Astros in the Sky
Born: Dec 7, 1936
Streaking across baseball's nighttime sky like a meteor, Bo Belinsky combined sometimes-good pitching skill with good looks, charisma, and bragadoccio in America's media capitol and made himself into a celebrity of sorts.
On the field, he pitched MLB's first no-hitter on the West Coast for the fledgling 1962 Los Angeles Angels. Off the field, he partied, dated starlets, married and divorced both a Playboy "Playmate" and a paper heiress, and appeared in popular TV series such as 77 Sunset Strip. The night life and drinking took its toll as his pitching slipped, and the Angels dealt him to the Phillies.
The Astros picked him up in the winter of 1966. In his one season with Houston, 1967, he posted a 3-9 record with a 4.68 ERA. In 1968 he refused an assignment to the Astros' AAA farm club in Oklahoma City, so they sold him to the White Sox. They, in turn, sent him to their Hawaii Islanders farm club, where he pitched one more no-hitter on August 18, 1968. He later saw major league service again with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, then he retired from baseball in 1970.
Later, he sobered up and found religion. On November 23, 2001, he died of a heart attack in Las Vegas, Nevada after having worked ten years for a car dealership there.