When the Houston Astros visit Yankee Stadium on Star Wars Day, the quote of the day can only be "Let the hate flow through you."
From batting practice into the actual game, the Astros encountered vocal boos, heckles and everything else you could expect from Yankees fans getting their first crack at a team whose cheating came to light in late 2019.
Only five players from the 2017 Astros team that won a now-stained World Series remain on the team's active roster, and it was that group that bore the brunt of the jeers. It started in batting practice, when Yankees fans got in the ears of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa.
The booing may have reached its peak when Altuve, who won 2017 AL MVP honors over Yankees star Aaron Judge, went to the plate to open the game:
The chants were predictably NSFW.
In addition to good-old-fashioned profanity, other chants included "He's a racist" for Yuli Gurriel, who infamously made a racist gesture during the 2017 World Series, and "We don't know you" for Kyle Tucker, who wasn't an Astros regular until last season.
The crowd got briefly quiet at one point in the first inning, when Alex Bregman hit a solo homer to take a 1-0 lead.
It didn't take long for Giancarlo Stanton to respond.
That homer was part of a three-run first inning for the Yankees, with the team's first five batters all reaching base against Astros starter Zack Greinke.
An entertaining game would subsequently play out, with the Astros tying the game in the fourth inning before the Yankees taking back the lead with a four-run sixth to win 7-3.
Here are some more sights, many of them trash cans, from the Yankee Stadium stands:
After the game, Astros manager Dusty Baker said he was just happy there wasn't any violence, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle:
"At least there wasn’t any violence. They can say whatever they want. It sounded like a packed house tonight even though it wasn’t. We kind of expected that reception.”
This reception has been well more than a year in the making. Yankee fans have undoubtedly been anticipating their first game against the Astros ever since it was reported the Astros used an illegal camera and trash can to relay signs on their way to the 2017 World Series, defeating the Yankees in the ALCS along the way.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed those plans, however.
The Astros ended up only playing teams in the AL West and NL West in 2020, and only in empty stadiums with no fans to boo or heckle them. Even Tuesday's game wasn't quite what Yankee fans were likely hoping, as the stadium remains at 20% capacity due to COVID-19 protocols.
Before this series, multiple other fanbases had given the Astros a hostile reception, including the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics. The loudest jeers may come later this month, though, when the Astros visit the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 25.
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