'Pure joy': Astros' World Series doc premieres

November 22nd, 2017

HOUSTON -- November remains one of the busiest months of the year for Jeff Luhnow, but even the always-active Astros general manager was willing to make time in his schedule for a premiere of the 2017 World Series documentary.

Luhnow attended an event for the 90-minute showing with Houston manager A.J. Hinch, Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and numerous other club staffers. Produced by Major League Baseball, the documentary showcases the franchise's first World Series title through highlights and exclusive access and interviews.

"It still hasn't really sunk in," Luhnow said on the "orange carpet" outside the Cullen Performance Hall on the University of Houston campus, with the Commissioner's Trophy posed neatly behind him.

"Every day I wake up and think, did we really just do that? There will be time to reflect down the road, but we're a little busy right now. But I'm really proud of the entire organization and the effort and the accomplishment here."

November is often active for Luhnow, who had signed outfielder and pitcher Charlie Morton and traded for catcher by Thanksgiving a year ago. 

"I'm already working on next year," Luhnow said. "It's been a while since a team has defended a title, so that's our goal."

While Luhnow's activity level may be ramping up with the onset of free agency and other potential offseason moves, Hinch continues to wind down after managing the Astros to their first title.

"For me personally, I get to see the World Series through the eyes of a lot of different people," Hinch said. "I think when I was in the middle of it, I probably missed a lot, to be honest. I want to see the pure joy of what the players experienced, coaches, the front office, what everybody experienced."

Both Hinch and Luhnow took particular pleasure in getting to attend the premiere showing with hundreds of diehard fans.

"In this game, we get locked into what we're doing," Hinch explained. "Now we get to feel what the city feels, and there's a lot of pride with that. I think every manager stands up and says our goal is to win the World Series. But then when you do it and you see the city's response and the fans' response, it's pretty overwhelming. It's so fun to deliver for a city that was overdue to have this feeling."

"I knew there are a lot of sports fans in Houston and I knew when the day came that people would respond, but it's beyond what I expected," added Luhnow. "Everywhere I go, people are talking about it. We're a couple weeks past it now, and we're in the middle of football season now, and people are still talking about what an exciting baseball season it was."

Speaking on stage before the documentary, Luhnow reminded the audience that when the Astros went 51-111 in 2013, he got a custom license plate with the number 111 on it to remind himself of the losses.

"That was the low point," Luhnow said to the crowd. "You know how many games we won this year? 112, baby! My license plate is going to be changing soon."

Fans responded with cheers and a standing ovation, just as they did countless times throughout the evening. For Luhnow, the offseason was on hold for at least a couple hours.

"We're a little busy," he said, referring to the team's offseason. "But it's nice to be able to sit here and talk about what happened and be able to relive it for at least 90 minutes."