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Houston Astros and the Astrodome


Sound | 1964

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  •  Enjoying the rides at AstroWorld 
  •  The Spring Branch High School marching band performs before an Astros game 
  •  Hub Kittle, a coach for the Astros from 1971 to 1975, helps players warm up before a game 
  •  A KPRC reporter with Astros pitcher Don Wilson. WIlson played with the Astros from 1966 to 1974. The team retired his number, 40, on April 13, 1975. 
  •  The Astros play the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1976 
  •   Firstbaseman Bob Watson at bat. Watson played with the Astros from 1966 to 1979. On May 4, 1975, he was credit with scoring the one millionth run in major league history.   
  •   Right fielder José Cruz at bat. A member of the Astros from 1975 to 1987, Cruz held the record for most games played in franchise history until 2001. Following his retirement, he returned to the team as a coach and special assistant to the general manager. The Astros retired his number, 25, on October 3, 1992. Cruz was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.   
  •  Shortstop Roger Metzger at bat. Metzger played with the Astros from 1971 to 1978. He won the Golden Glove Award in 1973.  
  •  Outfielder Leon Roberts at bat. Roberts played with the Astros from 1976 to 1977. 
  •  Catcher Ed Herrmann at bat. Hermann played with the Astros from 1976 to 1978.  
  •  Catcher Cliff Johnson at bat. Johnson played with the Astros from 1972 to 1977, when he was traded to the New York Yankees. The Yankees went on to win the World Series in 1977 and 1978.  
  •  Developer and former Houston mayor Roy Hofheinz talks about plans to start construction on the Astrodome 
  •  The Astrodome under construction 
  •  Workers put finishing touches on the stadium before its official opening on April 9, 1965 
  •  Rodeo event 
  •  President Lyndon B. Johnson and First Lady Lady Bird Johnson arrive at the stadium for a game 
  •  Governor John Connally of Texas throws the first pitch 
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  • About the video
  • Astrodome Astrodome
  • Roy Hofheinz Roy Hofheinz
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This film from KPRC-TV Channel 2 in Houston contains a series of short news segments related to the Houston Astrodome and the Houston Astros major league baseball team. Black-and-white footage dates from the 1960s, documenting the construction of the stadium as well as scenes from baseball games and rodeo events. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Governor John Connally of Texas are shown in attendance of one Astros game. Color footage dates from the 1970s, capturing moments with Astros players and coaches as well as an inning from a 1976 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Eighth Wonder of the World!
Designed by architects Hermon Lloyd & W.B. Morgan, and Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson and built at a cost of $35 million (1965 dollars), the Astrodome opened in 1965 as the “Harris County Domed Stadium.”  Eighteen stories tall, covering 9 ½ acres, and with a dome of 710 feet in diameter, it was built as part of the deal to bring Major League Baseball expansion team, the Colt .45s (later renamed the Astros) to Houston – the city’s subtropical climate required an air-conditioned indoor stadium to make summertime sports viable.  
Conceived as a multi-use arena, the Astrodome was also home to NFL team the Houston Oilers and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  It was also the site of many notable music concerts and political events, including Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 campaign rally and the 1992 Republican National Convention.  No longer in regular use, for two weeks in September 2005, the Astrodome served as a temporary shelter for Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. 
Politician and developer Roy Hofheinz was born in Beaumont on April 10, 1912. He served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1934 to 1936 and as a Harris County judge from 1936 to 1944. After a brief stint in private law and business, Hofheinz returned to public life in 1952 to run for mayor of Houston. Winning the election, he ultimately served two terms from 1953 to 1955. 
Hofheinz was very unpopular with the Houston City Council. In 1954, he had four councilmen arrested for boycotting a special meeting he had called. The following year, the Council voted to impeach Hofheinz, but the Mayor refused to acknowledge the impeachment and was eventually voted out of office. 
Returning to law and business, Hofheinz and his partner, Robert Everett Smith, created the Houston Sports Association. On the promise of building a new stadium, the organization soon received a major-league franchise. Completed in 1965, the Houston Astrodome became the home of the Houston Colt .45s (now the Astros) and the Houston Oilers. To expand his empire, Hofheinz developed the AstroWorld theme park and four “Astrodomain” hotels. He also purchased Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  
Hofheinz’s business ventures began to decline in the 1970s, with the Astrodomain accumulating $38 million in debt. He died of a heart attack at his Houston home on November 22, 1982.