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January 22 - This Date in Astros History
January 22 - This Date in Astros History
January 22

2015 - Don Bryant passes away at age 73 in Gainesville, FL. The catcher played in 46 games for the Astros (1969-1970), but one happened to be the game he caught a no-hitter from Don Wilson.
2001 - Tommie Agee dies of a heart attack in New York, NY at age 58. The outfielder, a hero of the 1969 "Miracle Mets", played part of the 1973 season with the Astros before being traded to St. Louis.
1969 - Star outfielder Rusty Staub is traded to Montreal for outfielder Jesus Alou and first baseman Donn Clendenon. This trade would become controversial when Clendenon refuses to report and the Astros are forced to take other compensation while Staub goes on to become the Expos' first marquee player.
1951 - Leon Roberts is born in Vicksburg, MI. The outfielder would bat .267 with seven home runs over parts of two seasons (1976 and 1977) in Houston.

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Date      Opp      Result
2/23     #WSH       ----
2/24      ATL*      ----
2/24     @NYM*      ----
2/25      NYM*      ----
2/26     @MIA*      ----
2/27     #WSH*      ----
2/28      MIA*      ----
3/01      STL       ----
3/02     @NYM*      ----
3/03     #WSH*      ----
3/04     @ATL*      ----
3/04      NYM*      ----
3/05      off        --
3/06      MIA*      ----
3/07     @MIA*      ----
3/08      STL       ----
3/09     @STL*      ----
3/10     #WSH*      ----
3/11      NYM*      ----
3/12     #WSH       ----
3/13     @NYM*      ----
3/14      MIA*      ----
3/15      STL*      ----
3/15     @STL       ----
3/16     @PHI*      ----
3/17     @ATL*      ----
3/18      off        --
3/19      PHI*      ----
3/20      NYY*      ----
3/21     @DET*      ----
3/22      NYM       ----
3/23     @MIA       ----
3/24     #WSH*      ----
3/25     $PIT       ----
3/26     $PIT       ----
3/27      off        --
* - day game.
# - at W. Palm Beach
$ - at Minute Maid Pk

Spring record:
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Houston Astros recap - 01/21/19 - Astros And The African-American Ballplayer

Astros And The African-American Ballplayer

Morgan, Jackson on '66 Cover
(c) Sports Illustrated
The Astros haven't made much news since the last report so this allows me a chance, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, to discuss the ballclub's history with African-American players. For a team from deep in Texas, formerly a state in the Confederacy, the organization has had African-American players from the very beginning and continues to this day. Critics will argue they haven't had enough yet the same can be said of most Major League clubs.

Inner-city blacks have traditionally migrated towards basketball and football rather than baseball in large part because it takes fewer kids and less equipment to start a pick-up game in those sports than baseball which required a large plot of grass, a bat, a ball and four bases. Football requires just a plot of grass, a ball and something to represent a goal line. Basketball needs a hard surface, a hoop and a ball to be in business.

Those who have anointed themselves to be racial beancounters on the subject seem to distinguish between Hispanics with negroid features and American-born African-Americans, hence I am excluding players like Cesar Cedeno, Tony Eusebio, Julio Gotay and Willy Taveras from this discussion although I'd rather not.

Still, the Astros can compile a pretty awesome historical lineup of singularly Black American players:

2B - Joe Morgan
3B - Enos Cabell
CF - Jim Wynn
1B - Lee May
LF - Bob Watson
DH - George Springer
RF - Carl Everett
C - Hal King
SS - Sonny Jackson

SP - Don Wilson
RP - LaTroy Hawkins

There are plenty more to round out the bench or whose stay in Houston was too brief to consider. The appeal of black athletes to the game was primarily speed so most were outfielders or middle infielders. The game's historic black role models were largely outfielders and middle infielders with those slower of foot converting to first basemen.

Admittedly, coming up with an entirely black Houston pitching staff is difficult because black pitchers were scarce in the majors. It took an extraordinary talent like Bob Gibson, Ferguson Jenkins or Mudcat Grant to fight through the stereotypes.

