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The Astros, a title inspired by the ravages of Hurricane Harvey

The Astros, a title inspired by the ravages of Hurricane Harvey

Never before has an athletic success resonated so much in Houston as the Astros’ victory in the Major League Baseball World Series. The triumph started a party in a city in great need that is still recovering from the onslaught of powerful Hurricane Harvey.

The Astros’ conquest of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which was capitalized on Wednesday night with a 5-1 victory in the decisive seventh game, brought a smile to the people of Houston, who celebrated until late into the morning with fireworks and parties in various parts of the city, including the Minute Maid Park -the stadium of the sidereal box- as well as in the center.

Until a few months ago the streets of that metropolis were under water after the passage of Harvey, a powerful cyclone that left 88 deaths in Texas and almost 50,000 damaged homes, in addition to becoming the second most expensive natural phenomenon on the planet after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.

After the fall of the 27th out, a ground roll at the hands of Venezuelan second baseman José Altuve, the Astros’ celebration was particularly exciting. There were moments to celebrate, but also to cry and reflect.

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“We did this for all those Houston fans,” said Altuve, one of the team’s top stars. “There have been many things that have happened in Houston, but we did this for you.”

When Harvey hit Houston starting Aug. 26, the Astros were on the road. The stunning images of the devastation in the city deeply affected the players. George Springer, the World Series MVP, wasn’t sure if his home would have survived. Altuve learned that his home was surrounded by water and his wife and newborn son were, albeit safe, trapped and unable to get out.

“How can we play after this?” Altuve asked manager AJ Hinch.

The Astros finally returned to the city in early September, and the players were able to see for themselves all the damage that the massive cyclone had caused. There, they started money-raising campaigns, helped out at shelters, collaborated with their neighbors, but also began to bring a sense of normalcy to Houston.

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It was around these days that the Astros began to wear a patch on their uniform that read “Houston Strong” and players kept photos of the devastation in their locker rooms for inspiration and as a way to understand and remember that they were playing for more than just a victory or a championship title.

“This has great significance,” said pitcher Dallas Keuchel, one of the team’s starters. “We knew it, and we had a great desire to do it. We have been through a lot. Not having been there when all this happened hurt us a lot. This is our way of redeeming ourselves to our fans. This is what we are giving you ”.

Although the players are aware that this gift will not solve all the problems that still affect Houston, they are aware that it will serve to bring moments of joy and, above all, the feeling that it is possible to get ahead even in the games. most adverse circumstances.

“We know that our fans are going through difficult times,” said Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa. “But for us it means all the power to give them a little joy and happiness through baseball.”

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It is a gift not only for the city, but for the team. The franchise, founded in 1962, had never even won a World Series game, before this group of young people, led by Altuve, Springer, Correa, among others, struck an authority on the table and left behind a few. powerful Dodgers who were seen as the favorites to prevail in the October Classic.

“Houston, we are a champion city,” Hinch said. “This team loves playing in Houston and we are going to take this trophy there.”

The party will culminate on Friday in downtown Houston when the parade is held to honor the new monarchs of the Major Leagues. And, once again, during those hours, city dwellers will forget the name Harvey and leave behind the havoc left by the hurricane to celebrate the best baseball on the planet being played in their city.

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