Ausmus enjoys final trip to Houston as player

Ausmus enjoys final trip to Houston as player

HOUSTON -- In his final season in the Majors, former Astros catcher and current Dodgers backup Brad Ausmus is making his final trip to Minute Maid Park, where he played from 1997-98 and 2001-07.

"It's always a little strange coming to Minute Maid Park and going to the visitors' clubhouse," said Ausmus, who helped the Astros reach the World Series in 2005. "It was strange last year -- it was strange this year. This will be the last time I'm probably here, so I'm enjoying it."

Ausmus met with former teammate and close friend Jeff Bagwell, now the Astros' hitting coach, before Thursday's game. Only a handful of players remain with the Astros from the 2008 team after July trades of pitcher Roy Oswalt and first baseman Lance Berkman.

The current Astros who were teammates of Ausmus in Houston are infielder Geoff Blum, outfielder/first baseman Carlos Lee, catcher Humberto Quintero and pitcher Wandy Rodriguez.

At Minute Maid Park, Ausmus played on three Astros teams that reached the playoffs (2001, '04 and '05).

"My best years in a uniform happened in Houston," said Ausmus. "But right now, I'm in a Dodgers uniform and I'm trying to beat the Astros."