I’ve been a massive Houston Sports fan for a very long time.
If you’ve paid attention to Houston Sports, our franchises have been suffering for a pretty long time. The last time we won any kind of sports championship was back in 1994 and 1995 when Michael Jordan thankfully took a bit of a break from basketball and let Hakeem and my Rockets claim a title. Those were great years, and Houston sports seemed to be on the rise. Since then, nada, nothing, zilch. The Astros were in the World Series back in 2005 when Roger Clemens was on the team, but we were unceremoniously swept by the White Sox in 4 games.
Until this year, the ‘Stros have pretty much been a doormat of the National and then American league when we switched leagues just a few years ago. But as any Astros fan will tell you, there’s been some talent brewing in the minor leagues for a long time, and finally this year the young players came out and played like they were capable of playing.
Sure, we were beaten in the Division series by the Royals, but that Royals team is now on the brink of going to the World Series for a second consecutive year, so there are a pretty good team if you ask any baseball fan out there. To see the Astros compete and take the Royals to the brink of elimination before losing in 5 games was pretty special for the people in Houston who follow sports. We do have a pretty good Rockets team right meow, but the fact that the Astros are up and coming as well adds a lot of spunk to fans when they are out and about in the Houston area. Too bad the Texans are wasting away at the bottom of the division this year, but at least JJ Watt is still fun to watch.
Back to the Astros. They were on top of the AL West for most of the season until the last two weeks when the Rangers overtook them and won the West. But we went into Yankee Stadium and shut out the mighty Yankees before a packed house to move on to the series against the Royals. If we would have gone into NY and lost, it would have still been a very successful season, and all Astros fans would have told you that they were happy and excited about the future.
I’ve had a chance to head on over to Minute Maid park a few times in the past couple years, and as you can tell from the picture below, the park was mostly empty (this was late in the season in 2014). This season, that changed drastically, as fans got involved in the division race and watching young players like Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel were a blast.
I got to see Keuchel pitch a couple of times this past year, and he’s a real treat to watch. He doesn’t throw very hard, but he just has this competitive nature about him that really draws fans in. Plus, he has a pretty cool beard that is really long.
Correa was an absolute beast at shortstop and at the plate, and should win the American League Rookie of the Year award in a landslide if the writers don’t have their butts covering their faces.
Next up is Rockets season, and there’s lots of optimism in the air with Dwight, Harden, and now Ty Lawson joining the Rockets. We shall see how it all pans out, but I’ll be heading on over to the Toyota Center for some games on a 20 game pack this year! Yup, should be fun.