The 1963 Houston Colt Stadium is a forgotten relic of a different time.
Fans of the 1963 Houston Colt .45s would have watched their games from a largely empty stadium.
The almost forgotten Colt Stadium housed the team for three seasons between 1963 and 1965. Despite a capacity of 33,000, games routinely drew fewer than 2,000 spectators to games. Fans who did brave the summer heat to watch the Colt .45s play found themselves swarmed by Huston’s unofficial city bird: mosquitos.
This isn’t to say that the field was any better.
In addition to weathering the summer heat, the stadium’s games had some unintended players: live rattlesnakes. Players would occasionally disrupt snakes just below the ground and suddenly find themselves playing a frantic new form of baseball that no training could adequately prepare them for. Despite only being open a short time, the stadium was home to two no-hitter games. In 1963, Don Nottebart pitched perfect against the Philadelphia Phillies, but the team later scored a run from an error in the 5th. A year later, Ken Johnson pitches a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, but the Colt .45s later lost from an upset tiebreaker in the ninth.
Read that again: Under the blistering heat of the Huston summers, in a stadium with more rattlesnakes and mosquitos than fans, the Huston Colt .45s pitched a no-hitter and lost. When the climate-controlled sanctuary of the nearby Astrodome was complete, they were happy to leave the stadium behind and allow the resident rattlesnake populations to slowly reclaim it.
As the years wore on, the remains of Colt Stadium wore away. It was used to house discarded scrap from Six Flags AstroWorld before being dismantled and sold off in pieces to construction projects in Mexico. Part of the area now houses a power station.
Despite fading first from public view and then from public memory, the stadium is remembered fondly by the occasional odd baseball fan in Houston. Several dedicated fans of the 1964 season made a point to explore the power station parking lot where parts of the stadium once stood, and determine which light pole marks the former location of home-plate.
On certain summer days, when the air is sweltering and the sun overbearing, you can stand by the light pole and almost hear the rattlesnakes.