1969 - Timeline
by Bob Hulsey
Jan 22 - Star outfielder Rusty Staub is traded to Montreal for outfielder Jesus Alou and first baseman Donn Clendenon. This trade would become controversial when Clendenon refuses to report and the Astros are forced to take other compensation while Staub goes on to become the Expos' first marquee player.
Mar 08 - After Donn Clendenon "retires" and refuses to report to spring training, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn rules that Montreal can keep both Rusty Staub and Clendenon, insisting that Houston will have to settle for further compensation rather than voiding the trade.
Apr 03 - The Rusty Staub trade with Montreal is finally settled when the Astros accept pitchers Skip Guinn and Jack Billingham, along with $100,000, instead of first baseman Donn Clendenon. Jesus Alou was to accompany Clendenon to Houston and he remains part of the deal. In other transactions, the Astros sell pitchers Howie Reed, Steve Shea and Leo Marentette to Montreal.
Apr 05 - Astros turn the first triple play in their team's history to end a 2-1 exhibition victory over Boston. After Jerry Moses and Reggie Smith single to start the ninth inning off Fred Gladding, Billy Conigliaro grounds to shortstop Hector Torres who flips to Denis Menke for the force at second. Menke's throw to first is wild but Curt Blefary takes the carom and throws home to catcher Johnny Edwards who nails Moses. Edwards then fires back to second where Menke tags Congiliaro to end the game.
Apr 06 - Boston outfielder Tony Conigliaro, trying to come back after a beaning in 1967 that cut short his promising career, blasts a home run but Houston wins an exhibition thriller, 8-5. Norm Miller paces the Astros with three hits.
Apr 08 - In the first official game in San Diego Padre history, the Astros are victims in a 2-1 loss at San Diego Stadium. Ed Spiezio takes Don Wilson deep for the first Padre hit. Dick Selma fans twelve in the expansion club's debut.
Apr 10 - Houston is swept by the expansion Padres, losing, 2-0, on a two-hitter. Dick Kelley shut down the Astros' ice cold bats on one hit through 8-1/3 innings before Frank Reberger and Billy McCool close it out. In the three-game set, Houston manages just one run and ten hits.
Apr 11 - In their home opener, the Astros celebrate professional baseball's 100th anniversary by getting a 100-year-old man from Dallas to toss the ceremonial first pitch. Denny Lemaster doesn't throw much better in a 9-3 loss to the Dodgers. Ted Sizemore drives in four. Claude Osteen goes the distance for the victory.
Apr 13 - Astros win their first game in six tries, downing Los Angeles, 5-2. Denis Menke, Doug Rader and Jim Wynn blast homers as Don Wilson fans ten, besting Dodger ace Don Drysdale.
Apr 14 - A seven-run third inning gives the Astros an 11-5 triumph over the Dodgers. Jim Wynn and Doug Rader drive in three apiece to support Larry Dierker who started the uprising with a single off Don Sutton.
Apr 15 - Tom Griffin picks up his first big league win, fanning 12 to upend the Braves, 4-2. He leaves in the ninth with a blister on his right hand, a recurring problem he would have throughout his career.
Apr 18 - In Los Angeles, Houston's woes continue. They blow a two-run lead in the ninth for a 5-4 defeat. Skip Guinn issues two bases-loaded walks to end it. The Astros are now 2-9 on the young season.
Apr 19 - An error by Leon McFadden keys another ninth-inning Dodger rally as they overtake the Astros, 5-4. Skip Guinn gives up the game-winner again, this time on a single by Tom Haller.
Apr 22 - Cincinnati puts a two-touchdown hurt on the Astros, a 14-0 massacre at the Dome. Tony Perez bangs four hits while Johnny Bench drives in five. After being lit for the first seven runs, an angry Don Wilson watches the laughing Reds dugout and vows revenge.
Apr 23 - Larry Dierker blanks San Diego on two hits, 4-0. He strikes out just four and walks two. Norm Miller drives in half the Houston runs.
