It was a star-studded, sold out event remembered for a lighting disaster that sparked the invention of "AstroTurf." Relive it here.
- This morning, I dug into our ABC 13 film archives, and I want to take you to the first Astros game ever played in the legendary Astrodome. The day, April 9th 1965.
- A sold out crowd of 47,879 fans were greeted by the sign that set it all that day, welcome, to the world's first indoor day baseball game. The Astros versus Yankees exhibition game was a star studded affair, with President Lyndon Johnson and wife Lady Bird in the stands, along with Texas governor John Conley.
Fans quickly fell in love with the air conditioned dome, the giant scoreboard, its home run spectacular, indoor fireworks.
- You're saying it's all you expected it to be?
- Very much so.
- How do you feel about the stadium?
All and more than I expected.
- Even back then traffic to the world's first domed stadium, dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, was a mess, and at first, so was the lighting, thanks to translucent panels that made up the ceiling. The glare from the sun was so bad, players routinely missed fly balls and resorted to sunglasses.
- We're first going to experiment Saturday afternoon with colored baseballs.
- The next day, they played with orange, yellow, and red baseballs. A week later, the panels were painted white, and the glare was gone. But the lack of light killed the grass, and artificial Astroturf was born a year later.
- Yankee, Mickey Mantle had the first hit, a single, and the first home run in the dome. But that day belonged to the Astros, who won it two to one.
- Astros won the home opener that day. And over the years, a lot of questions about what's next for the Astrodome. So right now, on ABC.com, we're breaking down Houston's love hate relationship with the eighth wonder of the world.
That includes a timeline of the groundbreaking that took place in 1962 all the way to 2018, when they did a 105 million renovation project that was passed by voters and nothing happened. Nothing happened.
The Astrodome is still sitting there. To get rid of it or not to get rid of it remains the question, Elita.
- How can you get rid of it? I mean, it's a piece of history, right?