a group of Kolter Elementary School students, which included the granddaughter of former Astros slugger Jimmy Wynn.

"It was great," Blum said. "They had a big sign that said 'Welcome Mr. Blum' that was made with a bunch of recyclable products, which was cool."

Each student received a copy of the book, autographed by Blum.

"The kids did a good job of listening, they were quiet, they asked good questions," Blum said. "I like doing this for the kids. They seem to get a kick out of it."

Blum brought his family to the school to share the experience with him and to give them some exposure to what his job entails. Blum and his wife, Kory have four daughters: a 5-year-old and 3 1/2-year-old triplets.

"They're always asking me, 'What are you doing? Why are you going to their school, Daddy?' Stuff like that," he said. "They got to come along and see what was actually going on."

The Astros community efforts continue on Friday, when Minute Maid and the Astros in Action Foundation dedicate the newly refurbished First Colony Little League at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Astros chairman and CEO Drayton McLane; president of business operations Pam Gardner; pitcher Brandon Backe; Wynn; broadcaster Dave Raymond; senior vice president of Coca-Cola North America Michael Saint John; and mayor of Sugar Land, Texas, James A. Thompson will all attend the event.

Following the dedication, Backe will pitch to Dream League players during a brief two-inning game announced by Raymond.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.