1967 - Season Recap
(c) Bob Hulsey

Like the turbulent decade, this year was a tough read. It featured some of the top performances in club history and marks that would last more than 20 years but the Astros had to rally past the Mets to avoid finishing in last place. For the record, Houston finished in their now customary ninth place with a 69-93 mark. It was their sixth straight season with a winning percentage below .450.

From the beginning, the team had never really settled on a first baseman and wouldn't until 1972. On New Year's Eve, the Astros traded for third baseman Eddie Mathews, a great slugger with the Braves while in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta. Mathews wound up as the next Houston first baseman. He paid dividends on Opening Day as he helped the Astros beat his old teammates, 6-1, with two hits. On July 14th, Mathews would slam a three-run homer off Juan Marichal in San Francisco for the 500th homer of his major league career. At the time, only six others in baseball history had reached that milestone.

On June 7th, the Astros erupted for a 17-1 victory over St. Louis that has never been surpassed as the most lopsided win in club history. Houston banged out 23 hits, four by catcher Ron Brand.

Rookie Don Wilson, who had just one big league appearance before the season began, won ten games. None was more meaningful than the no-hitter he pitched on Father's Day against the Atlanta Braves. His feat on June 18th was the first no-hitter in team history to also be a shutout and the first to be pitched at the Astrodome.

Jim Wynn had his best season. The 5'-9" outfielder was noted not only for the frequency of his home runs but also for the distances. He blasted a homer out of the deepest part of Pittsburgh's Forbes Field on July 23rd, reaching a Little League diamond beyond the fence. In his native Cincinnati, "The Toy Cannon" launched a bomb at Crosley Field on June 11th that could have literally stopped traffic. The clip of that highlight has made its way into at least two Hollywood films.

Wynn delivered in the 1967 All-Star Game too with a pinch-hit single that was the first hit by a Houston player in the star-studded series. He set club records with 37 homers (2nd in the league) and 107 runs batted in (4th in the league), becoming the first in the young team's history to exceed 30 homers or 100 RBIs. Rusty Staub set a team mark for batting average at .333 (5th in the league) while leading the circuit in doubles with 44. Staub also singled at the All-Star Game.

Cuban-born Mike Cuellar became the ace of the pitching staff, winning 16 games. The lefthander threw two shutout innings at the Midsummer Classic. It was the first time in franchise history that the team had more than one All-Star.

After Mathews was traded late in the season, the Astros called up from the minors a fiery young redhead named Doug Rader who hit .333 in 47 games and picked up a hit in his first major league at-bat. The ballclub featured a lot of star material, but it was a case where the whole didn't equal the sum of their parts.

69-93
9th place, National League

Key BattersHRRBIAVG
C John Bateman 217.190
1B Eddie Mathews 1038.238
2B Joe Morgan 642.275
3B Bob Aspromonte 658.294
SS Sonny Jackson 025.237
LF Ron Davis 738.256
CF Jim Wynn 37107.249
RF Rusty Staub 1074.333
IF Julio Gotay 215.282
C Ron Brand 018.242
OF Norm Miller 114.205
IF Chuck Harrison 226.243
Key PitchersWLERA
SP Mike Cuellar 16113.03
SP Dave Giusti 11154.18
SP Don Wilson 1092.79
SP Bo Belinsky 394.68
SP Larry Dierker 653.36
CL Larry Sherry 124.87
RP Barry Latman 364.52
RP Carroll Sembera 264.83
RP Dave Eilers 643.98


Wilson: The best Father's Day.
(c) Houston Astros

Cuellar: Cuban lefty is first Astro to reach 16 wins
(c) Houston Astros


From The AstrosDaily Media Library

Video:
1966 to 1969: Young Stars - From "Houston Astros: A Silver Odyssey" - Adjusted to their new home, the Astros transition from veterans to talent from their farm. (3:00 - MLB video)
Jun 11, 1967 Jim Wynn hits another mammoth blast - this time stopping traffic.(0:31, Passe)
1967 All-Star Game - 11th inning - Rusty Staub singles against Catfish Hunter. (0:41, Brickhouse - MLB Films)
1967 All-Star Game - 11th inning - Mike Cuellar faces Brooks Robinson and Tony Oliva. (0:36, Brickhouse - MLB Films)
Jul 23, 1967 Jim Wynn hits a monster shot out of the deepest part of Forbes Field.(0:35, Kalas)

Audio:
Jun 18, 1967 Don Wilson fans Hank Aaron to cap his first no-hitter.(1:37, Elston)
Jul 11, 1967 Jim Wynn gets the first hit for an Astro in an All-Star Game.(1:36, Simpson, Kubek - NBC Radio)
Jul 11, 1967 Mike Cuellar fans Brooks Robinson in the 1967 All-Star Game.(1:46, Simpson, Kubek - NBC Radio)
Jul 14, 1967 Eddie Mathews slams the 500th homer of his career.(1:05, Kalas)
Jul 31, 1967 Ron Davis blasts a solo shot against New York.(0:57, Nelson - Mets)
Jul 31, 1967 Doug Rader gets a hit in his first major league at bat.(1:00, Nelson - Mets)


Trades and Transactions

Nov 28 1966 - released Felix Mantilla(IF)

Nov 28 1966 - Winter Major League Draft
- drafted Bo Belinsky(P) from Phi-N for $25,000
- drafted Pat House(P) from Mil-N for $12,000
- drafted Hal King(C) for Cal-A

Nov 28 1966 - paid $12,000 to NY-N for Dave Eilers(P)

Dec 31 1966 - traded Dave Nicholson and Bob Bruce(P) to Atl-N for Sandy Alomar, Eddie Mathews(IF) and Arnie Umbach

Jan 4 1967 - traded Lee Maye(OF) and Ken Retzer to Cle-A for Doc Edwards, Jim Landis(OF), and Jim Weaver(P)

Feb 10 1967 - sent Ron Taylor(P) to NY-N for cash

Feb 24 1967 - conditionally sent Jim Ray(P) to NY-N for cash. Ray was returned to Houston on Mar 24

Apr 1967 - signed Ray Busse(IF) as free agent

May 8 1967 - sent Dick Farrell(P) to Phi-N for cash

May 8 1967 - sent Bill Heath(C) to Det-A for cash

Jun 3 1967 - paid cash to Phi-N for Jackie Brandt(OF)

Jun 6 1967 - Summer Free Agent Draft
- 1. drafted John Mayberry(IF) (#6 pick overall)
- 2. drafted Jay Schlueter(OF)

Jun 15 1967 - traded Claude Raymond(P) and Darrell Griffith(OF) to Atl-N for Wade Blasingame(P) and Brian Murphy(P)

Jun 29 1967 - traded Jim Landis(OF) to Det-A for Larry Sherry(P)

Jul 14 1967 - released Jim OWens(P)

Jul 20 1967 - sent Gary Kroll(P) to Cle-A for cash

Aug 7 1967 - traded Jim Weaver(P) to Cal-A for Hector Torres(IF)

Aug 17 1967 - traded Eddie Mathews(IF) to Det-A for Fred Gladding(P) and cash. Houston received Gladding on Nov 22

Sep 9 1967 - released Jackie Brandt(OF)

Sep 23 1967 - paid $20,000 to Bal-A for John Buzhardt(P)

Oct 25 1967 - signed Cesar Cedeno(OF) as free agent

Oct 8 1967 - traded Sonny Jackson(IF) and Chuck Harrison(IF) to Atl-N for Denis Menke(IF) and Denny Lemaster(P)