Yesterday, Harris County residents voted to reject Proposition 2, which called for a $217 Million renovation to the Astrodome. This decision spells almost certain doom for the iconic Houston stadium. Your politics aside, I think we can all agree that Houston is losing something special in the Astrodome.
The Astrodome broke ground in 1962 and opened its one-of-a-kind doors on April 9, 1965. It was the first ever domed sports stadium and was dubbed by Billy Graham as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” The Astros played 34 seasons there until John Rocker struck out Ken Caminiti in Game 4 of the 1999 NLDS, which was the last professional pitch thrown inside the Dome.
If you are reading this, I assume that you have as many great memories of the Dome as I do. On twitter, the hashtag “AstrodomeMemories” was started as a public forum to voice your own reflections. I’ve picked out some of my favorites so we can all reminisce together.
There are many, many more great memories and I would encourage you get on Twitter and read them for yourself. I was born in 1992, so my memories are shaped differently than a lot of others who can remember more of the Dome. Don’t let that fool you though, I have a bevy of amazing memories of the Astrodome. I shared a few this morning.
Honestly, the Astrodome hasn’t been that relevant to me or anyone else for the last 10 years. I didn’t expect to feel this much emotion at the news of its impending demise. But thinking back on all of the great things I saw growing up really stirred emotions in me. I remember one of my biggest struggles every year was deciding if I wanted to wear 5 or 7 in Little League. Ultimately, I found a perfect balance by playing First Base and having long pants like Baggy, and kicking my leg up at the plate and wearing 7 like Bidge.
There was 1998, when the Astros Front Office bet the farm on Randy Johnson. There was 1986. So many great players came through Houston under the shadow of the Dome.
I don’t know what the ultimate outcome of the Astrodome will be. Maybe some rich guys will get together to save it. Maybe it gets blown up next week. All I know is how special that place is to Houston. It is the one defining piece of skyline easily recognized by people outside of our town. It was revolutionary.
If this is goodbye, allow me to play you out in the only way that is appropriate.