Tropicana Field hosts Astros in wake of Hurricane Harvey, ticket sales donated to relief efforts

Astros play Rangers in three-game 'home' series
Posted at 11:23 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 23:23:11-04

As the city of Houston deals with the catastrophic impacts of Harvey, the Astros found a new home in Tampa Bay.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd be playing at the Trop for a home game," said Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel.

Astros fans filled the Trop hoping that America's past time would provide a welcome distraction. But for most, their thoughts were more than 1,000 miles away in flood-ravaged Houston.

"Our heart is breaking, we can not go home, the airports are closed, we felt very helpless," said Jennifer Oakley. America's past time was a welcome distraction for players and fans Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. 

"Everyone's got heavy hearts but baseball's still got to be played," said Astros pitcher Joe Musgrove.

Tuesday night's game opened with a moment of silence for the victims in Houston.

Tropicana Field transformed into a substitute home field. The jumbo screen featured Astros team videos from Minute Maid Park.

"We figured tonight would be the most emotional night for the Astros because their families are back home and they're here playing ball," said fan Diane Rodriguez.

Astros pitcher Charlie Morton is from Bradenton, but tells ABC Action News that this is not a happy homecoming.

"Just seeing everybody back in Houston struggling, it's heartbreaking. You can't do anything about it."

"That's one of the worst parts about it is nobody can help, nobody knows what's going on inside the city," said Keuchel. 

All ticket, concessions and parking sales from this three-game series are being donated to to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Attendance for Tuesday's game was 3,485.

According to the Rays, this is only the fourth time in MLB history that weather has forced a team to relocate.

Astros players and fans expressed their appreciation Tuesday night for Tampa Bay's willingness to host this week's series against the Texas Rangers.

"An amazing act of kindness to step in and really help a team, a city that's hurting," said Oakley.