Correa spends time with Hall of Famer Cepeda

Astros pitchers, staff golf at Pebble Beach, visit with legend Jackson on off-day

Correa spends time with Hall of Famer Cepeda

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Astros were in the enviable position Monday of having an entire day off after finishing a series Sunday in Oakland and prior to opening up a two-game series Tuesday against the Giants across the bay in San Francisco.

Rookie sensation Carlos Correa took advantage of the free time by traveling to the house of Hall of Fame Giants first baseman Orlando Cepeda for dinner Sunday. Correa on Tuesday took a picture with Cepeda's statue outside AT&T Park and posted it on Twitter.

Correa, who like Cepeda is from Puerto Rico, last year befriended Orlando Cepeda Jr., who works for his sports agency, Legacy.

"It was a great moment to get to talk to him and get to share some of his experiences, get some tips about hitting," Correa said. "I was thrilled to get invited to his house, to have dinner with him at his table and be able to learn from him. I heard some of his stories. It was a great moment."

Even though he's 20, Correa is well aware of Cepeda's baseball prowess.

"I knew he could hit, he could pick it at first," he said. "You're not a Hall of Famer randomly. You have to put up great numbers to be in the Hall of Fame, especially as a first baseman. He was a great player, great hitter, and it was good to learn some stuff from him."

Meanwhile, Astros pitchers Chad Qualls, Will Harris and Luke Gregerson joined athletic trainers Nate Lucero, Rex Jones and James Ready and manager of team operations Dan O'Neill in traveling via private jet to play a round of golf at Pebble Beach, where owner Jim Crane has a house.

"They had fun," Crane said. "We got out early and got done pretty quickly. They had an early morning. We're probably not used to waking up that early."

What's more, Crane took the group to visit the home of Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson, who showed off his vast collection of vintage cars. Jackson parked some of his cars in Crane's airplane hangar and the two have become friends.

"He said 'Bring the guys down,'" Crane said. "He's got five or six cars he's auctioning this weekend at a big car show, so he showed them around. He's got a lot of memorabilia."

Crane said Mr. October even gave the players a pep talk.

"He said, 'Hey guys, you've got to grind it out and stay focused, and the only way to get the headlines turned is you turn them,'" Crane said.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch and third baseman Jed Lowrie both returned to their alma mater, Stanford University. Lowrie and his wife visited the freshman dorms where they used to stay, and Hinch attended Stanford's first football practice of the season.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.