Arriving in town a day early before his Lance Berkman Bobblehead Night, the former St. Louis Cardinal took a few minutes a few minutes off from visiting with his old teammates to talk baseball in the dugout.

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“This is one of my favorite places that I spent any time in my career at and having that year in ’11 was kind of the pinnacle of my whole career is the way I view it,” said Berkman. “It’s always great to come back here. A lot of the same guys are here and some of the same coaches.”

And time away has only created a deeper appreciation of that historic 2011 season and the role he played in winning the World Series.

“That’s been, obviously, the most special moment–moments that whole run, of my entire baseball career,” Berkman stated. “Anytime I see a highlight or look up and see the ’11 Championship banner there’s a tremendous amount of pride and accomplishment that comes with that. I think, more than that, it’s also just remembering–you look at the roster of guys. You look at the playoff run, everybody contributed. All 25 guys. Really, to win a World Series it tests the depth of your roster, not just your top two or three guys. Everybody’s gotta contribute and that’s what happened that year. It is–very satisfying.”

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These days Berkman is finishing up his degree in Kinesiology at Rice University and is the head baseball coach at a private high school in Texas. His assistant is Andy Pettite.

“Got a pretty good coaching staff–at least from an experience standpoint. I don’t know if we can coach or not,” he joked as their first season has yet to begin. Previously, Berkman has spent time working with the Rice baseball team but isn’t looking to take his coaching talents to the next level.

“I don’t know if pro ball’s the right fit for me,” said Berkman, citing the demands of the season and enjoying the chance to spend time with his family at home. “I actually see myself probably ultimately ending up in college one of these days because I like the amateur level. I like the stage of life that those kids are at where you can impact them not only in baseball, but also in their everyday lives. A lot of times by the time guys get here, they are what they are.”

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photo credit: St. Louis Cardinals

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