Houston Astros

Fri, 07 Nov 2008 19:51

The history of the Houston Astros

Information about the MLB team Houston Astros.

The Houston Astros are a baseball squad in the pro league. They are based in Texas, and part of the action of the MLB's Central Division. Since 2000, they have been playing home games in Minute Maid Park. This team joined the Major League under the name of "Colt 45" with McLane, Jr. as the team's present owner.

History of Houston Astros: The franchise

Actually, there were four individuals accountable for bringing in Major League Baseball to Houston: George Kirksey, Craig Cullinan, Bob Smith (an oil magnate), and Judge Roy Hofheinz. These formed the clique known as the Houston Sports Association.

The owners of the major league refused any inclination of expanding baseball, so these four, along with other entities, announced that they would put up their own league -- one that would be in competition to the established leagues. This would be called as the Continental League, which caused the mainstream leagues to expand. Thus, Houston won their franchise for the NL, and the amusing thing was that the Continental League died even before getting born.

Their first team was a mix of "cast offs" from an expansion draft after the 1961 action. Colt Stadium was the playing venue, but just a temporary one. Hofheinz persuaded the NL owners that the notorious summers of Houston, Texas would not be a hindrance, for he planned to erect an indoor stadium. Construction commenced; but until the stadium was finished, the team played on a reclaimed area in the south side of town.

History of Houston Astros: From 1965 to 1970

In 1965, the Astros started like a ball of fire. When May came, they were in 2nd place in the National League (west). Sonny Jackson and Joe Morgan graced the covers of Sports Illustrated; Morgan got in in the All-stars. However, things did not go smoothly in the end. First, they lost Wynn due to an injury. This unforunate evident was followed by Morgan also sustaining an injury. As consolation, Jackson put up a record for the league -- an amazing 49 steals -- and led the team with an average of .292 batting.

In 1967, baseman (3rd) Mathews became part of the team. However, he got traded in the late part of the year. Newbie Don Wilson made a no-hitter in June, in a game versus the Braves. The star of Wynn shone in full force too, his home runs were frequent, but more than that, he was remembered for the distances. He set club records, take note of the following: 37 homeruns, 100 RBIs. On paper, the Houston Astros were capable of being serious contenders, but in actuality, they could not make it work.

On April 15, one pitching duel would enter the history books. The Mets' Seaver and Wilson faced off, this was a pitching war that went on for 6 hours. Tom had 10 frames, permitting no walks, and just 2 hits, whereas Wilson had 9 innings, permitting 5 hits and just 3 walks.

Due to expansion and many trades, the Astros significantly changed in 1969, as Staub, Cuellar, Aspromonte had all left. The additions to the team were Lemaster, Menke, Alou, and Johnny Edwards. At the end of May, the team had done an amazing 10-game winning run. The infield duo of Morgan and Menke improved game after game. The former had 15 homers, stole 49 bases, while Menke led the team with 90 RBIs.

When 1970 came, the team was seen as a real contender for the NL West; and in June, Cedeno showed true promise of becoming a world-class athlete. He batted .310 after leaving the minors. Menke was impressive too: he batted .304. But the sad thing was that the pitchers could not contribute. For this year, the team landed at a miserable 4th place, with the Reds getting the division honors.

History of Houston Astros: Uniform talk

Fashion trends in the 60s included the sport. In 1971, they did some alterations on the uniforms. Keeping the style as it is, they interchanged the colors -- from navy blue to orange, and from orange to a light blue. Also, last names were placed at the backs of jerseys, and the fabric was changed to polyester material. This kind of uniforms was loved by many fans, but it was not meant to last for a long time.

History of Houston Astros: The 1970s

The year 1975 was actually the worst in the team's history, with them having a record of 64-97. Manager Gomez took the hit, being fired late in the season. The team played .500 under Bill Virdon, who has just joined the team, for the last 34 games in the year.

Still, 1976 was a better year for them as they finished at third place via a 80-82 card. The principal reason was that Cedeno was perfectly healthy. Houston's primary left fielder was Cruz, with a hit of .303 and 28 bases stolen. In 1977, they would finish at 3rd place, just a repetition. They were still lacking in consistent performers at key posts. Astros' middle infield was the big difficulty; the fans would see a different man playing at 2nd and short, any given game.

Another is the pitching department, as the team did not have a strong lefty. Bannister was considered to be that, but in the main, he was not consistent. For the 1978 season, the team went to 5th place, holding a 74-88 record.

History of Houston Astros: 1986

Lanier serving as Main Man, Houston started hot, winning 13 of the first 19 games. The team did a streak of five come-from-behind victories. Two of these were against the Mets. There was a game against the Dodgers where Deshaies began the game with eight consecutive strikeouts. Sometime in September, Scott was contributory in making the team win the NL West. He did a no-hitting against the squad from San Francisco. He would get a Cy Young Award later on.

History of Houston Astros: The 1990s

In 1990, the Astros did what a lot of experts thought was an exceptional trade. Boston Red Sox needed relief pitching, and the Houston team gave them Larry Andersen for Bagwell. The latter would win the 1990 MVP Honors of the East League. Bagwell turned out to be the team's leader in home runs (which is the team's all-time record) and arguably the best player in the history of this team.

In 1991, the Astros did the other side of the coin -- a very horrendous trade. They sent Lofton to the Cleveland team for Taubensee, and Lofton would become one of the exceptional centerfielders of the decade. He earned 5 AL stolen base titles, 6 appearances for the All-Stars, and 4 Gold Gloves honors.

The team won straight division titles from 1997 to 1999. In 1998, they put up a record of 102 wins.

Outside the playing action, in 1994, they took the services of the first African-American general manager, Bob Watson. He would later on depart from the Astros' camp to serve as general manager of the Yankees.

History of Houston Astros: 2007

In May 2007, the Astros had a very painful losing streak -- 10 in a row. It was just one less short of their worst record in 1995. In June, Biggio became the 27th player to get 3,000 hits in his career. In July, they let go of Wheeler, giving him up to Tampa Bay for slugger Wigginton. In August, Bagwell's "5" was retired. Still in August, Garner (the team's manager) and Purpura (the team's general manager) left their positions. In September, from a 6-0 defeat to the Brewers, the Houston team got eliminated. Also, the team got a new GM in the person of Ed Wade.