Houston Astros

Houston Astros  

Astros Timeline


Houston Colt 45's Team Formation

However, on October 17, 1960, the National League granted an expansion franchise to the Houston Sports Association in which their team could begin play in the 1962 season. According to the Major League Baseball Constitution, the Houston Sports Association was required to obtain territorial rights from the Houston Buffaloes in order to play in the Houston area, and again negotiations began to purchase the team. Eventually, the Houston Sports Association succeeded in purchasing the Houston Buffaloes, at this point majority-owned by William Hopkins, on January 17, 1961. The Buffs played one last minor league season as the top farm team of the Chicago Cubs in 1961 before being succeeded by the city's NL club.

The new Houston team was named the Colt .45s after a "Name The Team" contest was won by William Irving Neder. The Colt .45 was well known as "the gun that won the west." The colors selected were navy blue and orange. The first team was a group of scrubs formed mostly through an expansion draft after the 1961 season. The Colt .45s and their expansion cousins, the New York Mets, took turns choosing players left unprotected by the other National League franchises.

Astrodome Open

With Judge Roy Hofheinz now the sole owner of the franchise and the new venue complete, the Colt .45s moved into their new domed stadium, the Astrodome, in 1965. The name honored Houston's position as location of the nation's space program. On Opening Day, April 9, 1965, a sold-out crowd of 47,879 watched an exhibition game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird were in attendance, as well as Texas Governor John Connally and Houston Mayor Louie Welch.

ReNamed the Astros

Construction of the domed building was finally completed in late 1964. In honor of Houston's significance to the country's space program, it was appropriately named the Astrodome, and to maintain the theme, the Colt .45s were proudly renamed the Astros.

New Stadium - Minute Maid Stadium

The 2000 season saw a move to a new stadium. Originally called Enron Field, the stadium was to feature a functional retractable roof, a particularly useful feature with unpredictable Houston weather. The ballpark also featured more intimate surroundings than the Astrodome. In 2002, naming rights were purchased by Houston-based Minute Maid, after Enron went bankrupt. The park was built on the grounds of the old Union Station. A locomotive moves across the outfield and whistles after home runs, paying homage to a Houston history which had eleven railroad company lines running through the city by 1860. The ballpark also contains quirks such as "Tal's Hill", which is a hill in deep center field on which a flagpole stands, all in fair territory. A similar feature was located in Crosley Field.

Realignment to American League

On November 15, 2011, it was announced that Crane had agreed to move the franchise to the American League for the 2013 season. The move was part of an overall divisional realignment of MLB, with the National and American leagues each having 15 teams in three geographically balanced divisions. Crane was given a $70 million concession by MLB for agreeing to the switch; the move was a condition for the sale to the new ownership group. Two days later, the Astros were officially sold to Crane after the other owners unanimously voted in favor of the sale. It was also announced that 2012 would be the last season for the Astros in the NL. After over fifty years of the Astros being a part of the National League, this move was unpopular with many Astros fans.

Astros Primary Logo History Astros Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History


Astros - In 1965 the team changed its nickname to Houston Astros, a name that had more futuristic overtones, astro is Greek for "star" as since 1961 Houston was the city where NASA trained and continues to train all the American astronauts. The team also used the nickname as part of its new home, the Astrodome, which opened in 1965.

Minute Maid Park
2003 - present
  • Astros Field
  • 2002
  • Enron Field
  • 2000 - 2002
  • The Ballpark at Union Station
  • 2000
1966 - 1999
  • Harris County Domed Stadium
  • 1965

Colt Stadium
1962 - 1964

Jim Crane
2011 - Present
Drayton McLane, Jr.
1992 - 2011
John McMullen
1979 - 1993
General Electric & Ford Motor Company
1975 - 1979
Roy Hofheinz
1962 - 1975

Established: 1962

League History:
Major League Baseball
2000 - present
National League
1962 - 1999

Team History:
Houston Astros
1965 - present

Houston Colt 45's
1962 - 1964

World Series: 0

Retired Numbers:
5 Jeff Bagwell
7 Craig Biggio
24 Jimmy Wynn
25 Jose Cruz

32 Jim Umbricht
33 Mike Scott
34 Nolan Ryan
40 Don Wilson
42 Jackie Robinson
49 Larry Dierker

Mascots: 1990 - 1999, 2012 - present 2000 - 2012

The Official Site of the Houston Astros

*Red is this team's history

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