Tal's Hill at Minute Maid Park: Going, going, gone
Houston Astros fans bid farewell to quirkly ballpark feature
HOUSTON – Fans bid farewell to Tal's Hill during the Houston Astros' last regular season game at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday.
The Astros unveiled a proposed renovation of center field in June 2015, which included the removal of Tal's Hill. The renovation will include improved seating, new food and beverage items and escalators.
Bases in Wednesday's Astros game against the Seattle Mariners included a message that read:
"Farewell to Tal's Hill- September 28, 2016."
Our own KPRC2 Chip Brewster is at Minute Maid Park talking to fans about Tal's Hill. How do you feel about its upcoming demolition? #FarewellTalsHillPosted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Currently, the center field distance is 436 feet. The renovation would change that distance to 409 feet, which would move Minute Maid Park from the deepest center distance to the sixth-farthest in Major League Baseball.
In August, KPRC 2 reported that the Astros have hit nearly 10 balls to Tal's Hill for extra bases, which all would be home runs in the renovated center field.
The idea of Tal's Hill came from Houston Astros executive Tal Smith, an original employee of the Houston Colt .45s.
"I'm just glad that we were able to experience and enjoy it for 17 seasons," Smith told KPRC 2 on Wednesday. "I think it's been an interesting dimension to the ballpark and the most memorable plays out here, if you talk about defensive plays, many of the more memorable ones have been those that resulted from the hill in centerfield. I think it's made the park distinctive. I think it's been fun. Nobody's been injured. I think it's turned out well."
Although many players have tripped up on Tal's Hill, there have been no major injuries.
Tal's Hill came with Minute Maid Park when it was built in 2000.
Astros fans getting their pics taken in front of Tal's Hill. pic.twitter.com/ObbktAnB0L— Julia Morales (@JuliaMorales) September 25, 2016
When Tal's Hill is coming to an end, and you've finally realized there is nothing you can do about it pic.twitter.com/buX1MAr9KX— Bill O'Zimmermann (@The_Reliant) September 28, 2016
You guys all watching Mariners-Astros? I'm gonna miss Tal's Hill so much.— Mitch Goldich (@mitchgoldich) September 28, 2016