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A Look Back at Colt Stadium

colt-45sSeptember 27 marked the 52nd anniversary of the final game at Colt Stadium, the forgotten but still notable home of the Houston Colt .45s

Before the Houston Astros made their way to the Astrodome, they began their existence as the Colt .45s, playing in the temporary Colt Stadium. The franchise’s run as the Colt .45s was strikingly unremarkable–they played to a 66-96 record for three straight seasons before changing their name prior to the 1965 campaign. On top of the results on the field, the Colt .45s had the distinction of playing at the temporary Colt Stadium, which became most remembered for its often hot and humid conditions.

It was perhaps those conditions that underscored the need for a dome. Indeed Colt Stadium’s successor would have a far more memorable run, serving as the Astros’ home through the 1999 season and setting several design trends along the way.

However, Colt Stadium had an interesting run after hosting the Astros. After the ballpark was left to deteriorate in the shadow of the Astrodome, it was eventually dismantled and moved to Tampico, Mexico, serving for many more years as a ballpark until the 1980’s. By that point, the remains of Colt Stadium were no longer usable as a baseball facility, but portions of it–including seats–were reused for other purposes.

This week, the Houston Chronicle ran an interesting retrospective on Colt Stadium, recalling its conditions:

The field was located on the northwest end of the NRG complex, just north of where NRG Stadium now sits. You likely park on top of it during RodeoHouston season.

It only cost $2 million to construct, a pittance these days, and the single-deck park sat just over 33,000 people. Season tickets topped out at a mere $265.00 for a whole season in 1962.

Outdoor baseball in Houston summers meant plenty of fans dealing with heat exhaustion, including by one report 80 people during a 1962 doubleheader. Insect repellent was a concession stand item.

The last game at Colt Stadium resulted in a 12-inning, 1-0 win for the Colt .45s over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bob Bruce threw 12-shutout innings, while future Hall of Famer Joe Morgan went 2-for-5.

RELATED STORIES: Colt Stadium / Houston Colt .45s / 1962-1964

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