Dodd: ‘Astroman lives!’ The forgotten story of 10 days and nights on the Astrodome roof

From Rustin Dodd at The Athletic on October 18, 2018, with mention of SABR member Bill Brown:

It​ was a baseball story that sounded too​ weird​ to be true. ​ Supposedly happened​ 40 years ago,​ yet​ the​​ evidence was scant. The tale included a 25-year-old man living in a tent for 10 days on top of one of the most famous sports venues in the world.

I was not alive in the 1970s or early 80s, so perhaps my perspective was skewed. Yet I kept coming back to one question: How was this allowed?

The details went something like this: In October of 1980, as the city of Houston reveled in the Astros’ first postseason berth in franchise history, a radio station general manager named Dickie Rosenfeld came up with a promotional idea. As the hometown team chased a pennant and prepped for a National League Championship Series, the station would send an employee to live on top of the Astrodome, the heart and soul of Houston.

The man would eat, sleep and pass the days on a roof platform and inside a circular steel gondola that hung from the top of the building. He would not come down until the Astros won the pennant. Somebody at the station — maybe it was Rosenfeld, though that’s unclear — thought up a name.


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Originally published: October 18, 2018. Last Updated: October 18, 2018.