Astros in the Sky
by Darrell Pittman and Bob Hulsey

Last updated: January 6, 2024

Houston's baseball club is, by MLB standards, a very young one. Yet over the years, the franchise has lost a number of players, including the tragic deaths of Jim Umbricht in 1964 of cancer, and Don Wilson in 1975 of carbon monoxide poisoning. Both were active players at the time of their deaths, and their numbers were later retired by the club.

This page is dedicated to the memory of all former Colt .45s and Astros players who have since passed on. For obituaries on former Astros managers, visit the All-Time Managers page.

You can view the player details in the chronological order of their passing, or select alphabetically from the following:


Dave_Adlesh, Tommie Agee, Jesús Alou, John Anderson, Joaquín Andújar, John Bateman, Rafael Batista, Jim Beauchamp, Bo Belinsky, Dave Bergman, Curt Blefary, Walt Bond, Jim Bouton, Hal Brown, Ollie Brown, Pidge Browne, Bob Bruce, George Brunet, Don Bryant, Don Buddin, Jim Busby, John Buzhardt, Ken Caminiti, Chuck Carr, José Castillo, Andújar Cedeño, Bob Cerv, Al Cicotte, Nate Colbert, Jim Corsi, Willie Crawford, Mike Cuellar


Jay Dahl, Ron Davis, Tommy Davis, Ramón de los Santos, Dick Drott, Keith Drumright, Arnold Earley, Dick "Turk" Farrell, Ernie Fazio, Bob Forsch, Nellie Fox, Gene Freese, Joe Gaines, Gary Geiger, Dick Gernert, Joe Gibbon, Fred Gladding, Billy Goodman, Howie Goss, Julio Gotay, Carroll Hardy, Buddy Harris, Chuck Harrison, Al Heist, Bill Henry, José Herrera, Ed Herrmann, Joe Hoerner, John Hoffman, Wilbur Howard, Mike Ivie, Ken Johnson, Doug Jones, Gordon Jones, Eddie Kasko, Russ Kemmerer, Matt Keough, Darryl Kile, Hal King, Pete Ladd, Jack Lamabe, Keith Lampard, Jim Landis, Norm Larker, Don Larsen, Jose Lima, Aurelio Lopez, Julio Lugo


Ken MacKenzie, Mike Marshall, Marty Martinez, Eddie Mathews, Lee May, Lee Maye, Don McMahon, Roman Mejias, Denis Menke, Aurelio Monteagudo, Joe Morgan, Ivan Murrell, Dave Nicholson, Joe Niekro, Don Nottebart, Jim Obradovich, Dan Osinski, Jim Owens, Bert Pena, Jim Pendleton, Joe Pepitone, Joe Pittman, Juan Pizarro, Brian Powell, Ross Powell, Ken Ramos, Merritt Ranew, Jim Ray, Larry Ray, Howie Reed, J.R. Richard, Dave A. Roberts, Robin Roberts, Jeriome Robertson, Vern Ruhle, Pete Runnels


Jay Schlueter, Carroll Sembera, Steve Shea, Larry Sherry, Mark Small, Dave Smith, Hal Smith, Jose Sosa, Rusty Staub, Jimmy Stewart, Dean Stone, Don Sutton, Johnny Temple, Frank Thomas, Lee Thomas, Bobby Tiefenauer, Tim Tolman, Gus Triandos, Jim Umbricht, Cecil Upshaw, Jose Uribe, Luis Valbuena, Sandy Valdespino, Glenn Vaughan, Bruce Von Hoff, Danny Walton, Bob Watson, Johnny Weekly, George Williams, Walt Williams, Ron Willis, Don Wilson, George Witt, Hal Woodeshick, Gary Woods, Jim Wynn, Larry Yellen, Chris Zachary

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Umbricht
Full name: James Umbricht (pronounced Um-brite)
Nickname: "Big Jim"
Born: 9/17/1930, Chicago, IL
Died: 4/8/1964, Houston, TX; cancer
Career: PIT (1959-61), HOU (1962-63)
Jersey retired: #32, 4/12/65
  • First jersey number to be retired by Houston
  • His ashes were spread over the Astrodome construction site by his brother Ed from a private airplane as his parents and teammates looked on.
  • Only Houston pitcher with winning record (8-3) during club's first two seasons (1962-63)

(c) Houston Astros
Jay Dahl
Full name: Jay Steven Dahl
Born: 12/6/1945, San Bernadino, CA
Died: 6/21/1965, Salisbury, NC; auto accident
Career: HOU (1963)
Notes: Starting pitcher for Colt .45s "All-Rookie Team" against the Mets, 9/27/63.

