The news that Harris County voters turned down a proposal on Tuesday to remake the Astrodome into an exhibit and special events center makes me quite sad. In its heyday, the mid-sixties, the Astrodome was the symbol of Houston's ascension to major-league status, not just as a venue for baseball, but as Space City, the headquarters for NASA and the space program. In Houston they called it the "Eighth Wonder of the World."
I remember as if it were yesterday: driving to Houston on a spring Saturday after my UT law school classes were over, racing to the Astrodome to see the last innings of an exhibition game against the New York Yankees. I found a parking place and walked up the ramp to the stadium. I opened a door and there it was, a baseball game being played indoors. The scoreboard announced the tally as 1 to 1 in the ninth inning. Moments later, Nellie Fox, a fine player who had spent most of his career with the White Sox, hit a blooper over the shortstop's head to drive in the winning run in a 2 to 1 Astros' victory as a mighty roar filled the arena.