What life was like the last time Astros won their division

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Here are the ages of current Astros the last time Houston won a division (KTRK)

There are no doubts that by the time of the final out of the regular season, the Houston Astros will have won the American League West crown.

The Astros were helped by a monster first half of the season that gave them at one point the best record in baseball.

Despite post-All Star break hiccups, Houston will most likely clinch the AL West at more than 10 games up on their closest rival.

This will also be the Astros' first division championship since 2001 when they spent their season slugging it out with perennial rivals, the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.

That was 16 years ago.

Back then, the stadium the Astros played in was named for a company that was involved in one of the biggest corporate scandals in American history.

Back then, there was only one other major professional sports team competing for attention in Houston.

Back then, it was Destiny's Child, and not that group that Beyonce was in.

Sure, the Astros took a whiff of the playoffs and broke through the World Series since that time. Those accomplishments were all from becoming a "wild card" qualifier.

But, the division title carries a lot of bragging rights among rivals, especially against that team in Arlington.

Check out these facts and figures of the last time the Astros won their division, and some things that happened since.

Economics

Let's get this one out of the way. In 2001, the average price of a new house was $136,150. The cost of a gallon of gas was $1.46. (We could use that again.) U.S. Postage stamps cost just $0.34.

And the average median income was $42,350. In terms of baseball salary, we're quite off from the atmospheric 2017 salary of Clayon Kershaw, who is making $33 million.

In 2001, Alex Rodriguez earned an Major League high $25.2 million.

At that time, the famously frugal Astros were valued at an estimated $337 million. In comparison, the Astros now are valued at $1.45 billion, according to Forbes.

There's a lot of money in Minute Maid Park.

Champions

In the space of 16 seasons since the Astros stood atop their division, 11 different World Series champions were crowned.

Two of those champions broke storied title droughts that have defined the "storybooking" of Major League Baseball.

The Boston Red Sox, who have tortured their fans over the Curse of the Bambino, won eight games in a row en route to the 2004 championship. It was their first in 85 years.

Striking enough, Boston won the World Series a total of three times in the 16 years since Houston's last division championship.

The Red Sox drought was rivaled by the Chicago Cubs' 107-year dry run, which found water in the form of last year's intense World Series win.

Of course, the Astros saw their first World Series in 2005 but was swept in four games against the Chicago White Sox, who won their first championship that year in 87 years.

In 2017, could we see the Astros clinch their 2nd ever World Series and perhaps first ever win it?

Prepare to feel old

Here are the ages of some Astros players in the year they last won the division:
  • Jose Altuve, 11

  • Carlos Correa, 7

  • George Springer, 12

  • Dallas Keuchel, 13

  • Alex Bregman, 8

  • Josh Reddick, 14

  • Justin Verlander, 18


The oldest active member of the Astros is Carlos Beltran at 40. The team's elder statesman was in the middle of his 3rd season with his first ball club in 2001 at the ripe age of 24.

This year's Astros team will boast an average age of 28.5 years, which surprisingly is tied for the 10th oldest roster in the Majors.

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