The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. The team is in the Central Division of the National League.
When the Astros began life, they played at Colt Stadium from 1962-1964. From 1965 to 1999 they played at the Astrodome. From 2000 to the present they have played at Minute Maid Park (which was called Enron Field for its first two years.)
The Astros were first named the Colt .45s, but soon changed their name to reflect the space industry prevalent in Houston at the time.
Oilman Craig F. Cullinan, Jr. and Marco A. Perez put together a syndicate of local businessmen dedicated to bringing Major League Baseball to Southeast Texas. Their group also consisted of George Kirksey, Judge Roy Hofheinz, Robert E. “Bob” Smith, and Kenneth S. “Bud” Adams. On October 17, 1960, Houston was awarded a franchise in the National League. The team was to be named the Houston Colt .45s, in honor of “The Gun That Won the West”, with Craig F. Cullinan, Jr. as the team’s first president.
In addition to the Houston Colt .45s, the New York Mets also joined the NL in 1962. This development came a year after the 1961 expansion of the American League, which resulted in new AL teams being placed in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Angels) and Washington, D.C. (a new Washington Senators franchise to replace the team that had left D.C. to become the Minnesota Twins the same year).
The Colts began play on April 10, 1962, defeating the Chicago Cubs 11–2, and for the next three years, the team played in Colt Stadium. As a condition of their entry into the National League, the Colts committed to building a new domed stadium, designed as a defense against the oppressive heat and humidity of the Houston summer.
As was typical of most expansion teams, the Colts struggled at first, losing 96 games in each of their first three years.
On April 9, 1965, the Houston Colt .45s became the Houston Astros.
Record By Decade
- 1962-1969: For the first nine years of their existence, the Colts/Astros didn’t have a winning season. Harry Craft had the reins for the first three seasons, then Lum Harris for a single year, then Grady Hatton for two years. Harry Walker coached in 1969 and guided the Astros to a .500 record (81-81).
- 1970-1979: Walker coached until 1972, when he was replaced, first by Salty Parker and then Leo Durocher. Preston Gomez took over in 1974, and was replaced in 1975 by Bill Virdon who would serve out the rest of decade.
- 1980-1989: Virdon coached for three years into the 80s. In 1983, he was replaced by Bob Lillis, who coached until 1985. Hal Lanier then coached until 1988. In 1989, Art Howe took over the reins.
- 1990-1999: Howe continued to coach until 1993, when he was replaced by Terry Collins who served for three years. Then, Larry Dierker took over in 1997 and served out the decade.
- 2000-2008: Dierker coached until 2001, then was replaced by Jimy Williams who coached for three years, until being replaced by Phil Garner, who coached until 2007. In 2008, Cecil Cooper took the reins.
- 2017-2021: The Astros made three World Series in five years (2017, 2019 and 2021), winning in 2017, although the title was shrouded in controversy after being found guilty of a sign-stealing scandal.