(c) Topps Baseball
Walt Bond
Full name: Walter Franklin Bond
Born: 10/19/1937, Denmark, TN
Died: 9/14/1967, Houston, TX; leukemia
Career: CLE (1960-62), HOU (1964-65), MIN (1967)
  • One of the last alums of the Negro Leagues' Kansas City Monarchs.
  • His 85 RBIs in 1964 were most of any Colt .45 in one season.

(c) Houston Astros
Johnny Weekly
Full name: Johnny Weekly
Born: 6/14/1937, Waterproof, LA
Died: 11/24/1974, Walnut Creek, CA; auto accident
Career: HOU (1962-64)

(c) Topps Baseball
Don Wilson
Full name: Donald Edward Wilson
Born: 2/12/1945, Monroe, LA
Died: 1/5/1975, Houston, TX; carbon monoxide poisoning
Career: HOU (1966-74)
All-Star: 1971
Jersey retired: #40, 4/13/75
  • On 6/18/67, pitched a 2-0 no-hitter over the Braves in Houston.
  • On 5/1/69, pitched a 4-0 no-hitter over the Reds in Cincinnati.

(c) Houston Astros
Nellie Fox
Full name: Jacob Nelson Fox
Nickname: "Mighty Mite", "Little Nel"
Born: 12/25/1927, St. Thomas, PA
Died: 12/1/1975, Baltimore, MD; skin cancer
Career: PHI-A (1947-49), CWS (1950-63), HOU (1964-65)
All-Star: 1951-61, 1963
Hall of Fame: Inducted 1997, Veterans Committee
  • Brought to Houston to mentor second-baseman Joe Morgan. Stayed on as a coach, 1965-67.
  • Got the game-winning hit in the first game at the Astrodome, 4/9/65.
  • 1959 World Series MVP for "Go-Go" Chicago White Sox.

(c) Topps Baseball
Dick Farrell
Full name: Richard Joseph Farrell
Nickname: "Turk"
Born: 4/8/1934, Boston, MA
Died: 6/10/1977, Great Yarmouth, England; auto accident
Career: PHI (1956-61), LAD (1961), HOU (1962-67), PHI (1967-69)
All-Star: 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965
  • Houston's first All Star.
  • Famous for his practical jokes. Once sneaked a baby alligator into the whirlpool in the Colt .45s' clubhouse.

(c) Topps Baseball
Ron Willis
Full name: Ronald Earl Willis
Born: 7/12/1943, Willisville, TN
Died: 11/21/1977, Memphis, TN; brain tumor
Career: STL (1966-69), HOU (1969), SD (1970)

(c) Houston Astros
Al Cicotte
Full name: Alva Warren Cicotte
Nicknames: "Bozo", because of the brand of ice cream he favored.
"Count Dracula", because he favored black suits, often with a cape.
Born: 12/23/1929, Melvindale, MI
Died: 11/29/1982, Westland, MI; cause not reported
Career: NYY (1957), WAS (1958), DET (1958), CLE (1959), STL (1961), HOU (1962)
Notes: Great-nephew of Eddie Cicotte, who was banned from baseball in the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal.

(c) Topps Baseball
Billy Goodman
Full name: William Dale Goodman
Born: 3/22/1926, Concord, NC
Died: 10/1/1984, Sarasota, FL; cancer
Career: BOS (1947-57), BAL (1957), CWS (1958-61), HOU (1962)
All-Star: 1949, 1953
  • 1950 AL batting champion
  • Played five games in the World Series for the 1959 Chicago White Sox against the Los Angeles Dodgers

(c) Topps Baseball
Howie Reed
Full name: Howard Dean Reed
Nickname: "Diz"
Born: 12/21/1936, Dallas, TX
Died: 12/7/1984, Mathis, TX; heart failure
Career: KC (1958-60), LA (1964-66), CAL (1966), HOU (1967), MON (1969-71)
Notes: Member of 1965 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

(c) Houston Astros
Dick Drott
Full name: Richard Fred Drott
Nickname: "Hummer"
Born: 7/1/1936, Cincinnati, OH
Died: 8/16/1985, Glendale Heights, IL; stomach cancer
Career: CHC (1957-61), HOU (1962-63)
Notes: Lost a 1-0 no-hitter to Juan Marichal on June 15, 1963 despite tossing a three-hitter himself.

(c) Houston Astros
Don McMahon
Full name: Donald John McMahon
Born: 1/4/1930, Brooklyn, NY
Died: 7/22/1987, Los Angeles, CA; heart attack
Career: MIL-N (1957-62), HOU (1962-63), CLE (1964-66), BOS (1966-67), CWS (1967-68), DET (1968-69), SF (1969-74)
All-Star: 1958

(c) Houston Astros
Aurelio Monteagudo
Full name: Aurelio Faustino Monteagudo Cintra
Nickname: "Monty"
Born: 11/19/1943, Caribarien, Cuba
Died: 11/10/1990, Saltillo, Mexico; auto accident
Career: KCA (1963-66), HOU (1966), CWS (1967), KCR (1970), CAL (1973)
Notes: Son of major-leaguer Rene Monteagudo.

