Astros fans line up at Academy to buy World Series gear

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Now that the Houston Astros has earned and made history, t-shirts and baseball caps emblazoned with the team as the 2017 World Series champs are ready for the public to buy.

Austin-area fans lined up outside Academy Sports and Outdoors stores around the city early Thursday morning to get their gear. At the north Austin store off of Interstate 35, a line stretched into the parking when employees opened the doors at 6 a.m., two hours before their normal opening time.

David Perez, who’s from Houston, got to the store at about 5:15 a.m. to be the first in line after staying up into the early morning hours watching interviews and post-game celebrations. “I shed some tears,” he said of the victory. “I’m not going to lie, I shed tears.”

“I’ve been an Astros fan since I was a little kid, growing up with my family and my brothers, and, man, it’s extremely awesome to see my city win a championship finally after so long,” he said. “I’m so happy for my city.”

The Academy store hit a snag, though, when their cash registers wouldn’t work; instead, employees went down the line taking people’s orders and putting together reservation bags for them to pick up later in the day.

That didn’t bother Debbie Wainwright. She also waited in line Thursday morning and reserved the last two championship ball caps the store had in stock, as well as other gear. “I wanted to make sure that we had our championship Astros shirts,” she said, “and wanted to be the first to wear them.”

Wainwright lived in Houston for 15 years before moving to Austin and had Astros season tickets. She said she saw the city come together as one to support the team after going through so much hardship in recent months due to Hurricane Harvey.

“Houston has worked really hard for this,” she said. “They really deserve this championship. It’s been a long time coming.”

Another Academy store in northwest Austin was running out of the championship gear about an hour after opening; they were out of hats and only had a few sizes of shirts left. A store employee said they expected to get another shipment Thursday afternoon.

By mid-day, all of the Academy stores in Austin were sold out of gear. A spokesperson for the company says some stores might receive new stock late Thursday or Friday morning.

Academy says the boxes of Astros championship gear arrived at their stores earlier this week.

All 31 Houston-area Academy stores reopened immediately after the game and stayed open throughout the night so fans can get their ‘Stros gear fresh for work Thursday morning. In Austin, stores opened at 6 a.m. Thursday.

Championship items include:

  • Astros World Series Championship Locker Room Men’s Tee
  • Astros World Series Championship Locker Room Women’s Tee
  • Astros World Series Championship Locker Room Youth Tee
  • Astros World Series Championship Hats

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