Astros announce their 2022 Hall of Fame inductions, which includes the former executive for our website’s name.
The Houston Astros will add two new members – Terry Puhl and Tal Smith – to their hall of fame in August, the team announced today. They will be inducted prior to the game against the Oakland A’s on August 13.
Smith was with the Astros in multiple capacities from the 1960s to 2011. He first served as an assistant to the Astros first general manager Gabe Paul in 1960 and also served as a liaison for the Houston Sports Association during the construction for Astrodome.
After the Astrodome opened and the indoor grass couldn’t grow due to the roof, Smith was in charge of finding a playing surface and found the turf that would later become known as “Astroturf.”
In 1975, Smith was named general manager for a struggling Astros team to try and build a winner.
In 1980, all that changed as the Astros won their first National League West Division crown under Smith. He was named the Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year for the ’80 season.
In 1994, Smith returned to Houston after several years in private practice and was named president of baseball operations.
The ball club thrived under Smith, going to the postseason six times in nine seasons (1997-2005), which included the Astros’ first ever appearance in the World Series in 2005 against the Chicago White Sox.
Smith was also vital in the construction of Minute Maid Park, suggesting many unique features in the ballpark, such as the retractable roof, train tracks in left field and the hill in center field which would later be named Tal’s Hill after him.
Astros will induct former outfielder Terry Puhl, as their only player induction in August.
Terry Puhl is considered one of the greatest players in Astros’ history, playing most of his career in Houston (14 seasons) and being in the top 10 in multiple categories in Astros history.
Offensively, he was great at the plate, hitting over .300 in three different seasons and having a batting average of .282 nine times over his career with the franchise, while being named an All-Star in 1978.
His postseason exploits were great as well. In his 13 postseason games with the Astros, he hit a combined .372. In the 1980 National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, he hit a then record .526.
Defensively, he committed only 18 errors over 1,000 career games. He had a .993 fielding percentage is one of the best in team history and ranks 8th all time among NL outfielders historically. He also stole 217 bases in his career.