Texas is home of several national sports league franchises among other professional sports, being the second most populated U.S. state. Since the state is located in the South Central United States, most teams are part of the Central / South or West league divisions, with the notable exception of the NFL Dallas Cowboys, which is an NFC East franchise.
Baseball has a strong presence in Texas, with two Major League Baseball teams. The Houston Astros started playing in 1962. The Texas Rangers debuted in 1972 after relocating from Washington, D.C. In 2005, the Astros became the first team in Texas to make it to the World Series. The Rangers followed the Astros in 2010 to their first World Series and the following year as well. In 2017, the Astros became the first team in Texas to win the World Series.
Minor League Baseball is also closely followed in Texas—especially in the smaller metropolitan areas. Three teams play in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League: the El Paso Chihuahuas, Round Rock Express, and San Antonio Missions. Four teams play in the Double-A Texas League: the Amarillo Sod Poodles, Corpus Christi Hooks, Frisco RoughRiders, and Midland RockHounds. The Fort Worth Cats were a team in Fort Worth that won three-straight championships in independent leagues, one in the Central Baseball League and the last two in the American Association.
College baseball is also quite popular, as Texas A&M University, Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin, University of Houston, Baylor University, Texas Tech University, and Texas Christian University have all made multiple College World Series appearances.