Field - 315 ft (96 m)
Left-Center - 362 ft (110 m)
Left-Center (deep) - 404 ft (123 m)
Center Field - 435 ft (133 m)
Right-Center - 373 ft (114 m)
Right Field - 326 ft (99 m)
The ballpark originally was called Enron Field, with naming rights sold
to the Houston energy corporation. Astros management faced a public
relations nightmare when the energy corporation went bankrupt in the midst
of one of the biggest business scandals in American history in 2001. The
face of that scandal, Kenneth Lay, had thrown out the first pitch at the
first game and Enron logos were all over the stadium. The management
at Enron, showing the kind of over-the-top tactics that both enriched and
embarrassed the city, played hardball and insisted it still owned the
naming rights so long as it continued to make its payments and managed to
get $2.1M from Harris County for the remainder of Enron's thirty years of
naming rights! The ballpark was then known simply as "Astros
While the Enron scandal continues to make headlines and new inmates,
the Astros have moved on. Houston-based Minute Maid, the fruit-juice
subsidiary of Coca-Cola, acquired the naming rights to the stadium in
The stadium was created to replace the Astrodome
as a venue for baseball. The Eight Wonder of the World wasn't producing
enough revenue for the Astros owners and it was abandoned after just over
30 years of service.
to the Minute Maid Park!
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During its days as Enron Field, it was also dubbed "Ten-Run" or
"Home Run" Field due to its cozy left-field dimensions. In
keeping with this theme while paying homage to its current sponsor, the
nickname "The Juice Box" is sometimes heard today.
The stadium is known for being particularly hitter-friendly down the
lines, especially in left field where it is only 315 ft (96 m) to the
Crawford Boxes, though the wall there is 19 feet tall. Conversely, it is
quite difficult to hit a ball out in center field, though fielding is a
challenge there as well, due to the 10-degree steep up-sloped grade,
sometimes known as Tal's Hill, for team president Tal Smith, an element
taken from Crosley
Field and other historic ballparks, and the flagpole in play, an
element taken from Yankee
Stadium and Tiger
Stadium among others. The difference is that the Crosley Field
"terrace" was necessitated by the difference in elevation
between field level and street level, while "Tal's Hill" is
purely decorative. Both structures have been held in equal disdain by the
respective outfielders that have had to patrol those areas.
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
A concourse above Tal's Hill features the "Conoco Home Run
Porch" in left-center field that is actually over the field of play,
and features a classic gasoline pump to keep track of the number of Astros
In 2004, the Astros launched Wi-Fi throughout the ballpark, allowing
fans to use the internet while attending a game for a fee ($3.95 a game).
In addition, all public address announcements are flashed on the
scoreboard for benefit of the hearing-impaired.
On October 25, 2005, Minute Maid Park became the first Texas ballpark
to host a World Series game.
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