How Astros historic benchmarks are in some ways being overshadowed
Let’s crunch some Astros numbers.
With five home games left in the regular season – and the American League West pennant still up for grabs – it’s practically guaranteed that the Astros will top 3 million attendance this season for only the fifth time in their history.
But unless the fire marshal looks the other way, the Astros will fall just short of breaking their all-time attendance mark of 3,087,872 fans set in 2004.
The other years that the Astros topped 3 million fans were 2007 (3,020,045), 2006 (3,022,763), and 2000 (3,056,139). The Astros moved into Minute Maid Park, capacity 41,000 fans, in 2000.
The Astros played their first three years as the Colt .45’s in steamy, mosquito-plagued, open-air Colt Stadium from 1962-65. The first MLB team in Texas wasn’t exactly an instant success. While Colt Stadium held 33,000 fans, the team drew an average crowd of only 11,274 its debut season. Attendance dipped below 10,000 per game the next two seasons before the Colt .45’s became the Astros and moved into the world’s first multipurpose domed stadium.
Despite the Astrodome holding 52,000 fans for baseball, the Astros never drew 3 million fans to the Dome for indoor baseball.
Proving that size doesn’t matter (thank goodness), the MLB team with the current largest-capacity stadium is the Oakland A’s. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum holds 56,782 fans. The MLB team with the smallest attendance this year … the Oakland A’s, averaging only 10,509 fans.
Crunch on: beating the dead horse that Yanier Diaz should be the Astros everyday catcher instead of Martin Maldonado.
Maldonado is batting .191. Diaz is batting .321 when he gets to play catcher. While objects may be closer than they appear and your mileage may vary, if Diaz had been behind the plate during games that Maldonado played, he would have swatted 46 more base hits than Maldonado managed.
With the American League West bunched up for first place, I’m sure Dusty Baker would trade his stubbornness for 46 additional hits (instead of outs) this season. Every inch counts in a pennant race and Diaz is a miles better hitter than Maldonado.