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Houston Astros Games
When it comes to Major League Baseball in Texas, two teams fight it out: Texas Randers and Houston Astros. The Rangers are located in Dallas, and the Astros are located in Houston. But for a long time, Major League Baseball was slow to seep into the Lonestar State. Minor leagues were present in Houston from 1888 to 1961. Nevertheless, efforts to bring professional baseball came up with dead ends. In the ‘50s, there was even an attempt to create a separate 8-10 team professional Continental League to avoid competing with other markets, but the plan never debuted. It wasn’t until 1960 that MLB gave their blessing, allowing Houston to be the first city in Texas to have a professional baseball franchise.
For such a historic, quintessentially American sport, Texas may be a latecomer, but the Houston Astros have developed a real imprint on the city since those early days. In the late ‘60s, the franchise refreshed its image, changing their name from the Colt .45s to the now-known Houston Astros. At the same time, they moved from the hastily opened Colt Stadium to the Astrodome, where they held home games from 1965 – 1999. Now honoring the state’s incredible space program, they built national and local support, wooing people with their new image.
For the first time in a long time, the Houston Astros have made some more changes in the franchise. One big change is that at the turn of the century, they switched to new ballpark: Minute Maid Park. Located downtown, it was Houston’s first retractable-roof stadium. The field is made of actual grass – an impressive feature in dry, Texas heat. It has a capacity of over 40,000.
Another big change for the Astros is that in 2013, the team jumped from the National League to the American League. The leagues used to be completely separate competitions until 2000. 13 years after the merger, jumping leagues has made for some new relationships and competitors in MLB for the team, playing against the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, and more. Of course, the fiercest of those potential rivals is probably the neighboring Texas Rangers, competing for in-state notoriety and bragging rights. Their rivalry is commonly called the Lone Star Series or the Silver Boot Series. Other reported rivals include the St. Louis Cardinals, but the jump to the AL seems to have cooled it off. To see what new rivalries emerge in MLB with the Houston Astro’s league change, follow the teams and attend a game soon.