For the first time in 56 seasons of being a professional baseball organization, the Houston Astros won a World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The victory is worth more than bragging rights and a trophy, but also a heartwarming feeling for the people of Houston, who are still recovering from the destruction of Hurricane Harvey.
“This is for them [Houston],” said Jose Altuve, Houston Astros second baseman.
On Aug. 25, Houston was rocked to the core from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 storm. The fourth-largest city in the United States saw three days of relentless rain in which 89 citizens lost their lives. Houston and its surrounding subdivisions sustained an estimated $70 billion to $200 billion in damages.
During the storm, the Houston Astros were stranded in Tampa Bay as they watched their city in turmoil. Upon returning, Astros’ Manager A.J Hinch had a special message for his town during the first home game after Hurricane Harvey.
“I want to thank you all for being here on a very special day for us to start the rebuilding process for our great city,” said Hinch. “On behalf of the players, coaches, our organization, we want to thank everyone in the city of Houston that’s doing something good for somebody else. Stay strong Houston.”
Houston Strong would later become the staple and the beacon of hope for the community of Houston and Astros’ fans everywhere.
Lawren Bledsoe, a junior at UHCL studying criminal justice, said she could not be happier to see something positive on the news concerning Houston. Bledsoe lost just about everything in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, but her lifelong love of the Houston Astros has been the silver lining in everything she has experienced.
“Hurricane Harvey was a nightmare and is still a nightmare,” Bledsoe said. “It has been the greatest distraction and the greatest blessing to have my Astros go so far and fight so hard for my home town. In a time where so many people lost so much, it’s nice to come together and root for our boys in blue and orange. GO ‘Stros!”
The 2017 World Series victory is the second appearance in the series by the Houston Astros. The 2005 World Series left a huge whole in the heart of Houstonians everywhere. Even though the Astros went on a rampage through the MLB in that 2005 season. The White Sox ended up defeating them with four straight victories, leaving the Astros winless in their first World Series. The Astros would progressively get worse over the next few years as players came and left dawning the era of the “Lastros.” The Astros began to morph into a winning team when the organization named A.J Hinch the Astros Manager in 2014.
In 2014, Sports Illustrated predicted that the Astros would win the 2017 World Series. The Astros went on after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and clinched an American League West division title and would eventually move on to win the entire American League Conference, gaining another World Series appearance.
Derreck Abny works at Minute Maid Park as a camera man responsible for most of the slow-motion action during games. Derreck grew up and resides in Santa Fe, Texas, a small rural city that was in the destructive path of Hurricane Harvey. Although Abny did not receive the brunt force of this storm, the Astros victory means a lot to him and his family.
“The energy inside Minute Maid throughout the World Series has been electric,” Derreck said. “This team is young and a special group of guys to say the least. The team had been on a roll since day one, but when Hurricane Harvey hit they were on the road, and you could tell it bothered them not being to be there for their community. For me, personally, I have been an Astros fan since I was a kid and given the opportunity to work for the organization now as an adult is indescribable. Being a part of this amazing ride, and to be a small piece to an even bigger puzzle, has been an actual dream come true.”
After a historic World Series, a winner was finally decided in an epic game 7. Houston would win with the help of George Springer hitting his 5th home run of the World Series ending the game at 5-1. George Springer was named the MVP for his accumulative performance throughout the World Series.
“You dream of this as a kid, holding up the World Series trophy,” Springer said. “Now, here I am, holding up a World Series trophy. This is for the city. This is for our fans. This is incredible.’’
Joe Cooley, a long-time Astros fan and a kinesiology major at UHCL, said his dream is to one day work for the Houston Astros.
“I have been waiting my entire life for the Astros to win a World Series,” Cooley said. “This is a dream come true, and it has been a roller-coaster of a World Series. I am glad it is over, I don’t think my heart could take another game.”
The Astros provided an escape from reality for most Houstonians. A chance to forget that many houses are currently lacking dry wall and piles of belongings are still on the side of the road waiting to be hauled away.
Houston celebrated their hometown heroes Friday, Nov. 3, with a parade through downtown Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot declared Nov. 3 as Houston Astros Day to celebrate this meaningful victory that has brought a city together. Houston Independent School Districts will be closed in honoring this newly created day of celebration.