It was a big party!
The streets of downtown Houston and Midtown were filled with hundreds of thousands of fans celebrating the Houston Astros’ World Series title on Monday. The 1.7-mile parade stepped off at noon Monday at the intersection of Smith and Preston streets and ended at the intersections of Smith and Tuam.
“It’s a great moment,” said a fan named Jose who attended the parade with his wife and daughter. “I’m proud to be a Houstonian and support our team.”
Among those featured in the parade were the Astros’ players and coaches – including World Series MVP Jeremy Pena, Game 6 winning pitcher Framber Valdez and Yordan Alvarez, who cranked the 450-foot home run that lifted the Astros to their series-clinching win Saturday night. Fans also were excited to see Dusty Baker, the 73-year-old manager whose lack of a championship became a rallying cry during the postseason.
Also on parade floats were Astros hall of famers Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio as well as a collection of local elected officials and well-known Houstonians such as Gallery Furniture owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, former Houston Texans football star Andre Johnson and Houston-based rappers Bun B and Paul Wall.
Paradegoer Alfred Acosta is a lifelong Astros fan. He said being an Astros fan is part of the city’s culture.
“We were actually at the house, outside, barbecuing with the family,” he said. “It was really big to watch Mattress Mack get that $10 million, turn it into $75 million, that was really big of him.”
Acosta said this win is part of Houston’s history. It was the Astros’ second championship after the 2017 title that was marred by a sign-stealing controversy.
“To bring the championship back home, it’s about time we did something like this,” he said. “And I’m proud of the Astros.”
Astros fans of all ages and generations celebrated, including those who started rooting for the team long before it became baseball’s best. Cornell Hall, who visited Monday’s parade during his lunch break from work, grew up in New Orleans and became an Astros fan in the late 1970s while attending Texas Southern University.
“I went to a game in the Astrodome,” Hall said. “A lot of folks probably don’t remember the Astrodome.”
A 31-year-old fan named Ryan, who attended the parade with his family, also recalled going to games in the Astros’ iconic domed stadium. The team enjoyed a few successful seasons during the three decades it played there, winning five division titles during the 1980 and ’90s, but did not win a playoff series in the Astrodome.
In 2005, a few years after moving downtown to Minute Maid Park, the Astros reached the World Series for the first time. They claimed their first championship in 2017, winning at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Five years later, the Astros are champions yet again and got to celebrate on their home field in front of their home crowd.
“Everybody here is in true happiness,” Ryan said. “They are kings of the MLB world, for sure.”