Houston Matters

‘I Make Things Blow Up’ — Meet the Pyrotechnician for the Astros

We meet Richard Welch, the pyrotechnician who operates the fireworks at Minute Maid Park during Houston Astros games. During each game, he sits in a perch near the left field foul pole and waits for the Astros to hit a home run. Then he flips a switch and pulls a trigger. That fires a single […]

Richard Welch operates the fireworks during Houston Astros games at Minute Maid Park. Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaWe meet Richard Welch, the pyrotechnician who operates the fireworks at Minute Maid Park during Houston Astros games.

During each game, he sits in a perch near the left field foul pole and waits for the Astros to hit a home run. Then he flips a switch and pulls a trigger. That fires a single concussion from the railroad tracks above the Crawford Boxes. And he repeats the process at the ends of games the Astros win.

He says when he first started the job he didn’t even like baseball, but now he loves it and calls it a “magical game.”

(Above: Richard Welch operates the fireworks during Houston Astros games at Minute Maid Park. Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public Media)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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