The Houston Astros were baseball's public enemy No. 1 in 2020, with players and fans of opposing teams coming together all season as a 29-team conglomerate of dislike.
While the Astros came up short in their desire to silence the haters, shortstop Carlos Correa said he's proud of the effort they put together.
"I'm just f--king proud of this team, man," Correa told reporters after the Astros' ALCS loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. "It's been an unbelievable ride. I've never had more fun playing baseball than I did this year with this group of guys."
The Astros navigated a difficult 29-31 regular season to sneak into the playoffs and dominate their way through the first two rounds before coming up against a game Rays squad.
When Tampa Bay raced out to a 3-0 series lead, many thought this was finally the time the Astros would receive their comeuppance. But Houston battled back to win three straight games and make the baseball collective sweat it out before the Rays earned a 4-2 win in Saturday's deciding game.
"You want to go to the World Series, but at the same time, this group of guys are so special, the way we battled back from adversity," Correa told reporters. "I'm going home remembering this team forever. I'm very proud of what we accomplished.
"We did a good job on focusing what we can control, and that was showing up, playing hard and fighting to the end."
Houston faces several questions about its roster composition moving forward, with Josh Reddick, George Springer and Michael Brantley among the team's free agents. There have been rumors players are set to exit the franchise amid the scrutiny, so it will be interesting to see whether the team's playoff run brought them back together.
As it stands, it was an impressive run if it were the last hurrah for this Astros core.