City Cast

How The Houston Astros Became a Beloved Baseball Team

Brooke Lewis
Posted on October 10
Jose Altuve swings his bat as a ball comes toward him.

Jose Altuve has seen the Astros through two World Series victories. (Houston Astros/Facebook)

One thing about Houstonians, we love the Houston Astros. The Stros are currently in their first round of playoffs against the Minnesota Twins, so it’s the perfect time to learn the team’s history. Let’s go on a journey!

Baseball Begins In Houston

Baseball has always been a popular sport in Houston — even before the Astros became our official hometown team. The Texas League was created in 1888 and several baseball teams were born. Out of the league, the Houston Buffaloes were the most renown team winning multiple Texas League and Dixie Series championships.

Major League Baseball Arrives

George Kirksey, a local sportswriter and public relations executive, and Craig Cullinan, a businessman and heir to Texaco, formed the Houston Sports Association in hopes of bringing major league baseball to the city. R.E. "Bob" Smith, businessman and landowner, and Roy Hofheinz, former Houston Mayor, were also brought into the association. Hofheinz was working on bringing the world’s first domed stadium to the city. Their dreams came true. The city was granted expansion into major league baseball in October 1960. The first major league team in Houston was known as the Houston Colt .45s named after the “Gun that won the West.”

The Astros Are Born

The Colt. 45s name was retired after the 1964 season. Shortly after, Hofheinz, the team president, said the new team would be named the Astros and the domed stadium would be called the Astrodome, in honor of NASA Space Center and local astronauts. On April 9, 1965, the Astros played their first game against the New York Yankees — beating them 2 -1. As the years passed, the Astros had standout players and seasons. In the 1980s, some of their best pitchers graced the stadium, including Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott. Craig Biggio came to the team in 1988 and played a record 20 seasons with the Astros – becoming the first player to be elected into the Hall of Fame. In 2011, a group of investors led by Jim Crane bought the team. Crane began building a staff that led to one of the Astros most successful teams. Standout players Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman, were part of the team that led the Astros to their first ever World Series victory in 2017. After another successful season and an out of this world home run from Yordan Alvarez , the Astros claimed another World Series win again last year. Will they go all the way again this year?

Do you have a favorite memory watching the Houston Astros? I want to know.

If you want more Houston sports history, find out how we became a

city known for hosting major sporting events like the Final Four, the Super Bowl, and the World Cup in 2026. [City Cast Houston 🎧]

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