1994 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History
Jan 09 - Johnny Temple dies at age 66 in White Rock, SC. A five-time all-star in Cincinnati, he has a .263 average over two seasons with the Colt .45s as a reserve then comes back to Houston as a sportscaster for KHOU-TV.
Jan 26 - Houston signs first baseman Sid Bream. As a backup to Jeff Bagwell, he contributes mostly as a pinch-hitter, delivering a .344 average in the strike-shortened season. Of course, Bagwell hit .368 in an MVP year so Bream got scant attention for his superb play. After the strike, he never appears again in the majors.
Feb 04 - Astros unveil new uniforms that do away with orange as a team color, rainbow stripes on the jersies, and the "H" on the cap. The new look will feature midnight blue and metallic gold with a flying star on the caps and jersies.
Feb 07 - Public batting practice by retired NBA star Michael Jordan draws hundreds of reporters. Jordan looks to sign a deal with the Chicago White Sox as an outfielder but some Astros are quick to point out it won't be easy for him. At his home, Houston pitcher Todd Jones is so incensed with radio callers predicting baseball stardom that he calls the station himself to challenge the basketball champion.
Feb 25 - Former Houston manager Leo Durocher is selected by the Veterans Committee into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Yankee legend Phil Rizzuto. The fiery Durocher had died in 1991, claiming he no longer cared whether he would get inducted. His nearly 50-year career in baseball included 15 seasons as a player and 23 as a manager. His last was with the Astros in 1973.
Mar 05 - Astros owner and HSA president Drayton McLane slams the idea of a new downtown domed stadium, claiming the Astrodome can be refurbished for half the cost. McLane also complains that the $33 millon dollar estimated payroll for the Astros for 1994 is too high.
Mar 16 - A poll conducted for the city of Houston at the request of Astros owner Drayton McLane shows 56 percent disapprove of building a downtown domed stadium primarily for the NFL Oilers and the NBA Rockets. Only 24% approve. Among those who disapprove, 49% say a new park is simply "not needed". Mayor Bob Lanier backs away from supporting the proposed stadium, which sets the scene for the Oilers' later move to Nashville, TN and the creation of a baseball-only downtown facility for the Astros.
Mar 20 - Both teams train in Florida, yet the Astros and Rangers spar in a two-game series at the Astrodome as part of their in-state rivalry. Tony Eusebio is the hero in a 6-5 victory, driving in Luis Gonzalez with an eighth-inning double. Astro nemesis Will Clark delivers the game-winner for the Rangers the following day. It's the first Dome visit for new Houston manager Terry Collins. Afterwards, both teams fly back to Florida.
Mar 25 - Astros release outfielder Jesse Barfield. The Houston native and former A.L. home run champ had hit just .080 in Kissimmee after playing in Japan the previous season. He stays on to work as a coach.
Apr 04 - Mitch Williams walks the bases full then surrenders two 12th-inning runs in the season opener against Montreal. Ken Caminiti's two-run double ends a dramatic three-run comeback for a 6-5 Houston triumph. . The Astros also debut their new navy-and-gold uniforms with the leaning star logo.
Apr 20 - A leadoff homer by Craig Biggio blossoms into a four-hit night as Houston trips the Cubs, 7-5. Jeff Bagwell drives in four runs. Tom Edens picks up the win in relief.
Apr 25 - Smurfish Andy Stankiewicz slugs a three-run homer off Denny Neagle and Craig Biggio later follows with a two-run shot to power Houston past the Pirates, 7-3. Pete Harnisch strikes out eight in a complete game performance.
Apr 30 - Steve Finley and Jeff Bagwell each homer, part of their four hits apiece as Houston stomps the Cards, 15-5. Total attendance breaks the 50,000 mark for the first time in a regular-season game since 1966.
May 24 - Doug Drabek gets three hits and drives in two, as well as tossing a three-hit shutout, to steamroll the Braves, 8-0. James Mouton adds four hits and Scott Servais provides a three-run homer. Drabek runs his record to 7-1 on the season.
Jun 24 - Jeff Bagwell slams two home runs in one inning and three in the game as Houston mauls the Dodgers, 16-4. Bagwell's blasts are the alpha and omega of a nine-run sixth inning. His four hits and six RBIs spark a 17-hit attack. Shane Reynolds is the easy winner.
Jul 03 - Ken Caminiti slugs an inside-the-park homer while Craig Biggio and James Mouton belt the traditional kind as the Astros trap the Cubs, 12-6. Caminiti and Biggio are named to the N.L. All-Star team along with Jeff Bagwell, Doug Drabek and John Hudek (none as starters) to total a club-record five All-Stars in one season.