(c) Houston Astros
Pete Runnels
Full name: James Edward Runnels (b. James Edward Runnells)
Born: 1/28/1928, Lufkin, TX
Died: 5/20/1991, Pasadena, TX; stroke
Career: WAS (1951-57), BOS (1958-62), HOU (1963-64)
All-Star: 1959, 1960, 1962

(c) Houston Astros
George Brunet
Full name: George Stuart Brunet
Nickname: "Lefty"
Born: 6/8/1935, Houghton, MI
Died: 10/25/1991, Poza Rica, Mexico; heart attack
Career: KCA (1956-60), MIL-N (1960-61), HOU (1962-63), BAL (1963), CAL (1965-69), SEA (1969), WAS (1970), PIT (1970), STL (1971)
Notes: Played minor league ball in the Mexican League into his fifties.

(c) Topps Baseball
Ron Davis
Full name: Ronald Everette Davis
Born: 10/21/1941, Roanoke Rapids, NC
Died: 9/5/1992, Houston, TX; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1962, 1966-68), STL (1968), PIT (1969)
Notes: Appeared in two games for Cardinals in 1968 World Series.

(c) Houston Astros
Aurelio Lopez
Full name: Aurelio Alejandro Lopez Rios
Nickname: Señor Smoke
Born: 9/21/1948, Tecamachalco, Mexico
Died: 9/22/1992, Matehuala, Mexico; auto accident
Career: KCR (1974), STL (1978), DET (1979-85), HOU (1986-87)
All-Star: 1974, 1983
  • Member of 1986 NL West Division champs
  • Member of 1984 World Champion Detroit Tigers
  • Posthumously inducted into Salon de la Fama del Beisbol Profesional de Mexico (Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame), 1993
  • At the time of his death, was mayor of his hometown of Tecamachalco, Mexico

(c) Houston Astros
Johnny Temple
Full name: John Ellis Temple
Born: 8/8/1927, Lexington, NC
Died: 1/9/1994, Anderson, SC; pancreatitis
Career: CIN (1952-59), CLE (1960-61), BAL (1962), HOU (1962-63), CIN (1964)
All-Star: 1956, 1957, 1959, 1961
  • Part of baseball's first inter-league trade (in 1960 from Cincinnati to Cleveland for Billy Martin and Cal McLish).
  • Sports anchor for KHOU-TV in Houston after his retirement.

(c) Houston Astros
Gordon Jones
Full name: Gordon Bassett Jones
Born:4/2/1930, Portland, OR
Died: 4/25/1994, Lodi, CA; cause not reported
Career: STL (1954-56), NYG/SF (1957-59), BAL (1960-61), KC (1962), HOU (1964-65)
Notes: Astros pitching coach, 1966-67.

(c) Houston Astros
Cecil Upshaw
Full name: Cecil Lee Upshaw
Born: 10/22/1942, Spearnsville, LA
Died: 2/7/1995, Lawrenceville, GA; heart attack
Career: ATL (1966-73), HOU (1973), CLE (1974), NYY (1974), CWS (1975)
Notes: Pitched three games in 1969 NLCS.

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Pendleton
Full name: James Edward Pendleton
Nickname: "The Guv'nor"
Born: 1/7/1924, St. Charles, MO
Died: 3/20/1996, Houston, TX; heart attack
Career: MIL-N (1953-56); PIT (1957-58); CIN (1959); HOU (1962)
Notes: Starting left fielder in Houston franchise's first game, going 1-for-4 with an RBI.

(c) Houston Astros
Gary Geiger
Full name: Gary Merle Geiger
Born: 4/4/1937, Sand Ridge, IL
Died: 4/24/1996, Murphysboro, IL; liver failure
Career: CLE (1958), BOS (1959-65), ATL (1966-67), HOU (1969-70)

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Busby
Full name: James Franklin Busby
Born: 1/8/1927, Kennedy, TX
Died: 7/8/1996, Augusta, GA; heart attack
Career: CWS (1950-52), WAS (1952-55), CWS (1955), CLE (1956-57), BAL (1957-58), BOS (1959-60), BAL (1960-61), HOU (1962)
All-Star: 1951
Notes: Astros coach, 1962-67. Was player/coach in franchise's first season.

(c) Houston Astros
Howie Goss
Full name: Howard Wayne Goss
Born: 11/1/1934, Wewoka, OK
Died: 7/31/1996, Reno, NV; cause not reported
Career: PIT (1962), HOU (1963)
  • Struck out 128 times in just 442 plate appearances during his only season with the Colts .45s.
  • First Houston player reported to be a health food enthusiast.

