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Astros’ José Altuve Visits 100-Year-Old Resident of Houston’s Buckner Parkway Place

HOUSTON–Major League Baseball player José Altuve of the Houston Astros took some time out of his offseason to pay a visit to a special fan at senior living community Buckner Parkway Place. Ms. Shirley Clark, who turned 100-years-old on Monday, Dec. 2, was surprised by Altuve’s visit.

A social media video on their visit received over 25,000 views on Twitter in less than 24 hours with more on Buckner International’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages.

Clark is a die-hard baseball fan, and as a resident of Houston for the second half of her life, the Astros are her team of choice. She watches as many games as she can, whether at the stadium or on TV, and it’s common knowledge around Parkway Place to come to Clark for scores and stats from the previous night.

News of Clark’s birthday and her status as a superfan reached Altuve, who was especially touched by her work as a missionary for more than 30 years in his home country of Venezuela.

Prior to living in Houston, Clark and her late-husband, Charles Clark, worked as international missionaries, including in Venezuela. She fondly recalls her time there ministering to those in need and forming lifelong bonds with some of her best friends. One of her fondest memories was watching Venezuelan children play baseball in the street with a homemade ball and broomstick.

These memories are why her favorite Astros players are the ones from Venezuela, especially José Altuve and Robinson Chirinos.

Conversing in both English and Spanish, Altuve and Clark talked about her time living in Venezuela and what it was like for Altuve growing up there. She introduced him to some of her children in town for her birthday, and Altuve even did a video call with his wife and daughter so they could wish Clark a happy birthday as well. When their conversation turned to the Astros, Clark showed off her knowledge of player stats.

Enjoying life, eating right and staying active are what Clark credits as her keys to a long life – that and getting out to the ballpark whenever possible.

Earlier in the year, Clark was one of 14 Parkway Place residents that posed for portraits by photographer Mark Sandlin as part of the community’s new campaign, “Life, Experienced.” The campaign captures the varied interests and passions of residents, which is why Clark decked herself out in her Astros apparel and modeled in front of the Astros’ Minute Maid Park.

Located in the heart of Houston’s Energy Corridor, Buckner Parkway Place is a 15-acre community serving senior adults with the highest level of hospitality and care. Parkway Place offers a complete continuum of living and care on-site, so residents can have the peace of mind knowing their address can remain the same despite changing medical needs.