I walked around Minute Maid Park today and hardly recognized the place.
Although Minute Maid Park is 11 years old, several areas these days have that “new house” smell. It makes sense, really, when you think about how many familiar pockets of the ballpark are being torn out and completely redone. Upgrades are popping up all over the place, and as far as I can tell, everything is on schedule to either be ready for the College Classic (press box, video board) or Opening Day (new press club).
The one place NOT being renovated is the Astros’ clubhouse, with good reason — there’s no need for upgrades there. It’s still one of the best clubhouses in the league and looks as new as it did when the facility opened in 2000.
On Wednesday, however, the clubhouse was a fine mess. That’s par for the course this time of year — the equipment truck is due to pull out of the parking lot mid-afternoon on Thursday, and everything that will eventually be packed onto the truck is currently sitting in the clubhouse.
In addition to the uniforms, equipment, sunflower seeds and dozens of other baseball-related items that go on the truck, the team and the support staff are invited to drop off any personal items they’d like to send as well. Most Astros folks who live in town will send along a suitcase and a few miscellaneous items, to lighten the load when they have to fly to Florida.
So in addition to bubblegum, socks and jerseys, you’ll see some car seats, tricycles and golf bags in the mix on the truck as well.
Enjoy the mish-mosh of photos from around Minute Maid Park…
Press Club — best seat in the house, hands down. (Speaking from experience)
Control room — the new home for ballpark entertainment staff.
Clubouse scene, one day before “Truck Day.”