The Astros, like many clubs, support programs that encourage baseball fields and proper equipment so that inner-city youths of all races can learn and develop baseball skills. It's an important part of the team's community outreach. Developing athletic skills in at-risk youths gives them an alternative to crime, drugs and gangs.

Dr. King, in his famous 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech, said he longed for a day where people could be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Unfortunately, the leaders of today have turned that thinking on its head and judge people by race or racism (real or imagined) in almost knee-jerk fashion and demand others view everything through that prism.

For this week and the coming Black History Month, I would hope we could reflect on the hard-fought victories African-Americans have made since the 1960s through a lens of individual achievements and societal integration instead of inflammatory rhetoric and divisive race-baiting. As a culture, we achieve far more as one colorblind amalgam than as warring victims on a grievance ladder.

- Bob Hulsey

Houston's Team Houston's Title (click to order)

Breathing Orange Fire: Jose Altuve
(click to order)

Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961
(click to order)


RSS Feed | News Archives
Your chance to hang out with your favorite Astros players happens at FanFest - KPRC-TV
Bregman answers fans' questions on Twitter - KTRK-TV
Astros Hall of Fame's inaugural class boasts household names - KTRK-TV
Astros 2019 season preview: Infield - Last Word on Baseball
Whitley among 22 non-roster invitees to Astros' major league spring training - Houston Chronicle
Astros announce non-roster invites to Spring Training - Astros.com
Bregman and others raise $500,000 to fight childhood cancer - KTRK-TV
Astros 2019 Caravan tour set to kick off Jan. 22 in Katy - KTRK-TV
Reddick dad a Spider Man and wrestling-themed wedding - Sports Illustrated
Nolan Ryan fast facts - CNN Library
George Springer and Congressman John Lewis led MLK parade - KTRK-TV
Thornton, Perez grateful to escape Astros’ depth logjam - SportsNet.ca
Astros to add team Hall of Fame inside MMP - Houston Chronicle
Ryan announces plans for Astros HOF - Astros.com
Will 2019 be year Hall calls for Clemens? - Astros.com
Astros And The African-American Ballplayer
- Astros Daily
Reddick wore WWE belt during his wedding - 12up
Reddick ties knot in WWE-themed wedding - Astros.com
Springer honored to rep Astros on MLK Day - Astros.com
Astros stars discuss team's goals for 2019 - KTRK-TV
Ensberg with Rays organization - Fayetteville Observer
Berkman, Oswalt and Hall of Fame voting - Houston Chronicle
Astros free agency update - Sports Radio 610
Astros, Karbach introduce new Crawford Bock Beer - Houston Chronicle
Stadium's extra costs are no surprise - Fayetteville Observer
Karbach introducing Astros-themed beer - The Leader
Astros 2019 Season Preview: Outfield - Last Word on Baseball
Catalanotto among top hitters - Fayetteville Observer
McCracken rejoins Rays as Triple-A coach - Tampa Bay Times
Woodpeckers expect to name manager in 'next few weeks' - Fayetteville Observer
Correa showed off his strength with a shirtless weightlifting session - Astros.com
Springer joins Astros radio show 1 month before spring training - KPRC-TV
Whitley working hard, in hopes of Astros debut in 2019 - KPRC-TV
How one baseball team is recovering after the Camp Fire in California - Vice Sports
The MLB.com Hall of Fame ballot results are ... - Astros.com
Inbox: Who'll round out Astros' 2019 rotation? - Astros.com
Astros’ success plays role in Crane’s Houston Open endeavor - Houston Chronicle
Brocail hired as Orioles pitching coach, per reports - Lone Star Ball
Astros Caravan Jam comes to Waterway Square on Thursday, January 24, 2019 - Woodlands Online
Houston Open gets Oct. 7-13 dates for 2019 - Houston Chronicle
First Spring Training workout dates for all clubs - Astros.com

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- Bob Hulsey