For decades, Houston fans longed for the moment they'd see their beloved Astros win a World Series title. They experienced heartbreak, pain and loss for years.
That is, until Nov. 1, 2017.
On that day, the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 of the World Series. It was classic. Memorable. Historic.
It was earned.
Four years earlier, the Astros finished the season 51-111. The next year, in 2014, Sports Illustrated predicted they would be 2017 World Series Champions.
To non-Astros fans, the team was a joke. Almost no one believed Houston could go from a 100-plus-loss season to world champions. Then came the 2017 postseason.
With five wins against the Boston Red Sox for the American League Division Series title and seven against the New York Yankees for the American League Championship, Houston advanced to the World Series. It's a road to the championship that included a 101-61 regular season record, a trade for star pitcher Justin Verlander and an offense that put up record numbers for the franchise.
The World Series itself became an all-time classic full of drama, surprises and a Game 7 baseball fans everywhere deserved.
Here's a look at how the Houston Astros won the World Series.
Astros prepare for World Series Game 1
The day before the World Series was unusually hot for Los Angeles. But that didn't faze the groundskeeping crew, who was putting finishing touches on the World Series logos along the first- and third-base lines.
The triple-digit temperatures also didn't faze the Astros, who had prepared all season for this moment. There were no signs of nervousness among the players in their interactions with the media and as they took batting practice that evening.
World Series Game 1
LIVE BLOG: Astros fall to Dodgers in Game 1
That relaxed Astros team showed up before Game 1 of the World Series. They seemed prepared to face baseball's best pitcher in Clayton Kershaw.
The first game was a huge test for Houston. The team struggled against Kershaw, who held Houston to three hits in the Astros' 3-1 loss.
Third baseman Alex Bregman accounted for Houston's only score: a solo home run in the fourth inning off of Kershaw. Chris Taylor's home run off of Dallas Keuchel in the first inning and Justin Turner's 2-run homer in the sixth off of Keuchel secured the first victory for the Dodgers.
As surprising as the triple-digit temperatures for Los Angeles was the length of the game. At just 2 hours and 28 minutes, Game 1 set a record for the fastest World Series game played since 1992.
World Series Game 2
LIVE BLOG: Astros get historic 1st win in extra innings
Any worries the Astros had after their Game 1 loss certainly didn't show in a wild Game 2.
After trailing 3-1 going into the eighth inning, Houston stunned Los Angeles 7-6 in an 11-inning instant classic.
Those quiet bats the Astros had in Game 1 woke up in the second game, thanks to Carlos Correa’s RBI single in the eighth and Marwin Gonzalez’s solo home run off of Kenley Jansen in the ninth to force extra innings. Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa hit back-to-back home runs off of Josh Fields in the 10th to take the lead, but the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig's home run off of Ken Giles and Kike Hernandez's RBI single tied the game at 5 in the bottom of the 10th.
It was George Springer's two-run homer off of Brandon McCarthy in the top of the 11th that sealed the Astros' victory -- their first World Series win in franchise history.
World Series Game 3
LIVE BLOG: Astros win 5-3, take 2-1 series lead
In their first home game of the series at Minute Maid Park, the Astros gave their fans a 5-3 victory over the Dodgers behind a solid five innings from Lance McCullers and four runs in the second inning from the offense.
However, the future for the Astros' Yulieski Gurriel was in question after he made a slant-eye gesture and seemed to say “chinito,’’ meaning “little Chinese guy,’’ in Spanish to Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. The gesture later resulted in a five-game suspension to be enforced next season.
Darvish was pulled after the four-run second inning, marking the shortest outing of his MLB career. Houston scored once more in the fifth inning to seal the Astros' first World Series win at home.
World Series Game 4
LIVE BLOG: Astros struggle in 9th, fall to Dodgers
After Game 3, Astros fans were optimistic the team could win the series at home. But a 6-2 loss to tie the series at 2 spoiled that plan.
Despite outstanding pitching from both sides -- the Astros' Charlie Morton, who pitched six shutout innings, and the Dodgers' Alex Wood, who tossed a no-hitter through five -- the Astros' bullpen proved to be the weakness in Game 4.
