Making an Astros wish come true

HOUSTON When Make-a-Wish volunteers interviewed Steven Edwards, he could not stop talking about his love of baseball or his favorite team, the Houston Astros. It was no surprise to hear that the one wish in his heart is to spend some time with his favorite player, Lance Berkman.

Steven's wish came true Thursday as he got to hang out with Berkman and the team prior to their game against Cincinnati and even got to throw out the first pitch.

From the eyes of the 12-year-old boy, Berkman is as big in person as he is on TV. And on Thursday, Steven became more than a fan. He was one of the guys, rolling through the Astros clubhouse with his new buddy, Berkman, hanging out by the lockers.

"The red top with the white pants," said Berkman to Steven while showing him the uniforms in the locker room. "Here's our road grays that that we never wear because Drayton (McLane, Astros owner) likes red."

They went everywhere and any Astro in sight came by to sign autographs.

"You are hanging out in the skipper's office," Astros Manager Cecil Cooper said to Steven. "I might have to call up on you to give us some tips."

"It was the thrill of my life," said Steven.

Steven was born with spina bifida. He spends most of his days in a wheelchair and thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, his life's dream of meeting Berkman became a reality. But there was one more part to his wish.

"I'm still working on my knuckleball and slider," said Steven, who got to throw out the first pitch before Thursday's game. "I think I'll throw a fastball. I'm too excited. I'm just gonna throw it!"

"It just reminds you of how blessed we are to be in this position, to be able to run around and to play a game and a lot of times, you can get jaded as a Major League player," said Berkman. "I think this helps keep you grounded."

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