HOUSTON — Sports rivalries can get nasty but also develop great bonds.
Two complete strangers and rival Astros and Phillies fans banded together, racing across the country to make the World Series Game 1 – just in the nick of time.
An Astros fan and a Phillies fan who’d never met were at the Milwaukee airport booked on the same flights to Dallas and then Houston ahead of Game 1 of the World Series. But then came three weather delays.
Houstonian and traveling nurse Amanda Cabrera was at the ticket counter.
“Is there another flight I can get onto to get to Houston? I really need to get Houston,” the desperate Astros fan said.
The delays meant arriving in Dallas too late for a Houston connection that arrived ahead of 1st pitch.
Behind her at the airport counter? Diehard Phillies fan Todd Aulgur.
Todd, who grew up in Philadelphia joked, “I heard her trying to beg, borrow plead, steal a way to Houston.”
He figured she too had World Series tickets and said, “I’ve got a car waiting in Dallas. If you're interested, we can ride together.”
“I sat there and thought about this for like three seconds and said ‘OK. Let’s do it,’” Amanda responded.
She felt safe since the airline had all of Todd's personal information and she liked what she learned about him. They headed to the airport bar, had a beer and swapped stories. Todd talked about his family, showing pictures of his wife and 10-month-old daughter.
So, the rival fans and newly made friends flew to Dallas, jumped into Todd’s rental car and drove six and a half hours in bad weather to arrive at their seats just ahead of the National Anthem.
Each met up with their pals, texted each other a picture toasting that they’d made it to their seats…and then Todd made the big screen.
On the day of Game 2, Todd was supposed to be the best man at a friend’s wedding but instead returned to Minute Maid. His buddy, the bridegroom had seen the viral posts and told Todd, “If you're not at Game 2 the city of Philly is gonna hate you.”
So why did Todd offer a complete stranger and rival a lift?
“Actually I lost my dad at end of August. My dad was a diehard Phillies fan and we set some money aside just in case they made the world series. No one expected them too," Todd said.
He added that the gesture was, “In memory of him. Not only am I getting to go to the World Series, but I can help somebody else too, help them get there too.”
Well played by the city of brotherly love.