Fundraising for our community
    Once-in-a-Lifetime…Kids take Batting Practice at Minute Maid Park to Benefit Candlelighters

    Check out this great write up of the top fundraisers taking Batting Practice at Minute Park!


    Houston, TX. -Strike Out Kids Cancer Baseball Tournament benefiting Candlelighters and endorsed by the Astros in Action Foundation took place on August 27th at Baseball USA proudly sponsored by It’s Junk ( .  All proceeds go to Candlelighters ( ) to support children and their families with a child diagnosed with cancer in the Houston and surrounding area. 

    Players are provided a  donor page on the website  Participants are encouraged to send their page to friends and family to support them with pledges for Candlelighters.   

    On display during the whole tournament, in the main building – was select pieces of The Largest Mickey Mantle Memorabilia Collection in the World!

    The top 14 fundraisers will win batting practice at Minute Maid Park before a home game at the end of the 2011 season with Phil Garner coaching the batting practice.  Minimum total donation per individual of $500 is needed to qualify for Batting Practice.

    For more information contact or call 832-594-5652.


    Each participant in the Candlelighters all day baseball fundraiser will have the opportunity to take BATTING PRACTICE AT MINUTE MAID PARK. The top 14 overall fundraisers will win the top prize of Batting Practice. Each winner can bring 2 guests who can watch them fulfill a once-in-a-lifetime dream of taking batting practice at Minute Maid Park. In addition, each batting practice participant will be mentored before and during batting practice by former Astro’s manager Phil Garner.

    Each participant will find their personal fundraising page link at:

    Players email their fundraising page link to family and friends seeking donations for Candlelighters. FUNDRAISING HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER. 

     As players raise money they earn incentives.

    • $50            A commemorative event T-shirt
    • $250         A commemorative event Pin
    • $1,000     A commemorative all-purpose baseball equipment bag

    Candlelighters President and event organizer, Jay Beasley, said “I can’t think of a better way to raise money for Candlelighters! Thanks to Astros in Action, Phil Garner, Baseball USA and the Swearingen’s we are bringing together an incredible day of baseball and an opportunity to win a batting practice at Minute Maid Park coached by Phil Garner. Candlelighters is thrilled to be the beneficiary of this event.”

    About Candlelighters:

    Candlelighters began in 1989 with two parent support groups from the Medical Center: one at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and one at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The Texas Children’s Hospital group sought formal incorporation, and in 1992 Candlelighters was legally formed. In the fall of 1992 they invited the MD Anderson Parent Group to join them and the two organizations merged into one.

    The Parent Consultant Program was developed to directly meet the needs of families at the treatment centers and to inform them of potential resources. Our programs and services extend beyond the hospital walls with our Family Camp, Adopt-A-Family, Fall Festival, quarterly newsletter, and other special events. Over the years, we have learned how critically valuable it is for our Parent Consultants to be able to personally hand parents of children with cancer practical assistance such as a meal pass, parking pass, phone card, or gas card. It is our greatest honor and privilege to bring this type of comfort to childhood cancer families when stress is so high and they feel so helpless.

    About Phil Garner:

    Nicknamed “Scrap-Iron” due to his gritty style of play, Garner’s best year as a player was 1979, when he was a member of the World Series champion Pirates, batting .417 in the NL Championship Series and .500 (12 for 24) in the World Series. His icon at the time was the scrappy, similarly-mustachioed cartoon hero Yosemite Sam.

    Garner later became a manager for the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros, leading the Astros to the franchise’s first ever World Series in 2005.

    In 2004, after a slow start under then manager Jimy Williams, Garner was brought in mid-season to replace Williams and led the Astros to a National League Wild Card berth, eventually losing to St. Louis in the National League Championship Series in seven games. The team experienced another slow start in 2005 but made a run once again late in the season and came back to win another National League Wild Card. This time, Houston would beat The St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series in six games and win the pennant only to be swept by the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.

    Under his leadership in the last 12 games of the 2006 season, the Astros won 10 and lost 2 putting them a game and half behind the Division winners. Garner’s contract was extended through the end of the 2008 season by the Astros. As manager of a pennant winning team the year before, Garner managed the 2006 National League All-Star Team in Pittsburgh on July 11 2006. Garner cites Chuck Tanner, his manager during his time with the Pirates, as one of his biggest coaching influence.

    About Baseball USA:

    Baseball USA promotes the games of baseball and softball in the Greater Houston area and improve the level of play while making a positive influence on our youth.

    Baseball USA ‘The Yard’, opened in 1999, is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation which offers up an environment where the games of baseball and softball can either be played for the pure fun of the game or with the goal of one day earning a scholarship or opportunity to play professionally. The intent of Baseball USA ‘The Yard’ is to have a lifelong positive influence on our community’s youth.

    Each playing field at Baseball USA ‘The Yard’ is meticulously maintained in a manner normally not seen outside the confines of Minute Maid Park, and a full staff of professionals, many of whom have Major League experience, make up the roster of instructors.

Recent News

Event Schedule

Your team’s game time coming soon!

Mickey Mantle Display

This site is a tribute to one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Mickey Mantle. The Mick, a member of the baseball Hall of Fame, led the New York Yankees to the World Series 12 times during his career. Mickey Mantle, more than any other player in history, symbolized baseball and all that is good about it. His intense competitive spirit and his burning desire to win took him to heights few other players have ever reached. He still holds numerous records even after more than thirty years after he retired. Such records include fastest time to first base (3.1 seconds), longest home run (565 feet), most World Series home runs (18) to name but a few. His mighty home runs gave rise to the new term “Tape Measure Home Run”. Mickey was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY in 1974 and is still known today as the greatest switch hitter who ever lived. With his death in 1995, baseball truly lost one of its last great heroes.

This web page contains a wealth of information that defines the man and the player known as Mickey Mantle. I was fortunate enough to meet Mickey twice in 1994. Once at a book signing and once at his fantasy camp. The fantasy camp was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have since visited his boyhood home in Commerce, OK, the Baseball Hall of Fame, Yankee Stadium and Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. This site contains photos from each of my experiences.

With this web page, I hope to allow today’s youth the opportunity to sneak a peak back into history and get a glimpse of the great #7, Mickey Mantle so that his memory can live on forever.

Randall Swearingen
RPSwearingen @

Once-in-a-Lifetime…Kids take Batting Practice at Minute Maid Park to Benefit Candlelighters

Check out this great write up of the top fundraisers taking Batting Practice at Minute Park!   Houston, TX. -Strike Out Kids Cancer Baseball Tournament benefiting Candlelighters and endorsed by the Astros in Action Foundation took place on August 27th at Baseball USA proudly sponsored by It’s Junk ( .  All proceeds go to […]

Fun Fact #2

The Board of Candlelighters has established an annual Scholarship Fund from which they will grant educational scholarships to young people with a history of childhood cancer.