HOUSTON -- A new season awaits the Astros, but they are not quite ready to turn the page on their 2017 championship run. As they dedicate '18 to working toward a repeat performance, they are also undertaking a second hefty task -- giving as many Astros fans statewide a chance to see the World Series trophy up close.
On Monday at City Hall, Astros owner Jim Crane and president Reid Ryan, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Ken Murphy, president and CEO of sponsor Mattress Firm, announced the launch of the Astros Championship Trophy Tour, which will make more than 100 stops this year throughout Texas and surrounding areas.
Fans will be invited to take photos with the Commissioner's Trophy at various locations, with the first public stop slated for Mattress Firm in Meyerland on Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. CT at 8705 West Loop.
"I've been touched by the fans and the city," Crane said. "They all were so excited and everybody has great stories. Everyone comes up to us and says what a great job we did. But we're not done. We want to keep going and keep working hard."
The Trophy Tour will progress to Academy Sports + Outdoors at 5400 Brodie Lane in Sunset Valley, Texas, on Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. On Thursday, the trophy will be at the Academy Sports + Outdoors at 7523 N.W. Loop 410 in San Antonio from 5-6 p.m., and on Saturday, the trophy will make an appearance at Sam Houston Race Park at 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West from 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Mayor Turner commended the Astros for capturing the club's first World Series title in history while giving Astros fans a welcomed diversion from the devastation that plagued the city in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The World Series title arrived approximately two months after the storms ravaged Houston.
"A line in a movie states, 'There's no crying in baseball,'" Turner said. "But I do disagree. Every emotion exists in baseball. What an incredible moment.
"This team brought home this magnificent and coveted trophy, representing not only the highest level of baseball in the world, but our ability to overcome the challenges that are put in front of us. We are Houston strong. This team literally carried the city of Houston."
The Commissioner's Trophy will reside at Minute Maid Park for all home games in 2018, in addition to FanFest at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Ryan said. But when the team hits the road, so will the trophy.
"When we're not playing at home, we want the trophy somewhere across the Astros region -- Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma," Ryan said. "Wherever somebody wants to see it, we want to be able to take it to them."
More appearances will be announced as they become available. Fans are encouraged to check astros.com/trophytour for updated listings.