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The Houston Astros name turns 56 years old

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — As the Houston Astros try to rebuild their good name in baseball, the team can seek some inspiration from the birth of its identity.

The Astros’ name was born 56 years ago on Dec. 1, 1964.

So, what’s in a name? Here’s a brief history of the Astros’ name, which, of course, wasn’t the original identity of Houston’s MLB team.
The Houston Astros’ major league lineage began with the Houston Colt .45s, playing their first game in April 1962. The .45s were named after a “name the team” contest was held.

Houston was awarded a National League expansion team in the years leading to the .45s’ first opening day, but it took some wheeling and dealing with a professional baseball team that existed in the city, the minor league Houston Buffaloes.

After the Buffaloes were purchased by Houston’s major league franchise, the Colt .45s went on to play just three seasons.

In the midst of this, the team was playing at a temporary outdoor ballpark located in the shadow of what would become a groundbreaking innovation in large-scale venues.

Becoming the Astros

The Astros name change coincided with two simultaneous happenings in the Bayou City.

One was the completion of the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Astrodome, which was touted as the first ever multi-use domed stadium. It would be the team’s home spanning across four decades.

TIMELINE: the saga of the Astrodome

In turn, the venue name was inspired by the city recent landing of NASA’s “Manned Spacecraft Center,” which would later be named as the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.

In the 56 years since the Astros were born, the team has brought Houston 14 postseason berths – 10 of which were from winning their division; three pennants – at least one each from the American and National leagues; and a cathartic but later highly disputed World Series title.


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