After 55 years, the Houston Astros are world champs!

As a fourth-generation native Houstonian, I feel a terrific sense of pride that the Houston Astros have finally achieved baseball's pinnacle.

It wasn't a cheap title – they had to beat baseball royalty, the Red Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers.  They did it with youthful exuberance and veteran leadership.  They took a wounded city to baseball's summit.

I grew up watching the Astros.  My first ball game as a kid was a Colt .45 game in old Colt Stadium, where the mosquitoes were the size of city buses.  It was in the same parking lot where the new air-conditioned Harris County Domed Stadium (aka The Houston Astrodome) was being built.  The skeleton of the Dome was being erected behind me as I watched players like Nellie Fox play the game.

We loved our Astros through thick and thin, and there were a lot of thin times.  We didn't have a curse to blame.  We didn't have a lot of famous players.  It took us decades to get anyone in the Hall of Fame.  If it weren't for the schedule, you'd never know we played baseball in Houston.

Memories of great players like Larry Dierker, Jimmy Wynn, Bob Watson, Cesar Cedeno, J.R. Richard, Jose Cruuuuz, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Mike Hampton, The Rocket, Pettite, Oswalt, Wagner.  1980, 1986 and 2005.  It kept us coming back to the ballpark.

My high school buddy and I could leave the house at 6:30 with a half-tank of gas and a $10 bill and be at the game with two $2 bleacher seats, a couple of beers, and a couple bags of peanuts, and we were kings of baseball.  Shame you can't do that today.

My favorite teams had Hall-of-Famers Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.  No matter how good or bad the team, we knew we could always count on stellar play from those two men.  We delighted in their excellence.  The Killer B's were the heart and soul of our team for almost 20 years.  They both could have left and made more money elsewhere, but they stayed because they loved Houston, and Houston loved them back. 

Bidge and Bags were our championship, and we reveled in their play while we waited and hoped for a title of our own.  We had to wait another dozen years, change ownership, rebuild from scratch, and suffer 3 x 100 loss seasons before the reborn Astros arrived.

Arrive they did.  Now they're the champs.

Watching veterans McCann and Beltran embrace after the win with tears in their eyes tells you all you need to know about what it meant to them.  Watching the 17,000 fans gathered at Minute Maid go crazy when the last out was made tells you all you need to know about what the Astros' first World Championship meant to this city.

This was one of the most exciting, entertaining, record-setting, and nerve-wracking World Series ever played.  What a Series!

After Harvey, after the flood, the loss, and suffering here, the Astros gave us hope and lifted our spirits.  They did it.  It's real, and nobody can ever take it away.  Houston, this one's for you.

Richard Pecore is an attorney and former blog writer who has traveled Texas widely and lived in Houston, Austin, Arlington, Corpus Christi, and McAllen.  He now calls Houston home.

As a fourth-generation native Houstonian, I feel a terrific sense of pride that the Houston Astros have finally achieved baseball's pinnacle.

It wasn't a cheap title – they had to beat baseball royalty, the Red Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers.  They did it with youthful exuberance and veteran leadership.  They took a wounded city to baseball's summit.

I grew up watching the Astros.  My first ball game as a kid was a Colt .45 game in old Colt Stadium, where the mosquitoes were the size of city buses.  It was in the same parking lot where the new air-conditioned Harris County Domed Stadium (aka The Houston Astrodome) was being built.  The skeleton of the Dome was being erected behind me as I watched players like Nellie Fox play the game.

We loved our Astros through thick and thin, and there were a lot of thin times.  We didn't have a curse to blame.  We didn't have a lot of famous players.  It took us decades to get anyone in the Hall of Fame.  If it weren't for the schedule, you'd never know we played baseball in Houston.

Memories of great players like Larry Dierker, Jimmy Wynn, Bob Watson, Cesar Cedeno, J.R. Richard, Jose Cruuuuz, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Mike Hampton, The Rocket, Pettite, Oswalt, Wagner.  1980, 1986 and 2005.  It kept us coming back to the ballpark.

My high school buddy and I could leave the house at 6:30 with a half-tank of gas and a $10 bill and be at the game with two $2 bleacher seats, a couple of beers, and a couple bags of peanuts, and we were kings of baseball.  Shame you can't do that today.

My favorite teams had Hall-of-Famers Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.  No matter how good or bad the team, we knew we could always count on stellar play from those two men.  We delighted in their excellence.  The Killer B's were the heart and soul of our team for almost 20 years.  They both could have left and made more money elsewhere, but they stayed because they loved Houston, and Houston loved them back. 

Bidge and Bags were our championship, and we reveled in their play while we waited and hoped for a title of our own.  We had to wait another dozen years, change ownership, rebuild from scratch, and suffer 3 x 100 loss seasons before the reborn Astros arrived.

Arrive they did.  Now they're the champs.

Watching veterans McCann and Beltran embrace after the win with tears in their eyes tells you all you need to know about what it meant to them.  Watching the 17,000 fans gathered at Minute Maid go crazy when the last out was made tells you all you need to know about what the Astros' first World Championship meant to this city.

This was one of the most exciting, entertaining, record-setting, and nerve-wracking World Series ever played.  What a Series!

After Harvey, after the flood, the loss, and suffering here, the Astros gave us hope and lifted our spirits.  They did it.  It's real, and nobody can ever take it away.  Houston, this one's for you.

Richard Pecore is an attorney and former blog writer who has traveled Texas widely and lived in Houston, Austin, Arlington, Corpus Christi, and McAllen.  He now calls Houston home.