111 years ago, the Astros ball club called North Texas home

Astros' history begins in Cleburne

CLEBURNE, Texas --The club's name may have changed over the past century, but long timers in Cleburne still feel a passionate tie to the Texas major league baseball team playing in the World Series.

"I think there's a connection, and it raises the hair on my arms to talk about it," said Garey Wylie, a lifelong resident.

The team long-known as the Houston Astros actually started in Cleburne as the Railroaders in the early 1900s.

A museum in the town's new baseball stadium, where a new minor league Railroaders team started playing earlier this year, tells the history. 

"The story is there," said Mayor Scott Cain. "The team left here after the 1906 season and then went to Houston."

Cain has written a book on the area's local ties to baseball.

"Their owner sort of had a dispute," said Cain. "So, they moved to Houston where they were renamed the Buffaloes. Then, the Buffaloes were the Colt .45s. Then, the Astros."

The mayor's Facebook post about the Texas tie served as a good reminder this week that there is a baseball bond baseball buffs love to discuss. 

"In a way, the Cleburne DNA is in Houston," said Wylie. 

Even though he admits the area is technically Texas Rangers territory these days, he says the community is pulling hard for Astros to take home the championship. 

"We've even got a 1906 locomotive near our outfield," he said proudly. 

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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