There Used to be a Big Dome

This article was written by Francis Kinlaw

This article was published in The National Pastime: Baseball in the Space Age (Houston, 2014)


There used to be a big dome right here
Where the field was carpeted green
And where fans watched lots of wild games
And plays we’d never seen.
The air was set to a desired temp,
There were hot dogs and beer…
Yes, there used to be a big dome, right here.

And we used to sip big sodas
On Texas-sized Fourths of July,
With electronic fireworks exploding on a scoreboard
Over which homers would sometimes fly.
People looked around in wonder,
In comfort they’d laugh and cheer…
There used to be a big dome, right here.

Upon becoming the home of Houston’s team
In the Spring of ’65,
This “Eighth Wonder of the World” was where
Bouncing balls were quite alive!
No insects could invade the place,
Big mosquitos caused no fear…
Back when there used to be a big dome, right here.
Now the children try to find it
But they are a bit intrigued,
’Cause the old place is no longer there
And the current team has switched leagues.
Skyward views in the new park are often blocked
By a roof above the upper tier
As outside it’s hot and humid, this and every year.
Yes, there used to be a big dome, right here.

FRANCIS KINLAW has contributed to 14 SABR convention publications (the number of wild pitches thrown by J.R. Richard in the Astrodome in 1978) and attended 18 SABR conventions (the number of Astrodome starts for Larry Dierker in the 1968 and 1974 seasons). He resides in Greensboro, North Carolina, and writes extensively about baseball, football, and basketball.


Author’s Note

 The words of this poem are patterned upon the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s popular recording of “There Used to be a Ballpark,” which was released in 1973. The lyrics of the Sinatra recording, written by Joe Raposo, may be accessed here.