'It feels like a big hug': Houston Astros fans react to 'Uvalde Strong Day' at Minute Maid Park

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Sunday, August 14, 2022
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"As a community, we're honored the Astros have taken such a great gesture and made it grand for the healing of the town," an Uvalde resident said.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Fans celebrated a number of occasions during the Houston Astros' game Sunday against the Oakland Athletics.

Chris Segura took his dad, Frank, who was visiting from Austin to Minute Maid Park to celebrate his birthday.

"Anybody who lives to be 79's has to brag about it," Frank Segura said.

But they also came to the game to support the residents of Uvalde, nearly three months after the deadly shooting that claimed the lives of 21 people at Robb Elementary School.

The Astros designated Sunday as Uvalde Strong Day and transported 500 residents from the grief-stricken town to Houston, hoping to bring them some joy during a difficult time of healing. This came after the Astros Foundation made a visit last month to Uvalde, hosting a private brunch and jersey presentation to the victims' families.

"The Astros are great. They've always been community-oriented, especially with the disenfranchised and the unfortunate. They'll do a lot of charity in communities," Segura said.

READ ALSO: The Astros' Foundation make an emotional visit to Robb Elementary memorial site

The team also gave out thousands of additional tickets to community members and will donate proceeds from T-shirt sales and part of their raffle profits to Uvalde Strong efforts. Vianka Elliott, who was raised in Uvalde said the gesture means a lot to her.

"It feels like a big hug. It really does. They're my family. Uvalde's such a small town that everyone knows each other. Everyone knows everybody and to get a big hug from the Astros, it really felt nice," Elliott said.

Anna Cantu and her husband made the four-hour drive to bring their two children to the game. Their oldest son plays baseball on the Uvalde Little League team and she said being at Minute Maid Park was just what their family needed.

"As a community, we're honored the Astros have taken such a great gesture and made it grand for the healing of the town. We are Astros fans all the time and today, we're just a little extra happier to be here and see them play in honor of those that we lost and those that are still suffering," Cantu said.

READ ALSO: Astros host Uvalde Strong Day with grief-stricken town's residents in attendance at Minute Maid Park

Astro fans in Houston said ultimately, their message to residents visiting from Uvalde is one of love, support, and comfort.

"Don't give up hope. There are people out there who really care for you. Me included," Frank Segura said.

"As a long-time Texan, we want to show our support for Uvalde and let them know we're all together in this. We want to make sure that they know we got their back through everything," Erin Barrera said. "I hope today gives them some type of normalcy and helps them a little bit in moving on. I know they've been through a lot."