2007 - Timeline
from This Date in Astros History

Jan 04 - Infielder Mark Loretta is signed to a one-year contract. He bats .296 with the Astros during two stints (2002, 2007-2008), including ten homers.

Jan 30 - The City of Houston proclaims Jeff Bagwell Day to celebrate the 15-year career of the Astros slugger. The proclamation coincides with a hitting camp Bagwell is conducting at Minute Maid Park and a pitching camp run by the legendary Nolan Ryan.

Feb 15 - Morris "Buddy" Hancken passes away at the age of 92. Hancken was an Astros coach for five seasons (1968-1972) then stayed with the organization through 1992 in various capacities. He had been a minor league player, coach and manager before joining the Astros.

Mar 08 - Orlando "Marty" Martinez dies in Santo Domingo, D.R. at age 65. The utility player hit .268 in three seasons with the Astros (1969-1971), playing every position but center and right field including two-thirds of an inning as a pitcher.

Mar 22 - After almost 20 years of wearing a pin in his cap to promote the Sunshine Kids charity for cancer-stricken children, Major League Baseball tells 41-year-old Craig Biggio that he can no longer wear the emblem during spring exhibition games. Biggio reacts angrily while the Astros front office refrains from comment. A week later, after a mild media uproar, Major League Baseball rescinds the order.

Apr 13 - Roy Oswalt gets his 100th victory in an un-Oswalt-like way. He walks six and allows six runs but Carlos Lee's three homers and a three-run blast by Morgan Ensberg pace a 9-6 victory at Philadelphia. Lee belts a grand slam as well as two solo shots while Craig Biggio takes over eighth place on the All-Time doubles list with 641, passing Honus Wagner.

May 09 - Woody Williams, a Houston native signed at age 40 as a free agent, gets his first win as an Astro in eight starts. The righthander gets the gamewinning hit as well, a bloop single to right for a 3-2 victory in Cincinnati. Lance Berkman supplies the other two runs with a homer in the third. Criag Biggio leads off the game with a double, the 646th of his career to tie Carl Yastrzemski for seventh all time. It's his 2,963rd career hit.

May 12 - Roy Oswalt sails to his sixth win in a 10-4 bombing of the Diamondbacks. Mike Lamb and rookie Hunter Pence crunch three hits apiece, including a home run. Carlos Lee and Luke Scott also go deep. Lee leads the league in RBIs with 34. Craig Biggio ties Sam Crawford on the all-time hits list at 2,964 while passing Carl Yastrzemski for seventh on the all-time doubles list (647).

Jun 18 - Chone Figgins of the Los Angeles Angels caps a 6-for-6 night with a game-winning triple that drives in Reggie Willits for a 10-9 comeback over the Astros. Houston's bullpen blows a five-run lead built by Mark Loretta's four hits and homers from Mike Lamb and Luke Scott. At 30-40 on the season, the Astros slide nine games behind suprising Milwaukee in the Central Division.

Jun 24 - Craig Biggio legs out the 658th double of his career, most of any righthanded batter in major league history. More importantly, it plates Morgan Ensberg in the 10th for the winning run in a wild 12-9 slugfest against the Texas Rangers. Arlington's own Hunter Pence goes 4-for-6 with a homer and a double. Lance Berkman also goes deep and drives in four. The offense is necessary after Dan Wheeler blows a four-run lead in the eighth and a two-run lead in the ninth before getting credit for the win.

Jun 28 - Craig Biggio gets the 3,000th hit of his career. And 3001. And 3002. In fact, Biggio gets five hits for the second time in his career, all singles. The milestone moment comes in the seventh and plates Brad Ausmus to tie the Rockies at one . His final hit puts him at third base in the 11th when Carlos Lee rocks a grand slam off Brian Fuentes into the Crawford Boxes for an 8-5 thriller . Lance Berkman and Mike Lamb homer in the eighth to put the game into extras. Biggio becomes the 27th member of the 3,000-hit club and the first to reach it with a five-hit performance.

Jul 24 - On the day he announces his retirement effective at the end of the season, Craig Biggio blasts a grand slam homer off Rudy Seanez that breaks up a 3-3 tie and defeats the Dodgers, 7-4. It's the 3016th hit of his career. Jason Jennings wins for just the second time all season, assisted by four relievers.

