His family's Houston residence boasts spurs on a rustic den wall, a signed Major Applewhite Longhorn helmet in a display case and a map of Stephen Austin's Texas hanging within an impressive room that extends other reminders of his native state's complicated, defiant past. He drives a pickup truck and maintains two ranches.

Lance Berkman long ago attended his first rodeo. A pragmatic Texan, he understands he is approaching his last.