Astros in the Sky
Born: May 8, 1937
A linchpin of Earl Weaver's Oriole rotation of the late '60s and early '70s, Cuellar (pron: KWAY-ahr) would win 20 or more games for four straight seasons.
"Forced to rely on variety rather than velocity," as one sportswriter put it, his assortment included an off-speed palmball. Cuellar, nonetheless, set the Astros mark for most wins by a lefthander with 16 in 1967, a mark that was not topped until Dave Roberts in 1973.
He pitched four seasons with the Astros (37-36, 2.74 ERA, 38 complete games and six saves), but as with most former Astros, he would not blossom until he was dealt elsewhere. With the Orioles, he won 20+ games four seasons in a row, and shared the AL Cy Young Award with Denny McLain in 1969. He was also named to four All-Star teams, including once with the Astros in 1967.
Cuellar finished his major league career in 1977 with the Angels. Overall, he forged a 185-130 record with a 3.14 ERA, 172 complete games, 36 shutouts and 11 saves in over 2800 innings. He passed away from stomach cancer on April 2nd, 2010.