Looking Back at Astronomical Success

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For the first time in the history of the franchise, the Houston Astros made it to the World Series. And despite being in a state where baseball is immensely popular, the Astros' trip to the Fall Classic is the first for any Texas team.

In the aftermath of a defeat at the hands of the Chicago White Sox, the successes of the season are a bit muted. Undoubtedly, though, when the dust clears from the World Series sweep, the 2005 season will be remembered for more than four lost games in late October.

The Astros became the first team in history to go from 15 games under .500 to the World Series, going 74-43 to finish the season after starting 15-30.

The wildcard winner blew through perennial National League East champion Atlanta before exacting revenge against Central Division rival St. Louis, who beat Houston the NLCS the year before.

The Astros' pennant win also ended droughts of two of baseball's greats, as Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell played World Series ball for the first time in their 2,000-plus game, Hall of Fame careers.

Only six runs separated the White Sox from Houston over the course of four games. No game was decided by more than two runs. There was clearly no rolling over by a team that breathed life into a state void of Fall Classics.

"We won as a team and we lost as a team," said manager Phil Garner. "Everybody in our clubhouse had something to do with us getting here, and I think it's a pretty good story, a dog-gone good story."

A rally is scheduled for Friday in Hermann Square in Houston as the Bayou City celebrates the Astros' season.