1977 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History

Jan 08 - David Matranga is born in Orange, CA. The injury call-up is 1-for-5 in his big league career but he is only the second Astro to homer in his first major league at bat.

Jan 12 - Houston trades catcher Alfred Henry "Skip" Jutze to Seattle for a minor leaguer and cash. After being brought to Houston with high expectations in 1973, Jutze finds himself unable to hold the job and is quietly dispatched to an expansion team in the other league. He ends with a .215 career average.

Feb 02 - Jeffery Adam Everett is born in Austell, GA. The slick-fielding shortstop has hit .248 with 35 homers over his seven seasons in Houston (2001-2007) with a .208 average in postseason play.

Feb 07 - Dave Borkowski is born in Detroit, MI. The righthanded reliever won eight and lost seven with a 5.44 ERA during three seasons as an Astro (2006-2008).

Mar 26 - Astros obtain outfielder Willie Crawford and infielder Rob Sperring from San Francisco for infielder Rob Andrews. After the season, outfielder Art Gardner is sent to the Giants to complete the deal.

Mar 30 - Jeriome Robertson is born in San Jose, CA. The lefty leads the Astros in wins during his rookie season, posting a 15-9 record in 2003, despite a 5.10 ERA. Also on this day, infielder Larry Milbourne is dealt to Seattle for pitcher Roy Thomas.

Apr 03 - An exhibition game with the Texas Rangers in Tulsa, OK, is halted when a part of the stand collapses, injuring 17 people. Players helped carry victims to aid, some making stretchers out of wooden planks.

Apr 04 - Houston bombs the Rangers in a 16-6 exhibition win in Oklahoma City. Willie Crawford drives in five runs but the moment nobody forgets is when Bob Watson doubles into a double play. Texas catcher Bill Fahey tags out both Enos Cabell and Jose Cruz at the plate.

May 21 - Ballboy Scotty Tarvin gloves Larry Bowa's double down the right field line. Umpires allow Bowa to take third during the 7-4 Phillies win at the Dome. Bowa later scores. Greg Luzinski tags Bo McLaughlin for a titanic shot into the upper reserved seats to help Philadelphia.

May 25 - Art Howe slams a Charlie Hough knuckler for his second homer of the day to upend the Dodgers, 7-6. Julio Gonzalez contributes four hits. Joaquin Andujar gets the win in relief.

Jun 02 - Bob Watson drills a three-run blast in the top of the ninth to tie the Reds at 3-3, then Art Howe scorches a two-run double in the eleventh for a 6-4 victory. Watson has four hits on the night.

Jun 24 - Bob Watson belts a three-run triple off San Francisco's Bob Knepper in the first inning. He then doubles and hits a solo homer. In the eighth, he singles home Cesar Cedeno to become the second Astro to hit for the cycle. Watson has five RBIs in a 5-5 tie. Jose Cruz doubles home Wilbur Howard in the 11th for the 6-5 victory.

Jul 06 - After being called out on strikes by umpire Paul Pryor, Jose Cruz belts the game-winning homer in the 14th inning to give Houston a 2-1 triumph in Los Angeles. Cruz argues he has only two strikes on him and Pryor admits his mistake. Jose promptly sends the next pitch from Mike Garman into the right field stands.

Jul 17 - Mark Lemongello snaps a personal losing skid with a 3-1 victory over the Reds. Bob Watson and Enos Cabell swat solo homers for the winning margin. Joe Niekro hurls three innings in relief for the save.

Aug 01 - Jose Cruz blasts an 11th-inning bomb off Rich "Goose" Gossage to sink the Pirates, 4-3. Mark Lemongello goes the distance for the victory in spite of 14 Pittsburgh hits, four walks and four Houston errors, escaping bases-loaded jams in the ninth and tenth innings.

Aug 15 - Art Howe's first-inning grand slam keys a six-run first inning on Houston's way to a 15-3 laugher in Atlanta. Rob Sperring and J.R. Richard also launch bombs before the Astros wait through a rain delay with a 15-0 lead. Sperring gets four hits. Dan Larson tosses four innings of relief for the "save".

Sep 12 - Jose Cruz and Cesar Cedeno both sock a pair of homers, blasting Cincinnati, 7-2. Bob Watson belts another for good measure. Cedeno has four hits, including a triple. J.R. Richards whiffs eleven Reds for his 15th win.

Nov 21 - Ron Willis dies in Memphis, TN at age 34 in an auto accident. A midseason purchase from St. Louis, the righthander sees action in three games with the Astros in 1969. He is returned to the Cardinals at the end of the season.

Nov 25 - Outfielder Jesus Alou is signed as a free agent. It is his second stint as an Astro. Out of the majors the past two years, the 36-year-old Dominican bats .308 over the next two seasons, primarily in pinch-hit duties.

Dec 05 - Outfielder Leon Roberts is traded to Seattle for infielder Jimmy Sexton. The versatile Sexton would bat .207 over the next two seasons as a reserve for the Astros.