Houstonians, this one, is for you. This is a great time to be not only an Astros fan but a sports fan in the great city of Houston. Last night, the Houston Astros went to New York, dominated the Yankees in a win or go home postseason game, and clinched a berth to the ALDS. Let that sink in for a second, because it’s reality now.
With a certain football team that’s been an utter disappointment through one month, Houston is bringing back the “Clutch” in “Clutch City”. The Rockets are one of the top 4 teams in the NBA, and your Astros are one of the top 8 teams in the MLB. This great city hasn’t seen this success in a long time, and it’s just beginning.
From James Harden to Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel to JJ Watt, Dwight Howard to Jose Altuve, Houston fans are watching some great athletes in 2015. Most of these great players are just beginning to shine while others haven’t even emerged on the big stage yet.
Specifically with the Astros, people who have been reading Climbing Tal’s Hill since the beginning know how far this team has come in such a short amount of time. People around the country would have laughed at us back in March if we said the Astros would beat the Yankees to reach the ALDS, and we probably would have laughed along with them.
In May, the nation kept a close eye on the surging Astros while witnessing another Houston team capture the national spotlight. Those scrappy Rockets were cooking with Harden and Howard leading the way while “Hustle Town” was developing, slowly but surely.
Through the summer, more and more Houstonians made the transition from Clutch City to Crush City and took the trip to Minute Maid Park to see what the young Astros had brewing. When they arrived, they discovered that a new rivalry had been born between the Astros and the Texas Rangers.
This was when that emotional connection grew stronger. We all felt the pain when George Springer went down in late June and rejoiced when Keuchel and Altuve started for the American League All-Star Team in the Midsummer Classic.
Even the dog days of August were more than bearable as Carlos Gomez re-ignited a team that needed a spark, and Houstonians were treated to an inside look at how their NFL team operates every Tuesday night. And how could I not mention the amazing no-hitter that Mike Fiers threw at MMP against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yeah, this season truly had it all.
September had us all biting our nails off, and the Texans made us more excited for Rockets season to begin already. But, like Houston teams always seem to do, the Astros were able to pull it off at the last second and avoid a collapse. Salvaging an AL Wild Card berth was plenty worth celebrating for a franchise that hadn’t tasted the postseason in a decade. The Astros popped bottles in the desert, and Houstonians who had stuck with this team since the beginning of it all felt like they were in that locker room spraying champagne with their hometown team.
Now, it’s October, and the Houston Astros are still playing baseball. What a time it truly is to be alive in Houston, Texas. The greatest city on Earth is getting a well-deserved moment in the spotlight, so let’s soak it in for a couple days.