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12/22/2003 12:31 PM ET 
Hidalgo, Pettitte, Clemens to be honored at 19th annual Houston Baseball Dinner
Commissioner Bud Selig scheduled to attend

HOUSTON - Houston Astros outfielder Richard Hidalgo, new AstroS pitcher Andy Pettitte and six-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens will be among the honorees at the 19th annual Houston Baseball Dinner, presented by the Houston Athletic Committee, The Union Central Life Insurance Company, the Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and the Astros. Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig will also be at the event as the Astros and the City of Houston prepare to host the 75th MLB All-Star Game in July. The dinner will be held on Friday, Feb. 6, 2004, at 7 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Americas at the Hilton Americas Convention Center Hotel.

Other award winners include Astros pitchers Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt, former Astros pitcher Billy Wagner, longtime high school baseball coach Charlie Maiorana, and former Texas A&M Consolidated coach Rex Sanders. The event will also recognize Rice University pitcher Jeff Niemann, the Owls' 2003 NCAA Championship, the Greater Houston Area's top 16 high school seniors, and the Richmond Little League U.S. semifinalist team.

The event will also welcome Mr. Selig as he helps Houston and the city's baseball community get ready for the 2004 All-Star Game. The Midsummer Classic will take place on Tuesday, July 13, 2004, at Minute Maid Park, with All-Star Week festivities beginning on July 9. This will mark the third time that Houston has hosted the All-Star Game (also 1968 and 1986), and then-commissioner Peter Ueberroth attended the 1986 dinner.

Hidalgo will receive the Astros 2003 Most Valuable Player Award, as selected by the Houston BBWAA members. He finished last season as the Astros leading hitter with a .309 average and hit 28 home runs with 88 RBI. Hidalgo bounced back from a gunshot wound in the off-season to lead the Major Leagues with 22 outfield assists.

Among the other award winners are 2003 Astros Pitcher of the Year Billy Wagner and 2003 Astros Rookie of the Year Brad Lidge. Wagner, now a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, finished 2003 with a career-high and Astros record 44 saves and represented the club at the 74th All-Star Game in July. Lidge tied the club and National League record with 78 appearances in his rookie season, finishing 6-3 with a 3.60 ERA. In addition, Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt will receive the second Darryl Kile Award, given to the individual who reflects the qualities of decency and character represented by the former Astros pitcher.

Pettitte, who joined the Astros last week, will be honored as the BBWAA's Greater Houston Major League Player of the Year. A graduate of Deer Park High School and San Jacinto College, the left-hander went 21-8 with a 4.02 ERA last season with the New York Yankees, equaling his career high in victories, and he made his sixth trip to the World Series. Clemens, Pettitte's former teammate and a nine-time All-Star, will receive the Allen Russell Distinguished Achievement Award. A Houston resident, Clemens notched his 300th career win in June.

Maiorana, who coached Clemens during a 34-year stint at Spring Woods High School, will receive the Fred Hartman Award for long and meritorious service to baseball. Sanders will be honored with the Ray Knoblauch Award as the area's outstanding high school coach in 2003. Niemann has been named the Greater Houston Area's Preseason College Player of the Year.

Astros and Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton will serve as the event's Master of Ceremonies. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Jo Russell of the Houston Athletic Committee at (713) 789-0626. Proceeds from the dinner go to the Houston Athletic Committee's fund, which assists area high school scholar-athletes.





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