1971 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History
Jan 19 - Two former Houston first round draft choices are born on this day. Infielder Phil Nevin is born in Fullerton, CA. The first pick overall in the 1992 June draft, Nevin tries management's patience before being traded to Detroit. Pitcher Jeff Juden is born in Salem, MA. The 6-8 righthander is the 12th overall pick in the 1989 draft but would record just a 0-3 record before being dealt.
Mar 05 - Brian Hunter is born in Portland, OR. A .285 hitter with 61 steals in his first time through Houston (1994-1996), Hunter returns for two more seasons (2002-2003), batting .258 as a reserve.
Apr 02 - Dome fans are treated to a 15-inning exhibition "tripleheader" between the Astros, Yankees and Twins. Houston nips New York, 2-1, in the first five-inning game and later tops Minnesota, 5-3, in the finale. In between, the Twins down the Yankees, 4-1.
Apr 10 - Chicago great Ferguson Jenkins is sailing along with a four-hit shutout and a 1-0 lead through eight innings when the Astros win without hitting a ball past the infield. Cesar Cedeno's scratch hit starts it off. Two walks later, Cedeno bluffs a break for the plate which causes Jenkins to balk home the tying run. Jenkins then misplays Roger Metzger's botched squeeze bunt for an error as Cesar Geronimo scores the game-winner.
Apr 13 - Astros rally for five runs in the ninth to stun the Cardinals, 8-4. Joe Morgan's bases-loaded single precedes a three-run bomb by Norm Miller. Bob Watson also homers.
May 07 - Joe Morgan raps four hits, steals two bases, scores three times and drives in two to lead the Astros over the Phillies, 8-1, in their first game at Veterans Stadium. Don Wilson strikes the key blow off Jim Bunning, a bunt that found a hole in the artificial turf between third and the pitcher and rolled until two runs were in.
May 16 - Doug Rader belts a grand slam and drives in six to pace a 12-4 thumping of the Cardinals. His two-run double in the third follows the first-inning slam. Jack Hiatt and Roger Metzger add three hits apiece in the 17-hit performance.
May 26 - In the opener of a doubleheader in San Diego, Al Santorini starts against an Astro lineup stacked with seven lefty hitters. Santorini gets the first out and is yanked for lefty Dave Roberts. Houston wins, 2-1, behind Wade Blasingame. Santorini returns to start the nightcap, tossing six innings, but Larry Dierker bests him in an 8-0 one-hitter. The lone Padre hit was a broken-bat single by Ollie Brown in the seventh.
Jun 25 - Talk about getting back at your boss! Backup catcher Jack Hiatt singles home Doug Rader with the winning run as Houston takes a 5-4 victory over Gaylord Perry and the Giants. Hiatt, who was traded from San Francisco the year before, still held a winter job in the Giants' sales office at the time.
Jul 03 - Jack Hiatt singles home Jim Wynn with the game-winner in a 4-3, 13-inning thriller over Cincinnati at the Dome. The two had also teamed up in the ninth to preserve the tie when Wynn snared a sinking liner in center field then gunned down Buddy Bradford at the plate with Hiatt supplying the tag.
Jul 07 - Houston erupts for ten runs in the fourth inning as they pound the Giants, 18-4. Cesar Cedeno and Bob Watson both rap two hits in the inning. Cedeno drives in four for the day on a pair of two-run doubles. Larry Dierker picks up his 12th win and is named to the N.L. All-Star team but declines to appear due to a sore elbow.
Jul 16 - Astros turn the first triple play in their history during a 9-4 victory over Nolan Ryan and the Mets . Shortstop Roger Metzger takes a tap by Cleon Jones and steps on second, forcing Tommie Agee. His toss to first beats Jones to the bag. First baseman Denis Menke sees Ken Boswell make a belated dash to third so he fires across the diamond where Doug Rader completes the trifecta.
