By Francisco Romero
Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, George Springer, et al., are having the times of their lives in the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The youth-laden and talented team is showing the sports world why they were chosen, at the beginning of the year as one of the favorite Major League Baseball teams to win the World Series.
With a 13 – 12 victory (10 innings) Sunday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, the Astros have taken a 3 – 2 lead in the-best-of seven series against the Dodgers and are on the verge of giving the City of Houston and Texas its first World Series title.
The happiness, joy and a dream come true, has also reached the press box , too.
Heck, I’m here working it and, well, enjoying every single pitch. How could I not?
I am also having the time of my life.
Let’s rewind to October 28, 1981.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had just defeated the New York Yankees in the World Series. I was 12-years-old and witnessed a celebration that featured my baseball hero Fernando Valenzuela alongside Pedro Guerrero, Ron Cey and Steve Yeager.
It was then when I started dreaming of being part of a World Series experience.
My baseball skills were not good enough to make me a Major League Baseball prospect; instead, I became a student of the game that opened the path to a sportscaster and journalism career.
My pilgrimage in this field has taken me from a Telemundo Sportscaster to broadcasting for six MLB teams (Diamondbacks, Brewers, Twins, Reds, Royals and Astros), the Arizona Cardinals, writing for the Phoenix Suns and becoming the Spanish voice for the University of Arizona Wildcats sports (football, basketball and at one point baseball and women’s basketball).
Now, let’s forward to October 2017. And the whirlwind that it’s been.
Ironically, the 2017 MLB World Series features the team that brought me the love of the game and the team that has given me the opportunity of living my dream.
I am currently in my 10th season as the Houston Astros Spanish Broadcaster and not for one second have I regretted the decision to accept the job in 2008.
As I have always said, “Working in baseball is not having a job, it’s a lifestyle.”
What a lifestyle it has been! Yes, I work where others have fun, in a six-month period I have to broadcast 162 baseball games. And, in the same time period, I never have two days off in a row (except during the All-Star break). I never have an off-day during weekends; my family goes to work with me; there are no summer vacations for my family; I miss lots of family gatherings, birthdays and Mother’s day.
The best part of it all is that I work in baseball. Yes, Major League Baseball. I broadcast games for the Houston Astros Baseball Club and I would not change it for the world.
Four years removed from an 111-loss season my family and I are having the time of our lives as the Astros have reached the Fall Classic for the second time in franchise history.
Astros’ bright orange and blue run through our veins.
I vividly remember when Altuve, a wide-eyed 21-year-old walked into the Astros Clubhouse on July 20, 2011 and now he is hitting home runs, stealing bases and the face of the Astros during the World Series.
I remember hearing about a kid from Puerto Rico named Carlos Correa; one that could turn into the next Alex Rodriguez and wondered if I would ever see him develop into the player that he is now.
Not too long ago, Houston went wild when it was announced that former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander had agreed to be traded to the Astros.
The reality is that the Astros organization has done an extraordinary job in putting together a core group of young players alongside great veterans that have given players, fans and staff alike a World Series to remember.
And the sports world has taken notice!
Three World Series games have been played this postseason at Minute Maid Park and let me tell you, the fans Rock, the place is loud and no one leaves.
The players have shown why the team won 101 regular-season games.
The World Series is not over yet. The Astros are one win away from running away with the championship trophy, putting the icing on the cake.
No matter what happens in Game 6 or 7, the Houston Astros have taken me back and given me that feeling I had when I was 12 years old, the feeling of being part of World Series Team, and what a World Series Team it is.