Houston has long topped lists for most generous cities in America, and our celebrity pro athletes have always been MVPs in that regard.
A grand slam example is Team Up is Team Up, an annual event starring Houston Astros superstars Lance McCullers Jr., José Altuve, and Kyle Tucker. The trio recently hosted their fifth annual Team Up event, which raises funds for the three beloved charities they each founded, working with the well-respected Athletes and Causes foundation.
A 30-second timeout for our Tailgate
More on the Team Up event, but first, Houstonians who want to step up for tomorrow’s athletes should hit CultureMap’s Tailgate event.
Our big, sports-themed bash returns at 7 pm Wednesday, October 25 at Silver Street Studios (2000 Edwards St.) Fans can enjoy sports-inspired bites from some of Houston’s top and award-winning restaurants and premium cocktails. Partiers can also bid on memorabilia from Texas legends, get their game on with game-day fun and check out local sports-focused nonprofits and give back in a big way.
Early Bird tickets are $35 and $60 for VIP through Saturday, September 30, then move to $50 for general admission; $75 for VIP. Find a full roster of the hot restaurants, sponsors, plus more information here. Kill any chance of FOMO and grab tickets early: Like all great CultureMap events, tickets will go fast.
Astros, A-listers, and fans Team Up for a huge night
Back to Team Up — also held at Silver Street Studios — where more than 500 fans gathered for a chance to meet the three Astros stars and for score coveted photos with them. The record-breaking event raised more than $600, 000 and support their charities: the Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation, which supports animal rescue, adoption, and no-kill shelters; the Kyle Tucker Foundation, which assists those in need of hospice care; and the José Altuve Foundation, which supports the Sunshine Kids foundation.
Astros players’ wives were on hand to support their hubbies, as well as teammates Ryan Pressly, Michael Brantley, Maurico Dubon, Kendall Graveman, and Grae Kessinger. Astros staffers also showed up to support the cause and mingle with the crowd.
Nina and José Altuve.Photo by Catchlight Group
High-rolling local philanthropists and fans checked out and snapped pics of the mini fleet of Rolls Royce and Bentley rides on display. Refreshments came courtesy of a Champagne wall and specialty spirits and cocktails from Maven (McCullers is a partner). Attendees got a chance to win jewelry or a highly coveted Astros World Series ring and learned more about each charity, including Bo’s Place.
“For us, it’s a big night to represent Houston and all the people who are here,” McCullers told us (we’ve been hanging with him at Team Up events since 2018). “We restaurants, people in the beverage space, partners — all these people who help throw this amazing event. And we have the amazing charities here and the one’s we’re here representing, so it’s just an important night for us. We’re just really proud to represent Houston, represent the Astros, and keep coming every year to make it bigger and better.”
Lance McCullers, Jr., Beau King, José Altuve, Joanne King Herring, and Kyle Tucker.Photo by Catchlight Group
The fiery, always team-first Astros ace also reminded fans not to sweat the season — and postseason. “We control our own destiny — we’re in first place,” he said. “ We’re confident in the team that we have, so we have to just make sure that we go play our best brand of baseball. If we win the division — that’s our goal — we don’t have to worry about anybody else.”
We also pressed McCullers to come up with another epic slogan this year, after her dropped the unforgettable “Bury Me in The H” rally last year. (We’re waiting, LMJ.)
Dream sports packages and fur babies FTW
Emcees Julia Morales, the fan-fave Astros reporter, and emcee/auctioneer Johnny Holloway hyped the crowd for the live and silent auction, which featured a widely sought-after private dinner with Kara and Lance McCullers Jr., Altuve, and Tucker. One-of-a-kind art by Skel of dazzling portraits of Altuve, McCullers, Tucker, the team were also hot items, as well as a chance to throw the first pitch at a game plus Diamond Club seats.
Julia Morales and Johnnie Bravo.Photo by Jacob Power
Even the Rockets got int the game: bidders threw their hands up for courtside Rockets tickets along with a dinner in the owner’s suite, courtesy of Blake Fertitta.
Adorable puppies and doggos from Animal Shelter and Adoptions melted hearts; one adorable fur baby found a forever home with one of the volunteers. A handsome and noble service dog also reminded the crowd of the importance of saving and supporting animals.
Tena Lundquist Faust, Margie Lundquist, Sandra Cooper, Tama Lundquist, and an adorable pup.Photo by Catchlight Group
Partiers stepping up for the grand slam night included: Nina Altuve, Samantha Scott, Kat Pressly, Joanne King Herring, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, Donna and Norman Lewis, Frances and Tony Buzbee, Danny and Iris Shaftel, Monica and Joe Casiano, Cherie and John Lindley, Jenna Lindley, Shelli and Steve Lindley, Matthew Lindley, Randy Hopper, Bill Baldwin andFady Armanious, Randy Bates, Tama Lundquist, Tena Lundquist Faust, Christine and Steve Johnson, Jody Merritt, Edna Meyer-Nelson, Chris LaFollette, Mick Pritchett, Charlene Floyd, Bobbie Nau, Lesha Elsenbrook, Shelley Boyer, Melissa and Dan Sugulas, Katie and Jon Deal, and many more.