(c) Topps Baseball
Joe Hoerner
Full name: Joseph Walter Hoerner
Born: 11/12/1936, Dubuque, IA
Died: 10/4/1996, Hermann, MO; farming accident
Career: HOU (1963-64), STL (1966-69), PHI (1970-72), ATL (1972-73), KC (1973-74), PHI (1975), TEX (1976), CIN (1977)
All-Star: 1970
Notes: Member of 1967 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

(c) Topps Baseball
John Bateman
Full name: John Alvin Bateman
Born: 7/21/1940, Fort Sill, OK
Died: 12/3/1996, Sand Springs, OK; kidney failure/heart disease
Career: HOU (1963-68), MON (1969-72), PHI (1972)
  • As a rookie, led Colt .45s in home runs (10) and RBIs (59), 1963.
  • Caught Don Nottebart's no-hitter, 5/17/63.
  • First catcher in Montreal Expos history

(c) Houston Astros
Pidge Browne
Full name: Prentice Almont Browne
Nickname: "Pidge"
Born: 3/21/1929, Peekskill, NY
Died: 6/3/1997, Houston, TX; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1962)
  • 1955 Texas League MVP for Shreveport Sports.
  • Member of Houston Buffaloes' back-to-back Dixie Series Champions, 1956-57.
  • First player to play for both the Houston Buffs and Colt .45s.

(c) Topps Baseball
John Anderson
Full name: John Charles Anderson
Born:11/23/1929, St. Paul, MN
Died: 12/20/1998, Houston, TX; cause not reported
Career: PHI (1958), BAL (1960), STL (1962), HOU (1962)

(c) Houston Astros
Arnold Earley
Full name: Arnold Carl Earley
Born: 6/4/1933, Lincoln Park, MI
Died: 9/29/1999, Flint, MI; cause not reported
Career: BOS (1960-65), CHC (1966), HOU (1967)

(c) Houston Astros
Bobby Tiefenauer
Full name: Bobby Gene Tiefenauer
Born: 10/10/1929, Desloge, MO
Died: 6/13/2000, Desloge, MO; cause not reported
Career: STL-N (1952, 55), CLE (1960), STL-N (1961), HOU (1962), MIL-N (1963-65), NYM (1965), CLE (1965, 67), CHC (1968)
Notes: Knuckleball pitcher. As a Colt .45, his catcher once used the hurler's glove to make a tag at home plate on a throw from the outfield.

(c) Houston Astros
Andújar Cedeño
Full name: Andújar Cedeño Donastorg
Born: 8/21/1969, La Romana, D.R.
Died: 10/28/2000, Santo Domingo, D.R.; auto accident
Career: HOU (1990-94), SD (1995-96), DET (1996), HOU (1996)

(c) Houston Astros
Tommie Agee
Full name: Tommie Lee Agee
Born:8/9/1942, Magnolia, AL
Died: 1/22/2001, New York, NY; heart attack
Career: CLE (1962-65), CWS (1965-67), NYM (1968-72), HOU (1973), STL (1973)
All-Star: 1966, 1967
Honors: 1966 AL Rookie of the Year
Notes: Hero of the 1969 "Miracle Mets" for his homer in Game 3 of the World Series off Jim Palmer, and two great catches in the outfield.

(c) Houston Astros
Curt Blefary
Full name: Curtis LeRoy Blefary
Nickname: "Clank", because of his poor fielding.
Born: 7/5/1943, Brooklyn, NY
Died: 1/28/2001, Pompano Beach, FL; pancreatitis
Career: BAL (1965-68), HOU (1969), NYY (1970-71), OAK (1971-72), SD (1972)
Honors: 1965 AL Rookie of the Year
  • Member of 1966 World Champion Baltimore Orioles.
  • Caught Tom Phoebus' 4/27/68 no-hitter for Orioles.
  • Set record getting put out in seven double plays, 5/4/69.
  • Traded to Houston for Mike Cuellar in one of Houston's All-Time Worst Trades

(c) Houston Astros
Eddie Mathews
Full name: Edwin Lee Mathews, Jr.
Born: 10/13/1931, Texarkana, TX
Died: 2/18/2001, La Jolla, CA; pneumonia
Career: BOS-N (1952), MIL-N (1953-65), ATL (1966), HOU (1967), DET (1967-68)
All-Star: 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962
Hall of Fame: Inducted 1978
  • Only player to play for Braves in all three cities: Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta.
  • Hit 500th career homer while a member of the Astros, 7/14/67.
  • Member of World Champion 1957 Milwaukee Braves and 1968 Detroit Tigers.

