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This Day in History: Houston Awarded National League Expansion Team

Collections, Houston & Texas History, In the News

On this day in 1960, Houston was awarded a National League expansion team. That team, first called the Colt .45s, played its first game nearly two years later, on April 10, 1962. In 1965, with the opening of the Astrodome, the team became the Astros.

A major factor in bringing major league baseball to Houston was the work of the Houston Sports Association, whose detailed plans included a scale model of the Astrodome. The association was formed in 1957 by a group of men that included sportswriter, traveler, and baseball promoter George Kirksey. Kirksey held the position of Vice President of the Houston Sports Association until 1966. During that time he was instrumental in the promotion of the team and the Astrodome.

Special Collections holds the George Kirksey Papers, which include a variety of materials dealing with Kirksey’s work as part of the Houston Sports Association. These materials include press kits, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

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