1987 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History
Feb 26 - The owner of a Houston sports bar begins a campaign to raise $70,000 for Astros slugger Glenn Davis. That's what separates the Astros and Davis on a one-year contract, according to his agent Gerry Hunsicker. The two sides would eventually agree to meet roughly halfway. Davis is humbled by the public's show of support but declines taking their money.
Mar 01 - Reliever Charley Kerfeld declares he will buy up 3,000 tickets per game to give away to charity causes. Without a discount, which the Astros didn't discuss, the cost for the seats would total as much as $1.6 million dollars. Unable to afford that on a $110,000 salary, Kerfeld backs down from the offer.
Mar 09 - A sign of things to come. Astros lose their home spring opener to Montreal, 19-3. Bob Knepper and Jeff Heathcock are knocked silly before the bullpen comes to the rescue. Five Houston errors worsen the mood. Knepper would slump from a 17-12 1986 season to 8-17 the next year, his ERA climbing by over two runs.
Mar 14 - After an 0-for-8 start and three errors in the field, shortstop Dickie Thon walks out of training camp. Although Thon is able to successfully return to baseball, it's the beginning of the end of his time in Houston. Blurred vision is cited as the reason for his walkout.
Apr 06 - Jose Cruz homers off the Dodgers' Orel Hershiser to lead the defending N.L. West champion Astros to a 4-3 season-opening triumph. Alan Ashby contributes a two-run single. Dave Smith pitches the last two innings to seal the win for Mike Scott.
Apr 15 - Mike Scott delivers a one-hit, ten-strikeout shutout in Los Angeles, 4-0. A single by Mariano Duncan in the third is the lone blemish. Billy Hatcher and Glenn Davis pace the offense. Each had a home run and two RBIs.
Apr 21 - Red-hot Billy Hatcher marks his ninth consecutive multi-hit game and 11th in the 14 games he's played.. His 28th hit of the season (a .475 average) keys a four-run ninth-inning comeback that shocks Atlanta, 7-6. His hitting streak would end at 16 games.
May 01 - Nolan Ryan belts his second career home run as he coasts to a 12-3 win over Atlanta. It's a three-run shot off Charlie Puleo and caps a 10-0 lead. Kevin Bass also homers in a three-hit effort.
May 05 - Pitcher Danny Darwin , lifetime 2-for-26 with 20 strikeouts at the plate before the game, delivers three hits in a 5-1 triumph against the Phillies. He slaps a ground-rule double and a bunt single before spanking a two-run triple over Milt Thompson's head in center field in the seventh inning for the game-winner.
May 08 - Mike Scott hurls a two hitter to stop the Expos, 3-0. Scott fans twelve and walks only two. Phil Garner's solo homer in the first is all the offense Scott will need.
Jun 01 - Jose Cruz lofts a home run to left in the top of the tenth inning off ex-Astro Frank DiPino to topple the Cubs, 6-5. Kevin Bass also homers and drives in four. All five Chicago runs come from the bat of Andre Dawson who slugs two long balls but fans in his final trip up at the hands of Dave Smith.
Jun 02 - Andre Dawson of the Cubs drives in seven to lead a 13-2 rout of Houston. He has two homers and a triple among his four hits. But it's just a prelude for the next afternoon.
Jun 03 - Chicago scores nine in the first inning off Bob Knepper en route to a 22-7 massacre, the most runs allowed by Houston in one game. Brian Dayett and Keith Moreland bash grand slams as does Billy Hatcher to tie a major league record. Moreland has seven RBIs in the game.
Jun 15 - Mike Scott and Dave Smith combine for 17 strikeouts in a 4-0 shutout of the Reds. Scott fans the first 14 over eight innings then Smith punches out the final three. Bill Doran homers while Kevin Bass adds a two-run triple.
Jun 27 - Kevin Bass becomes the first Astro to collect four extra-base hits in a game. He gets a "cycle plus one", legging out his second double for his final hit of the game after earlier hitting a homer and a triple. Houston wins, 6-5, over the Giants as Larry Andersen saves it for Jim Deshaies.
Jul 02 - Glenn Davis belts a three-run homer with two out in the ninth to stun the Phillies, 7-6. It comes off Steve Bedrosian who had just set a record by converting 13 consecutive save appearances. Davey Lopes also homers. Dave Smith saves it for Larry Andersen.
Jul 16 - In his first major-league game, Ken Caminiti homers and triples, scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 triumph over Philadelphia. Another rookie, Gerald Young, singles off Mike Jackson with the bases loaded to send the fans home happy. Danny Darwin goes the distance on a four-hitter.
Aug 17 - Billy Hatcher smacks four hits and swipes two bases to pace an 11-2 triumph over Atlanta. Hatcher goes deep off Joe Boever in the eighth to cap his night. Bill Doran adds three hits. Mike Scott strikes out ten over eight innings for the win.
Sep 01 - Billy Hatcher is ejected for using a corked bat during a 3-2 loss to the Cubs. Hatcher claims the offending stick belongs to reliever Dave Smith but it still nets him a ten-game suspension.
Sep 04 - Nolan Ryan and Juan Agosto combine on a two-hitter for a 2-0 whitewash of the Pirates. Ryan notches his 210th strikeout of the season, most ever by a pitcher aged 40 or older. A two-run single by Bill Doran plates the only runs.
Sep 09 - Nolan Ryan notches his 4,500th strikeout during a 4-2 victory over San Francisco. Mike Aldrete is the milestone victim as the last out in the seventh. It was quite a night for the Ryan Express - he fans 16 and contributes two hits of his own. One drives in the game's first run. Ryan now leads the N.L. in ERA (2.76) and strikeouts (226) but suffers an 8-15 record. Ryan predicts this "old dog" won't reach number 5,000.
Sep 10 - Glenn Davis smashes three home runs and drives in five but the Astros fall to San Diego, 8-7. Alan Ashby also homers and hits a sacrifice fly in the ninth to tie it but Rob Nelson's pinch-hit single in the bottom of the frame settles the issue.
Sep 14 - Gerald Young notches four hits and swipes four bases to lead Houston over the Dodgers, 8-1. Kevin Bass also has a four-hit night with a home run and four RBIs. Nolan Ryan registers nine whiffs in a little over six innings for the victory.
Oct 14 - Dick Wagner resigns as General Manager, effective in ten days. The architect of Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" of the 1970s, Wagner's brief term in Houston has highs and lows as well as a stormy relationship with those both above him and below him.
Oct 19 - In one of his final acts as General Manager, Dick Wagner decides to exercise a contract option on Nolan Ryan. It was a strange year for the Express, leading the league in strikeouts and ERA but suffering an 8-16 record. The Astros could have either paid the 40-year-old righthander an estimated $1.3 million or released him to free agency.
Oct 26 - Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams announces his NFL team will not leave Houston for Jacksonville, after agreements are made to increase seating capacity and add luxury suites to the Astrodome. This sets the wheels in motion that would change the appearance of the Dome, removing the giant centerfield scoreboard and Judge Hofheinz' now-vacant right field apartment.
Dec 07 - Bill Wood is named General Manager. He had been the interim GM for two months and gets the official word right before baseball's winter meetings begin.
Dec 08 - Astros deal two minor leaguers to Atlanta for shortstop Rafael Ramirez and cash. Ramirez serves as a transition from the tandem of Reynolds and Thon while prospects mature in the minors.