Astrodome
My Baseball Dream
by Ray Bergman

Game 6 - Astros vs Giants at the Astrodome

August 4, 1996

We left Arlington at 7:00am on this date as we had to cover almost 300 miles before reaching Houston for the afternoon start of the Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants game. We were quite surprized with the beauty of the drive, rolling hills with lots of greenery and a mix of large trees.

The Astros were one of the first National League expansion teams. They entered the League in 1962 along with the New York Mets. They were known as the Colt 45's before being renamed the Astros. They play their games in the "eighth wonder of the world," the Astrodome...the very first of its kind in domed stadiums.

Today there are five such domed stadiums in the majors...the others being in Minnesota, Montreal, Toronto and Seattle. Was baseball meant to be played in covered symmetrical stadiums with artificial grass?

I don't believe baseball was meant to be played in thermostatically controlled, artificially sanitized environments; controls to keep you cool, warm, happy and comfortable. Baseball was meant to be endured by defying all the elements that nature could throw at us. We sweat, we froze, we got rained on. We knew we were having one of life's great experiences! And then along came domed stadiums, artificial grass, and miseries for most old time baseball fans.

Now let put aside all those bad thoughts about domed stadiums, (remember this a Baseball Dream trip) and go watch the Astos and Giants PLAY BALL!

The game between the Astros and the Giants was quite exciting even though errors played a big part. Three home runs were hit, one each by Barry Bonds and Rick Wilkens of the Giants and one by Randy Knoor of the Astros. The Astros knocked out Giant pitcher Osvaldo Fernandez in the second inning by scoring four runs. They led going into the seventh inning, when the Astros replaced starting pitcher Mike Hampton. The Giants made the game close because of the many Astros misplays in the field. The Astros eventually prevailed winning 7-6 although the Giants had the bases drunk in the ninth inning with only one out and Bonds and Matt Williams coming to bat. Relief pitcher Billy Wagner came through for the Astros striking out both Bonds and Williams to preserve the win.

Notes:

  • The temperature in the Astrodome is a comfortable 68 degrees.
  • The temperature and humidity is unbearable outside unless you live in Houston and are used to it. But even to the locals, most of the time outside in Houston it is just too HOT!
  • This completes 20% of my Major League Baseball Dream and, so far, it has been everything I expected it would be, and then some.
  • Tomorrow is a travel day, just like the players have. Marc and I expect to reach New Orleans after traveling the 350 miles in the late afternoon.
  • We won't see another game until the 8th in Miami. It will be one of the most looked-forward-to games of the dream as I will be able to reminisce of summers long ago when my Dad and Mom join my son Marc and myself for the Marlins and Mets game.
  • Like kids do, when returning home, I have a pile of laundry to do, and what better place to do it than at your Mom and Dad's.
Talk to you from Miami after 4 days off.

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© 1996 by Ray Bergman. Reproduction of all or any part of "My Baseball Dream" without the written permission of Ray Bergman is prohibited.

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