CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 1992 |
When George Bush addresses the Republican convention at the Houston Astrodome this week, he will need an extraordinary performance to win back Orange County voters. In recent weeks, the national media have been in shock over polls showing Democrat Bill Clinton leading Bush in Orange County. Bush has actually been in trouble with local voters all year, as poor ratings for the President's performance on the economy have taken their toll.
April 20, 1992 |
Nothing against the city of Houston, but the Padres wanted out of here as quickly as possible. The Astros may have lowered the fences at the Astrodome, and made it much more conducive to hitters, but the Padres would never know it. They failed to hit anything more damaging than a double in their three-game series, batting .221 and scoring only three runs in 30 innings. The result was that the Padres were swept at the Astrodome for the first time since Sept. 15-17, 1985.
September 1, 1991 |
Eight months after their run-and-hide performance against Buffalo, maybe run-and-shoot isn't what the Raiders had in mind to bolster their confidence and christen a new season. What the Raiders needed today was a tug-of-war brawl in the dirt and dog bones of Cleveland. What the Raiders get on the rock-hard floor of the Astrodome are the Houston Oilers, who averaged 300 yards passing last season.
May 27, 1991 |
The Padres hurriedly dressed, packed their bags and tried to think of the bright side to Sunday afternoon's game. Deciding that there was none, left the Astrodome wondering how long this possibly can continue. In a game that the Padres described to a man as utterly humiliating, they lost 13-3 to the Houston Astros, suffering their worst defeat since May 26, 1990. The game became such a mockery that outfielder Darrin Jackson actually pitched for two innings. The last time he pitched?
March 9, 1991 |
The Houston Astros portray their changes as a youth movement and rebuilding program. Glenn Davis, the power-hitting first baseman they traded to the Baltimore Orioles in January, describes it another way. "I can agree with a philosophy of going with youth and rebuilding, but you still need a foundation, people to build around," he said at the Orioles' training base. "The Astros are just cutting costs and cutting corners because they're more interested in selling the club.
August 29, 1990 |
The Astrodome was full of surprises for Chicago's Ryne Sandberg, who didn't expect to hit 30 homers this season and didn't expect to reach the milestone in the spacious home of the Houston Astros. But there he was in the fourth inning Tuesday night, hitting a solo home run over the left field fence and making history. Sandberg became the first second baseman to hit 30 or more homers in consecutive seasons as he led the Cubs to a 5-2 victory over Houston.
August 6, 1989
Early in the 1971 baseball season, pitcher Jerry Reuss, a 21-year-old left-hander with the St. Louis Cardinals, faced the Houston Astros in the Astrodome, his first start in the stadium. Recalling the game, Reuss told USA Today: "I couldn't even get out of the first inning. I loaded the bases, then gave up a grand slam." The player who hit the grand slam won a new car, as part of an Astro promotion. The following year, Reuss was traded to Houston.
July 26, 1989 |
Tim Belcher's temper finally got the best of someone else. Slapping at the ball, yelling at himself, glowering at everyone else, Belcher had a three-hour tantrum at the expense of the Houston Astros Tuesday. The result was the Dodgers' 6-0 victory, in which Belcher gave up five hits and struck out nine before 28,910 at the Astrodome. It was Belcher's fourth shutout this season, tying teammate Orel Hershiser for the league lead.
September 4, 1988 |
If the Houston Astrodome was the brainchild of flamboyant Judge Roy Hofheinz, the 40,000-light scoreboard that spanned nearly 500 feet of the stadium's back wall could be seen as the twinkle in his eye. The judge is long gone -- banished from the dome by financial problems and felled by illnesses that eventually cost him his life. And now the famed scoreboard -- with its snorting bull, lighted flags and blazing cowboy pistols -- soon will be just a memory.
April 6, 1988 |
Ah, baseball's season opener. Sweet green grass under a fresh spring day (or night). A special occasion. Unfortunately for the Padres, they did not open their season in a real ballpark Tuesday. They were condemned to play on the Astrodome's plastic grass under the plastic roof. To be fair, the Astrodome was fitted with a marvelous new rug. It has come to this . . . A sign behind the batting cage: "Please wipe feet before walking on AstroTurf."