1975 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History

Jan 05 - Pitcher Don Wilson , at age 29, dies at home from carbon monoxide poisoning after falling asleep in his car. His young son, asleep in a bedroom above the garage, also dies in the tragedy. His number 40 is retired by the Astros the following spring, the second Houston player to be so honored.

Feb 28 - Ricky Stone is born in Hamilton, OH. The righthander plays a valuable set-up role in the bullpen, with a 10-8 record and two saves over four seasons (2001-04) before being released and claimed by San Diego.

Apr 06 - For $35,000, the Astros purchase Joe Niekro from the Braves. Niekro would win 144 games for Houston and become the club's first two-time 20-win pitcher.

Apr 07 - Setting the baseball fashion world on its ear, the Astros introduce the rainbow uniform to major league baseball, humbling the Braves in a 6-2 season opener. Jose Cruz homers in his first game as an Astro.

Apr 09 - On the Dome's 10th Anniversary, Houston drills the Braves with six runs in the fourth and eight more in the seventh for a 14-2 massacre. Doug Rader, Roger Metzger and Enos Cabell lead the assault with three hits apiece.

Apr 29 - The Astros explode for eight runs in the seventh to topple the Padres, 8-2. J.R. Richard starts the scoring with a two-run single. Roger Metzger ends it in the same manner. Jose Cruz has two hits in the inning. Richard tosses a five-hitter.

May 04 - Bob Watson scores baseball's millionth run in the first game of a doubleheader split in San Francisco. Despite Milt May's homer, Watson runs full speed around the bases, edging Cincinnati's Dave Concepcion for the milestone moment . Watson should have given lessons about finding home plate. A record 41 walks are issued in the twinbill, with an league-record 26 coming in the nightcap which Houston pulls out, 12-8. J.R. Richard walks a club-record eleven batters in the second game.

May 14 - Doug Rader belts two homers and drives in five to pace an 11-7 triumph at Chicago's Wrigley Field. Roger Metzger adds four hits while Bob Watson supplies three, including a home run.

May 25 - Coming back from an early 6-0 deficit, the Astros tie the Expos in the ninth on Cesar Cedeno's leadoff blast into the center field tunnel. Montreal's Mike Jorgensen doubles off Joe Niekro in the 12th to snap the tie. Doug Rader cracks his third double and fifth hit of the game before Enos Cabell doubles to tie it again. Milt May's bloop eludes three Expos for the game-winner to give Houston an 8-7 triumph.

May 31 - Houston erupts for twelve runs in the eighth inning, setting a club mark, during a 15-3 bombing of Philadelphia. Wayne Twitchell, a former high Astros draft pick, had allowed two hits in seven innings before the collapse. Pinch-hitter Cliff Johnson belts a double and a home run for three RBIs during the frame but the league later rules that the homer cannot officially be a pinch hit since he batted earlier in the inning .

Jun 15 - Cliff Johnson swats a grand slam off Mike Garman in the top of the ninth for an 8-7 stunner over St. Louis. The Redbirds had just tallied three to snap a 4-4 tie.

Jun 23 - Bob Watson's three-run homer off Burt Hooton caps a six-run outburst against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wayne Granger pitches the final 2-2/3rds innings to save the 6-5 victory. Granger picks off Ron Cey at third base in order to preserve the win.

Jul 21 - Joe Torre sets a National League record, grounding into four double plays as his Mets drop a 6-2 verdict to the Astros. Ken Forsch gets Torre all four times on sliders. Felix Millan is the victim at second base on all four twin-killings. Roger Metzger has a two-run triple and starts three of Torre's recurring nightmares.

Jul 30 - The first Houston player to homer in his first major league at bat is...reliever Jose Sosa. The blast comes at the Astrodome, a three-run shot off Danny Frisella during an 8-4 victory over San Diego. And to top it off, Sosa also earns his first big league save. The other five runs come on a three-run homer by Jose Cruz and a two-run shot by Doug Rader, who is celebrating his 31st birthday.

Aug 07 - Tal Smith is named General Manager, replacing "Spec" Richardson. The Astros are in last place, 35 games behind Cincinnati at the time. Dave Roberts takes the first small steps to recovery with a 6-1 victory over Pittsburgh.

Aug 10 - The woeful "Lastros" sweep a four-game series from division-leading Pittsburgh, 5-3. J.R. Richard walks nine in six innings but allows just one hit for the win. Jerry DaVanon beats George Brett by eight years when his sixth-inning single is overturned after his bat is found with too much pine tar. DaVanon accidentally rubbed pine tar on the wrong end of his bat while in the on-deck circle and Pirate catcher Manny Sanguillen alertly handed the bat to the plate umpire.

Aug 11 - Cliff Johnson pounds four hits while Cesar Cedeno and Jerry DaVanon collect three each in a 7-2 victory over St. Louis. Larry Dierker tosses a complete game for his tenth win of the year.

Aug 19 - Bill Virdon replaces Preston Gomez as Houston manager. Bob Lillis fills out the lineup card while Virdon settles in. The Mets topple the Astros, 6-3, but not before Cliff Johnson and Cesar Cedeno go deep in the ninth inning to show the team still has some life.

Aug 24 - Cliff Johnson hits a homer in his fifth straight game as Houston topples the Cubs, 8-4 . Jose Cruz goes deep twice and Bob Watson also plays long ball. Wilbur Howard adds four hits and swipes two bases. Larry Dierker sails to his 12th win.

Aug 25 - For a few hours, Cliff Johnson ties a league record by hitting a home run in his sixth consecutive game. It comes in the 11th inning in St. Louis to snap a 3-3 tie but a downpour stops the game in the bottom half of the inning. Play never resumes and the game goes into the books as a ten-inning tie without Johnson's mark.

Sep 08 - Cesar Cedeno drills two home runs and a two-run single to drive in six during a 9-6 win in Atlanta. Only 737 fans witness it. Cedeno's three-run bomb off Bruce Dal Canton in the eighth puts Houston ahead to stay.

Oct 23 - Kazuo Matsui is born in Osaka, Japan. The infielder becomes the first Japanese player in franchise history when he signs a three-year deal with the Astros after the 2007 season.

Oct 24 - Houston acquires pitcher Joaquin Andujar from Cincinnati for two players. The excitable Dominican pays dividends, winning 42 games during six seasons, splitting time between starting and the bullpen. Andujar's best years come after he is traded to St. Louis but he is still remembered in Houston for his colorful antics and his catchphrase "youneverknow" during interviews.

Nov 16 - Julio Lugo is born in Barahona, DR. The shortstop would hit .268 with 28 homers over four seasons (2000-2003) but was released following an arrest on spousal assault charges that took place at the ballpark.

Nov 23 - Colin Porter is born in Tucson, AZ. A mid-season call-up, the outfielder posts a .188 average during limited duty in 2003.

Dec 06 - Houston deals catcher Milt May and pitchers Jim Crawford and Dave Roberts to Detroit for outfielder Leon Roberts and pitchers Mark Lemongello and Gene Pentz. It is primarily a cost-cutting move for the Astros although both May and Roberts are coming off disappointing seasons. Lemongello would author a 21-29 record over the next three seasons while Pentz would compile an 8-5 mark with seven saves in three years.

Dec 11 - Houston trades third baseman Doug Rader to San Diego for pitchers Larry Hardy and Joe McIntosh. The Gold Glover completes nine seasons in Houston with a .250 average, 160 homers and 600 RBIs.

Dec 12 - Second baseman Tommy Helms is traded to Pittsburgh for a player who would later be named as infielder Art Howe. Helms completes a four-year run in Houston with a .269 average and 185 RBIs.