Astros Did It! ~ A Replay Request!

As Predicted by Sports Illustrated for 2017 Back in 2014!

 

Astros Did It! ~ A Replay Request!

Late in the evening of November 1, 2017, a Dodger batter’s ground ball to second baseman Jose Altuve quickly got picked up and thrown to first baseman Yuli Gurriel for the last out in a fifty-five year quest for what this final out of a ball game has to offer for all time. At last, the 2017 Houston Astros had accomplished something that all our fan hearts and ballplayer efforts have been leaning into getting done for well over half a century. With the 4-3 put out, the Houston Astros, finally had risen to the goal that always lay before them. They were finally the Champions of the World Series, Champions of the Baseball World.

On the original “Astros Did It” column, we posted the same featured prediction cover from Sports Illustrated shown above here, the one featuring the Houston Astros as their pick for the World Series Championship of 2017.

And what do you know? Three years later, as of Game 7 in the World Series, that oracle work is now fulfilled. The Houston Astros are now Champions of Baseball, for a first and forever time.

Sadly, I just managed to do something here at The Pecan Park Eagle that I’ve never done before. In cleaning up some never published draft files this afyernoon, I accidentally deleted the original “Astros Did It” column, along with the fewer than a handful of comments some of you left there. Now I have a request to go along with my apology:

Would all of you who commented on your first reactions earlier, please do so again here. I promise they will not be lost again.

And will more of you, while we are still close to the event itself, please write something about what the World Series Championship for the Houston Astros now means to you? On some level down the road, our reactions to what has just happened in Houston baseball history are part of the legacy we leave to all those who come after us and, since I’m going to do all I can to make sure that these few thousand columns are archived for the ages, and maybe even continued by someone other than me, once I’m gone, your help here will be greatly appreciated.

Not just appreciated. Required is the word. The Pecan Park Eagle isn’t limited to what I think and feel as publisher and editor. It’s about all of us. What we think, and what we feel, each in our own unique ways. And it’s about what we are learning and gaining from this ride into the sunset with Houston Baseball – as everyday Houstonians and partially gilled water-breathing people of this general area and the humidity hinterlands.

Please don’t send your responses here to me by e-mail. Simply post them as comments in the section that follows this column. And please don’t wait too long. The sooner you write it, the fresher it will be to the truth.

If you find questions helpful, here are a few for all of us: What does this 2017 World Series Victory by the Houston Astros mean to you? – What did you think or feel in the moment that Altuve and Gurriel were taking care of that last out? – Were you surprised by anything that happened in your personal reaction?

Whatever you say honestly here is all that matters. Just say it. The sooner the better, but later’s better than never.

Thank you very much.

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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6 Responses to “Astros Did It! ~ A Replay Request!”

  1. David Munger Says:

    My best remembered momement came from an Astro interview when he said that this Championship was for those players before us, the present day Champions, and the hope of setting the bar for those who follow. During the course of the season a lot of emotion came across this Blog both good and bad but in the final emotion from me is…..Thank you Houston Astros…Past…Present…and Future.

  2. Bill McCurdy Says:

    In the original column, our wonderful Larry Dierker had posted his own curiosity over why he may have simply started laughing for quite a while after the last out of the championship game. He even invited us to comment on what we thought the laughter was all about.

    “Joy has many voices,” I wrote in response. And I believe that with all my heart, and I must now add here that I think the most joyous tongues find their ways of speaking through those who have made great past contributions in fact to fulfillment of the current outcome.

    From striking out Willie Mays on his 18th birthday first start as a Colt .45 pitcher through a 20 win season and a no-hitter thrown as his highlights to a majoratively Astros pitching career, plus all the years he spent as a club broadcaster and journalist, plus, the remarkable manager of so many playoff season appearances by the Astros, the force behind all his efforts was still in motion for all these years. And it only landed as “complete” through the kids who pulled off this magnificent young show of closure accomplishment on winning the other day in LA.

    Long Live the Houston Astros, Larry Dierker, Jimmy Wynn, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Nolan Ryan, and all others who also put their own arrows of effort into motion so long ago toward the final first landing of the championship record that now belongs to all members of the Astros Nation family.

    Thank you, Larry, for waking us up to the depth of gratitude that is now due and payable to you – and all others like you.

    No one can ever take this accomplishment away. Nor is the feat of becoming a champion limited to the credit of only those who directly made it happen this year.

    We are a championship family. Now and Forever.

    Keep on laughing as long as you wish, Mr. Dierker, and we will just keep on smiling back at you and say “thanks.”

  3. roy bonario Says:

    I was a Houston Buffs fan as a kid, then became a Colt 45’s fan and then an Astros fanatic. I was crushed when they were swept by the White Sox in their 1st World Series appearance. So after 55 years of waiting and watching them comeback against all odds to win this was overwhelming to me. I am homebound but I’ll bet all my neighbors within 5 blocks heard my cheers when they got the final out. I am still on a high from this series and will be for quite sometime. God bless these great players and all of us fans who have waited so long for this wonderful event.

