HOUSTON — The Houston Astros have had a franchise since October 17, 1960, but they weren’t always called the ‘Stros.
The Astros were first called the Houston Colt .45s for the first three years of the franchise’s existence.
It wasn’t until Dec. 1964 that the team’s owner at the time, Roy Hofheinz, decided to change the team name to the Houston Astros.
Hofheinz originally wanted to call the them Houston Astronauts, a nod to the heroes of the day, AND we were the space city. He shortened the name to Astros though so sports writers didn’t shorten it for him.
The name change also coincided with the team’s move into the Astrodome.
Another reason for the name change -- Cold 45 was controlled by the Colt Firearms Company. Colt Firearms had allowed Hofheinz to have the Colt name and the image of a Colt on the team’s baseball jerseys.
When the team started playing in the Astrodome, the Colt company wanted to profit from the revenues from the merchandise. Hofheinz did not want that, so he changed the team name from Colt .45s to the Astros.
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