LOS ANGELES -- Commissioner Rob Manfred was glowing in the aftermath of the World Series on Wednesday night, confident the future of the sport was bright on the heels of a seven-game set that is already being viewed as one of the best in Fall Classic history.
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After presenting the Commissioner's Trophy to the Astros and the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player Award to their center fielder, George Springer, following Houston's 5-1 win over the Dodgers, Manfred was all smiles when asked about the Series he had just witnessed.
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"We couldn't have asked for two better teams or seven better games than we had during this World Series," Manfred said. "I think it's a demonstration of the strength of our sport, and I couldn't be prouder of both teams."
The Astros clinched their first World Series championship since their debut in 1962, and Springer's two-run home run gave Houston a 5-0 lead in the second inning, leading the charge for a team that had been playing with some extra emotion since Hurricane Harvey devastated its city in late-August.
"It's a historic event for Houston," Manfred said. "I think it's a great thing that it happened in a year when Houston suffered so much, and this team was such a big part of picking this city up."
Springer's MVP performance was just one of the many that helped guide the Astros to their first championship. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman were big-time performers throughout the postseason, part of a young homegrown core that figures to have Houston in the title mix for quite some time.
"Our young players are carrying our game right now, and Houston is a great example of that," Manfred said. "It helps us attract young people to the game. It's really important for the future of the sport."
The Dodgers hadn't been to the World Series since 1988, and although Los Angeles was unable to complete its comeback from a 3-2 Series deficit, Dave Roberts' club -- which won a Majors-best 104 games in the regular season -- forced a Game 7 and created an electricity at Chavez Ravine for the final two games of an incredible postseason.
"The atmosphere in L.A. was unbelievable," Manfred said. "The Dodgers are a great, great club. They played wonderfully all year long, and I know they'll be back."
Although the Astros took charge of Game 7, this World Series will long be remembered for two of the most dramatic games played in Fall Classic history: Houston's 11-inning, 7-6 victory at Dodger Stadium in Game 2, and its 13-12 win in 10 innings at Minute Maid Park in Game 5. After seven games, the two 100-win teams had each scored 34 runs, a sign of how evenly matched they had been.
"The ends of the games, particularly Games 2 and 5, were absolutely unbelievable," Manfred said. "Some of the best in the history of the World Series."