From 1888 until 1961, Houston's professional baseball club was the minor league Houston Buffaloes. Although expansion from the National League eventually brought an MLB team to Texas in 1962, Houston officials had been making efforts to do so for years prior.The new Houston team was named the Colt .45s after a "Name the Team" contest was won by William Irving Neder. The Colt .45 was well known as "the gun that won the west. "The colors selected were navy and orange.
The first team was formed mostly through an expansion draft after the 1961 season. The Colt .45s and their expansion cousins, the New York Mets, took turns choosing players left unprotected by the other National League franchises.Many players and staff associated with the Houston Buffaloes organization continued in the major leagues.The Colt .45s began their existence playing at Colt Stadium. On December 1, 1964, the team announced the name change from the Colt .45s to the "Astros. The renamed Astros moved into their new domed stadium, the Astrodome, in 1965.With new manager Grady Hatton, the Astros started the 1966 season strong. By May they were in second place in the National League and looked like a team that could contend. Joe Morgan was named as a starter on the All-Star Team but then he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 1971 which was a very beneficial move for the Reds.
With the $38 million deficit of the Astrodome, control of the Astrodomain (including the Astros) was passed from Roy Hofheinz to GE Credit and Ford Motor Credit.Joe Morgan returned in 1980. The 1980 pitching staff was one of the best Houston ever had, with the fastball of Ryan, the knuckleball of Joe Niekro and the terrifying 6 ft 8 in frame of J. R. Richard but they lost Richard because of an injury The team would face the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1980 National League Championship Series but could not secure the victory. The Astros finished third in the National League West in 1983. After the 1986 season, the team had difficulty finding success again.After finishing second in their division in 1994 (in a strike year), 1995, and 1996, the Astros won consecutive division titles in 1997, 1998, and 1999.
HOUSTON ASTROS IN RECENT YEARS
The 2000 season saw a move to a new stadium, the MInute Maid Park. In 2005, the Astros started poorly and found themselves with a 15–30 record in late May.However, from that low point until the end of July, Houston went 42–17 and found themselves in the lead for an NL wild card spot. The Astros won the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, 3–1, with a game four that set postseason records for most innings (18), most players used by a single team (23), and longest game time (5 hours and 50 minutes). From 2006 till 2012, Astros had rough seasons and then in 2013 the moved to the American League West Division under the ownership of Jim Crane.
The Astros finished the season with a 51–111 record (a franchise-worst) with a season-ending 15-game losing streak, again surpassing their worst record from the previous season. In 2017, The Astros won the ALCS four games to three, and advanced to the World Series to play against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Astros defeated the Dodgers in the deciding seventh game of the World Series, winning the first championship in franchise history. On November 16, 2017, José Altuve was named the American League Most Valuable Player, capping off a season in which he accumulated 200 hits for the fourth consecutive season, led the majors with a .346 BA, and was the unquestioned clubhouse leader of the World Series champions.
On September 22,2018, the Astros clinched their third consecutive AL West division title. They finished the season with a record of 107–55, the best in franchise history, and the best record in MLB. They became the first team since the 2002–2004 New York Yankees to have 3 consecutive 100-win seasons. They also became the first team in MLB history to have three consecutive 100-loss seasons and three consecutive 100-win seasons in the same decade.On November 12, 2019, The Astros were alleged to have used scouts watching catchers' signs in real time behind the dugout at Minute Maid Park to crack the signs and banging a trash can loudly to indicate what kind of pitch was coming. In 2021, they won their 3 pennants in the last 5 seasons.
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