Astros Validate Houston Strong with World Series Win!
The Houston Astros won the baseball World Series on November 1, 2017 playing against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodgers Stadium. It could not have come at a better time. This was the same year Hurricane Harvey devastated many areas of Houston destroying countless homes and businesses just a couple of months ago.
On their uniforms the Astros each had a patch with the words Strong along with their logo. The resilience of Houstonians coming back from flooded homes, cars and businesses was in the hearts of each of the Astros players as they battled for the win.
Today on November 3rd with the Astros back in town, our city of Houston held a monumental celebration. Half a million people were expected to attend the downtown event. Some reports have that number exceeding anywhere from 750,000 to 1 million people in attendance. Several blocks were added to the parade route at the last minute to accommodate the celebratory crowds of people.
Our metro was overwhelmed and some who wished to attend the festivities never made it. Hopefully they were able to return home and watch it as it was televised.
Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed it Houston Astros Day for the City of Houston. November 3, 2017 was also proclaimed as Houston Astros Day for the State of Texas by Governor Greg Abbott who attended the festivities along with many other government leaders.
Houston school children were let out of school for the event. An official excuse form was given out to all the people in attendance who wished to have one signed by the Governor to hand to their employers. To say that Houston was in a celebratory mood is for certain an understatement on this day!
Here is some history of our Astros for those who might be unfamiliar. The same professional baseball team has been playing in Houston, Texas since its inception except that it was originally called the Colt .45s in 1962. Ever since the name change in 1965 they have been called the Houston Astros.
Few baseball teams have stayed in one city their entire time of existence as has this team. Of course, given the nature of how professional sports are played, the team players come and go as they are traded or drafted between the teams.
Most baseball aficionados know of the Houston Astros if for no other reason than the fame of the Astrodome which became home to the Astros in 1965.
The Astrodome was the very first domed sports stadium in America. Many people associate everything being “bigger and better in Texas”…at least proud Texans do. The Astrodome became noteworthy in that respect.It was awe inspiring for its day and time! It was a circular building that was 18 stories tall and covered 9 1/2 acres. It was a multipurpose stadium used for not only baseball, but football and other sporting events as well as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo plus other entertainment functions. Seats were movable to some extent to make appropriate use of the space depending upon how it was being utilized at the time.
The Astrodome was considered by many people to be the “8th Wonder of the World.”
Soon it was found to be difficult to keep natural grass growing under those domed conditions even though there were skylights in the dome, so an artificial looking grass dubbed astroturf was utilized. That happened in 1966. Now astroturf is used in many places worldwide.
The fledgling team called the Colt .45s first played their baseball games in what was called Colt Stadium.
Along with the name change to Houston Astros, the Astrodome serviced their needs from 1965 to the year 2000. At that time a brand new domed sports stadium called Enron Field was built on the east side of downtown Houston on the grounds of the old Union Train Station.
With Enron’s sad demise and after a bit of scrambling a local company purchased the naming rights. The current sponsor and name of this modern stadium is now called Minute Maid Park, but the train theme has been continued.
Every time the Astros hit a home run, the train is put into use and travels along a wall high up above the outfield. One has to know that the people rooting for the Astros like to see that train in motion as much as possible!
Minute Maid Park has a retractable roof so that fans can experience the best of all worlds when it comes to climactic conditions. The roof is open to the fresh air and sunshine when possible but can also shelter people from excessive heat, cold or rainy conditions.
For those who may have wondered about the name Astros, it seems very fitting since so much of the United States astronaut program has been centered in and around Houston, Texas.
Hall of Famers
Starting with Nellie Fox who played for the team when it was still known as the Colt .45s, these other players have joined that exclusive honor of being named to the Hall of Fame while representing the Houston Astros at some point during their careers:
- Nolan Ryan
- Robin Roberts
- Don Sutton
- Joe Morgan
- Leo Durocher
- Eddie Mathews
- Randy Johnson
Ownership of this professional baseball team has been transferred a few times through the years. The majority owner since 1993 was Drayton McLane, Jr. with Coca-Cola (owner of Minute Maid) being a minority partner.
While making it to the World Series in 2005 and then losing to the Chicago White Sox, they have had definite highlights by winning their division titles three years in a row from 1997 to 1999.
Under McLane’s ownership the Houston Astros had the 4th best overall record of all the major league baseball teams (according to Wikipedia) only trailing the Yankees, Braves and Red Sox. That is something in which fans of the Astros could be proud!
Some of their past celebrated “stars” were Jeff Bagwell, an all-time home run leader and Craig Biggio, one of the best of the Astros players. Both of these baseball stars are now in the Hall of Fame. Craig Biggio made it in 2015 with Jeff Bagwell joining him in 2017.
The National League West was the home of the Astros in the years from 1969 to 1993. Houston Astros were one of 6 teams in the Central Division from 1994 to 2012. The other teams in the National League Central were the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals.
In 2013 the Astros started playing in the American League West instead of the National League Central. What this essentially accomplished was to equalize the number of teams. Now both leagues have an equal 15 teams. Each major league baseball division has an equal 5 teams.
Each year the best team of the National League faces off with the best team of the American Baseball League for the World Series which is the ultimate prize.
Jim Crane is now the owner of the Astros having paid some 600 million dollars plus to Drayton McLane for the team in 2011. He has made some immediate changes for people attending Astros games.
Mr. Crane now allows people to bring food and water into the stadium and has also lowered ticket prices. This is a welcomed accommodation to the die-hard fans of the Astros as he will be reshaping the team and building it for the future.
This was the 2017 celebratory year that the Houston Astros won the World Series Championship title playing against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a hard fought battle ending in the 7th game. Kudos to Jim Crane and his entire team of coaches and players proving that we are indeed #Houston Strong!
The Astros baseball team is young and we have new rising stars which should lead us to further World Series victories in the future. The outfielder George Springer was just named the World Series most valuable player.
Awarded to Justin Verlander was the American League Championship Series most valuable player distinction. Look to others like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and many others to hit, throw and run their way to further championships.