Jul 04 - Tony Eusebio gets four hits, including a double and a triple to pace a 13-6 spanking of the Cardinals. Eusebio and Andujar Cedeno drive in four runs each. Brian Williams is the easy winner.
Jul 10 - In just his third major league game, shortstop Orlando Miller launches two home runs and drives in three to pace a 5-3 victory in Chicago. He earns respect too, receiving two intentional walks as well. Ken Caminiti also goes deep while Craig Biggio pounds three hits including two doubles.
Jul 17 - A grand slam by Steve Finley highlights an eight-run third inning during a 9-0 whitewash in Pittsburgh. Orlando Miller adds three hits and two RBIs. Shane Reynolds takes over for Doug Drabek in the third and tosses seven innings of five-hit ball for the victory.
Jul 18 - Down 11-0 to the Cardinals, Houston explodes for eleven runs in the sixth inning to take a 15-12 shocker at the Dome. After chipping away at Allen Watson with two in the fourth and two in the fifth, the Astros erupt for five more before Mike Felder's two-run triple ties it. Kevin Bass gets his second hit in the frame to put Houston ahead to stay.
Jul 23 - Jeff Bagwell goes 4-for-4 with four RBIs, including his 30th homer, as the Astros maul the Pirates, 11-0. Bagwell becomes just the third Astro to reach that milestone. Shane Reynolds fires a four-hit shutout and fans eleven to run his season record to 8-4.
Jul 24 - Jeff Bagwell bashes two home runs and drives in five during a 13-1 massacre of Pittsburgh at the Dome. Craig Biggio adds a grand slam. Bagwell's shots both come off Ravelo Manzanillo in consecutive innings.
Aug 05 - Jeff Bagwell re-writes the Astros record book with his 38th home run, 112th RBI and 69th extra base hit in a 12-4 thumping of the Giants. Jeff has five RBIs to lead the attack, breaking Bob Watson's season mark. Jim Wynn held the other two records. Bagwell's .370 average also threatens Rusty Staub's club record. A broken hand and a players strike would soon cut short the best season any Astro has ever had.
Aug 10 - For the second year in a row, Jeff Bagwell's left hand is broken by a pitch, this time by the Padres' Andy Benes just two days before the players strike finishes their season. Bagwell ends with 39 homers, 116 RBIS and a .368 average (all club records at the time) in 400 at bats. Houston wins, 3-1, but loses the next day to finish 1/2 game behind Cincinnati in the first Central Division race.
Oct 27 - Jeff Bagwell is named the unanimous winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award. He's the third winner to gain every first-place vote and the only winner in franchise history. The players' strike, which cut short the season, helped Bagwell since his hand was broken just before the strike commenced, not allowing time for other players to steal the spotlight in September.
Nov 16 - Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio are named to the annual National League Gold Glove team for their defensive play at first and second base respectively. They are the first Astros to be named since 1976, the last of Cesar Cedeno's Gold Glove seasons in the outfield (1972-1976). The other past winners are Doug Rader at third base (1970-1974) and Roger Metzger at shortstop (1973). Bobby Shantz was also named as the Gold Glove pitcher in 1962, a year he started in Houston. Biggio will continue to claim the prize for the next three seasons.
Nov 23 - Montreal Expos president Claude Brochu blasts Jeff Bagwell's new seven-year $47 million dollar contract, calling the move "a mistake" by owner Drayton McLane. The players strike is still ongoing and the move is seen as counterproductive to labor talks while McLane announces that, in spite of Bagwell's new deal, he will be forced to cut payroll for the ballclub next season.
Nov 28 - Houston trades pitcher Pete Harnisch to the Mets for two minor leaguers. The deal changes during the next month when Harnisch is ruled a restricted free agent. Only one of the pitchers in the deal makes it to Houston and he never reaches the majors. In four seasons as an Astro, Harnisch posts a 45-33 record and a 3.41 ERA. His best season is 1993 when he notches a 16-9 mark with four shutouts and a 2.98 ERA.
Dec 28 - In one of the biggest player swaps in baseball history, the Astros send infielders Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno and Roberto Petagine, outfielder Steve Finley and pitchers Brian Williams and Sean Fesh to San Diego for infielders Craig Shipley and Ricky Gutierrez, outfielders Derek Bell and Phil Plantier and pitchers Doug Brocail and Pedro Martinez. It's a thinly-disguised salary dump and, were it not for Bell's success, would have been regarded as one of the worst trades in club history. Caminiti and Finley blossom into All-Stars who lead the Padres to the N.L. title in 1998. Bell and Gutierrez are the only salvagable parts for the Astros and they are both gone after the 1999 season.