NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 22: Bryan Abreu #52 of the Houston Astros reacts after the final out was recorded in the 5-0 victory against the New York Yankees in game three of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 22, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Houston Astros are back in the World Series, and they can thank Fayetteville for helping them get there.

As the Low A Affiliate of the Astros, the Woodpeckers obviously have some former players that are up playing for the big squad now, but it goes even deeper than that.

In the early 2010s, the Astros were one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball. Fortunes turned around in 2015, when they made the playoffs, but had an early exit.

In 2016 they were back out of the playoffs. But everything changed once Fayetteville came into the picture.

Late in 2016, the Astros announced they would be relocating their High Class A affiliate to Fayetteville, effectively immediately. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a stadium ready for them yet. So the temporary Buies Creek Astros were born.

Buies Creek, home of Campbell University, served as the temporary home for the team, and something in the water must have gone all the way up to the top in Houston.

The Astros finished the 2017 season as the World Series champion, the first in team history. And they haven’t looked back since. In fact, they’ve become a monster team to beat.

In every season since announcing the affiliate here in Fayetteville, the Astros have made the American League Championship Series or the World Series. In basketball terms (since those go over well here), it’s the equivalent of making the Final Four every single year for six straight years.

That streak continued Sunday, when the Astros finished off the New York Yankees with a sweep, and will face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

And what about the individuals you’ve seen out at Segra Stadium (or up at Campbell for the two years there), who have made the climb to the big club? The official World Series rosters haven’t been announced yet, but from the American League Championship Series roster, there were a whopping 10(!!!!) members of the team who played in Fayetteville or Buies Creek!

  • Bryan Abreu – 2019 (Fayetteville)
  • Luis Garcia – 2019 (Fayetteville)
  • Christian Javier – 2017-18 (Buies Creek), 2019 (Fayetteville)
  • Jose Urquidy – 2018 (Buies Creek)
  • Framber Valdez – 2017 (Buies Creek)
  • Jeremy Pena – 2019 (Fayetteville)
  • David Hensley – 2019 (Fayetteville)
  • Chas McCormick – 2017-18 (Buies Creek)
  • Kyle Tucker – 2017 (Buies Creek)
  • Yordan Alvarez – 2017 (Buies Creek)

So, congratulations to the Houston Astros on another trip to the World Series. But don’t forget, all of this started once you put Fayetteville into the mix.