1974 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History

Feb 18 - Houston trades pitcher Pat Darcy and cash to Cincinnati for infielder Denis Menke. For former All-Star Menke, he closes his career hitting .103 in a bench role. For the Ohio-born Darcy, it's great timing as two of his three big-league seasons are on World Championship teams.

Mar 11 - Bob Abreu is born in Aragua, Venezuela. A product of the Astros' baseball camp in his homeland, Abreu would play just 74 games for Houston before being lost in the 1997 expansion draft.

Apr 22 - Cesar Cedeno drills two homers and drives in five to pace Houston past Atlanta, 7-0 . Claude Osteen, who was dealt by the Dodgers over the winter, scatters seven hits.

Apr 29 - Lee May slams a pair of two-run homers in a nine-run sixth inning to spark an 18-2 mauling of Chicago. His two "taters" cap a five-for-five performance by the slugger to pace a 20-hit assault. Manager Preston Gomez gives May the rest of the night off or he might have done more. Winning pitcher Dave Roberts adds a sacrifice fly and an RBI single to the cause. The 18-2 win ties a club record for the largest margin of victory in a game.

May 03 - Astros get an assist from part of the Astrodome crowd as they drop the Cardinals, 4-1. Two female fans run nude through the outfield during the seventh-inning stretch. The distracted Cards give up three runs in the bottom half of the frame. A two-run single by Doug Rader is the key hit. Claude Osteen goes the distance.

May 07 - Tom Griffin one-hits the Pirates, 2-1, outdueling Dock Ellis for the victory. Milt May triples home Bob Watson with the winning run.

May 08 - Doug Rader's three-run homer in the 12th lifts the Astros over Pittsburgh, 8-6. Rookie Dave Parker, substituting for an ejected Richie Zisk, had slammed a solo homer in the top of the inning to give the Pirates a lead before Rader's blast off Jim Sadowski settles the issue.

May 12 - Cincinnati fans hurl beer, ice, cups and insults at an injured Bob Watson after the left-fielder crashes head-first into the fence. It happens in the nightcap of a doubleheader loss at Riverfront. Watson's glasses shatter. He gets twelve stitches to his face at a local hospital.

May 22 - Milt May belts a two-out pinch-hit grand slam homer off Vicente Romo in the ninth inning to topple San Diego, 5-1 . Claude Osteen and Randy Jones had dueled to a 1-1 draw for eight innings. Osteen takes the victory, allowing five hits. Osteen had once tutored Jones when the hurler was in junior high school.

Jun 06 - Lee May hits the first "foamer" in team history, a promotion where Dome patrons get free beer for the rest of the night if an Astro belts one out on an even-numbered minute. May hits a second shot for good measure and Larry Dierker tosses a three-hitter in a 4-0 whitewash of the Expos.

Jun 07 - Lee May stays hot. His solo shot in the second inning is the only run as Houston nips the Mets, 1-0. Don Wilson scatters seven hits in the shutout and delivers two of his own.

Jun 10 - Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt hits arguably the longest ball in Astrodome history although it is only a single. The ball strikes a speaker that hung from the roof of the Dome, 117 feet above centerfield and 300 feet from home plate, only to bounce back into play as a live ball. Although the bases are full, confused Phillies only move up one base. It hardly matters as the Phils crush the Astros, 12-0. Schmidt's blast, if unimpeded, was estimated to travel 600 feet.

Jun 28 - Doug Rader is roasted in San Diego during "Short Order Cooks Night". Earlier in the year, Padres owner and McDonald's magnate Ray Kroc gave the fans a Quarter-Pounder of his mind when he seized the PA system to publicly grill his players. Rader said, "He can't treat us like a bunch of cooks". Doug gets the last chance, trailing 5-4 with two outs in the ninth. He flies out to John Grubb as Houston's hopes melt in defeat.

Jul 14 - Bob Gallagher drives in Milt May in the bottom of the 12th for a 7-6 win over the Cubs. It rains indoors! Workers forget to replace some tiles in the Astrodome roof and an evening downpour creates puddles in right and center fields while showering a few lucky outfield ticket-holders who are handed plastic trash bags for shelter.

