Fifty years ago today (April 9, 1965), the sparkling new Astrodome, known as the "Eighth Wonder of the World", played host to the first Major League Baseball game ever played indoors as the Astros defeated the New York Yankees, 2-1, in what was an exhibition. The Astros had been known as the Colt .45s in their first three seasons (1962-64).
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of this historic game, one of today's first pitches will be thrown out by Dene Hofheinz, who is the daughter of Judge Roy Hofheinz. Judge Hofheinz and R.E. Bob Smith spearheaded the effort to bring Major League Baseball to Houston and were the franchise's first ownership tandem. Former Astros pitcher Larry Dierker, who was a member of the 1965 Astros, will accompany Dene for the first pitch this afternoon.
On April 17-18, the Astros will have a more extensive celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Astros season. Included in that celebration will be a Jimmy Wynn bobble head giveaway (4/17) and an Astrodome replica giveaway (4/18). Additionally, both the Astros and visiting Angels will wear their respective 1965 uniforms for the April 18 game. The Astros will release more details on the events scheduled for April 17-18 in the upcoming days.
THE FIRST GAME IN THE DOME
On April 9, 1965, most of the focus of the baseball world was on the Houston Astros and their brand new Astrodome. The Dome featured baseball played under a roof in air-conditioned comfort and cushioned seats instead of the standard hard slabs of wood found in most stadiums at the time. Distinguished attendees for that first game included President Lyndon Johnson, a Texas native, and Texas Governor John Connally, who threw out the first pitch. An estimated 250 writers from across the nation covered the first game.
Another of the Astrodome's signature features was its big scoreboard, which displayed cowboys shooting bullets that ricocheted across the screen, and a giant steer's head at each end with a Texas and U.S. flag on its horns.
The game itself ended up being a pitcher's duel. Astros starter Dick "Turk" Farrell threw the game's first pitch. Yankees legend Mickey Mantle led off the game and ended up recording the Dome's first-ever hit (single) and home run. Astros player-coach Nellie Fox won the game with a walk-off single in the 12th inning. Hal Woodeshick earned the win for Houston, hurling 5.0 scoreless frames in relief. The game included more notables, such as Joe Morgan, Rusty Staub, Jimmy Wynn, Roger Maris and Mel Stottlemyre. *Note - On April 12, 1965, the Astros hosted the Philadelphia Phillies in the first regular season game in the Dome (2-0 defeat).
Starting Lineups for the Astrodome's first game, April 9, 1965:
|New York Yankees