(c) Houston Astros
Bo Belinsky
Full name: Robert Belinsky
Nickname: "Bo"
Born: 12/7/1936, New York, NY
Died: 11/23/2001, Las Vegas, NV; heart attack
Career: LAA (1962-65), PHI (1965-66), HOU (1967), PIT (1969), CIN (1970)
  • Tossed a no-hitter for the Los Angeles Angels against Baltimore, the first no-hitter on the West Coast in MLB history, 5/5/62.
  • Married and divorced Playboy Playmate of the Year Jo Collins then married paper heiress Jane Weyerhauser.
  • Astros paired him with Mormon catcher Ron Brand on road trips to try to curtail his nightlife.

(c) Houston Astros
John Hoffman
Full name: John Edward Hoffman
Nickname: "Pork Chop"
Born: 10/31/1943, Aberdeen, SD
Died: 12/27/2001, Seattle, WA; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1964-65)
Notes: Backup catcher appeared in eight games with Houston, going 3-for-21 for his career.

(c) Houston Astros
Darryl Kile
Full name: Darryl Andrew Kile
Nickname: "DK"
Born: 12/2/1968, Garden Grove, CA
Died: 6/22/2002, Chicago, IL; coronary artery blockage due to athereosclerosis
Career:  HOU (1991-97), COL (1998-99), STL (2000-02)
All-Star: 1993, 1997, 2000
  • Pitched no-hitter against Mets, 9/8/93.
  • Went 19-7 with 2.57 ERA for 1997 Astros.
  • Died four days after death of Cardinals' announcer Jack Buck.

(c) Houston Astros
Lee Maye
Full name: Arthur Lee Maye
Born: 12/11/1934, Tuscaloosa, AL
Died: 7/17/2002, Riverside, CA; complications from liver cancer
Career: MIL-N (1959-65), HOU (1965-66), CLE (1967-69), WAS (1969-70), CWS (1970-71)
  • Died on the 43rd anniversary of his MLB debut with the Milwaukee Braves (7/17/1959).
  • AstrosDaily interview, 7/16/2001.
  • Had a successful R&B recording/singing career, leading "Arthur Lee Maye and the Crowns" and used to sing at the "Dome Shadows" nightclub across the street from the Astrodome.

(c) Houston Astros
Chris Zachary
Full name: William Christopher Zachary
Born: 2/19/1944, Knoxville, TN
Died: 4/19/2003, Knoxville, TN; bone marrow cancer
Career: HOU (1963-67), KC (1969), STL (1971), DET (1972), PIT (1973)
  • Once described himself as "a pretty decent 10th-man on a 10-man staff."
  • Inducted into Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.

(c) Houston Astros
Willie Crawford
Full name: Willie Murphy Crawford
Born: 9/7/1946, Los Angeles, CA
Died: 8/27/2004, Knoxville, TN; kidney disease
Career: LAD (1964-75), STL (1976), HOU (1977), OAK (1977)
  • Made his major league debut nine days after his 18th birthday, 9/16/64.
  • Member of 1965 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

(c) Houston Astros
Ken Caminiti
Full name: Kenneth Gene Caminiti
Born: 4/21/1963, Hanford, CA
Died: 10/10/2004, Bronx, NY; heart attack
Career: HOU (1987-94), SD (1995-98), HOU (1999-2000), TEX (2001), ATL (2001)
All-Star: 1994, 1996, 1997
Honors: 1996 National League MVP
  • Slugged three homers in 1999 NLDS
  • Hit the last regular-season home run in the Astrodome, 10/3/1999
  • Struggled with alcohol and drug addiction; admitted to using steroids during his MVP season with the Padres

(c) Houston Astros
Glenn Vaughan
Full name: Glenn Edward Vaughan
Nickname: "Sparky"
Born: 2/16/1944, Compton, CA
Died: 12/18/2004, Houston, TX; natural causes
Career: HOU (1963)
  • Starting third baseman in the All-Rookie Game, 9/27/63.
  • Nephew of Hall-of-Famer Arky Vaughan.
  • Ran a successful insurance business in Houston following his retirement from baseball.

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Ray
Full name: James Francis Ray
Nicknames: "Stinger", "Sting", "Ray Gun"
Born: 12/1/1944, Rock Hill, SC
Died: 5/26/2005, Margate, FL; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1965-66, 1968-73), DET (1974)

(c) Topps Baseball
Carroll Sembera
Full name: Carroll William Sembera
Nicknames: "Pencil", "The Hat"
Born: 7/26/1941, Shiner, TX
Died: 6/15/2005, Shiner, TX; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1965-67), MON (1969-70)
  • Served as a scout for the Seattle Mariners.
  • Pitched exactly 100 innings as an Astro, with a 3-9 record.

