AUSTIN (KXAN) — This could be the year: The Houston Astros are just four wins away from their first World Series title in franchise history.
The team has been in this position just once before, in 2005, then as a member of the National League. Now representing the American League against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Astros head into game one of the series Tuesday night to try to capture a long-awaited victory.
Mary Priddy will be watching through her fingers. She went to game three of the last Astros World Series appearance, one of four consecutive losses the team suffered to ultimately lose the series to the Chicago White Sox. Like any super fan, the City of Austin employee hopes this time will be different.
“My father took me to my first game when I was 7 years old,” Priddy said, showing KXAN all the Astros memorabilia and merchandise she keeps in her office. “And I still remember that feeling walking out at the Astrodome.”
She was young, and so was her new team. “They were born the same year I was,” she said, pointing to a banner she keeps on her wall with the team’s founding year — 1962 — listed above every iteration of the team’s logo since that year.
Priddy has been to dozens of games a season since then.
“I’ve missed three opening days since 1978,” she said. That was the year she got her driver’s license and didn’t have to rely on anyone else to get her to the ballpark.
Through the years Priddy and her wife have taken a lot of photos at the park, posing with friends they’ve made through a mutual love for the team, wearing fake beards to support starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (scheduled to pitch game one of the World Series), and celebrating the team clinching its division this year.
They’ve been there through the wins and through the losses. “Spent a lot of time, you know, going like that,” she said, covering her eyes with her hands, “praying to whatever deity we could find.”
There’s a reason she’s kept watching all these years, after a number of disappointing seasons and a team logo in the 1990s — longtime Astros fans know the one — that she couldn’t stand.
“My dad was in the military,” she said, “so we moved around all the time, and this was a constant in my life. I could always follow my Astros wherever I went.”
For nearly five decades, she has kept following; after 55 years without a championship to their name, she said, this year Houston’s earned it.
“You know, it’s something for them to cheer for,” she said. “They’ve been through a really tough time.”
Priddy will be cheering along with them. She’ll have a chance to be at the park for part of the World Series, but she hasn’t decided whether she’ll actually go.
“It’s tough to sit there in the stands like this,” she said, covering her eyes again.
Share your photos and memories as you prepare for Game 1 at http://kxan.com/report-it/, and watch KXAN News Tuesday morning for a chance to see your submissions on the air.