HOUSTON - The Houston Astros returned to the ballpark to meet the fans lucky enough to score a free voucher to sold-out experience on Saturday.
An estimated 40,000 people packed Minute Maid Park for an opportunity of a lifetime, just a couple of months after the team's first-ever World Series win.
In spite of 40-degree temperatures, the heart of an Astros fan proved strong enough to sustain the chilly weather.
"Because we’re going to the fan fest for the Astros," said 8-year-old Kendall Crownover. The third-grader and her 11-year-old sister stood with their father in a line that wrapped around several downtown streets.
"Very cold," said Crownover, as she danced in an effort to stay warm.
When asked about the line of people waiting to meet the Houston Astros, her father Scott Crownover said, "They’ve brought families together. They brought the city together. It’s been fantastic this year."
People brought jerseys, caps, newspapers and baseballs in hopes of getting them signed by their favorite baseball players. Inside Minute Maid, local restaurants offered fans a chance to win everything from toys to coupons for meals to tickets for upcoming Astros games.
Some fans had the opportunity to run the bases or play catch with their family in the outfield.
"This is awesome. What a great field. What a great place," said Daniel Drake as he and his son tossed a ball back and forth. "It’s a good experience to come down here where the players are at."
Drake says he's been a fan of the Astros ever since he moved to Houston in the 1970's. His son Caleb has been a fan for the last nine years.
"And so for him to throw out here where George Springer plays, is a real special thing for him," said Drake. "Chance of a lifetime."
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