Aug 26 - In what would be his last game as Astros manager, Phil Garner sees Houston rally for a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. It pulls the Astros .001 out of the division basement at 58-73. Ty Wigginton's two-run homer in the eighth is the difference. The next day, Garner and General Manager Tim Purpura are fired. Garner finishes his Houston tenure with a 277-252 record that includes two LCS appearances and one National League pennant. Before the game, the Astros retire Jeff Bagwell's number 5 in an emotional ceremony.

Aug 29 - - It's a milestone day for the Astros as Roy Oswalt celebrates his 30th birthday by blanking the Cardinals, 7-0. It's also the first win for new manager Cecil Cooper, replacing the fired Phil Garner. Lance Berkman cracks three hits to pace the offense, including the 250th homer of his career, becoming the third Astro to reach that mark. Luke Scott also goes deep. Craig Biggio ties George Brett for fifth all-time with his 655th career double, his 3,042nd hit.

Sep 16 - September call-up Josh Anderson goes 5-for-5 and reaches base six times in a 15-3 rout of Pittsburgh. The outfielder, in just his third big league start, spanks four singles and a double as well as being hit by a pitch. Home runs are provided by Cody Ransom, Ty Wigginton and Chris Burke. Brandon Backe enjoys the 22-hit support, winning his first game in over a year after returning from elbow surgery.

Sep 20 - J.R. Towles, a catcher playing in his sixth major league game, claims the franchise record with eight RBIs in an 18-1 demolition of the Cardinals, setting the largest winning margin in club history. Towles goes 4-for-4 with two doubles, his first big league homer, a walk and a hit-by-pitch . Wandy Rodriguez tosses eight strong innings for his ninth win. Off the field, the Astros name Ed Wade as their new general manager.

Sep 30 - Amidst standing ovations, hugs and tributes, Craig Biggio closes out his 20-year career in a 3-0 shutout of Atlanta. His first inning double is the 3,060th hit of his career, making him 20th on the all-time list. It's also the 668th two-bagger, finishing fifth all time. It keys a three-run first which is all Felipe Paulino and three relievers need to finish the season at 73-89. A Minute Maid Park record crowd of 43,823 attend.

Oct 27 - Newly-retired Astro Craig Biggio receives the Roberto Clemente Award, recognizing humanitarian efforts, at Game Three of the World Series in Denver. Clemente, who died in a plane crash while assisting Nicaraguan earthquake victims in 1972, was one of the players Biggio passed on the 3,000-hit list. Biggio has worked for over a decade with the Sunshine Kids, a group that helps children with cancer.

Nov 07 - Ed Wade strikes a deal with Philadelphia, his former employer. Houston deals closer Brad Lidge and utilityman Eric Bruntlett to the Phillies for outfielder Michael Bourn, reliever Geoff Geary and minor leaguer Mike Costanzo. Bourn spent three years at the University of Houston before signing with the Phils. Costanzo is dealt to Baltimore later that winter.

Dec 12 - Houston deals five players to Baltimore for shortstop Miguel Tejada, a former American League M.V.P. The Astros send outfielder Luke Scott and minor leaguer Mike Constanzo to the Orioles along with pitchers Troy Patton, Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate. In a related move, Houston waives veteran shortstop Adam Everett.

Dec 13 - The Mitchell Report on steroids in baseball is released, naming those players whom there was either evidence or testimony of using performance enhancing drugs. A handful of former Astros, including Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte are named. Newly-acquired shortstop Miguel Tejada also makes the list. Clemens, through an attorney, denies using steroids.

Dec 14 - A whirlwind offseason in Houston continues as the Astros deal infielder Chris Burke, reliever Chad Qualls and pitcher Juan Gutierrez to Arizona for closer Jose Valverde. The move completes an almost total overhaul of Houston's bullpen that began when Dan Wheeler was traded to Tampa Bay in August.

Dec 25 - Utilityman Jim Beauchamp passes away from leukemia at age 68 in Atlanta. He started in left field for the first National League game played indoors. Jim hit .179 with three homers during three partial seasons (1964, 1965, 1970) as an Astro.

Dec 27 - Veteran outfielder Darin Erstad is signed as a free agent. The former two-time All-Star bats .252 as a reserve outfielder in two seasons as an Astro.