1963 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History
Jan 07 - Craig Shipley is born in Parramatta, Australia. The utility infielder bats .263 in 1995, his lone season as an Astro.
Jan 29 - Brian Meyer is born in Camden, NJ. In parts of three seasons with the Astros (1988-1990), he notches two saves and sports a 2.84 ERA but his career record is 0-5.
Mar 08 - Reliever Jim Umbricht undergoes 6-1/2 hours of surgery at Methodist Hospital to remove malignant cancer tumors from his leg, thigh and groin. Two months later, he is back on the mound pitching for the Colt .45s.
Apr 02 - Colt .45s trade outfielder Manny Mota to Pittsburgh for outfielder Howie Goss, who lasts one season. Mota torments Houston pitchers for the next twenty years.
Apr 14 - Colts score four times against Sandy Koufax in the sixth to emerge with a 5-4 victory over the Dodgers. Howie Goss drives in two runs. Carroll Hardy and Hal Smith also generate RBI singles.
Apr 17 - Backup catcher Jim Campbell homers in the 13th for a 2-1 triumph over the Giants. The Colts' other run comes when Howie Goss, Carroll Hardy and Bob Aspromonte successfully execute a triple steal.
Apr 26 - Bob Bruce tosses the first one-hitter in franchise history, a 2-0 blanking of the Reds. A harmless single by Vada Pinson is the only blemish. Bruce needs just 96 pitches to accomplish the feat.
May 09 - Frank Robinson blasts two home runs and drives in seven as the Reds stampede the Colts, 13-3. The last of his mammoth shots comes at the expense of Jim Umbricht, making his first appearance after cancer surgery. Umbricht has over 100 stitches in his leg as he takes the mound.
May 11 - Bob Aspromonte slugs a tenth-inning homer as the Colt .45s sweep the Cubs, 2-1. Jim Umbricht pitches two innings for the victory.
May 17 - Don Nottebart hurls the first no-hitter in franchise history, a 4-1 triumph over Philadelphia at Colt Stadium. Nottebart fans eight and walks three. Carl Warwick and Howie Goss homer to supply Houston its runs. Al Spangler snares Wes Covington's fly on the run for the final out. It is just the third Colts win in 24 tries against their early nemesis.
Jun 02 - Catcher Jim Campbell singles home the game-winner in a 3-1, 17-inning triumph over the Milwaukee Braves . Campbell catches the entire game and adds three hits as well.
Jun 03 - Pitching against the Dodgers usually gets Dick Farrell fired up, never forgiving them for making him available in the expansion draft. He tosses a no-hitter for the first seven innings and finishes with a 2-1, two-hit triumph. Rusty Staub belts the first homer of his big league career off Don Drysdale in the fourth .
Jun 09 - The first Sunday night game in National League history is played at Colt Stadium with Houston blanking the Giants, 3-0, to sweep the series. The Colt .45s got permission from the league after the summer heat made day games an ordeal during the 1962 season. 38-year-old castoff Hal Brown is the hero, relieving Dick Farrell in third inning and allowing just one hit the rest of the way for his first National League win.
Jun 11 - Bob Aspromonte hits a grand slam home run off Lindy McDaniel to beat the Cubs in ten innings, 6-2. The blast fulfills a promise Aspromonte made to a Little Leaguer blinded by a lightning strike who is recovering in Houston. The next year, Aspromonte hits another grand slam on June 11th to down Cincinnati, 5-3.
Jun 15 - San Francisco's Juan Marichal spins a 1-0 no-hitter against the Colts at Candlestick Park. For 7-1/2 innings, a scratch single by Willie Mays off Dick Drott is the only hit but Jim Davenport legs out a double in the eighth then Chuck Hiller doubles him home. Marichal strikes out Pete Runnels and Brock Davis to finish the gem.
Jul 01 - Ernie Fazio scores on a single from Rusty Staub in the 11th inning for a 4-3 victory over St. Louis. It is Staub's second RBI of the game. Hal Woodeshick wins his eighth, all in relief. Johnny Temple drives in the Colts' other two runs with a single in the eighth inning.
Jul 26 - Bob Aspromonte hits another home run for blinded Bill Bradley who is able to watch this grand slam that beats the Mets, 7-3 . After three operations in two years, Bradley's sight is restored, allowing him to see the promised homer and to see his hero point to him as he rounded the bases. The blast capped a seven-run first inning which was all Turk Farrell needed to chalk up the victory.
Sep 15 - The Colts surrender just seven hits in sweeping a twinbill from the Mets, 5-4 and 5-0. Turk Farrell goes the distance on four hits in the opener while fanning eleven. Chris Zachary and Hal Woodeshick combine for a three-hit shutout in the nightcap. Teenager Rusty Staub and Johnny Weekly go deep in the second game.
Sep 22 - Joe Morgan delivers the winning hit in his second major league game, a pinch single with two outs in the ninth to nip the Phillies, 2-1. This prompts a tirade from Philadelphia skipper Gene Mauch who trashes the post-game meal after his squad let "a little leaguer" beat them.
Sep 27 - The fledgling Colts field an all-rookie lineup for a late-season duel with New York. Starting are outfielders Brock Davis, Aaron Pointer and Jim Wynn, infielders Rusty Staub, Joe Morgan, Sonny Jackson and Glenn Vaughan, catcher Jerry Grote and 17-year-old pitcher Jay Dahl. Despite four future All-Stars, the Mets prevail, 10-3.
Sep 29 - John Paciorek has a career day. An 18-year-old late-season call-up by the Colts, Paciorek goes 3-for-3, with four runs scored and three RBIs to pace a 13-4 spanking of the Mets. It turns out to be his only big league game, retiring with a 1.000 batting average. It's also the last appearance for Jim Umbricht who gets the victory.
Oct 16 - Colt .45s announce a 40-man winter roster with 19 players aged 21 or younger, ten of them with a year or less of major league experience. Only five are aged 30 or older. Jay Dahl, at 17, is the youngest.
Nov 01 - Judge Roy Hofheinz leads a ceremony marking the topping point of construction on the new domed stadium . Hofheinz remarks that builders are running ahead of schedule. There is optimism that the stadium will be ready before the 1964 season ends but the new park sees only September fungo practice as completion nears.
Dec 10 - Colts acquire second baseman Nellie Fox from the White Sox for pitcher Jim Golden, outfielder Danny Murphy and cash. The veteran infielder bats .265 in two season before joining the coaching ranks. A team player, Fox leads the league in sacrifice bunts during the 1964 season while mentoring the young Colts.
Dec 19 - Colts purchase first baseman Walt Bond from the Cleveland Indians. Bond plays two seasons for Houston, batting .258 with 27 homers and 132 RBIs.