All the pain, all the angst, all the ghosts of more than a half century of waiting were whisked away in the greatest World Series ever by the greatest Houston Astros team ever.
This is for Houston. This is the championship that is ours. This is the championship that no one can say would have belonged to someone else if Michael Jordan had not retired. This is the championship of the century for a city that was inundated a couple of months ago with the flood of the century.
All the memories and ghosts that had haunted this team over the years are gone now. The playoff drought from 1962 to 1979, the hurt of 1980, the 16-inning loss in 1986, the first round losses in the late 90s, the close calls in the mid-2000s, the White Sox sweep in 2005, the three 100+ loss seasons, the loss to the Royals when they were probably too young to win it in 2015.
(In a side note – Carlos Correa just proposed live on national TV to his girl friend and she of course said YESSSSSS!!!)
This win is for all the wonderful fans who have lived and mostly died with this team over the years. This win is for the fans like my father who have moved on to a better place, but who must have smiled down on this amazing team.
The Astros had tried to win championships over the last 50+ years in so many ways. They tried doing it with youngsters, with oldsters, with trades, with free agents and home-grown. Every formula they tried never worked. But this one did.
The Astros of 2017 got off to a great start and then, despite losing their whole rotation, Carlos Correa, and George Springer to injuries of various lengths, they came within a hair’s breadth of the best record in the American League and in the majors. This was the most resilient team most of us had ever seen. They made a reputation of never being out of games, rallying over and over again during the regular season for late inning victories. When they did this in the playoffs and in the World Series the nation finally saw that this team had one of the biggest hearts combined with the biggest talent you are likely to ever witness.
They marched through the media darlings in three straight playoff series, putting to rest the Red Sox, the Yankees and the Dodgers. That felt as good as anything you could mention (except for the fact that this whole team should be back almost completely intact in 2018). It felt so good to do this while the whole media world wanted their opponents to win. The World Series had the insanity of Game 2 and Game 5 and then the almost normal win in Game 7. It was a tremendous, incessant march to the World Championship.
There are so many memories to be gleaned from this season and postseason. The greatest for me is seeing George Springer win the World Series MVP. During a chunk of the playoffs he was awful. In the beginning of the World Series he was stinking it up so bad that most folks wanted him moved down or out of the lineup. And then he bounced back and was the most valuable player for this great team with 5 homers in the World Series and the most total bases in WS history. (OK and the seventh game MVP Charlie Morton was tremendous too….)
Greatest moment number two was waking up on September 1 and finding that the Astros had picked up one of the best pitchers in baseball, Justin Verlander, for the stretch run and playoffs without stripping the minor leagues. JV carried the team on his back and gave them their mojo back.
But everyone did something this season and post-season. Jose Altuve, Springer, Carlos Correa, Josh Reddick, Brian McCann, Evan Gattis, Carlos Beltran, Jake Marisnick, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Nori Aoki, Derek Fisher, Marwin Gonzalez, Cameron Maybin, Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton, Brad Peacock, Collin McHugh, Mike Fiers, Ken Giles, Chris Devenski, Will Harris, Francisco Liriano, Luke Gregerson, Joe Musgrove, Francis Martes, James Hoyt, Michael Feliz and Tony Sipp along with others all did something to get this team to the playoffs and through the playoffs.
OK, your turn. You suffered through all or most of the low points of the last 56 seasons and are now on Cloud 9.
So a quick quiz for you….
- When did you finally start believing in the Jeff Luhnow Plan?
- Did you ever believe this day would come in your lifetime?
- What was the greatest moment for you during the regular season?
- What was the greatest moment for you during the postseason?
- Is there someone you wish was here to see this?
- Who is the MVP of this team?
- Who do you feel happiest for?
- Can this team do this again?