Aug 02 - Don Wilson fires a two-hitter to outduel Ferguson Jenkins and Chicago, 2-1. Denis Menke doubles home Doug Rader then scores on a single by Jesus Alou. Houston fans boo Joe Pepitone in each of four hitless trips to the plate.
Aug 06 - Nickel Beer Night at the Dome ends, appropriately, with a Miller. Bob Miller of San Diego tosses a 1-2-3 ninth to seal a 4-3 Houston loss. After the game, drunken fans spill onto the field, looting the Padre dugout and pantomiming pitching and baserunning until police restore order.
Sep 02 - Trailing 3-2 to Los Angeles, and with the bases full, Cesar Cedeno bloops a pitch off Claude Osteen into shallow right field. Bill Buckner and Jim Lefebvre collide while trying to catch the ball and it trickles into the corner. By the time the ball is retrieved, Cedeno has a 170-ft. inside-the-park grand slam to highlight a 9-3 victory.
Sep 05 - J.R. Richard fans Hal Lanier to end a complete-game victory in his big league debut. The 5-3 win caps a doubleheader sweep in San Francisco. Richard's 15 strikeouts ties the record for a major league premiere, which Brooklyn's Karl Spooner set in 1954. Jack Billingham whiffs 11 Giants in the opener, a 1-0 shutout. The combined 26 strikeouts sets a major league mark by one team in a twinbill.
Sep 17 - Don Wilson fires a one-hitter and drives in two to sink the Reds, 4-1. The Astros make their second triple play of the season as Joe Morgan snares a blooper by Darrell Chaney, flips to Roger Metzger for the force at second, who then throws to John Mayberry at first. Wilson wins his 16th, contributing a suicide squeeze and an RBI single to his own cause.
Sep 19 - Joe Morgan bashes an 11th-inning homer on his 28th birthday to torpedo the Reds, 5-4. It's his last long ball before the Reds acquire him in a trade. Cesar Cedeno goes 4-for-4. Despite the win, Houston is eliminated from the division race.
Sep 24 - Gary Ross of the Padres balks home Jesus Alou in the 21st inning as Houston outlasts San Diego, 2-1. But wait. That's just the opener of the scheduled twinbill. After the 5-1/2-hour first game, the California fog rolls in before the second game ends. The Padres win the "nightcap", 5-4 in the ninth when Ollie Brown, batting after a 14-minute fog delay, sends a shot to right that Jim Wynn can't find in the mist.
Oct 27 - Astros ink outfielder Al Javier as a free agent. He hangs on in the organization until he is traded in 1977 but he makes his lone appearance with the big club in 1976, batting .208 in eight games.
Nov 03 - Astros deal utilityman Orlando "Marty" Martinez to St. Louis for catcher Bob Stinson. Martinez had hit .268 in three years of service in Houston. Stinson would bat .171 in 27 games before being sold to the Expos.
Nov 29 - Astros deal infielders Joe Morgan and Denis Menke, outfielders Cesar Geronimo and Ed Armbrister, and pitcher Jack Billingham to Cincinnati for infielders Lee May, Tommy Helms and Jimmy Stewart in what would be the defining moment of Spec Richardson's tenure as General Manager. Morgan, Geronimo and Billingham would play major roles in two Worlds Championships. May and Helms have productive but not spectacular runs in Houston while Stewart, a utilityman, would bat .207 over two seasons.
Dec 02 - First baseman John Mayberry is traded to the Kansas City Royals for reliever Jim York. Expected to be the new closer in the Houston bullpen, York earns a 9-11 mark with seven saves in four seasons with the Astros.
Dec 03 - Lefthander Dave Roberts is acquired from San Diego for infielder Derrel Thomas and pitchers Bill Grief and Mark Schaeffer. Roberts compiles a 47-44 mark in four seasons. His best year is a 17-11 record with a 2.85 ERA and six shutouts in 1973.
Dec 31 - Brian Moehler is born in Rockingham, NC. The righthander posted a 21-28 record with a 4.97 ERA in two stints with the Astros (2003, 2007-2010).