Roy Hofheinz

From BR Bullpen

Roy Mark Hofheinz

Biographical Information[edit]

Judge Hofheinz was an elected judge in Harris County, Texas and later mayor of Houston, TX. In 1960, he was the leader of a group that won an expansion team for the city. Hofheinz used his pull with government to gain funding for the Houston Astrodome. It was Hofheinz who introduced baseball to artificial turf and luxury boxes. He became majority owner on August 3, 1965, when he bought out partner R.E. "Bob" Smith.

After a stroke in 1970, Hofheinz loosened his control on the Astros, as his personal fortune, tied to the state of the oil industry, fell apart. In 1972, he turned to GE Capital and the Ford Motor Credit Company to refinance a loan, but by 1975, he was $38 million in debt and fell in default. The two creditors took over the team, the ballpark, and various other assets, with Ford eventually buying out GE's interest while running the team. The club was eventually to a group led by John McMullen in 1979. Hofheinz died of a heart attack in 1982.

In 1999, The Sporting News named Hofheinz the 26th most powerful person in sports in the 20th century. The Hofheinz Arena in Houston is also named in his honor.

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Barron: "McLane era represents Astros' most stable ownership", Houston Chronicle, January 18, 2010. [1]