Astros ready to roll out caravan week

Community outreach tour begins on MLK Day, wraps with FanFest

Astros ready to roll out caravan week

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel, George Springer, Alex Bregman, Lance McCullers, Chris Devenski and Jake Marisnick are among the players who will participate in the Astros' annual caravan, which begins next week.

The community outreach tour consists of several trips over the course of three days, with stops in the Houston area (Jan. 17-19), San Antonio (Jan. 18), Austin (Jan. 19) and Corpus Christi (Jan. 19), and culminates with the annual Astros FanFest at Minute Maid Park on Jan. 21.

The Astros will kick off caravan week with a day of service Monday at the Houston Food Bank to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The caravan will engage with first responders, stop at several different community centers, visit military facilities and hospitals, and conduct baseball and softball clinics. There will also be several opportunities for fans to get free autographs from Astros players at select Academy Sports + Outdoors locations.

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Other players scheduled to participate in the caravan are Mike Fiers, Yulieski Gurriel, Tony Kemp, Joe Musgrove, A.J. Reed, Brady Rodgers, Preston Tucker and Tyler White. Astros radio broadcasters Robert Ford and Steve Sparks, new TV broadcaster Todd Kalas and new full-time color analyst Geoff Blum will join former broadcaster Bill Brown for appearances throughout the week.

The team's annual FanFest will take place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Jan. 21, with activities for all ages including autograph sessions with many current and former players. Fans can also take swings in the Minute Maid Park batting cages, run the bases and throw in the bullpen.

There's also an interactive kids zone, fan forums with front office staff and current players, a vendor expo, clubhouse tours, a social media zone and PlazaFest, which includes a live petting zoo. The majority of FanFest proceeds will benefit the Astros Foundation.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.