Apr 25 - San Francisco catcher Jack Hiatt drills two homers and drives in seven during a 12-8 decision over the Astros. His grand slam in the 13th inning off Dan Schneider is the difference. Houston would later acquire Hiatt from the Cubs.
Apr 27 - Giants sweep the four-game series with a doubleheader win at Candlestick Park, 8-5 and 4-1. Light-hitting Hector Torres belts a grand slam for Houston in the opener. Willie McCovey blasts a pair of three-run homers to lead San Francisco.
Apr 30 - Jim Maloney tosses a no-hitter as Cincinnati embarrasses the Astros, 10-0. The Reds ace fans 13 and walks five, including an intentional pass to Jim Wynn with the bases empty and two outs in the ninth. Doug Rader whiffs for the final out. Houston ends the month with a dismal 4-20 record.
May 01 - For only the second time in major league history, back-to-back no-hitters are tossed. Don Wilson avenges Jim Maloney's no-no by hurling one against the Reds, 4-0, at Crosley Field. Doug Rader homers and squeezes the final out on a foul pop. Wilson, who fans 13 and walks six, has two career no-hitters and has yet to see his 25th birthday.
May 02 - Jim Wynn is all of the offense, belting two home runs and driving in three to defeat Gaylord Perry and the Giants, 3-2. Jack Billingham wins with 4-2/3rds innings of shutout ball in relief of Tom Griffin.
May 04 - Astros tie a major league mark, turning seven double plays in a 3-1 victory over the Giants. First baseman Curt Blefary makes a putout in all seven.
May 07 - Larry Dierker fans 14 Phillies while tossing a five-hitter in a 6-1 triumph. Jim Wynn's three-run homer and Norm Miller's two-run double provide the offense.
May 08 - Houston storms back from a 6-1 deficit with three runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth to upend the Phillies, 7-6, at Connie Mack Stadium. Jesus Alou has a big night, driving in two runs with a double then producing an RBI single in the two rallies. Johnny Edwards' two-run single is the game-winner. Fred Gladding quells a Philadelphia threat to save the game for Jack Billingham.
May 13 - Houston plays their first game outside the United States, a 10-3 pounding of the Montreal Expos at Parc Jarry. Doug Rader drives in three and Johnny Edwards produces two run-scoring singles against their new expansion foe. Donn Clendenon, who refused to accept a trade to Houston during the winter, goes 0-for-5.
May 14 - Home runs produce all the scoring in Houston's 3-1 win at Montreal. Jim Wynn and Jesus Alou go deep off Jim "Mudcat" Grant while John Bateman answers with a solo shot. Denny Lemaster goes the distance for his first win after five losses.
May 16 - A ten-run inning spells doom as the Cubs maul the Astros, 11-0. Ken Holtzman tosses a three-hitter to subdue Houston.
May 18 - Julio Gotay walks with the bases loaded for a 6-5 victory over Chicago. Denis Menke saunters home with the game-winner in the eighth before Fred Gladding works out of a ninth-inning jam for the save.
May 20 - Larry Dierker blanks the Expos on four hits for a 5-0 triumph. Denis Menke drives in three to pace the offense.
May 23 - Tom Griffin strikes out 13 Mets while tossing a five-hit shutout, 7-0. Griffin also drives in three with a two-run single and a sacrifice fly.
May 24 - Jim Wynn belts a pair of solo homers and Curt Blefary adds a two-run bomb as Houston clubs New York, 5-1. Larry Dierker fans eleven in a four-hit complete-game performance.
May 25 - Houston completes a three-game sweep of the Mets with a 6-3 victory. Norm Miller, batting in the cleanup spot, delivers four of the Astros' 15 hits. Leadoff hitter Curt Blefary adds two doubles and a sacrifice fly.
May 27 - Doug Rader belts a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth off Luis Peraza to beat the Phillies, 6-2. Don Wilson strikes out 13 and goes the distance for the victory. Denis Menke also homers.
May 28 - Doug Rader delivers the game-winner again in a 7-6, ten-inning triumph over the Phillies that ties a club-record ten-game winning streak. This time it's a bases-loaded single off Gary Wagner that sends the crowd home happy. Afterwards, Rader apologizes for not slugging another grand slam.
