With Monday night's 9-0 win, East Texas has a native to cheer for in the World Series. Former Hudson Hornet Brandon Belt has been on a long baseball journey and has now reached the biggest game of all. In just his second season in Major League Baseball Belt will make his first World Series appearance.
Belt has been on a wild ride with the game of baseball, but says all the winning lately has made the struggle worth it.
"You dream about it growing up and when it finally gets here it is kind of surreal," said Belt on the phone from San Francisco. "You just can't wrap your mind around it because you have to put a lot of emotion and a lot of work into one moment. So when you finally get there, it's just a lot of excitement and you can't contain it."
For his loyal fans who have seen him grow up on East Texas baseball fields, Monday night's win was fun to watch.
"Every night one of my favorite things to do is to come home and watch his games late at night," said Hudson Hornet's head coach Glen Kimble. "But last night was really great. Hitting a home run in that situation is something special and we are all just really happy for him."
One Geometry teacher at Hudson High School probably didn't do much teaching on Tuesday. Darrell Belt was one proud papa after watching his son help his team move on.
"It has been great, it has been fun watching it all and seeing everyone around here so excited," said Mr. Belt. "It is a pretty proud moment anytime your son hits a homerun, but to hit one in the NLCS, it topped off the whole series."
Although Brandon is close to 2000 miles away in San Francisco, there is still tons of support right here in East Texas. That support, Belt admits, is something that fuels his career.
"That support means the world to me, but I don't think the people back home realize that sometimes," said Belt. "Honestly one of the biggest reasons I want to do well out here is because I want to do well for my hometown and for East Texas. Because they have been so great to me my entire life."
Although they are only watching from home, his fans in Hudson admit watching Belt play makes them feel like a part of the team.
"It is just special for us to be able to be a part of it and we feel like we are a part of it even though we aren't out there," said Kimble. "But we are rooting for him here just like we were at the game. It is just really special for the coaches, the players and the people of Hudson."
Kimble said plenty voice their pride over Belt's success to him during the games.
"My phone rings off the hook and I get texts all night when he is playing," said Kimble. "And not just from Hudson people, we are talking Lufkin, Huntington just all around. And it is because he is from East Texas and he something everybody is proud of."
Belt and the Giants begin the World Series against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, when they will face Justin Verlander on the mound.