Maxwell, Altuve show sign of goodwill with fans

Maxwell, Altuve show sign of goodwill with fans

Maxwell, Altuve show sign of goodwill with fans
HOUSTON -- After getting outfielder Justin Maxwell's autograph on a couple of custom-made 50th anniversary posters on Saturday afternoon, Astros fans Danea Hall and Kathy Hoke lingered around the team store because they wanted to give Maxwell something.

In Hall's hands: a framed baseball, unseamed and laid flat in a cross, with a Bible verse printed underneath it. Once Maxwell signed his final autograph, seven minutes after he was scheduled to finish, Hall handed Maxwell the plaque.

After talking with Maxwell, the ladies were off to buy tickets for Saturday's game, which will be followed by Faith and Family Night at Minute Maid Park. Maxwell testified at the first Faith and Family Night, but will hand off speaking duties on Saturday to pitcher Kyle Weiland, first base coach Bobby Meachem and their wives.

Hall said she'll continue to support the Astros, even as they ride through a bit of a rocky stretch.

"It's been exciting to see the young guys play and get an opportunity and want to play and have that drive every night," Hall said.

Hall and Hoke have given the framed baseball to several Astros players over the years. They try to find a way to hand them to the players when they're away from the diamond.

Maxwell said signing the ladies' posters and receiving the plaque was one of the more memorable parts of his day. He had his three-year-old son, Jaidon, sitting next to him for most of the autograph session. <

All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve also signed autographs on Saturday as part of the Astros Buddies Kids Club.

"They look at you like they want to be a big leaguer someday," Altuve said. "I like spending time with those kids."

Most fans brought hats, jerseys and cards for Altuve to sign. He also signed someone's Astros debit card.

"That was kind of crazy," Altuve said. "I just started laughing, but I'll sign it."

Altuve and Maxwell appreciated the support from the fans, even as the team rode an 11-game losing streak heading into Saturday against the Pirates.

"We have great fans here in Houston," Maxwell said. "They still come out and watch us play. They know we're in a rebuilding phase right now. It's just great to have that kind of support."

"We're having a hard time right now, losing a couple games," Altuve said. "But people still come to the field, give support. When I listen to those kids, they keep saying 'Play hard.' It feels really, really good."