William Lance "The Big Puma" Berkman (born February 10, 1976, in Waco, Texas) is a Major League Baseball player for the Houston Astros. Berkman is known as "The Big Puma," a nickname he coined in jest while on a sports talk radio show. His official listed height is six feet, one inch, and his weight is 220 pounds (100 kg). Berkman is a switch-hitting outfielder/first baseman who throws left-handed.
Berkman graduated from Canyon High School in New Braunfels, Texas in 1994.
He then attended Rice University playing on the Owls baseball team, where he was named the 1997 National College Player of the Year, playing for the legendary Wayne Graham, as well as named a first team All-America by Collegiate Baseball Magazine, Baseball America and The Sporting News. He was invited to visit the White House and dine with President Clinton along with the rest of the Baseball America honorees.
Throughout college, he batted a collective .385 with 67 home runs and 272 RBI. His 41 home runs in 1997 ranked third-most in NCAA history. That year he also made the all-time record book in RBI (2nd-134), slugging percentage (6th-1.031) and total bases (4th-263) while leading the Rice Owls to their first
The Pirates have inquired about free agent first baseman Lance Berkman, agent Mike Moye said Thursday. But Moye said his client has not committed to returning to play baseball in 2014.
Berkman was outstanding as recently as 2011 with the ...