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Winner, Seymour Medal, Society for Baseball Research
When it opened in 1965, the Houston Astrodome, nicknamed the Eighth Wonder of the World, captured the attention of an entire nation, bringing pride to the city and enhancing its reputation nationwide. It was a Texas-sized vision of the future, an unthinkable feat of engineering with premium luxury suites, theater-style seating, and the first animated scoreboard. Yet there were memorable problems such as outfielders’ inability to see fly balls and failed attempts to grow natural grass—which ultimately led to the development of Astroturf. The Astrodome nonetheless changed the way people viewed sports, putting casual fans at the forefront of a user-experience approach that soon became the standard in all American sports.
The Eighth Wonder of the World tears back the façade and details the Astrodome’s role in transforming Houston as a city while also chronicling the building’s pivotal fifty years in existence and the ongoing debate about its preservation.
“The Astrodome was an architectural marvel when it opened more than a half century ago. This book documents the many wondrous people and events that starred inside this magical building. I know. I was there to see much of it happen!”—Jim Nantz, lead play-by-play announcer, CBS Sports
“Trumpbour and Womack have produced a magnificent examination of one of our greatest undertakings, the Houston Astrodome. This book is a great tribute to the human energy and triumph that reached across the United States and the world.”—Mike Acosta, Houston Astros in-house historian
“If you want to learn why the Astrodome is an important part of Houston’s history, read this book. No self-respecting ‘Domer’ should live without it.”—Craig Hlavaty, reporter for the Houston Chronicle