My husband and I were talking in passing about the World Series last night. Although I no longer really follow baseball, I was a big fan as a kid. When I noticed the game on TV, I wondered aloud if “Houston” was still the Astros. After all, many other teams seem to have moved to new cities and states, and even teams that have stayed put seem to acquire new names.
A quick look at Wikipedia showed, obviously, that Houston is still the Astros.
As my husband and I continued talking, a point arose in the conversation where it seemed logical to reminisce about how AstroTurf got its name from the Astros. This was news to my husband, which then made me wonder: Has the Astros’ association with the AstroTurf name slipped into relative obscurity?
Probably not, but now I’m curious. Do you also remember that the first big installation of artificial turf was at the Houston Astrodome? And that it was kind of controversial?
I remember the Astros seemed very modern in so many ways: the enclosed ballpark in which they played, their association with Houston’s space program (“astro”nauts), their groovy polyester uniforms.
I also remember the trade with Houston that brought Joe Morgan and Cesar Geronimo, and Jack Billingham (whose autograph I still have) to Cincinnati. Without the Houston Astros, the Big Red Machine might never have been.