Baseball

Ranking the Astros’ Stadiums

|
Image for Ranking the Astros’ Stadiums

The Houston Astros have had three different homes throughout their franchise history, Colt Stadium, The Astrodome, and Minute Maid Park. Each Ballpark has had its share of great moments, but which one reigns supreme?

3. Colt Stadium

Colt Stadium was the Astros (formerly the Colt .45s) home from 1962-64 when the city of Houston was granted a franchise. This stadium seated 33,000 people, however there was just one problem. Having an outdoor stadium in Houston isn’t the brightest idea, considering the humidity and overwhelming presence of mosquitos, which made Colt Stadium so short lived.

Colt Stadium was pitcher friendly, with 360 feet down the lines, 395 foot power alley, and a 420 foot center field. Colt Stadium no longer resides in Houston however, it was sold in the late 1960s to a minor league Mexican team who demolished the stadium and rebuilt it in Torreon, Mexico, until being moved to its current home in Tampico, Mexico.

2. Minute Maid Park

The Astros current home was first opened in 2000 after the closure of the Astrodome. In its early years (2000-01), it was named Enron Field but changed to Minute Maid in 2002 when the Enron company went bankrupt and Minute Maid acquired the rights to the stadium, hence the nickname “The Juice Box”. Minute Maid Park seats 41,000 people and contains dimensions of 315 feet to left, 325 to the right, and 435 to center. Minute Maid is a hitter friendly ballpark, mostly due to the iconic Crawford Boxes located in left field.

Minute Maid Park was also known for Tal’s Hill, a literal hill in center field, with a flag pole and everything. Although Tal’s Hill never made an important impact on any games, it did provide some highlights and lowlights from outfielders attempting to make a play on it. Tal’s Hill was eventually removed in 2016.

Even without Tal’s Hill, Minute Maid is still iconic with it’s train tracks and train atop the stadium that only moves when the Astros homer. The train is a nod to Union Station, a train station that operated in Houston from 1911 to the mid-70s and just so happened to be where Minute Maid sits today.

The Juice Box is one of the best stadiums in baseball, hosting four World Series, and an All-Star game, and shows no sign of leaving anytime soon.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 07: General view of the game between the Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning at Minute Maid Park on May 07, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

1. The Astrodome

Perhaps one of the most iconic stadiums in all of professional sports and most well named, the Astrodome was the home of the Astros and Houston Oilers from 1966-1999. The Astrodome was well known for its unique playing surface know as AstroTurf, which was the first artificial turf to ever be used on a professional sports field. The Astrodome seated 41,000 people when it first opened, and seated 54,000 when it closed.

The Astrodomes’ original dimensions were 340 feet to left, 330 feet to right, and 406 feet to center. The Astrodome was a pretty neutral park, not fully going into the direction of a hitter or pitcher friendly ball park.

The Astrodome was listed as the “Eigth Wonder of the World” and hosted many different sporting events and concerts during its time. It was also the first stadium to be fully indoors and have air-conditioning.

The Astrodome still stands to this day in its original spot in Houston, right next to NRG Stadium (used by the Houston Texans). However, the future of this beloved ballpark remains in jeopardy since it hasn’t been used since 2009.

American baseball player Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants at bat during a game against the Houston Colt .45s in the Astrodome, Houston, Texas, September 23, 1964. The Giants won the game 4-1. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)

Final Thoughts

The Astros have had some amazing ballparks across the years, but none even come remotely close to that of the Astrodome. While the others are/were great as well, the Astrodome was the first of its kind and paved the way for future stadiums.

Agree with the rankings? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @KeganCrawford .

Embed from Getty Images

Share this article

1 comment

  • Bob Hulsey says:

    I think which you prefer is a matter of priorities – indoor baseball in a sterile environment in 72-degree comfort on fake turf or outdoor baseball with real grass and an optional roof and natural weather effects. Neither is completely satisfactory but you can’t have it both ways. One thing I loved about the Dome was vast amounts of stadium parking at reasonable prices around the stadium with security detail. MMP fans could counter that they like being able to walk to restaurants and pubs around the stadium – a long hike at the Dome. The Dome was always a magical place to me but the removal of the big scoreboard and the advancements of time has caused it to lose some of its charm. Still, if you ask most tourists to name the most iconic building in Houston, many will answer “the Astrodome”.

Comments are closed.