MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that the Astros will renovate center field at Minute Maid Park, removing Tal’s Hill ahead of the 2017 season. The club had made renovation plans but put them on hold for a year.
The plans, announced in June last year, aimed to move the center field fence in to 409 feet from 436 feet. With the additional space behind the fence, the Astros also planned to add in concession stands and additional spots for fans to view the game.
The removal of Tal’s Hill is a long time coming. The Astros put the hill in deep center field as an homage to older ballparks which had various quirks. One of them was Crosley Field, the Reds’ ballpark from 1912-70. Left field there had a 15 degree incline. Tal’s Hill? 30 degrees. It’s incredible that no one has suffered a career-ending leg injury due to the hill. It has always seemed like an inevitability, and anachronistic in today’s game. Good riddance.