HOUSTON (KIAH) — Lance Berkman, who was part of the great Houston Astros teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s, will be inducted into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame.

Berkman got the surprise announcement by the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority on Thursday at Houston Christian University, where he is the head baseball coach.

“To be included with other great athletes who have competed here in the city of Houston, you can’t really put words to it,” Berkman said. “It’s certainly a great honor to me, and getting to be in there with a couple of my former teammates is just the icing on the cake.”

Berkman, who is originally from Waco, started out playing for Rice University, helping the Owls to make their first-ever appearance in the College World Series in 1997.

He was then drafted by the Astros in 1997, then made his major-league debut in 1999.

Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman during the first inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009 in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Berkman quickly became one of the Astros’ most influential players in the team’s history. He played in Houston for 12 seasons, hitting .296 with 326 home runs and 1,090 RBIs. Along with other Astros legends in Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, Berkman became part of the “Killer Bs” that were a big part of Houston’s hitting power.

Lance helped the Astros to make four postseason appearances from 1999 to 2005, including a World Series in 2005. He was also named to the National League’s All-Star roster five times while with the Astros.

Berkman also played for the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers before retiring as an Astro in 2014. He was part of a St. Louis squad where he was named the NL Comeback Player of the year and then won a World Series title in 2011.

Berkman has been the HCU head coach since 2021 after stops at the University of St. Thomas and Second Baptist School, where he led the team to a TAPPS state championship in 2016.

The Astros legend joins Houston Comets legend Cynthia Cooper in the 2024 Houston Sports Hall of Fame class. A third and final member of the class will be announced later.