Houston, we have a champion
Astros dedicate World Series victory to victims of Hurricane Harvey
The Houston Astros dedicated their World Series baseball victory to their storm-ravaged Texas home city yesterday morning (Singapore time), after claiming the Fall Classic for the first time.
Ever since Hurricane Harvey deluged the Houston region in August, leaving dozens dead and causing catastrophic damage, the Astros have been men on a mission.
And yesterday, it was mission accomplished as the Astros, fuelled by George Springer's record-equalling home run, stunned the Los Angeles Dodgers in the decisive Game Seven 5-1 to complete a 4-3 series triumph.
Springer belted his fifth home run of the series as the Astros exploded for five runs in the first two innings off Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish.
In a World Series that had featured dramatic swings of momentum and breathtaking rallies, the Astros never let the Dodgers get back in the game.
Astros players went into the post-season with patches bearing the slogan "Houston Strong", underscoring their solidarity with the city.
Springer, who is the series' Most Valuable Player, said the determination to win the title for Houston's fans "was everything".
This one’s for Houston, we got hit hard. Everyone was behind us and the team really picked up on it.Houston Astros owner Jim Crane
"That patch on our chest truly does mean a lot to us," Springer said. "I'm so happy for our fans who have endured a lot. We're coming home champions."
Astros star Jose Altuve dedicated the win to the Houston fans. "I think this is the happiest moment of my life in baseball," Altuve said.
Astros owner Jim Crane said the team had been fuelled by the support of fans in Houston.
"This one's for Houston, we got hit hard," Crane said. "Everyone was behind us and the team really picked up on it. We're just so happy for everybody."
Astros coach AJ Hinch said he was delighted to deliver a first World Series to the city.
"You know what Houston - we're a championship city," Hinch said. "We take pride in being there for Houston. They responded by falling in love with this team," Hinch added.
For Astros' shortstop Carlos Correa, it was double joy.
Not content with winning his first World Series, Correa dropped to one knee to propose to his girlfriend during a live television interview.
The 23-year-old Puerto Rican said he was "ready to take another big step" in his life.
"Daniella Rodriguez, will you make me the happiest man in the world? Will you marry me?" he asked the former Miss Texas, who covered her face with her hands in shock and said, "Yes". Fans cheered as Correa slid the diamond ring onto her finger. - WIRE SERVICES