Reser: NASA, the Astros, and a dream of the future

From Anna Reser at The Hardball Times on October 23, 2019:

The morning of Thursday, November 2, 2017, dawned warm and humid in Houston, Texas, the air buzzing with victory. The night before, the Houston Astros had shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Seven of the World Series by a commanding score of 5-1. It was the first World Series title for the franchise and their first appearance in the Fall Classic since getting swept by the White Sox in 2005. Still recovering after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, which had caused catastrophic flooding in the city in August and displaced tens of thousands of residents, the Astros victory felt especially deserved in Houston. 

While the team itself was in Los Angeles for the back half of the series, I was in Houston for the first time ever. I had traveled to Texas to work in the NASA archives housed at the University of Houston and visit Johnson Space Center as part of the research for my dissertation on the history of the U.S. space program.

At virtually any other time in my life, it wouldn’t have made any difference to me where I was during the World Series, and I wouldn’t have known or cared who was playing. But while baseball had only recently come into my life when I scheduled my Houston trip, it already had a hold on me. I made a point of being back at my Airbnb each night in time to catch the game, and I imagined the sound of the city coming alive around me as I watched the last out on Wednesday night.

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Originally published: October 25, 2019. Last Updated: October 25, 2019.