Houston Astros win World Series for first time in franchise history

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Charlie Morton #50 and Brian McCann #16 of the Houston Astros celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven with a score of 5 to 1 to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

In one of the most evenly matched, hard-fought and thrilling World Series of all time, it’s fitting that fans were treated to a winner-takes-all Game 7 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

And in the end, it’s Houston that gets to celebrate.

The Astros — whose first season was in 1962 — are World Series champions for the first time in franchise history, defeating the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 and completing a Fall Classic for the ages.

“You know what, Houston?” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said in an interview on the FOX broadcast. “You’re a championship city.”

Houston hit Dodgers starter Yu Darvish hard for the second time this series, leading again to an early exit after 1 2/3 innings — tying Game 3 as the shortest outing of his career.

The damage in Game 7 included a two-run home run by George Springer to make it 5-0 in the top of the second inning. It was Springer’s fifth home run this series, tying him for the most in a single Fall Classic with Reggie Jackson in 1977 and Chase Utley in 2009.

Springer, who was named the Willie Mays World Series MVP, referenced the inspiration of the Astros’ fan base following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

“That patch on our chest truly does mean a lot to us,” Springer said. “I’m so happy for all of our fans, who have endured a lot. We’re coming home champions.”

Perhaps it was destiny. In 2014, Sports Illustrated released a story with Springer on the cover of the magazine, predicting the Astros would be 2017 World Series champs.

This arguably has been one of the most entertaining World Series in history. It was the first Fall Classic since 1970 between two teams with at least 100 wins during the regular season, as Los Angeles won 104 games and Houston won 101.

These seven games were full of power — Houston and Los Angeles set the record for most home runs in a single World Series — and dramatic comebacks. Game 5 was the craziest of all, ending with a 13-12 Astros walk-off win in the 10th inning.

The Astros ended the third-longest current MLB championship drought; the Cleveland Indians (69 years) and the Texas Rangers (57 years) continue to wait.

The Dodgers last won the Fall Classic in 1988 and were aiming for a seventh championship.