(c) Houston Astros
Al Heist
Full name: Alfred Michael Heist
Born: 10/5/1927, Brooklyn, NY
Died: 10/2/2006, Tahlequah, OK; cause not reported
Career: CHC (1960-61) HOU (1962)
  • Acquired by Houston in the National League expansion draft after the 1961 season.
  • Appeared in 27 games for the Colt .45s, batting .222 as an outfielder.
  • Coached in the Astros organization in 1966 and 1967. Later coached in the Padres organization.

(c) Houston Astros
Ivan Murrell
Full name: Ivan Augustus Murrell Peters
Nicknames: "Banana Man", "El Toro", "Bull", "Ivan the Terrible"
Born: 4/24/1943, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Died: 10/8/2006, Stuart, FL; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1963-64, 1967-68), SD (1969-73), ATL (1974)
  • Played in Mexican League until 1984.
  • In 1989, played for the St. Lucie Legends of the Senior Professional Baseball Association, hitting .272 with 5 HR over 47 games.
  • Astros Daily interview, 2002.

(c) Topps Baseball
Joe Niekro
Full name: Joseph Franklin Niekro
Nickname: "Knucksie"
Born: 11/7/1944, Martins Ferry, OH
Died: 10/27/2006, Tampa, FL; brain aneurysm
Career: CHC (1967-69), SD (1969), DET (1970-72), ATL (1973-74), HOU (1975-85), NYY (1985-87), MIN (1987-88)
All-Star: 1979

(c) Houston Astros
Jose Uribe
Full name: Jose Altagracia Gonzalez Uribe
Born: 1/21/1959, San Cristobal, DR
Died: 12/8/2006, Juan Baron, DR; auto accident
Career: STL (1984), SF (1985-92), HOU (1993)
All-Star: 1987, 1989
  • Fans would chant "OOH-ree-bay" when he would make a good play.
  • Second cousin of Juan Uribe.

(c) Houston Astros
Larry Sherry
Full name: Lawrence Sherry
Born: 7/25/1935, Los Angeles, CA
Died: 12/17/2006, Mission Viejo, CA; cancer
Career: LAD (1958-63), DET (1964-67), HOU (1967), CAL (1968)
All-Star: 1959
  • MVP of 1959 World Series as member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Led Astros in saves in 1967 despite a mid-season trade.
  • Brother of catcher Norm Sherry who was his Dodger teammate, 1959-62.

(c) Topps Baseball
Vern Ruhle
Full name: Vernon Gerald Ruhle
Born: 1/25/1951, Coleman, MI
Died: 1/20/2007, Houston, TX; complications from stem cell transplant
Career: DET (1974-77), HOU (1978-84), CLE (1985), CAL (1986)
  • Took the place of J.R. Richard in Astros' rotation after Richard's stroke and went 7-2, helping them to the 1980 NL West Division title.
  • Astros pitching coach, 1997-2000.

(c) Topps Baseball
Marty Martinez
Full name: Orlando Martinez Oliva
Nickname: "Marty"
Born: 8/23/1941, Havana, Cuba
Died: 3/8/2007, Santo Domingo, D.R.; cause not reported
Career: MIN (1962), ATL (1967-68), HOU (1969-71), STL (1972), OAK (1972), TEX (1972)
Notes: Versatile reserve who played seven different positions while with Houston, including pitcher and catcher.

(c) Houston Astros
Norm Larker
Full name: Norman Howard John Larker
Nickname: "Dumbo", due to his large ears.
Born: 12/27/1930, Beaver Meadows, PA
Died: 3/12/2007, Long Beach, CA; cancer
Career: LAD (1958-61), HOU (1962), MIL-N (1963), SF (1963)
All-Star: 1960
  • Starting first baseman in Houston franchise's first game, going 1-for-4 with an RBI.
  • Member of 1959 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Batted .323 in 1960, second-best in NL.

(c) Houston Astros
Don Nottebart
Full name: Donald Edward Nottebart
Nickname: "Notty"
Born: 1/23/1936, West Newton, MA
Died: 10/4/2007, Cypress, TX; complications from a stroke
Career: MIL-N (1960-62), HOU (1963-65), CIN (1966-67), NYY (1969), CHC (1969)

(c) Houston Astros
Jack Lamabe
Full name: John Alexander Lamabe
Born: 10/3/1936, Farmingdale, NY
Died: 12/21/2007, Baton Rouge, LA; cause not reported
Career: PIT (1962), BOS (1963-1965) HOU (1965), CWS (1966-67), NYM (1967), STL (1967), CHC (1968)
  • Dealt to Houston from the Red Sox 9/65 and traded to the White Sox 12/65.
  • Appeared in three games for the 1965 Astros, losing two of them.

