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HOUSTON, TX – The Houston Astros and Whataburger are celebrating the team’s 50th anniversary with several fan-friendly promotions in 2012.

Returning this year is the popular Whataburger Ultimate Whatafan program that takes the players off the field and into the community for free autograph sessions. Fans will meet an Astros rising star along with a former Astros player in celebration of the team’s 50-year history. During each appearance, fans can register to win the Ultimate Whatafan experience, which includes autographed memorabilia, suite tickets and the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Minute Maid Park on September 21.

Whataburger Ultimate Whatafan Appearance Schedule

Tuesday, May 8
J.D. Martinez and Jose Cruz
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Whataburger Restaurant, 6888 Gulf Freeway, Houston, TX 77087

Wednesday, June 6
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Whataburger Restaurant, 3530 Highway 6 South, Houston, TX 77082

Wednesday, June 27
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Whataburger Restaurant, 9021 Spencer Highway, Deer Park, TX 77571

Wednesday, July 25
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Whataburger Restaurant, 21310 Kuykendahl Rd., Spring, TX 77379

The Astros Whataburger partnership also includes two programs focused on students, the Fielder’s Choice Essay program and the Take a Player to School contest.

Fielder’s Choice Program

This spring, area schools were invited to submit student essays discussing the topic of making good choices. The Astros received nearly 2,000 essays and four students were selected as the 2012 winners.

Astros broadcaster Brett Dolan (black shirt) and pitcher David Carpenter at Holub Middle School today

David Carpenter, Jed Lowrie, Fernando Rodriguez and Chris Snyder each visited one of the student’s schools today (Holub Middle School, Escamilla Intermediate School, Parker Elementary School and Lawhon Elementary School) and used the fielder’s choice play as a metaphor to discuss the importance of making good choices. Each student at the assembly received a certificate of appreciation and a coupon from Whataburger. The four winning students were recognized on the field prior to tonight’s game.

“Whataburger is honored to partner with the Astros to present this program to Houston schools,” said Regional Director of Operations Mark Brown. “Encouraging kids to make the right choices is important and this essay contest really helps to reinforce that message.”

Take a Player to School

Astros catcher Chris Snyder with Junction Jack and a young student at Parker Elementary School today.

This summer, fans will be able to participate in an online essay contest that will award one lucky student the opportunity to take a player to school at the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Junction Jack, the Astros mascot, will escort the winning student to school in a limousine and later in the day, the selected student will be the “big kid” on campus as an Astros player will go to school for lunch and meet with the winning student’s class.

Teachers, parents, family members, or any other individual 18 and older can nominate a student in first through eighth grade at beginning in late June.

Astros Media Relations

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