It has been exactly a decade since the noise level has reached the level it did last night at Minute Maid Park. That was the time that the Houston Astros went on the World Series run that resulted in the sweep by the team that will not be named in this post. Baseball over the past decade has become an afterthought for your typical Astros fan, as they went through the not making the playoffs and then rebuilding on a grand scale. Baseball in Houston was in hibernation for a while, but you know what happens when you wake a sleeping, bear. The 2015 Houston Astros have finally awakened that sleeping giant, and they were all at Minute Maid Park last night.
To start off with, I know I suggested that all of Houston wear orange to the game. However, I am not naive enough to think that I actually caused about 35,ooo fans to wear orange to that game last night. All those fans recognized what the Kansas City Royals’ fans did in the first two games by wearing all royal blue to make it a sea of blue. Astros’ fans said, what you can do, I can do better. It was a flowing sea of orange on Sunday afternoon, which was a great sign to show pride in your team by wearing their color.
I know some fans have not updated their uniforms since the 2005 World Series, but the previous owner of the Astros really messed things up going away from the orange and blue uniforms of the 80’s. Needless to say, there were a lot of brick red shirts out there at the ballpark. In the past decade, the Astros have had three different uniforms.
1) The brick red and gray ones.
2) The pinstripes that we remember with Biggio’s 3,000th hit.
3) The current retro orange and blue color scheme.
This is opposite of the Royals who have had the same royal blue theme throughout the time of the Royals. I was impressed to see fans take the initiative and buy the orange shirts prior or during the game. Astros fans realize that what the Astros are doing is a big deal. They came out to a standing room only type of crowd and were loud and on their feet for nearly the entire game.
The official attendance of last night’s game was 42,674 fans. Where does this game rank in terms of home attendance for the season? Let’s take a look at the table below courtesy of ESPN.
Looking at the largest crowds at Minute Maid Park this season, I am still surprised that the attendance of opening day this year was larger than the first postseason game in a decade. I do have a theory as to why there were some people absent, I blame the ticket scalpers who were holding tickets unless someone overpaid for the ticket. I am not going to dwell on that. Instead, I will focus on what those 42,674 fans who came did. This crowd was 38% larger than the average crowd at MMP in 2015, and they were electric.
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Fans were finding appropriate times to stand up and cheer when to boo, and when to go crazy. Did the crowd noise really affect the outcome of the game? Maybe not, but maybe Morgan Ensberg‘s theory of Red Bull and cheering does help in some way. The current group of Astros are an excitable group of players, so maybe the cheering is the Red Bull that helps them get the extra energy to perform their best. You can read Ensberg’s and other 2005 Astros thoughts on crowd noise here: Houston Astros: The Players Need Fans’ Support, Be Loud!
Hopefully, more fans will be in the stands today and it would be awesome in the Astros win because they would be going to the American League Championship Series.