My dad surprised me the day before the first Colt .45s opening day game with the question, "How'd you like to go to the game tomorrow and see the Colts play the Cubs?" We did. In fact, my sister (Jean), my Dad, and I went to the first two games--no problem getting tickets. April 10, 1962, 11 - 2 Colt .45s over the Chicago Cubs. In fact, we are in this picture, sitting down the first-base line about halfway up just beyond the dugout.
Getting Colt .45s players' baseball cards was a different story. I had collected cards in the 50's, clothes pinned them to my bicycle spokes, and lost track of them--classic story. By the 60's, I was in junior high, so buying gum and baseball cards was less exciting--unfortunately. Besides, the odds of finding a Houston player in a pack of gum was quite small.
This baseball was fouled off by Carl Warwick in a 1962 game, then later signed in an appearance by him at my church (South Main Baptist in Houston).
When the team moved into the Astrodome and became the Astros, my dad and I went to the first exhibition games and opening day. By those days, I could drive to the games myself. My friends and I made a habit of paying a dollar for parking on weekends and another dollar to sit in the outfield seats. We could watch Dick Farrell, Sandy Koufax, and all the legends of baseball strike out batters from there.
I saw the grass die and be replaced by AstroTurf. Then the AstroTurf wear out and become dangerous to the players. Only a few of the original Colt .45s players got to play on that AstroTurf--a piece of which is shown below. Thanks go to my sister, Judy, who went to the game when samples of the original AstroTurf were handed out!
Back into Card Collecting in the 1990's
When my own kids (Aly, Kyle, & Shelby) began collecting cards in the early 1990's, the local card shop, Card Traders of Austin, began their Midnight Madness Sales. I would load all the neighborhood kids, about a dozen, up and head to the sale. While they looked for baseball and all sorts of other cards, I started searching for Colt .45s cards. Not surprising, there were only a few to be found.
Then, along came eBay and everything changed. I was able to buy cards from Wisconsin, Washington, Minnesota, and other states where collectors had been holding them, unwanted, for decades. The rest of the story is displayed on the pages of this website.