October 23, 2017 / 1:20 PM / a year ago

Factbox: American League champion Houston Astros

(Reuters) - Factbox on the American League champion Houston Astros, who will play the Los Angeles Dodgers, winner of the National League title, in Major League Baseball’s World Series.

Manager: A.J. Hinch

World Series titles: none

2017 regular season record: 101-61

Most home runs in 2017: George Springer (34)

Most wins by a pitcher in 2017: Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel (14)

How they qualified: Clinched American League West division; Beat Boston Red Sox 3-1 in best-of-five division series; Beat New York Yankees 4-3 in best-of-seven American League Championship Series.

* Established in 1960 as a National League expansion team, Houston began play in 1962 as the Colt .45s before changing their name to Astros in December 1964 and moving into the new domed stadium the Astrodome, their home from 1965 through the 1999 season. The new decade brought a new stadium, now called Minute Maid Park, and 2013 produced further change when the Astros moved to the American League as part of Major League Baseball realignment.

* Colorful uniforms and losing records have often been the Astros’ hallmark with the team dropping a franchise record 111 games in 2013 and holding an overall record of 4,391-4,552 since 1962.

* Despite their lowly record, the Astros set a benchmark for paying pitchers when Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan became the first major league player to earn $1 million a year when he signed a four-year, $4.5 million contract with Houston in 1979.

* The 2017 season marks only the second time Houston has won more than 100 games (101). The club went 102-60 in 1998.

* Only once previously have the Astros been in the World Series, with the 2005 National League champions being swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox.

* Eight players who wore the Astros uniform are in the Baseball Hall of Fame but only three of them played for Houston for more than two seasons - infielder Craig Biggio, pitcher Nolan Ryan and second Joe Morgan.

* The Astros were in involved in 1968 in one of the longest games in major league history. The game went 24 innings and lasted six hours and six minutes before being decided in Houston’s favor 1-0.

* AstroTurf is not named for the Astros, but they had a role in helping it become world famous. After the Astrodome’s roof panels were painted to reduce glare that had complaining players dropping routine fly balls, grass would not grow. Facility managers solved the problem by installing artificial grass that became known by the brand name AstroTurf.

Compiled by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina

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