HOUSTON — The Houston Astros welcomed the community of Uvalde to Minute Maid Park for Uvalde Strong Day on Sunday.
The Astros gave away thousands of tickets to the game to Uvalde residents. Along with giving away tickets, the team bussed 500 residents in on 10 buses from Uvalde for a unique gameday experience.
The Houston Fire Department was on hand to welcome residents to town as they were escorted to Minute Maid Park for Sunday's game against the Oakland Athletics.
The Astros said they are committed to helping heal the community through the game of baseball.
The pregame ceremony and ceremonial first pitch were part of Uvalde Strong Day as well.
During the game, fans purchased Uvalde Strong T-shirts, with all proceeds going to Uvalde Strong efforts.
The team said the winner of the 50/50 raffle on Sunday won $10,000, with the rest of the funds going to Uvalde Strong initiatives. All fans that purchased 50/50 raffles over $100 got a Uvalde Strong wristband.
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How they got there
The Astros picked up the families from the Uvalde High School at 4 a.m. Sunday.
They handed out about 3,500 tickets to Uvalde residents but only bussed 500 people. The 500 people also got free food, snacks and drinks.
The girl who threw out the first pitch was Faith Mata. Her 10-year-old sister Tess Mata was killed in the Uvalde shooting.
Survivor shows strength
Miguel Cerillo is the father of Miah Cerillo, who survived the shooting. She is the little girl that smeared blood on herself and pretended to be dead. Her video testimony was also played at the U.S. Capitol during a special hearing.
He said his daughter has very bad anxiety and coming to the game was not easy for her.
“It wasn’t easy. She knew there were going to be a lot of people. She said as long as we are next to her she is going to work it out,” Miguel Cerillo said. “It was a good experience, not only for me, but for my daughter to get away from all that trauma she is having back at home."