One of the special treats about being a Cubs fan is the beauty and charm of Wrigley Field. It’s one of the most cherished ballparks in baseball, and especially to those rooting for the Cubs.
Of course not all baseball fans have the privilege to grow up enjoying the gem of a ball yard at Clark and Addison. Instead, for many youngsters the greenest grass on earth may have resided at one of the rinky-dink stadiums of the 1950-60s, or in other cases, there wasn’t any green grass at all, but the shine of green Astroturf in the multi-purpose, cookie cutter parks from the 1970-80s.
At any rate, they’re all cathedrals to budding baseball fans dreaming of playing in the major leagues. It’s where heroes play and where hearts jump out of chests the moment the field comes into view after passing through a turnstile.
This season I’ll be writing about the many cathedrals of major league baseball; young and old, good and not so good, and all those in between. Particularly, I’ll look at some (not all) of the best performances in each stadium. Who had the most career hits? Who stole the most bases in a single game? Which pitcher collected the most strikeouts? etc.
With the opening of the 2013 season in Houston, I begin this series with the Astrodome, the former home of the former National League Astros.
-"The Eight Wonder of the World"
-Opened April 24, 1965
-Closed October 9, 1999
-Key Feature: Air conditioning
-Originally the park was to have natural grass growing beneath the more than 4,000 clear plastic panels on the roof. When that didn’t work, it lead to the birth of Astro Turf.
Top Individual Performances Single Game
- Hits: Edgardo Alfonzo (6) – 8.30.99
- Triples: *tied first* Ernie Banks (3) – 6.11.66
- Steals: Tony Gwynn (5) – 9.20.86
- RBI: Pete Incaviglia (7) – 6.14.92
- Scoreless innings: Randy Johnson (36) – 1998
- Strikeouts: Nolan Ryan, Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson (16)
- Games: Jose Cruz (931), Biggio (857), Cesar Cedeno (791)
- Plate Appearances: Biggio (3,686)
- Hits: Jose Cruz (949), Biggio (913)
- Runs: Biggio (535), Jeff Bagwell (465)
- HRs: Bagwell (126), Jim Wynn (97), Glen Davis (72)
- RBI: Bagwell (469), Jose Cruz (460)
- OBP: Bagwell (.421), Joe Morgan (.404), Biggio (.383)
- Wins: Larry Dierker (87). Joe Niekro (73), Mike Scott (65)
- Complete Games: Dierker (67)
- Shutouts: Dierker (17)
- Saves: Dave Smith (107)
- Strikeouts: Nolan Ryan (1,004), Dierker (882)