Coppola: Astroland: Brooklyn to Houston

By William Coppola: Contributor Bronx Chronicle Sports

Once upon a time. there was a place called Astroland in Coney Island, Brooklyn, that first opened in 1962. The same year that the Mets and the Houston Colt 45’s, who later became the Astros, joined the National league. It ceased operations in 2008.

Though a majority of people polled want the Astros to forfeit their 2017 World Series for their cheating scam, there is no mention of them ceasing to exist. Well, at least not yet.

The Mets opened their new state of the art and somewhat futuristic ballpark, Shea Stadium, in Flushing Meadows at the same time that the 1964 Worlds Fair showed off an amazing display of even more futuristic ideas. Astronauts were flying into space and yet baseball remained the same game that we remember from when Babe Ruth played.

There was the introduction to the new technology of TV and lights. But the game remained the same. 

Scoreboards began to take on a bit more than just the score with big screens showing the players faces. Some like at Comisky Park in Chicago would actuality have exploding fireworks when a home team player hit a home run but the game remained the same. Televised games added more cameras but no replay and in black and white.

Again, the game never changed. 

The idea of Astroland in Flushing began to fade when the the Worlds Fair shut down in 1965. Astroland now shifted to Houston when the Colt 45’s built the “Astro Dome” and changed their name to the Astros. The game remained the same. 

The Mets would win a World Series after only eight years of their existence in 1969 and then another one in 1986. The Astros looked like they would never get their rocket ship off the ground. They got close in 1986, losing to the Mets in the NLCS. As of today, their overall record is 4494 – 4611. The pressure to win a championship had become heavier than the force of gravity that rockets need to push through to get to the moon. 

Then like a movie about an amazing team that finally rose from the ashes of disappointment and 55 years later, they finally got that spaceship to the moon. All of baseball lest the LA Dodgers and Yankees, felt all things good for all that they worked so hard to accomplish. A real feel good story. 

Then like the banging of a drum, the story of the Astros cheating began to come out. Now that championship has been tainted and has put a black eye on the face of baseball. The players involved who remain in Houston, sound like group of Mafia Lieutenants being questioned by Congress. They have all literally taken the 5th. 

I am not quite ready to move on to the 2020 season with the smile and enthusiasm of a true baseball fan. It will take a lot of bathroom air fresheners to get the stench of what they did out of my nose. As for MLB seriously punishing the Astros, The commissioner has more important things to do, continuing to change the game for the sake of making money for the owners.

He keeps coming up with rule changes and the use of technology to alter what we never had a problem with. 

The Astros used some of this new found technology to cheat their way to a championship and now, the game is not the same.

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