They're on the brink of going where no Texas baseball team has gone before. Needing one win, the Astros are efforting to claim their first National League pennant in franchise history. And fans in the Twin Cities are on the edge of their seats.
An hour-and-a-half away, Bryan and College Station still show signs of being a Houston suburb, no more so than with the burnt orange in an Aggie bar, a rare sight indeed. The Astros are rarely, after all, playing this late in the season.
"I grew up relatively close to here, and I've always been a Houston Astros fan," said Joey Ford. "Every year, they get close, but not all the way. Now, it's here, and it's going to happen."
From fans of a franchise 0-and-43 when it comes to getting to the World Series, the optimism is near deafening.
"Every year, I've watched them struggling to make the playoffs," said Albert Cavazos. "They finally go back last year. They did really good. They should have made it to the World Series. They've got a chance this year."
The fans watched from the comfort of the Fox and Hound Monday night. Just days earlier, one had travelled to Minute Maid Park, on hand for the 18 innings of classic October action.
"I was there for when they won the wildcard," said Jayme Wager, "and that was exciting enough for me, but when we made it for that game, you knew you were there for history. It was great."
The great Andy Pettitte's name adorned the back of another fan's attire. Her Houston heart adorned her sleeve.
"I've been an Astros fan all my life," said Gabriele Kuty. "It's in my blood. I'm a Houston native, so I've grown up watching the Astros, just hoping, maybe this year. And last year was such a big disappointment for us."
And it is that craving that drives the droves to sets across Texas, from downtown Houston to those far-away suburbs.
"To go from 15 under to 15 over, I just never imagined that, but I never gave up," said Ford.
As those glued to the action would agree, and despite a dramatic, out-of-nowhere finish to Game 5 that saw the Cardinals come back and win, they'll be back at their televisions Wednesday.
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