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Uncertainty to Glory

Posted 11/18/2022 by Merry Shukert

Mancini and the Astros celebrate winning the World Series as they hold the Commissioner's Trophy over their heads. photo by Annie Mulligan

After a difficult journey, Astros player Trey Mancini came back to make one of the game winning plays in the World Series.

For just the second time in history, the Houston Astros have destroyed their competition and won the World Series. On November 5th, 2022, Houston came out victorious against the Philadelphia Phillies with a score of 4-1 in the final game of the series. Fortunately for Houston, they did so in front of over a million loyal fans and supporters at their beloved Minute Maid Park. The win was especially meaningful for Astros first baseman and outfielder Trey Mancini, who had a bumpy journey on the way to the championship, to say the least.  

When Mancini was still playing for the Orioles in 2020, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, which came excruciatingly close to destroying his entire baseball career. The diagnosis caused immense anxiety not only for Mancini and his family, but also for every one of the Orioles fans. “There were times early on when I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be playing baseball again,” Mancini said in an article. After receiving treatment for almost a year, the Orioles star was finally able to get back on a steady path to becoming a player again. In 2021, Mancini was awarded the Comeback Player of the Year award, and later got traded mid-season to the Houston Astros. Even today, Mancini continues to inspire people with the adversity that he has had to overcome. 

Many TJ students paid close attention to the World Series, watching it daily. Junior Curtis Redfearn did not have high hopes for the Astros in this year’s series. Redfearn explained that he “thought they would have lost to the Yankees” in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), and wouldn’t even make it to the World Series. However, the Yankees were swept in the ALCS – losing the series 4-0 – and just like that, Houston had made it to the championship. As soon as the two teams were decided for the World Series, Redfearn “hopped on the Phillies bandwagon.” While disappointed when Philadelphia did not win, Redfearn was happy for the Astros players and their successful season.

Like Redfearn, junior Colin Walsh also became a Phillies fan when the series began. However, he had no doubt that the Astros were the more skilled team, and, although he may not have liked to admit it, he still expected the Astros to win. While he didn’t know as much about Mancini and his journey with cancer, Walsh felt strongly about his return to the game, explaining that he also thought it was one of the best comeback stories in sports. 

Although it was definitely a championship well deserved for Mancini, many angry Phillies fans argued that other Astros players had cheated their way to the championship and did not deserve the trophy. Despite these opinions, Walsh didn’t agree with the suspicion that the Astros cheated their way into becoming World Series champs this year. He then explained a popular conspiracy theory that they may have done so in order to win the 2017 World Series. Redfearn also commented that “[they didn’t cheat] this year. Ask me about [2017] though.”

Regardless of the varied opinions of fans, Mancini and the Astros have done a phenomenal job this season and were finally able to bring home the World Series trophy. Weeks later, the team continues to bask in their glory and celebrate their well-earned victories, getting to do so alongside their loyal fans and supporters.