Springer started the Astros off strong with a solo home run off of Wood in the bottom of the sixth, but an RBI single in the seventh and five runs off of three hits in the ninth -- all off of Will Harris, Ken Giles and Joe Musgrove -- set Los Angeles up for the win.
World Series Game 5
LIVE BLOG: Astros defeat Dodgers in 10 innings, 13-12
Astros fans may have been disappointed after Game 4, but suffice to say Houston's wild Game 5 win -- one of the best in World Series history -- made up for any ounce of disappointment.
The Dodgers got off to a 4-0 start by the fourth inning. That is, until Correa's RBI single and Gurriel's three-run homer off of Kershaw in the fourth tied the game at 4.
The Dodgers' Cody Bellinger answered with his own three-run homer off of Collin McHugh in the fifth to put Los Angeles up 7-4.
Leave it to World Series MVP Springer's home run off of Brandon Morrow to tie the game at 8 in the seventh, followed by Altuve's RBI double and Correa's two-run homer off of Morrow to put Houston up 11-8 heading into the eighth.
The back-and-forth continued in the eighth. A Dodgers' RBI double, then Brian McCann's solo home run off of Tony Cingrani extended Houston's lead to 12-9.
All Houston needed was three more outs to take the series lead. But Puig's two-run homer off of Chris Devenski and Chris Taylor's RBI single in the ninth tied the game.
The hero of Game 5? Bregman, whose walk-off erupted Minute Maid Park. A 13-12 victory and one of the longest games in World Series history made for a memorable, epic moment.
World Series Game 6
Dodgers fans would not let anyone forget Gurriel's slant-eyed gesture toward Darvish in Game 3. In Game 6, Gurriel was met with boos in his first at-bat in the second inning. It's a gesture that resulted in a five-game suspension to be enforced at the beginning of next season.
The Astros struck first in Game 6 with a Springer home run off of Rich Hill in the third inning. Verlander pitched well for the Astros, allowing only one hit and no walks with eight strikeouts, but the Dodgers scored two runs in the sixth. Los Angeles capped off the win with Joc Pederson's home run off of Joe Musgrove in the seventh.
The Dodgers' 3-1 win set up the situation in a series that seemed destined to be decided in seven games.
World Series Game 7
LIVE BLOG: Astros win first World Series title!
Game 7 of the World Series may not have been filled with drama like games 2 and 5, but it featured what the Astros had shown all season long: great offense.
Springer's double down the left-field line in the first inning set everything in motion. Cody Bellinger's throwing error scored Springer and put Bregman on second with no outs. After stealing third, Bregman scored on Altuve's groundout to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.
In the second, McCullers' groundout scored McCann from third. Another Springer home run, his fifth of the series, off of Darvish, extended the Astros' lead to 5-0 in the second.
Despite an RBI single in the sixth to put the Dodgers on the board, Los Angeles couldn't come back from the deficit, and the Astros secured their first World Series title in franchise history.
The win garnered reaction from Astros fans, players and even legends like Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.
The Most Valuable Player trophy went to the man who began the series going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in Game 1 to hitting home runs in four consecutive games, becoming the third player in MLB history to hit five homers in a single World Series.
Above all, the win was special for both Astros fans at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and for those at home in Houston -- especially victims hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.
World Series Championship Parade
PARADE BLOG: Houston Astros World Series Championship Parade
Thousands of Astros fans packed downtown Houston on Nov. 3 to celebrate the World Series Champions. It was an exciting day for fans to get a glimpse of their hometown heroes.
Local bands, dance and cheerleading squads, organizations, companies and more took part in the event that Houston officials say drew anywhere from 750,000 to 1 million fans. The players rode through the streets on fire trucks, hoisting the championship trophy for fans to see.
"I just want to thank every single person here," Springer said during the rally at Houston City Hall. "Every person in the city, every person in the state of Texas that believed in our team. And I want to tell you that from the second we stepped foot on that field this year, we've wanted to do something for everybody here. And it's about time we brought something home for the great city of Houston."
Houston Astros World Series MVP George Springer thanked the fans for sticking with the team and believing in them when so many others didn't.
The Astros brought more than something. They brought heart, history and a World Series title in their quest to earn history for Houston and its fans.