Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stand in the crowd with thousands of people at the World Series? To be a part of the crowd you've always seen on TV and to actually feel the stadium cheer as your favorite batter hits a home run.... Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get the chills when your pitcher strikes out one of the best players in the league? It's definitely an experience I've never felt before.
I must admit that I didn't grow up watching baseball or really ever knowing about the game until I met Andrew in college. Andrew, my now husband, played baseball his entire life. So of course when we met in college, he was the starting pitcher of the baseball team which ultimately led me to learn the game. But I never really followed a Major League Baseball team or claimed one as my own. But that all changed when we moved to Houston.
The Astros have been the heartbeat to Houston all season. Since the beginning of the season, Andrew and I followed the team. We went the opening game where Andrew was actually on the field during a military recognition ceremony. We enjoyed another game or two at Minute Maid Park and actually kept up with the stats and made every effort to watch the games. After Hurricane Harvey, the Astros were still a positive feature for Houston. It was a way to escape the madness and just enjoy baseball.
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The intense clinging of the remote for the first two games in LA was intense. The late nights in front of the tv jumping off the couch, screaming and hugging each other because Jose "MVP" Altuve hit another home run was priceless but it only made us want to be there more. I wanted to feel a part of the team and watch the Astros make history in person. So as soon as the Astros clinched the ALCS, we bought tickets to Game 5 of the World Series.
As we spent Friday and Saturday out of town for a wedding, the rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception both had a tv with the game on for everyone to enjoy. I don't think any TV in Texas had anything else on their screens. It's literally like the entire city and so many across the state are cheering for the Astros. Sunday came fast and I woke up with butterflies that I couldn't control. It was the day I was going to see the Astros play at the World Series.
We headed to Minute Maid Park as soon as the Astros Fan Fest kicked off! Everyone, even the workers, were so excited to be a part of this game! The fan fest was totally awesome. They had face painting, a photo booth, and merchandise for everyone to enjoy at no cost! They had an artist drawing photos and a live band. There were high school bands, local food vendors, and even games for people to enjoy. Everyone was just so happy and excited that nobody felt like a stranger to me. We were all there for the same reason... to watch the Astros make history.
After we enjoyed all the fun activities of the Fan Fest, we headed up to the nose bleeds (literally the stadium wall was behind us) behind home plate to find our seats. I wish I could say we sat behind the dugout and met the players but that would be a lie. We sat at the VERY TOP (literally right in front of the air conditioning vents) of the stands behind home plate. It didn't matter that I couldn't have sat any higher to watch the game though... it only mattered that I was there. I was in the crowd to cheer on the Astros at Game 5 of the World Series!!
The first inning started with Keuchel on the mound for the Astros and giving up 3 runs. Andrew and I were in disbelief along with thousands of others in the stadium. It was like a hearts were literally breaking right in front of us. But after a few quick innings the Astros hit a 3 run HR to tie the game at 4! THE ENTIRE STADIUM WENT INSANSE! Strangers were hugging each other and screaming as loud as possible with excitement.
The next three innings were back and forth, we would score, and then they would score. It was frustrating but exciting at the same time.
Then came the bottom of the 7th. The score was HOU 7 - LA 8. Springer led off with a massive HR, then Jose "MVP" Altuve doubled to bring in the leading run. Then to add even more craziness, Correa hits a HR to what had to be the game winning lead. The score was now HOU 11 - LA 8. Everyone in the stands was going crazy! I mean absolutely INSANE!
Fast forward to the top of the 9th. Score is HOU 12 - LA 9. All we need is three outs! LA ended up hitting a two run homerun when Andrew said "how cool would it be to see the Astros win on a walk off". I gave him the "don't you say that look" and then LA tied the game. WHAT?!? The game was way too stressful at this point. I literally could have thrown up because not only was it past midnight but the game was way to close.. Score was now HOU 12 - LA 12.
We were now in the bottom of the 10th inning and it had been over 5 hours since the first pitch! The first two batters got out and it looked like this game was going to keep going for a few more innings. The entire crowd as just clingy with tension as the pitcher pitched. However, McCann was hit by a pitch, Springer walked and Bergman was up. As Bergman was up to bat, everyone in the crowd was holding back their emotions. What could happen? We have two outs already… Could Bergman hit a homerun and let us when this game? The pitcher pitched the first pitch, Bergman hit, AND SCORED THE WINNING RUN!
The stadium was literally shaking and fans screamed and jumped with joy. We were high fiving and hugging strangers but we were all going through the same emotions. So much fear, joy and excitement in one game that none of us will ever forget. The game was one ofthe greatest World Series games ever played. As we stood in the stands just a little longer to soak up the history we just witnessed, we headed out the stadium to drive back home. We started to make our down the stairs and everyone was chanting, “LET’S GO ASTROS’” as loud as we could. Even though the game was over, it was clear that our excitement and pride was beaming. I have never been more proud to be a Houstonian. Our tickets (which could pay our mortgage almost 3 times) was worth every single penny. I not only watched the Astros make history, I was a part of it. LET’S GO ASTROS!