  4. Rick B. Says:

    I have to admit that it was difficult for me to enjoy game seven until the final out had been recorded. Given the Astros’ playoff history, I had visions of a 6-5 Dodgers victory that would rip our hearts out. When it was over, my wife said she thought that I’d be yelling for joy and jumping up and down. I told her that, at that moment, what I felt most was relief because they’d finally done it.

    Since then, relief has turned into joy and pride. I don’t want to admit how much money I’ve spent on World Series merchandise for the family, but I consider it to be well spent.

    I can also think back on all those previous bitter playoff defeats and not mind them quite so much. After all, the Astros are World Series champions now. Their accomplishment is, and always will be, a part of history – no one can ever take it away.

    Now, go do it again, Astros! 😁

  5. Mark W Says:

    Sadly, I don’t keep a copy of everything I write here. I know I wrote something, but I have no clue what it was.

  6. Mark W Says:

    But I’ll post this, since it’s relevant.

    I’ve been going to Colt .45s/Astros games since 1962 when they joined MLB. I obtained my first three MLB autographs outside the Giants’ visitors clubhouse before a game on May 11, 1962, from Don Larsen, Harvey Kuenn, and a yoiungster named Felipe Alou.

    That day (or evening) I watched awed and wide-eyed as our pitcher, Dick “Turk” Farrell, hit a 410 ft homerun to the deepest part of the ballpark in the 5th inning. He hit that homerun off Don Larsen, who earlier signed my first autograph. Farrell struck out Willie Mays and Willie McCovey in succession in the 3rd inning, and pitched a 6 hit complete game shutout as the Colt .45s beat the Giants that day, 7-0. (Still have my game-scored program). The Giants won the National League pennant that year, and played the Yankees in the World Series. They went 61-21 at Candlestick, which may have been a record for best home W-L% in one season at that time. Yet one National League team did post a winning record vs. the Giants at Candlestick Park that season. Can you guess which team did that? I’ll give you a hint: it was the Houston Colt .45s! The Colt .45s, and only the Colt .45s, had a winning record vs. the Giants in Candlestick Park in 1962, going 5-4 against the NL champs on their home turf. They’ve come a long way since then, but even in their first year, the Houston team could play some ball. Without a Willie Mays homer in the last game of the season against the Colt. 45s, the Yankees would have been playing the Dodgers in the 1962 World Series!

    This wasn’t my first Houston professional game. I saw the Colt .45s play the Cardinals on April 25, 1962. This was a night game. I remember, because it lasted 17 innings and ended in a 5-5 tie. My parents took me home after 9 innings. I had to get up for school the next day. Stan Musial pinch hit in the 10th inning. Dick Farrell struck him out. One of my great baseball heroes, Bobby Shantz, came into that game – as a pinch runner for Pidge Browne in the 13th inning. Jim Umbricht finished up the last two innings with a sparkling performance. A guy named Clemens played for the Cardinals – Doug Clemens, an outfielder. Our hitting star in that game was our catcher, Merritt Ranew. He went 4 for 8 with a homer and a triple. In fact, he was the best hitter that day for either team. The only other homer that night was by Curt Flood, but he was only 3 for 8! Minnie Minoso went 1 for 5 for the Cardinals. Red Schoendienst pinch hit and was retired. Carl Warwick was 2 for 3 for the Cardinals, but Johnny Keane had Doug Clemens pinch hit for Warwick in the 8th. Clemens struck out. In only a couple of weeks, Warwick and Shantz would trade places in these respective lineups.

    Larry Dierker is only 2 years older than me, which is hard for me to fathom, because that day he was still 15 (and I was still 13) and yet in only 2 years and 5 months, he would be making his first major league start for the Colt .45s and I would have just finished 10th grade, with about 8 more inches of height to grow into, among other things. I would have my first shave in 2 more months, on my 16th birthday. This event is immortalized in a photograph taken by my father.

    Many of these athletes I saw that night have long since departed this life. A few remain, in their 90s. Then I think about my own advancing age. Many many years have passed since I began accumulating these memories. Maybe Larry Dierker was laughing, because, like me and many others, while we have waited a long, long time to see this team win a World Series, several of the young men who helped bring about this World Championship last week have yet to reach their 24th birthday. They have barely left the bedrooms in their parents’ homes, and they are World Champions! They have no idea what we’ve been through, nor the magnitude of what they’ve accomplished by comparison, especially Larry who ate, slept, drank, and bled a baseball franchise for the past 53 years that only just now has delivered the Holy Grail to the city of Houston. The irony could be considered hilarious, if not comi-tragic. They’re the flip sides of the same thing much of the time anyway.

    Maybe that’s one of the reasons why Carlos Beltran was crying.

    Nicely done, young ‘Stros.

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