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Beauchamp
Full name: James Edward Beauchamp
Born: 8/21/1939, Vinita, OK
Died: 12/25/2007, Atlanta, GA; acute myelogenous leukemia
Career: STL (1963), HOU (1964-65), MIL-N (1965), ATL (1967), CIN (1968-69), HOU (1970), STL (1970-71), NYM (1972-73)
  • Starting left fielder in first National League game at the Astrodome, 4/12/65.
  • Only player to wear an Atlanta uniform at Ponce de Leon Ballpark (as an Atlanta Cracker), Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, and Turner Field.
  • Astros Daily interview, 9/7/01.

(c) Houston Astros
John Buzhardt
Full name: John William Buzhardt
Born: 8/17/1936, Prosperity, SC
Died: 6/15/2008, Prosperity, SC; complications from a stroke
Career: CHC (1958-59), PHI (1960-61), CWS (1962-67), BAL (1967), HOU (1967-68)
Notes: Earned 4-4 record with 5 saves with Astros in 1968.

(c) Topps Baseball
Julio Gotay
Full name: Julio Enrique Gotay Sanchez
Born: 6/9/1939, Fajardo, PR
Died: 7/4/2008, Ponce, PR; respiratory failure
Career: STL (1960-62), PIT (1963-64), CAL (1965), HOU (1966-69)
  • Hit .264 with three homers as utility infielder for Astros.
  • Accused by teammates of practising voodoo.
  • Roommate of Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente on road trips until Clemente pleaded with the Pirates to switch.
  • Once broke up a double play when a sandwich he kept in his back pocket fell out as he was sliding, causing the opposing shortstop to slip on it.

(c) Houston Astros
Rafael Batista
Full name: Rafael Batista Sanchez
Nickname: "El Gallo"
Born: 11/25/1945, San Pedro de Macoris, DR
Died: 10/25/2008, Santo Domingo, DR; thrombosis
Career: HOU (1973, 1975)
  • As a reserve first baseman, hit .280 in two short stints with Houston.
  • Also played for Lotte Orions (Japan) and Cafetoros de Cordoba (Mexico).

(c) Houston Astros
Dave Smith
Full name: David Stanley Smith
Nickname: "Smitty"
Born: 1/21/1955, Richmond, CA
Died: 12/17/2008, Carmel Valley, CA; heart attack
Career: HOU (1980-90), CHC (1991-92)
All-Star: 1986, 1990
  • Held franchise record for saves (199) until broken by Billy Wagner in 2003.
  • Member of 1980 and 1986 NL West Division Champions.
  • Allowed walk-off homer in Game 3 of the 1986 NLCS.

(c) Houston Astros
Dave A. Roberts
Full name: David Arthur Roberts
Born: 9/11/1944, Gallipolis, OH
Died: 1/9/2009, Morgantown, WV; lung cancer
Career: SD (1969-71), HOU (1972-75), DET (1976-77), CHC (1977-78), SF (1979), PIT (1979-80), SEA (1980), NYM (1981)
  • Finished second in NL in ERA in 1971 (2.10).
  • Tossed 11 shutouts in his four years with the Astros.
  • Hurled one-hitter over the Phillies in the fastest game in franchise history (1 hr. 26 mins), 8/24/74.

(c) Houston Astros
George Williams
Full name: George Williams
Born: 10/23/1939, Detroit, MI
Died: 5/14/2009, lung cancer
Career: PHI (1961), HOU (1962), KCA (1964)
  • As a reserve second baseman, appeared in five games for expansion Colt .45s.
  • Was acquired in the 1961 expansion draft from Philadelphia.

(c) Houston Astros
Hal Woodeshick
Full name: Harold Joseph Woodeshick
Nickname: "Woody"
Born: 8/24/1932, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Died: 6/14/2009, Houston, TX; cause not reported
Career: DET (1956), CLE (1958), WSH (1959-61), DET (1961), HOU (1962-65), STL (1965-67)
All-Star: 1963
  • Member of the 1961 expansion Washington Senators and the 1962 expansion Houston Colt .45s.
  • Led National League in saves in 1964 with 23.
  • Pitched one inning of 1967 World Series as member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • article: The colorful Hal Woodeshick

(c) Houston Astros
Brian Powell
Full name: Brian Powell
Born: 10/10/1973, Bainbridge, GA
Died: 10/5/2009, Tallahassee, FL; suicide
Career: DET (1998), HOU (2000-01), DET (2002), SF (2003), PHI (2004)

(c) Houston Astros
José Herrera
Full name: José Concepción Herrera Ontiveros
Nickname: "Loco"
Born: 4/8/1942, San Lorenzo, Venezuela
Died: 10/16/2009, Lagunillas, Venezuela; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1967-68), MON (1969-70)
  • Although he died in 2009, that fact was not known to baseball researchers until 2015.

