THE HOUSTON ASTROS TAUGHT US SOMETHING: TOGETHER, WE CAN REBUILD AND BE BETTER FOR IT

I know this isn’t church, but I need to borrow a little something from the church and have everybody do what I say and repeat after me:

Turn to your neighbor and say…Together, We Can Rebuild And Be Better For It!

Now turn to your other neighbor and say it again…Together, We Can Rebuild And Be Better For It!

Okay, before I get to why I asked you to do that and say that, I want to personally give a shout out to our hometown Houston Astros. What they accomplished was so phenomenal, and they deserve our deepest praise and appreciation for bringing home the city’s very first World Series in the franchise’s history. Wow…think about that for a minute!

See…I know some of y’all are too young to probably remember when the Astrodome was built and when the Astros franchise was established as the Houston Colt .45s back in 1962, but it took them 55 years to accomplish something that they wished to accomplish when they started…win a championship. They came close many times, but it took them 55 years to finally do it.

Talk about perseverance…disappointment…heartbreak…to want to win something as prestigious as a championship, but falling short year after year. It kinda reminds you a little bit like life doesn’t it? Anyway, it’s cool to celebrate the 2017 success of the Houston Astros, but there’s a back story about this franchise that I believe we all need to know and should never forget.

Back in the 2011 season, I bet you didn’t know that the Astros finished the regular season having lost over 100 games – 106 to be exact. Then the team came back the next year in 2012, and said, we can top that, and managed to lose 107 games. Then the team came back the following year in 2013, and said, we can get even worse, and managed to lose 111 games.

Horrible right? Can you imagine how frustrating that was?

Something else many of you may not know is that the only player who is still on the 2017 World Series team for the Astros that has had to endure EVERY one of those losing seasons before they won the championship was Jose Altuve – who very well may be the MVP this year.

Now if anybody experienced frustration, disappointment and heartbreak, it would’ve been Altuve, who had been losing horribly since his rookie season. But ownership told him…look…we are in the rebuilding process and that rebuilding starts with you. Trust the process!

In 2012, the Astros added Marwin Gonzales and Dallas Kuechel to the roster, and proceeded to finish dead last again in all of Major League Baseball. But ownership told the players…look…we are rebuilding, and that rebuilding involves you. Trust the process!

In 2013, the Astros got new ownership, and moved from the National League to the American League, and proceeded to finish dead last again in all of Major League Baseball. But the new ownership told the guys…look…we are rebuilding, and we can’t do it without you. Trust the process!

Now be honest, how many of y’all would’ve been like I’m tired of trusting this process? LOL.

But lo and behold, in 2014, the Astros drafted George Springer #1 overall and added others to the roster, which led them to improve and not finish dead last that year. They only lost 92 games. Then in 2015, they added Carlos Correa and others and finished second in their division and were 10 games over .500 with a winning record. Then in 2016, they added Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel and others and finished with a winning record and got better as a team. And then in 2017…they added Brian McCann, Josh Reddick, veteran player Carlos Beltran, Cy Young pitcher Justin Verlander and others and won over 100 games – 101 to be exact, and won the World Series. Wow!

Now look…I’m not a traveling snake oil salesman. But I truly believe this World Series win by the Astros, in light of all we have gone through in regards to Hurricane Harvey and what we are experiencing in this country, is meaningful, beneficial and timely for us to have witnessed this, because it speaks to our need to do what we have to do to make a commitment, in spite of what things look like right now, to rebuild our communities.

In order to rebuild in times like these, we must:

  • Be patient, while working on improving ourselves
  • Stand up for what we believe in and never waver
  • Evaluate our lives and our hearts
  • Value our family and friends
  • Do our best to give more than we take
  • Give people their roses while they can still smell them
  • Never allow tragedy and trials to overshadow our victories and triumph
  • Keep your word and be better men and women than we were yesterday
  • Trust the process and believe in one another

In order for us to rebuild our communities, we are going to need the right remnant of people to get the job done, the right tools to work with, and the right weapons to fight with.

You can be a superstar all by yourself, but you won’t be an MVP or a true champion until you have the right players on the team playing with you. If we expect our communities to grow, become larger and more advanced as we create something significant and impactful over a period of time, we must desire “development” more than anything else.

You need to know that your ingenuity, creativity, talent and skills can only take you so far; however, it will be your courage and perseverance, coupled with your unrelenting faith that will sustain you. If we want to win, we have to be patient, we must persevere and we must work on improving ourselves individually and making a contribution that helps the team.

So if you’re truly down with helping rebuild our communities, in the same way the Astros worked together to rebuild their team to win a championship, I need everybody to do what I say and repeat after me one more time:

Turn to your neighbor and say…Together, We Can Rebuild And Be Better For It!

Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey has been a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield. Jeffrey has a national daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney, and is a dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at jboney1@forwardtimes.com