The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division, having moved to the division in 2013 after spending their first 51 seasons in the National League (NL).
In 1962, the Houston Colt.45s and the New York Mets were both added to the National League as expansion teams.
They changed the name three years later when they moved into Astrodome—the first domed sports stadium and so-called “Eighth Wonder of the World”—and adopted the current name, reflecting Houston’s status as the host of Johnson Space Center.
Minute Maid Park, the Astros’ new home, opened in 2000. As part of a minor divisional restructuring in 2013, the Astros were transferred from the NL West to the NL Central, where they remained until the 2013 season.
In 1972, the Astros had their first winning season, and the team first reached the postseason in 1980. It was the Astros’ first trip to the World Series, but they were swept by the American League’s Chicago White Sox that same year.
Why Did Astros Switch To Al?
For the past decade, the National League had 16 teams, compared to just 14 in the American League, and it was decided in advance that the Astros would join the NL.
As reported by The New York Times, the change was made in order to intensify competition between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. This was done in 2013 to create two 15-team North American professional baseball leagues, the NL Central and the AL West.
Astros fans were stunned two years later when they added 16 victories to their previous season’s record and made it to the playoffs.