At long last, the state of Texas has its first World Series champion.
The American League champion Astros, who were in the National League until 2012, were playing in just their second World Series. The Texas Rangers reached the World Series in 2010 and ’11 but lost to the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Astros were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005 when they were the NL champions.
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But by 2009, the Astros’ stock of talent was gutted and their front office was overhauled. Owner Drayton McLane sold the franchise to Jim Crane for $610 million in 2011.
From ’09 to ’14, the Astros finished below .500. They lost more than a 105 games for three consecutive seasons (’11-’13). That allowed them to draft first-round players who eventually helped lead them to the 2017 World Series, including George Springer, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman. Along with Jose Altuve, the foursome provides the Astros with an incredibly young nucleus of talented everyday players.
Springer’s two-run homer in the second inning gave the Astros a 5-0 lead and knocked former Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish from the game.
Springer was named the World Series MVP after compiling 29 total bases, the most in any postseason series. He homered in each of the last four World Series games and tied Reggie Jackson (1977) and Chase Utley (2009) with five home runs in a World Series.
Darvish lasted only 1 2/3 innings in each of his two World Series starts for the Dodgers and took the loss in both. He was traded from the Rangers to Los Angeles at the trade deadline on July 31. He’s a free agent this off-season.
The Astros, who were first called the Colt .45s before moving into the Astrodome in 1965, played 8,943 regular-season games and 80 playoff games before winning their first title. Houston is now 35-45 in the postseason with Wednesday’s win.