HOUSTON (AP)Gary Pettis was back coaching third base for the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series after missing the entire American League Championship Series because of illness.

Astros manager Dusty Baker said before Friday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies that Pettis was doing very well and had been cleared by the team doctor to return to the field.

”I didn’t think he was going to be, but he wants to be here,” Baker said. ”He did everything that was needed to clear the protocols of health, and so he’s doing great.”

Omar Lopez returned to coaching first base after switching to third to fill in for Pettis. Quality control coach Dan Firova coached first base while Pettis was out.

Pettis has also been the club’s outfield and baserunning instructor since joining the Astros before the 2015 season.

The Astros have not been specific about the nature of the illness that kept Pettis out of the ALCS.

Pettis was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in September 2020 and was away from the team until July 2021 while undergoing treatment for the blood cancer.

NO REPEAT

While the Astros are in the World Series for the second season in a row, and fourth time in six years, there won’t be a repeat champion for the 22nd consecutive season.

The Atlanta Braves beat Houston in six games during last year’s World Series, clinching the title at Minute Maid Park.

Atlanta’s pursuit of a second straight championship ended in the best-of-five National League Division Series, when they were knocked out in four games by the underdog Phillies.

The New York Yankees were the last team to win consecutive World Series, with three titles in a row from 1998-2000.

NO GUNS AT THE BALLPARK

The city of Houston tweeted out a reminder to fans going to Game 1 of the World Series: leave your guns at home.

People can qualify under the law in Texas to carry a handgun in a public place without a license, but there are still situations when that is not allowed.

In a tweet on the city’s official account, a Houston police sergeant welcomes everyone in town for the World Series with a reminder that guns aren’t allowed at Minute Maid Park.

The message encouraged fans to leave their guns at home or in their hotel rooms, and also said having a car safe is great. But it also said 3,700 guns were stolen out of cars in Houston last year.

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