A little bit of Houston came to Tampa Bay this week.
Hurricane Harvey forced the Houston Astros to play their three-game series against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field.
Thousands of fans packed the Trop to support their team, share their stories and show their support for friends and family a thousand miles away.
“I miss you Houston. I hope you guys are safe!” said Jake Gojekian, who hasn’t been able to get back to Houston due to canceled flights.
Seeing his beloved Astros play at the Trop was bittersweet baseball.
“It's been tough not to get home,” said Gojekian, excited to see the game. “It's been very tough.”
Inside the Trop, there wasn't a shortage of Lone Star love. There were shirts, hats, and plenty of signs showing Texas pride and sympathy for those still suffering.
“Here I am, having a good time, going here trying to kill time to make the best of a bad situation,” said Astros fan Alex Monsalve.
Monsalve, from the Houston area, was in Florida for business. And although it was only supposed to be a few days, he happened to pack his Astros jersey. He never imagined he'd be wearing it to an actual game.
“Yeah, it worked out, but it kind of stinks because of what's going on,” he said.
Fans and players say the game is definitely an escape. A distraction from all the destruction.
But it's not so easy to enjoy, knowing so many are still suffering.
Thomas Barrientos's relatives have been packed into a trailer home in Alvin, Texas just south of Houston.
“And the moment I had this opportunity I took two days off of work to come show Houston some support,” said Barrientos.
Even players say they feel like they feel like they could be doing more.
“You know, we are really grateful for Tampa Bay opening of the ballpark for us and giving us kind of a home when we didn't have one,” said Astros Pitcher Joe Musgrove.
And to those fans and players who wish they could do more for friends and family back home, they ar e- just by attending the game.
All of the revenue from this week’s three-game series, including the $10 ticket sales, concessions, and even the parking fees, will be donated to Hurricane Harvey relief.
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