Big League Stew - MLB

The bearer of both good and bad news, Roy Oswalt returned to the Houston Astros on Tuesday after helping with tornado relief efforts back home in central Mississippi.

The bad news: The pitcher's childhood home in the tiny town of Weir (pop. 553) was completely destroyed during last Saturday's deadly tornadoes and much of the memorabilia from his All-Star career — including his 2005 NLCS MVP award — could not be salvaged. Game-worn jerseys from his rookie season were found hanging in the trees. 

The good news: His mother, Jean, survived the storm by hiding inside a closet with her dog, Sweetie. His father Billy, who was away on a hunting trip during the storm, was also OK. 

But the Oswalts were still forced to confront the fact that the only parts of their home that were left standing were the closet Jean hid in and the walls built around a water heater. Brian McTaggart of MLB.com has more of the sad details.

From the Associated Press:

"The house had been there 40 years," Oswalt said. "It was the only thing I've known. All the stuff that we collected over the last 32 years of my life was pretty much gone. We found some pictures and some of their clothes. But everything else was pretty much gone.

"The biggest thing is that my mom's alive. The other stuff you can replace, it's materialistic stuff."

Hopefully Bud Selig already knows about the situation and is ordering a replica of that 2005 MVP award, which Oswalt earned after going 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA against the Cardinals.

As for Oswalt, he's set to start against the Reds on Thursday and said he won't have any trouble focusing:

"I treat it like two different worlds anyway. When I go home, that's one world. When I'm here, that's another. I'm back in this atmosphere now and I'll just go from here." 

If you'd like to help, there are a few ways to aid other tornado victims who have lost their homes.

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