Let’s go and celebrate what could be considered the beginning of the “modern” stadiums across baseball, the grand opening of that “8th Wonder” in Houston, the Astrodome:
On April 12th, 1965 the Astros played their first official game against
the Philadelphia Phillies after an exhibition game against the Yankees
three days earlier.
Chris Short of Philadelphia made sure the Houston fans, all 42,652 of
the, went home unhappy as he pitched a four-hit shutout, striking out 11
while getting help from (who else) Dick Allen (then “Richie”), who
slammed a two-run shot in the third inning off of Astros starter Bob
Bruce, who would go seven innings before giving way to Hal Woodeshick
who threw the final two frames.
The stadium made it possible for the Astros to play during the scorching
Houston Summer with it’s air conditioning and later on it’s “Astroturf”
after initial attempts to utilize natural grass failed.
For me, the Stadium along with other “Modern” atrocities like the
cookie-cutter Riverfront , Veteran’s and Three Rivers Stadiums with
their knee-killing artificial turf made for some unnatural atmosphere’s
for a game that was supposed to be all about the great outdoors.
However the times they were a’changin’ and it wouldn’t be until the
1990’s when Major League Baseball returned to their senses and went back
to more traditional styles for new ballparks.
But like it or not, the Astrodome was BIG news when it opened as was a
marvel of modern technology not only for professional sports but for