Astros 50Th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
No enhanced packaging
DVD | Box Set
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HOUSTON ASTROS 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION is a five-DVD showcase that salutes four classic full television broadcasts plus, an all-new documentary special ASTROS MEMORIES.
From the roof-raising euphoria of the Astrodome to the open-air adoration of Minute Maid Park, the cascade of emotions and joys are relived as four ESSENTIAL GAMES OF THE HOUSTON ASTROS are presented on DVD for the first time!
1981 NOLAN RYAN'S 5TH NO-HITTER vs. LAD, September 26, 1981 - In his second season with the Astros Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher to throw five career no-hitters.
1986 MIKE SCOTT'S NO-HITTER CLINCHES DIVISION vs. SF, September 25, 1986 - The Astros punctuate their 25th season's celebration with the double delight of clinching the division behind Mike Scott's no-hit masterpiece.
2005 NLDS CLINCHER - 18-INNINGS vs. ATL, October 9, 2005 - Chris Burke's solo home run in the bottom of the 18th caps the Astros 7-6 victory in the longest game in postseason history.
CRAIG BIGGIO'S 3,000TH HIT vs. COL, June 28, 2007 - Craig Biggio entered three hits shy of the 3,000 hit milestone then promptly collected five hits in the game and sparked the winning rally which ended with Carlos Lee's walk-off grand slam!
ASTROS MEMORIES salutes Jimmy Wynn, Jose Cruz, Nolan Ryan, Cesar Cedeno, Craig Biggio, and Jeff Bagwell. Beyond the individual heroics this DVD celebrates the 1980 and 1986 seasons and playoffs runs, and magical 2004 and National League pennant-winning 2005 seasons. The history makers become the storytellers through exclusive interviews including: Biggio, Ryan, Phil Garner, Art Howe, and Alan Ashby. Celebrated no-hitters, 3,000 hits, historic hits, heroes, and magical moments: 100% Houston baseball.
- Astros No-hitters Under The Dome
- Dierker's Diary "What Might Have Been"
- Bob Aspromonte's Home Run Story
- Craig Biggio's Biggest Night
- Bob Watson Speech
- Dierker's Diary All-time Astros team
- Houston Midsummer Classics
- Nolan Ryan In The Gym
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There have been sometimes conflicting, and at other times incorrect, descriptions of which games would be on the set, so I'll list them here:
Disc 1: Nolan Ryan's 5th no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1981.
Disc 2: Mike Scott's 1986 no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants that clinched the NL West Division title for the Astros.
Disc 3: Game 5 of the 2005 NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. An 18-inning marathon in which homers by Lance Berkman (8th-inning grand slam), Brad Ausmus (9th-inning game-tying), and Chris Burke (18th-inning game-winner) helped the Astros overcome their playoff arch-nemesis. (This is not the game that put them into the 2005 World Series as the product description states. The Astros beat the Cardinals in the 2005 NLCS to make it to the Series).
Disc 4: The June 2007 game against the Colorado Rockies in which Craig Biggio got his 3,000th hit. Biggio had a 5-hit game and started a two-out, game-winning rally in the bottom of the 11th inning. (I was in attendance at this game and, out of all the baseball games I've attended in my life, this is one of the two greatest experiences I've had at a ballgame; the other came at Pittsburgh's old Three Rivers Stadium in 1982 when the team saluted Willie Stargell before his retirement at the end of that season. There's something great about seeing guys that have played their entire careers for one team achieving milestones and receiving honor from their cities and fans).
**Update: I see that Amazon has again changed the product description, and I have to wonder where they get their information. Disc/Game 4 is not Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS against the Cardinals, which put the Astros into the World Series. Disc 4, as I stated here, is the Biggio 3,000th-hit game. Also, even if disc 4 were the clincher that put the Astros into the 2005 WS, it was the NLCS, not the ALCS as the product description states (The Astros aren't in the AL just yet, folks, and they certainly weren't there in 2005).
Disc 5: Astros Memories, a short (for 50 years of team history) documentary of some of the best players and teams throughout the franchise's half-century of existence. This disc does include all of the Special Features listed in the product description as well; frankly, they're not all that special - some of the short snippets appear to be nothing more than outtakes from Astros Memories - but at least they're a little something extra.
I have no quibble whatsoever with the games that were chosen; these are definitely four Astros classics. I'm sure there are some fans who will clamor for one game or another that's not on this set, and that's why I stated that it leaves me wanting more, but there's nothing wrong with this game selection. The fact is simply that true fans of any team will always want more.
I'm not one of those reviewers who rates the technical quality of DVDs, so all I can say is that the older game footage is good (with the exception of roughly 1-1/2 to 2 innings late in Ryan's no-hitter, but most of the game is pristine, and the final inning is perfectly intact again), and the two recent games have the look that modern viewers would expect. I never concern myself with any technical quality flaws or glitches because I'm just happy to get to see these old games again. One flaw with the game packaging, however, is that the pitching line for Astros pitchers is omitted from discs 1-3, and the same is true for the visiting pitcher on disc 4; this seems to have been an unfortunate oversight.
My only complaint - and I hesitate to call it that, really - is that the Astros Memories documentary is a bit brief (approx. 1 hr. 15 min.) for 50 years of baseball history. I have the old VHS tape of the 25th anniversary documentary titled A Silver Odyssey, and it took 1 hr. to cover 25 years of franchise history. The following 25 years were far more successful, yet this new documentary is only 15 minutes longer than the previous one. The back of the documentary disc states that it's a 2-disc set, which it clearly is not. I wish it were: They could have reissued the 25th anniversary documentary as disc 1 and made a new documentary, covering 1987-2011, as disc 2.
Oh, well, I guess we can't have everything. Considering how little national attention the Astros seem to garner, even during those times when they are successful on the field, we fans should be happy that we have this set to enjoy. I think I'll end this review, turn on my TV, and relive some of those memories now.