May 30 - Astros split a pair in Pittsburgh, losing the opener, 9-3, and taking the nightcap, 9-6. Denis Menke has six hits in the twinbill, including four in the second game. Jack Billingham's long relief rescues Tom Griffin for the victory.
May 31 - Jim Ray and Jack Billingham combine to strike out a dozen Pirates but Pittsburgh wins, 3-1. Houston finishes May with a 20-6 record but are still two games below .500.
Jun 05 - Joe Morgan goes 4-for-4, including a home run and four runs scored, to pace the Astros past St. Louis, 11-6, at the Astrodome. Dooley Womack, the last of six Houston pitchers, gets the victory. Houston wins off the field too, choosing pitcher James Rodney Richard of Ruston, LA with the second overall pick in the draft, behind Jeff Burroughs. Richard has a 21-0 mark in his three years at Ruston High School.
Jun 07 - Johnny Edwards homers and drives in three to pace a 4-2 victory over St. Louis. Fred Gladding rescues Denny Lemaster from a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his 11th save.
Jun 08 - Private Larry Dierker, on a 24-hour pass from the Army while fulfilling his military commitment in Louisiana, outduels Steve Carlton for a 2-1, eleven-inning triumph over the Cardinals at the Astrodome. Dierker allows just five hits and caps his night by driving in Julio Gotay with the game-winner. Dierker singled off Joe Hoerner to earn his eighth win of the year.
Jun 10 - Jesus Alou and Hector Torres collide chasing a pop fly in the third inning of a 7-4 victory against Pittsburgh. Alou swallows his tongue and owes his life to Pirate trainer Tony Bartirome. Both players are unconscious, carried out on stretchers and rushed to Methodist Hospital. Alou's brother Matty watches from the Pirate dugout.
Jun 11 - Roberto Clemente's grand slam keys a 13-8 Pittsburgh win at the Dome. Umpire John Kibler ejects Curt Blefary and Harry Walker prompting scoreboard operator Bill Giles to post a multiple choice question about the most unpopular man in the stadium. Correct answer (D) is "xxxx xxxxxx".
Jun 13 - Houston rallies for three runs in the top of the ninth to stun St. Louis, 4-2. Doug Rader homers off Ray Washburn to tie it then Denis Menke delivers a bases-loaded single for the game-winner.
Jun 18 - Denny Lemaster blasts a solo shot in the ninth to drop Atlanta, 3-1. Doug Rader drives in Marty Martinez with an insurance run. Lemaster goes the distance on a five-hitter for his sixth victory.
Jun 20 - Astros sweep a doubleheader with the Padres, 6-1 and 3-1. Larry Dierker tosses a four-hitter in the opener while Jim Ray and Fred Gladding match him with a combined four-hitter in the nightcap.
Jun 21 - Tom Griffin fans a dozen Padres while blanking San Diego on five hits, 4-0. Johnny Edwards belts a triple and drives in two.
Jun 22 - Joe Niekro, then pitching for the expansion San Diego Padres, takes a no-hitter into the seventh inning but eventually loses the no-no and the game, 2-0. An error by Ed Spiezio opens the door for Houston's runs. Denny Lemaster blanks the Padres on five hits.
Jun 24 - Sandy Valdespino drills a bases-loaded double off Gaylord Perry to key a 4-1 triumph over the Giants. Larry Dierker picks up his tenth victory of the season, striking out nine. The win pushes Houston over the .500 mark for the first time all season after beginning the year 4-20.
Jun 25 - Jim Wynn's two-run homer supports another great effort from Tom Griffin, a 3-2 win against San Francisco. Griffin fans a dozen before Fred Gladding saves it in the ninth.
Jun 27 - Orlando "Marty" Martinez, a utility man picked up in an off-season trade with Atlanta, drives home Curt Blefary in the ninth inning for a 5-4 triumph over the Braves. It is the Astros' tenth straight win, the second time they've reached that plateau this season.
