George Strait playing the Rodeo at the Astrodome in 1987. Swoon.
The Astrodome is a special place. Of course we all know that it’s where Astroturf made its world debut (we all know that, right?), but “The Eighth Wonder of the World” hosted so many events in its storied past, it has earned the right to retain its nickname. George Strait literally shut that shit DOWN with his For the Last Time: Live from the Astrodome concert in 2002. I would have been there except I didn’t like country music yet. Growing up in Houston, country music felt singularly uncool to me. I mean, my parents listened to The Beatles. And I was into indie pop and singer-songwriter blah blah blah and never knew the truth and beauty of twang until, ironically, I moved to New York City. I would give up days of my life to go back in time and be at that Strait show in the Astrodome. Wait, this is a baseball blog–let me get back on track.
I grew up going to Astros games at the Astrodome (pre-Enron Field, er, Minute Maid Park days). My mom did too–she tells stories of taking family road trips in the 1960s from New Orleans to Houston, just to see the Astros play. It’s the first place I saw Beyoncé (and Kelly and Michelle) in the flesh, at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (held in the Astrodome until 2002). They performed “Survivor” for the first time live, presumably because we were their hometown crowd, and then performed it two more times in a row. Sixth grade me thought I’d never see a better performance, until I saw Beyoncé at the Rodeo again and she entered riding a light blue Cadillac Convertible. Unreal. Most importantly, the Astrodome was where I discovered that ice cream tastes better in a plastic baseball hat.
that lady behind me was upset because she wasn’t drinking an ice cold bud light.
That structure holds some deep meaning for me. I imagine it’s the way some Mets fans feel about Shea Stadium, which brings me to an important point: I’m a Mets fan. I live in New York City, and I enjoy supporting a team whose games I can actually attend. Why the Mets and not the Yankees? That should be obvious because the Yankees are garbage, but there are three other reasons that stand out: Mr. Met, Noah Syndergaard (Texas boy!), and Keith Hernandez’s mustache. Plus, Citi Field is a damn fine place to enjoy a game, and the beers are slightly cheaper than at Yankee Stadium but still cost $40.
Need this on a t shirt, stat.
Yes, my love for the Astrodome runs deeper than my love for the team that made it famous. But hey, the Mets were also an expansion team in 1962 (at that time the Astros were the Colt .45s, which is a DOPE name and should probably never have been changed?), and since the Astros moved to the American League, I feel like it’s totally legit to root for both. And I gotta support the ‘stros, cuz hometown pride and they have a great logo.
I love supporting two baseball teams. It makes the season twice as fun, and expands my team gear wardrobe. In conclusion, here’s Orbit dancing to Single Ladies.
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