1991 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History
Jan 03 - The Astros ink free agent pitchers Dwayne Henry and Jimmy Jones to contracts. Henry would win three games with two saves as a reliever that season while Jones would go 16-14 in two seasons for Houston.
Jan 10 - First baseman Glenn Davis is traded to Baltimore for outfielder Steve Finley and pitchers Curt Schilling and Pete Harnisch. Davis would suffer a spring injury and never play effectively for the Orioles. All three players Houston acquired would later become stars although not so much for what they did while wearing Astro stars and stripes.
Feb 12 - Astros owner John McMullen announces he has cleared the way for Houston to host the 1992 Republican National Convention at the Astrodome. The GOP has already selected Houston but there are details to resolve. National League President Bill Giles and Players Union chief Donald Fehr both voice their disapproval of the proposed 30-day road trip that the Astros will take in order to free up the Dome for the convention.
Feb 15 - Potential buyers of the Astros, Ben Love and six others, approach Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers to own a share of the team. The group includes Drayton McLane. Ryan declines, citing that an active player cannot also be a team owner.
Feb 28 - Former major leaguers, Bob and Ken Aspromonte, now local beer distributors, announce they are seeking to buy the Astros from Dr. John McMullen but still need additional partners. Bob Aspromonte played for the team from 1962 to 1968.
Mar 14 - It's March Madness time and the most popular guy at the Astros camp is rookie Kenny Lofton. During his years at the University of Arizona, Lofton was known more as a guard for the highly-ranked Wildcat basketball team than as a speedy center fielder. Lofton becomes the resident expert in tournament betting pools.
Mar 26 - State Senators pass a bill to rename a part of State Highway 288 the "Nolan Ryan Expressway". The highway passes near the Astrodome on its way through Ryan's boyhood hometown of Alvin.
Apr 15 - Jeff Bagwell's first major league homer is a two-run shot off Kent Mercker in the ninth inning to stun the Braves, 3-1. Back then, nobody thought Bagwell would develop into the franchise's premier power hitter.
Apr 16 - Ken Caminiti starts an around-the-horn triple play during a 10-4 loss to the Braves. In the second-inning, Mike Heath's grounder goes from Caminiti to Casey Candaele at second to Jeff Bagwell at first for the feat.
May 05 - Rookie Jeff Bagwell hits only the ninth upper-deck home run at Three Rivers Stadium, a 456-foot pinch-hit poke in a 6-4 victory over Pittsburgh. Steve Finley follows with a two-run shot for the winning margin.
Jun 06 - After giving up three runs in the top of the ninth, the Astros storm back with four in the bottom half of the frame to stun Montreal, 9-8. Doubles by Luis Gonzalez and Ken Caminiti key the rally.
Jun 12 - Steve Finley drives home Jeff Bagwell with two away in the bottom of the ninth to trip Philadelphia, 3-2. Joe Boever is the victim. Al Osuna wins his second game in as many nights.
Jul 11 - Ken Oberkfell cracks a two-run double off Dave Smith in the 11th inning for a 6-4 triumph over the Cubs. A three-run shot by Luis Gonzalez off Greg Maddux stakes Houston to an early lead but George Bell tags Jim Clancy with a homer in the ninth to send it to extra innings.
Aug 04 - Craig Biggio singles home Gerald Young in the tenth for a 2-1 triumph over Los Angeles, sweeping the series and winning their seventh straight. The last-place Astros also turn their second triple play of the season when Mike Simms snares a fly to right by Alfredo Griffin and guns down Mike Sharperson who tried to advance to third. Ken Caminiti fires to Andujar Cedeno to get Stan Javier who was trailing the play.
Aug 13 - Rebounding from a 9-2 deficit, Houston gets off the mat for a 12-9 triumph in San Diego to snap a five-game losing streak. Luis Gonzalez launches a three-run bomb and drives in four. Andujar Cedeno also homers.The Astro bullpen fires five innings of one-hit ball. Ryan Bowen claims the victory and Al Osuna gets the save.
Aug 28 - Ken Caminiti and Charlie Hayes trade five-RBI nights from the third base spot and Al Osuna is handed a two-run lead in the bottom of the tenth, 10-8. But he can't hold it as the Phillies score three to win it, 11-10. Rafael Ramirez has four hits in a losing effort.
Sep 06 - Pete Harnisch becomes the second Astro to strike out the side on nine pitches. It happens in the seventh inning of a 3-1 triumph over the Phillies. Harnisch scatters four hits while Jeff Bagwell and Andujar Cedeno go deep for all of Houston's runs.
Oct 25 - George Brunet dies of a heart attack in Poza Rica, Mexico at age 56. The lefthander made 22 appearances for the Colt .45s in their first two seasons as part of a 15-year major league career. After that, he continued to pitch in the minors and then in Mexico until he was 54.
Nov 06 - Jeff Bagwell is named N.L. Rookie of the Year, capturing 23 of 24 first place votes. His .294 average, 15 homers and 82 RBIs are just the first sign of things to come. The other vote goes to Pittsburgh's Orlando Merced.
Nov 20 - Mike Scott announces his retirement after 13 major league seasons. The righthander made just two starts in his final season before being sidelined by injuries but could look back on a no-hitter, a Cy Young Award, and a 20-win season among his accomplishments.
Nov 24 - Former Astro Phil Garner has something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The then-Milwaukee manager and his family are saved from a fire in their Kingwood, TX home. Two constables force open the front door after spotting smoke coming from the house. Over $100,000 worth of damage is done.
Dec 07 - Houston has a tentative deal in place with the Chicago White Sox. The Sox want pitcher Mark Portugal and are expected to trade a disappointing outfielder who hit just .203 after being acquired from the Texas Rangers. Eventually, the White Sox find a better offer for Sammy Sosa and the deal never happens.
Dec 10 - Outfielder Kenny Lofton is traded to the Cleveland Indians for catcher Ed Taubensee. While Taubensee becomes an adequate receiver, Lofton becomes one of the top players of the decade. In a separate deal, Houston also sends infielder Dave Rhode to Cleveland for righthander Willie Blair.