Jun 29 - Atlanta shocks the Astros with three runs in the ninth for a 4-3 decision. Joe Morgan's error keys the meltdown.
Jun 30 - Claude Osteen shuts down the Astros, 7-1, in Los Angeles. Houston closes June at .500, 7-1/2 games back of the division lead.
Jul 01 - Manny Mota smashes a three-run inside-the-park homer off Denny Lemaster for a 4-1 Dodger victory. Gary Geiger is the victim in left field.
Jul 02 - Johnny Edwards bangs four hits and Doug Rader smacks three doubles and drives in three to pace an 8-2 win in Los Angeles. Don Wilson picks up his eighth victory.
Jul 04 - Larry Dierker fires a seven-hit shutout, a 4-0 whitewash of the Padres. Doug Rader stays hot with two hits and two runs driven in.
Jul 05 - After scoring four runs in the top of the 12th, Houston allows five in a disasterous 9-8 loss in San Diego. Fred Gladding and Skip Guinn fail to protect the lead.
Jul 06 - Houston splits a twinbill in San Diego, winning 3-2 then losing, 1-0. A two-run error by Jose Arcia in the eighth is the difference in the opener. Dick Kelley evens the day with a one-hitter as the Astros waste a four-hit performance by Jack Billingham.
Jul 07 - Don Wilson whiffs 14 Giants in an 8-2 triumph in San Francisco. Curt Blefary and Jim Wynn support with two-run homers.
Jul 11 - Cincinnati manager Dave Bristol launches a tirade for the ages during a 13-2 massacre by Don Wilson and the Astros. Bristol bumps umpire Augie Donatelli, steps on his shoes, berates the ump for several minutes then flings chairs and equipment upon returning to the dugout. And he was only behind 2-1 at the time! Good thing he didn't see the nine-run Houston sixth, highlighted by a bases-loaded triple from Denis Menke and two hits by Sandy Valdespino. Wilson fans ten and posts a six-hitter. He's also plunked twice at the plate.
Jul 12 - Curt Blefary homers and drives in four to pace a 10-4 victory over Cincinnati. Larry Dierker goes the distance, striking out ten and driving in two runs on his own.
Jul 13 - Astros explode for seven runs in the seventh to complete a sweep of the Reds, 9-6. Doug Rader cracks two doubles and drives in three to pace the Houston attack.
Jul 15 - Astros erase a five-run deficit en route to a 10-7 triumph over Los Angeles. Norm Miller drives in three. Doug Rader has two RBI singles. Jim Wynn walks during the five-run fourth, breaking a league mark with his 11th straight game with a base on balls. Ex-teammate Eddie Mathews set the record in 1954.
Jul 18 - Back for the first time in over a month after an on-field collision with teammate Hector Torres put him in a hospital, Jesus Alou starts a four-run ninth-inning rally that topples the Reds, 7-4. Alou scores the tying run on a double by Sandy Valdespino then Joe Morgan plates Johnny Edwards with a squueze bunt for the game-winner.
Jul 19 - Houston blows a 9-0 lead in a 10-9 loss to the Reds in eleven innings as they enter the All-Star break. Bobby Tolan drives in five to pace Cincinnati.
Jul 24 - Denis Menke drives in four to lead a 7-3 triumph over Philadelphia. Don Wilson goes the distance, fanning twelve.
Jul 27 - Gary Geiger singles home Joe Morgan in the eleventh to drop the Phillies, 3-2. Fred Gladding gets the win after Houston strands 17 runners.
Jul 30 - Denis Menke and Jim Wynn launch grand slams in the same inning as the Astros crush the Mets, 16-3 and 11-5 in a twinbill at Shea Stadium. The double slam was the first National League occurrence in 79 years. So hot were Houston's bats that Larry Dierker took Nolan Ryan deep in the nightcap and Fred Gladding broke an oh-for-the-decade slump with a bloop single for the only hit in his career.
Jul 31 - Tom Griffin and Fred Gladding combine on a four-hitter, 2-0, in New York. A solo homer by Jim Wynn off Tom Seaver accounts for one of the runs. Houston ends the month five games over .500, still in fifth place, and 4-1/2 games off the pace.