Jul 26 - Larry Milbourne scores in the 11th on a fielder's choice to give Houston an 8-7 triumph over Los Angeles. Roger Metzger has three hits and raps into the game-winner when the throw home by Davey Lopes is late. Cesar Cedeno socks two home runs and drives in four. His 79 RBIs lead the league while his 21 home runs are just one shy of ex-teammate Jim Wynn for the top spot in that category.

Jul 30 - Don Wilson collects his 100th victory as an Astro, toppling the Reds, 8-4 . The righthander fans nine in eight innings of work. Lee May drives in three while Cesar Cedeno and Cliff Johnson support with solo homers.

Aug 05 - Greg Gross raps five singles to lead the Astros over San Francisco, 7-2. In fact, it might have been Singles Night since 18 of Houston's 19 hits are the one-base variety. Pitcher Don Wilson has the double and two singles to help himself. Milt May drives in three.

Aug 06 - Bob Watson homers, triples and drives in four to pace a 13-4 clubbing in San Francisco. Besides Watson, Greg Gross, Milt May and Doug Rader notch three hits apiece. Mike Cosgrove pitches 4-1/3rd innings of relief for the win.

Aug 24 - Dave Roberts one-hits the Phillies, 1-0, in the quickest game in club history . Bob Boone's leadoff single in the sixth is all that separates Roberts from perfection in a game that takes only one hour and 26 minutes to complete. Roberts needs just 86 pitches. Roger Metzger singles off Steve Carlton, plating Larry Milbourne in the eighth for the only tally.

Aug 25 - Don Wilson and Mike Cosgrove blank the Phillies, 5-0, scattering six hits. It's Houston's third straight shutout. Before the game, Janice Graham Johnson is hit in the face by a batting practice home run leading to a lawsuit against HSA, the Astros and the Phillies. It's settled five years later and is the reason game tickets now warns fans to stay alert to balls flying into the crowd.

Aug 28 - Cliff Johnson slams his fifth pinch-hit homer of the year, a tenth-inning shot off Jerry Cram that sinks the Mets, 3-2 . The blast puts Johnson one shy of the big league record. Mike Cosgrove gets the win after blowing a ninth-inning save attempt.

Sep 04 - Don Wilson is taken out after eight innings of no-hit ball. He is behind, 2-1. Two walks and an error have put Cincinnati ahead. Ironies abound. Wilson is approaching a rare third career no-hitter. The man who hit into the error is Pete Rose, who hit into the run-scoring error that made Ken Johnson a no-hit loser in 1964. The Houston manager is Preston Gomez who similarly yanked Clay Kirby during a no-hit bid while with San Diego. Kirby is watching from the Reds' dugout. Mike Cosgrove gives up a meaningless single in the ninth that breaks up the bid. Houston loses. Gomez hears the boos.

Sep 22 - Pitcher Tom Griffin delivers a pinch-hit single in the 14th to edge the Braves, 3-2. The Astros score only when necessary - plating runs in the bottom of the ninth and the bottom of the tenth before winning it later. Ken Forsch picks up the victory.

Sep 28 - Don Wilson hurls a two-hit shutout against the Braves in what would become the final start of his career. He wins, 5-0, even without recording a strikeout. Tommy Helms' three-run homer is the key blow. In the nightcap, Phil Niekro returns the favor with a two-hit complete game in a 6-2 decision over the Astros.

Oct 24 - Astros purchase outfielder Jose Cruz from the Cardinals. Unable to crack the St. Louis lineup, the 27-year-old stars for the next 13 seasons in Houston. The best Astro player in the 1980s, Cruz has six seasons hitting over .300 and leads the team in RBIs seven times.

Oct 29 - Astros deal Bob Gallagher to the Mets for infielder Ken Boswell. Gallagher bats .230 as a reserve outfielder for two years in Houston. Boswell becomes a spot starter and pinch-hitter deluxe over the next three seasons.

Nov 24 - Johnny Weekly dies at age 37 in Walnut Creek, CA in an auto accident. The reserve outfielder batted .207 in parts of three seasons with the Colt .45s.

Dec 03 - First baseman Lee May and outfielder Jay Schlueter are traded to Baltimore for infielders Enos Cabell and Rob Andrews. Second baseman Andrews is the guy Houston wants in the deal. He would bat .249 with no homers in two seasons before being traded. Throw-in Cabell is the one who blossoms, becoming a regular for eight seasons as an Astro.