Historic Times in the Houston Astros

The demand for a franchise of the Major League Baseball in Houston was a product of the efforts of Craig F. Cullinan Jr. The granting of the franchise took place on 1960. This gave way to the birth of the Houston Colt .45s.

They started playing in 1962. During their first game, they defeated the Chicago Cubs. Like most of the new teams, they had a hard time in its first few years. Although there were some highlights for the team, they continued to struggle.

In 1965, the team changed its name to Houston Astros. This was their way of showing support to the space program in Houston. However, the change in the team name did not affect their performance. Their team standing did not improve. This and other problems lead to the bankruptcy of Roy Hotheinz, losing the Astros to his creditors, one of which was Ford.

There are also some dismaying stories in terms of their players. John Paciorek is one. He showed a lot of promise and he displayed great baseball game. His career was short because of injuries. Jim Umbricht was also a promising pitcher who lost his life to cancer. His was the first number, Astros retired. Don Wilson also played for the Astros. He committed suicide in 1975. The Astros also retired his jersey.

John McMullen acquired the team in 1979. This also marked new great things for the team. They had their first run for the pennant in the same year. However, they lost the NL West title to the Cincinnati Reds.

During the next year, Astros added Nolan Ryan and Joe Morgan to the team. This time they won the NL West championship. They faced the Phillies for the National League Championship. Although they fought their hearts out, making a memorable fight, one of the best postseason games in baseball history, they lost it to the Phillies.

They fought for the division title the next season, but this time, the Dodgers defeated them. The team headed a sliding slope after that. However, this did not stop Nolan Ryan from shining. He became the all time leader in strike out in 1983.

The year 1986 was a different story. There were major changes in the management of the Astros. They hired a new manager in the person of Hal Lanier. Under his leadership, the game strategy of the Astros change. The change brought led the team to win 15 of their first 19 games.

Star players shined during this year. Names like Jim Deshaies and Mike Scott emerged. Scott even got a Cy Young Award for his outstanding play. They also set the record for the longest postseason championship games.

After the team highlights in 1986, the Houston Astros went through several changes. The management changed and Nolan left the team. There were some high and low points in the team.

Then there was Craig Biggio. He is a gem for the team, setting offensive records here and there. There were other great changes for the Astros in the coming years. One took place in 2005 when they finally won their first pennant.

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