Congratulations to the Houston Astros for winning the 2017 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a seven game series. It took me a little bit to get on the Astros bandwagon after they eliminated my hometown Boston Red Sox in the ALDS, but I eventually found myself cheering for them. It probably helped that they faced off against the New York Yankees in the ALCS, but I was not just cheering against the Yankees. I was cheering for the Astros, and the whole city of Houston.
In the spring of 2013, when the Boston Marathon Bombing occurred, I was 15 and my high school football coach was running the Marathon and I knew at least a dozen people in attendance. When the bombs went off, I did not believe it. How could someone do such a thing to my city? My attention quickly turned to making sure everyone I knew was okay – they were – but I also knew some people were not as lucky. Boston was on pause, but one thing kept going on: the Red Sox.
After Boston legend David Ortiz took the mic at a pregame ceremony honoring the victims of the bombing and proclaimed Boston as “Our [expletive] city,” the city started to heal, still very damaged, but Ortiz and the Red Sox gave the city something to look forward to. The team made a magical run that season and won the World Series. I was at the championship parade and I was there when the team stopped at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and placed the World Series trophy on it while a Red Sox jersey reading “Boston Strong” with the area code of Boston, 617, on the back. Everyone stopped for a moment of silence and prayer. To this day, it was one of the most powerful moments I have witnessed.
Fast forward to 2017 and the devastation that Hurricane Harvey brought upon Houston. The entire city felt the effects of the natural disaster and needed help. The country responded. Houston Texans star JJ Watt’s efforts raised $37 million to help out, which is beyond incredible, but still there was pain and suffering. The city would not be rebuilt overnight. I do recognize that sports cannot heal a city after something tragic happens, but the Astros were able to let people forget about what is going on and bring them happiness for a few hours each night and ultimately won their first World Series Championship just months after Hurricane Harvey struck.
The passion that the Astros players such as Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Carlos Correa all displayed made it clear how important it was to them and their city.
Correa, being from Puerto Rico, was playing for more than Houston, he was playing for his home country. Puerto Rico is in shambles after Hurricane Maria. Correa was playing with Puerto Rico on his mind and performed in the biggest spot of his young career. There will be two rings in the near future for Correa as he proposed to his girlfriend during the on field celebration after winning the World Series.
After seeing pictures of the Astros’ parade and the elation on the faces of the fans, it was clear the Astros delivered exactly what the city of Houston needed. The Red Sox and Astros both delivered in a time of need for their city which continues to speak to the magic of sports. Congratulations again to the Houston Astros and the city of Houston.