MLB Parks Tour #11 – Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX – 2010

Working through these as quickly as I can preparing for the trip in June!

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of Houston. And honestly, I couldn’t really give you any great reasons why. The humidity is a pain, but we’ve got some of that in Dallas. Whatever the reason is, it’s still in our back yard, and offers the convenience of being a drive away. We were busy in 2010, and already had a really nice vacation that we were recovering (financially at least) from. We had gone to Europe (which I’ll post more of in another post), and simply couldn’t afford to take another trip far away. Luckily, we had Houston still on the list and took advantage. Plus, we got to see my brother and his kids, which we hardly ever get to see. We actually didn’t do much else while we were there…so I’ll get straight to it.

Minute Maid Park is another of the downtown parks that have become a really cool trend in baseball. There’s something really nice to me about having the park in the epicenter of the city’s activities. We walked around in the horrible humidity for a while, and lamented the idea of sitting in the same weather for the game. Imagine our pleasant surprise when we arrived to find out that the walls and roof of Minute Maid Park were closed and the air conditioning was pumping in. While I usually believe baseball is meant to be played outdoors, Houston is the exception. Nothing is meant to be done outdoors there.

The park itself was built in 2000, and was named Enron Field. Just a year later, when Enron went bankrupt among one of the biggest scandals in American history, the Astros bought back the naming rights (for a fraction of what Enron paid) and renamed the park Astros Field. In 2002, Minute Maid approached the Astros about naming rights, and after penning a 28 year deal, the park was christened Minute Maid Park. The park itself was actually the very first park in baseball to feature a retractable roof. We entered the park inside what was once Houston’s Union Station. The train in left-field, which moves along the wall when the Astros hit a homerun (barely ever) and when they win (still rare). That train pays tribute to the historic Union Station.

A few notes:

I shouldn’t give Houston such a hard time. Houston-ites already have it bad enough. They don’t need me piling on. 😉

I’m also bummed that I don’t remember a ton of details from this game…other than Corey Hart adding to our list of All-Stars we’ve seen hit home runs at home.

One thing that was interesting was actually a player who didn’t play. Prince fielder ended a 327 game streak because of flu-like symptoms. It was the longest current streak in the majors and the longest in Brewers history.

The game:

Milwaukee Brewers – 2
Houston Astros – 4

Monday, September 13, 2010, 7:06PM
Time of Game: 3:06
Weather: Indoors/Dome

Attendance: 31,342

Winning Pitcher: Brett Myers (12-7)
Losing Pitcher: Brandon Kintzler (0-1)
Save: Matt Lindstrom (23)

The hot dog:

(Hot Dog ratings are for entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to hot dogs, either real or fictional, is purely coincidental.)

I actually remember quite liking the hotdog at Minute Maid. It doesn’t get notched up into the icon tier, but it was good nonetheless.

Score (out of 5): 3.5 Dogs

3.5 Hotdogs

Now for photos!

Back CameraBack CameraBack CameraAstros5Astros6Astros7Astros8Astros9

Cheers, and play ball!

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