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Houston Astros, American professional baseball team based in Houston that has won one World Series title (2017). The Astros play in the American League (AL) but were members of the National League (NL) for the first 51 seasons of the team’s existence and won an NL pennant in 2005 in addition to the team’s 2017 AL pennant.
The team was founded in 1962 and was initially known as the Houston Colt .45s, taking its name from the famous sidearm of the American West. The team was at first fairly poor, as it finished among the bottom three positions in the NL in its first seven seasons. Perhaps the most notable occurrence during this period was the opening of the team’s new home stadium, the Astrodome (named for Houston’s role as a centre for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), in 1965. The Astrodome was the world’s first multipurpose domed sports stadium, and it was billed as the ballpark of the future. Its opening was a national media sensation, and the team adopted its current nickname to become more readily identified with the newly famous stadium.
In 1970 the Astros called up outfielder César Cedeño, who went on to earn All-Star honors four times and become arguably the team’s first superstar. He was joined by fellow All-Star outfielder José Cruz in 1975, but the Astros remained relatively unsuccessful throughout the 1970s, finishing higher than third in their division on just one occasion in the decade (second place in 1979).