About the Houston Astros

By | Apr 21, 2007

1) When Major League Baseball decided to expand in the early 1960’s, Houston joined the New York Mets in the National League. They began play in 1962 as the Houston Colt .45’s. The owner Judge Roy Hofheinz in and effort to show off the team had the players wear blue cowboy suits with matching hats and boots on road trips. It was found to be confusing to other travelers and the players finally refused to wear the outfits. In their first year they ended up 8th, in the 10 team National League. They won more games than the expansion Mets and the Chicago Cubs, the team they beat on their opening day. In 1965 they became the Astros. They also moved into the first dome stadium, which took its name from the team name, the AstroDome. Their name change came due to trademark objections by Colt Firearms.

2) The Astros have endured a few tragic events over their short history. Pitcher Jim Umbricht lost a battle with cancer in 1964. In that same year Ken Johnson pitched a No Hitter, however he lost the game 1-0. In 1975 before the beginning of spring training Pitcher Don Wilson would commit suicide. Midway in the 1980 season Pitcher J.R. Richard would suffer a stroke. Richard won 107 games in his first 10 years, but the stroke ended a promising career. At the time the Astros had just signed Nolan Ryan and the 1980 Astros starting staff looked to be one of the best in the game.

3) The Astros have won 6 Divisional titles as well as getting 2 Wild Card berths. They have won only one National League pennant, but lost the World Series in 2005 to the Chicago White Sox.

4) These uniform numbers have been retired by the Astros; 24-Jimmy Wynn, 25-José Cruz, OF, 32-Jim Umbricht, P, 33-Mike Scott, P, 34-Nolan Ryan, P, 40 Don Wilson, 49 Larry Dierker. The number 5 of Jeff Bagwell is scheduled to be retired on August 26, 2007.

5) They play their home games at Minute Maid Park. The stadium opened in 2000 as Enron Field. When Enron went bankrupt in 2002, the naming rights were purchase back by the owners and for the much of 2002 was known as Astros Field, until the naming rights were sold to Minute Maid. The stadium has a capacity of 40,950.

6) The team is owned by Drayton McLane Jr. At the beginning of the 2007 season they are managed by Phil Garner.


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