Aug 01 - Curt Blefary drills two home runs and drives in four as Houston tops the Expos, 5-3. Jim Wynn blasts his 25th of the season. Denny Lemaster tosses a complete game.
Aug 03 - Houston splits a twinbill in Montreal, winning 7-4 then losing, 1-0. Norm Miller, Curt Blefary and Johnny Edwards go deep in the opener. Blefary's shot glances off the Parc Jarry scoreboard and lands near the park swimming pool. John Bateman homers for the sixth time, his fourth against his old teammates. Don Wilson fans 13 in a complete game effort. Howie Reed bests Larry Dierker in the nightcap on a run in the bottom of the ninth.
Aug 04 - Glenn Beckert raps five hits and Randy Hundley drives in four as the Cubs dump the Astros, 9-3. Doug Rader provides the major Houston highlight with a two-run homer off Ferguson Jenkins.
Aug 08 - Astros acquire righthander Ron Willis from the Cardinals. He is bought in a conditional deal.
Aug 09 - Joe Morgan clubs a two-run homer off Dick Radatz in the bottom of the 11th for a 5-3 triumph over Montreal. Jack Billingham works two shutout innings for the win.
Aug 11 - Tom Griffin and Fred Gladding combine on a five-hit shutout of the Mets, 3-0. Run scoring singles by Doug Rader and Curt Blefary provide the offense. Denis Menke adds three hits.
Aug 12 - Curt Blefary's three-run bomb off Jerry Koosman leads Houston to an 8-7 victory over the Mets. Blefary drives in four while Doug Rader has a hand in four different rallies. Joe Morgan steals home for the game-winner which was actually a botched suicide squeeze play.
Aug 13 - Denis Menke homers and drives in four to pace an 8-2 spanking of New York as the Astros sweep the three-game series. Curt Blefary drives in three. Joe Morgan swipes his 30th base of the season.
Aug 17 - Houston nips the Phillies, 3-2, to pull within 2-1/2 games of the division lead. Larry Dierker gets help from Fred Gladding in the ninth to win his 15th. Doug Rader adds a home run.
Aug 20 - Denny Lemaster suffers another hard-luck loss, 1-0, in Pittsburgh. Lemaster whiffs 13 Bucs but loses in the ninth on a hit, an error and a sacrifice fly.
Aug 22 - Every player in the lineup gets a hit for the Astros in an 8-2 victory in Chicago. Houston works eight walks to go with 14 hits - all singles. Doug Rader gets three base hits. Jesus Alou drives in three. Larry Dierker tosses a four-hit complete game for his 16th win.
Aug 23 - Jim Hickman blasts two homers and drives in five to lead the Cubs over Houston, 11-5. Ron Santo and Ernie Banks also go yard off Tom Griffin.
Aug 24 - Righthander Jim Bouton is acquired from the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Dooley Womack and Roric Harrison. Unaware that Bouton is writing his memoirs of the 1969 season, the Astros become part of Bouton's controversial book "Ball Four" which is the first baseball "tell-all" book, a far different look at ballplayers from the typical sanitized puff pieces of the time. Bouton would go 0-2 with one save for the rest of the season. On the field, the Astros split a twinbill in Chicago, losing 10-9 then winning, 3-2. Don Wilson strikes out ten while winning his 16th in the nightcap.
Aug 26 - Astros split a doubleheader in St. Louis, losing 1-0 then winning, 4-2. Larry Dierker pitches a two-hitter in the opener but loses on a solo homer by Julian Javier. A two-run pinch-hit single by Julio Gotay in the bottom of the ninth clinches the nightcap.
Aug 27 - Houston erupts for four runs off Bob Gibson in the tenth inning to shock the Cardinals, 5-1. Tom Griffin outlasts the future Hall-of-Famer while Fred Gladding notches his 27th save.
Aug 28 - Light-hitting Steve Huntz drills a homer off Don Wilson in the tenth to beat Houston, 2-1. Wilson and St. Louis' Steve Carlton had dueled to a 1-1 draw through the first nine innings.
