During the final nine days of 2013, I’m going to revisit nine memorable baseball moments from the year. Some stand out for personal reasons, but I’m starting off with a game that is historically significant.

The front of my scorecard from the Houston Astros first game as an American League team (click to enlarge)

The front of my scorecard from the Houston Astros first game as an American League team (click to enlarge)

On Easter Sunday, the Houston Astros defeated the Texas Rangers 8-2 to open the 2013 Major League Baseball Season.

I remember a lot of baseball fans wondering why the Astros and Rangers would be picked for the first Sunday Night Baseball game of the year, but it was the first game the Astros played in the American League after spending their first 50 games in the National League.

I was excited to watch a real baseball game with 25-man rosters and no player with a uniform number higher than #64 — even if it was played using the DH rule. But I also wanted to see the New York Mets’ expansion partners make history.

Funny thing: I don’t recall many details of the game. My scorecard notes remind me that Bud Norris threw the first pitch of the season for a strike, that Jose Altuve was the first Astro to get a hit as an American League player, and that Rick Ankiel – who would later become a Met – hit the first Astro American League home run.

The back of my scorecard from the Houston Astros first game as an American League team (click to enlarge)

The back of my scorecard from the Houston Astros first game as an American League team (click to enlarge)

Everyone knew the Astros were going to be terrible – and they were, though they were not historically bad — a 51-111 finish did not even put them within striking distance of the 1962 New York Mets’ modern record for futility. But for one night, they had the best record in baseball.

Despite its milestone status, it never really sunk in the the Astros are now part of the “other” league. Blame interleague play and about 25 years of thinking of the Astros as a National League team for that, I guess.

I probably need to see the Astros play the Mets or another National League team and use the designated hitter rule before it really hits me.

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @PaulsRandomStuf on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

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About Paul Hadsall

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper in New Jersey. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

4 responses

  1. can i get a link to those awesome scorecards!?

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  2. just noticed that the pdf is on your page….thanks!

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  3. Will in Central NJ says:

    That game was also Bo Porter’s debut as a major league manager. He just might be the first native of Newark, NJ, to ever have managed a major league game. So, that was historic, too.

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  4. NJ_Baseball says:

    The Astros did tie the 1932 Red Sox for the fourth-most losses in a season in AL history.

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