Today, Lance Berkman (full name: William Lance Berkman), switch-hitting outfielder for the Houston Astros turns 33 years old.
Lance made his MLB debut in 1999. To date, he has hit 288 home runs and has amassed a respectable .302 batting average.
His 41 home runs in 1997 at Rice University were the third most in history.
In 2001, he came in 5th in MVP voting. It was also his first of five seasons in which he was named an All-Star. The following season, he hit 42 home runs.
Berkman hit an 8th inning grand slam in the 2005 Divisional Series against the Atlanta Braves, in the longest game in Major League Baseball playoff history (October 9, 2005).
He has the most single-season extra base hits in Astros history (94 in 2001) and the most single-season RBIs in Houston's history (136 in 2006).
In 2006 he came in 3rd in MVP voting, and in 2008 he came in 5th.
His nickname is "Big Puma"!
He is tied for 130th on the list of home runs in MLB history.
So to Lance Berkman, we wish you a happy birthday and a great 2009!