Aug 29 - Jim Bouton gets his first start with the Astros and blows a late lead to Pittsburgh, 4-2, in ten innings. The knuckleballer allows two runs in the fatal frame after striking out eleven.
Aug 30 - Larry Dierker becomes the first Astro to record 17 wins in a 2-1 triumph over the Pirates. Dierker fans 14 while scattering seven hits. Houston manages just three of their own but are helped by nine free passes. The Astros are in uncharted waters, seven games over .500, four games out of first and yet in fifth place in the N.L. West. Houston also makes a deadline deal, acquiring outfielder Tommy Davis from Seattle for infielder Danny Walton and outfielder Sandy Valdespino. Davis was a two-time batting champion with the Dodgers in the early 60s.
Aug 31 - Pittsburgh stages another late rally with four in the ninth to shock the Astros, 6-4. An error by Doug Rader keys the comeback as Fred Gladding surrenders three unearned runs.
Sep 01 - Before an NBC-TV audience, Steve Carlton cracks a three-run shot off Don Wilson to lead St. Louis to a 6-2 decision in the Dome. Johnny Edwards belts a solo shot for the Astros.
Sep 02 - Amazing. It's September and the Astros are actually in a pennant race. They rally to drop the Cardinals in eleven, 7-6, when Jesus Alou's base hit plates Johnny Edwards. Joe Morgan and Doug Rader play long ball to overcome a 6-1 deficit. Houston sits in fifth place but just five games behind the front-running Giants and six games over the .500 mark.
Sep 05 - Denis Menke belts a two-run blast in the ninth off Gaylord Perry for a 2-0 shocker over the Giants. Larry Dierker scatters four hits for his 18th win and fans nine to pass 200 strikeouts for the season.
Sep 07 - Hector Torres singles home Jim Wynn with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to overtake the Giants, 7-6. Two-run singles by Tommy Davis and Bob Watson bring the Astros back from a 6-0 deficit. Jack Billingham tosses the final three innings for the win.
Sep 08 - Tom Griffin goes the distance, fanning eleven, as the Astros dump the Padres, 9-2. Jesus Alou contributes three hits while Curt Blefary bashes a two-run homer.
Sep 09 - Larry Dierker tosses a four-hitter and Jim Wynn drills his 30th homer in another 9-2 drubbing of San Diego. Wynn hits a three-run shot off Joe Niekro while driving in four. Dierker's shutout bid is ruined in the ninth on a two-run blast by Ivan Murrell.
Sep 10 - Jim Wynn's homer and Denis Menke's bases-loaded double spark an 8-1 win over the Dodgers. Denny Lemaster scatters six hits. The Astros are tied for fourth in the tight N.L. West, but are just two games out of first place.
Sep 13 - Larry Dierker tosses 8-2/3rds no-hit innings against Atlanta in quest of his 20th win. An infield single by Felix Millan breaks up the no-hitter but the game is still tied, 0-0. Dierker leaves in the 13th with a 2-0 lead, only to see ex-Astros Sonny Jackson and Bob Aspromonte key a three-run Atlanta rally for a nightmarish 3-2 defeat. Houston drops to fifth place, 4-1/2 games out of the N.L. West lead.
Sep 14 - Rico Carty's second homer of the night, a two-run blast off Denny Lemaster in the eighth, stuns the Astros, 3-2. 45-year-old knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm picks up the win in relief as Atlanta sweeps the three-game series.
Sep 17 - Larry Dierker becomes the first Houston pitcher to reach 20 wins in a 2-1 victory at San Francisco. Jim Wynn and Doug Rader homer off Gaylord Perry for the decisive runs. For Giant fans, the chance to see Willie Mays hit his 600th homer is the big attraction but Dierker and Jim Bouton limit him to a single and two walks. The Astros are five games over .500 and 5-1/2 games out of first.
Sep 19 - Keith Lampard, a native of England, gets his first and last major league homer. It's a two-run pinch-hit shot in the bottom of the ninth off Wayne Granger to shock the Reds, 3-2. So excited, the Brit almost runs past Jim Wynn on his way around the bases. Wynn had walked for the fourth time of the night. Houston sets an N.L. record for strikeouts with 1,125. Ironically, it's a knuckleball from Jim Bouton that sets the mark on a squad full of flamethrowers.
Sep 20 - Tom Griffin hurls a five-hit shutout, a 6-0 whitewash of Cincinnati, for his 11th victory. Griffin whiffs eleven Redlegs. Jesus Alou paces the offense with four hits.
Sep 22 - Third base coach Salty Parker sends Norm Miller home from third when he sees a white object fly away from Atlanta catcher Bob Didier after a pitch. The object turns out not to be the ball, but a finger cast the catcher was wearing on his glove hand. Miller is easily tagged out. The 5-3 loss creates an unhappy 23rd birthday for sore-armed Larry Dierker who broke in with the Colt .45s on his brithday five years earlier.
Sep 24 - Pat Jarvis tosses a three-hitter as the Braves edge the Astros, 2-1, knocking Houston out of the pennant race. Joe Morgan's leadoff homer is the only Astro run.
Sep 25 - Johnny Edwards belts a solo shot in the ninth for a 4-3 victory over Cincinnati. Jim Wynn blasts his 33rd of the season and draws his 148th base on balls, tying the N.L. mark set by Eddie Stanky in 1945.
Sep 26 - Jim Maloney, who no-hit Houston earlier in the season, tosses a one-hitter as the Reds sweep a twinbill from the Astros, 3-0 and 4-3. A third-inning single by Joe Morgan is all that separates Maloney from a rare feat. Curt Blefary's three-run shot in the nightcap accounts for all of Houston's scoring in the doubleheader.
Sep 30 - Tommy Davis and Norm Miller homer in a 6-3 triumph at Dodger Stadium. Denny Lemaster goes the distance and strikes out eleven while scattering four hits. The Astros reach 81 wins and, for the first time in their history, experience a non-losing season.
Oct 02 - A wild pitch by Jack Billingham ends Houston's season in a 5-4 loss at Los Angeles. The errant toss scores Bob Stinson with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, denying the Astros their first winning season. Jim Ray and Jim Bouton combine for ten strikeouts as the Houston staff sets a new major league mark with 1220 strikeouts on the year.
Oct 15 - Astros return righthander Ron Willis to St. Louis after he had been acquired in August. Willis made just three appearances as an Astro, earning no wins or losses and allowing no earned runs.
Oct 16 - The New York Mets, who entered the National League in 1962 at the same time as Houston, win the World's Championship in a "miracle" victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Donn Clendenon, who shunned the Astros in the spring, is named World Series MVP.
Oct 22 - Astros sell pitcher Danny Coombs to San Diego. After bouncing between the minors and Houston for seven seasons, the lefthander leaves with an 8-7 mark and two saves in 90 appearances.
Dec 02 - Astros purchase pitcher Dan Osinski from the White Sox. The righthander would compile a 0-1 record in three appearances in 1970, his last in the big leagues.
Dec 04 - First Baseman Curt Blefary is traded to the Yankees for first baseman Joe Pepitone. A year to the day since being acquired, Blefary is dealt and his career is never able to recapture the magic of his first three years in Baltimore. Pepitone turns out not to be the answer at first base either and spends less than a year in Houston.
Dec 16 - Pitcher Pat House is traded to Cincinnati for outfielder Jim Beauchamp. It is Beauchamp's second tour of duty with Houston. House earns a 2-1 record with one save in 24 games with the Astros. The lefthander never pitches in the majors after that deal.
Dec 24 - Curt Flood of the St. Louis Cardinals mails a letter to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn stating his refusal to report to the Philadelphia Phillies after being traded. He does not retire to void the trade, as Donn Clendenon did in refusing to play for the Astros. Flood's letter is the beginning of the end for baseball's reserve clause and the first salvo in the fight for free agency. While his decision cuts short a solid baseball career, every major leaguer owes a debt of gratitude to him for the rights as players they now enjoy.