(c) Houston Astros
Mike Cuellar
Full name: Miguel Angel Cuéllar Santana
Nickname: "Crazy Horse"
Born: 5/8/1937, Las Villas, Cuba
Died: 4/2/2010, Orlando, FL; stomach cancer
Career: CIN (1959), STL (1964), HOU (1965-68), BAL (1969-76), CAL (1977)
All-Star: 1967, 1970, 1971, 1974
Honors: 1969 American League Cy Young Award (tied with Denny McLain)
  • Sported 37-36 record and 2.74 ERA with Houston
  • Set Astros record for most season wins by a lefty at 16 in 1967, a mark that stood until 1973
  • Dealt to Baltimore for Curt Blefary in one of Houston's All-Time Worst Trades
  • Pitched in 1969, 1970, and 1971 World Series for Orioles
  • Had four consecutive 20+ win seasons in Baltimore

(c) Houston Astros
Robin Roberts
Full name: Robin Evan Roberts
Born: 9/30/1926, Springfield, IL
Died: 5/6/2010, Temple Terrace, FL; natural causes
Career: PHI (1948-61), BAL (1962-65), HOU (1965-66), CHC (1966)
All-Star: 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956
Hall of Fame: Inducted 1976
  • Career record of 286-245 over 19 seasons; 8-7 as an Astro
  • Topped 20 wins for six straight years with Phillies
  • Pitched a remarkable 305 complete games (38th all time)
  • Lost a 2-1 10-inning heartbreaker to the Yankees in his one World Series appearance, 1950
  • Won two Pitcher of the Year awards (1952, 1955) before the Cy Young Award was created

(c) Houston Astros
Jay Schlueter
Full name: Jay D Schlueter
Born: 7/31/1949, Phoenix, AZ
Died: 5/13/2010, Phoenix, AZ; complications from ataxia
Career: HOU (1971)
  • Appeared in seven games for 1971 Astros, batting .333 at age 21
  • Was a second round choice of the Astros in the 1967 summer draft
  • Was an outfielder in the Astros and Cardinals farm systems

(c) Houston Astros
Jose Lima
Full name: Jose Desiderio Rodriguez Lima
Nickname: "Lima Time"
Born: 9/30/1972, Santiago, DR
Died: 5/23/2010, Los Angeles, CA; heart attack
Career: DET (1994-96), HOU (1997-2001), DET (2001-02), KC (2003), LAD (2004), KC (2005), NYM (2006)
All-Star: 1999
  • Member of three division champs with Houston (1997-99)
  • Fifth 20-game winner in Astros' history
  • Appeared in three post-seasons with a 2.16 ERA
  • Colorful teammate known for emotional displays on and off the field
  • Recorded salsa music CD at height of his career

(c) Houston Astros
Jeriome Robertson
Full name: Jeriome Paul Robertson
Born: 3/30/1977, San Jose, CA
Died: 5/29/2010, Exeter, CA; motorcycle accident
Career: HOU (2002-03), CLE (2004)
  • Won 15 games with Astros in 2003
  • Finished seventh in NL Rookie of the Year voting that season
  • Won only one other game in his big league career (2004)

(c) Houston Astros
Keith Drumright
Full name: Keith Alan Drumright
Born: 10/21/1954, Springfield, MO
Died: 8/7/2010, Springfield, MO; suicide
Career: HOU (1979), OAK (1981)
  • Hit .164 in 17 games for 1979 Astros
  • Batted .291 for Oakland in only other MLB season
  • Was a .301 minor league hitter

(c) Houston Astros
Don Buddin
Full name: Donald Thomas Buddin
Born: 5/5/1934, Turbeville, SC
Died: 6/30/2011, Greenville, SC; cancer
Career: BOS (1956-61), HOU (1962), DET (1962)
  • Opening Day shortstop in inaugural Colt .45 season
  • Hit first grand slam in franchise history
  • Led AL in errors committed by shortstops, 1958 and 1959

(c) Houston Astros
Merritt Ranew
Full name: Merritt Thomas Ranew
Born: 5/10/1938, Albany, GA
Died: 10/18/2011, Valdosta, GA; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1962), CHC (1963-64), MIL-N (1964), CAL (1965), SEA (1969)
  • Backup catcher in inaugural Colt .45 season
  • Led Colts in triples (8) that first year
  • Nearly died in 1966 when hit with a bat during a brawl

(c) Houston Astros
Bob Forsch
Full name: Robert Herbert Forsch
Born: 1/13/1950, Sacramento, CA
Died: 11/3/2011, Tampa, FL; aneurysm
Career: STL (1974-88), HOU (1988-89)
  • Younger brother of Astros pitcher Ken Forsch
  • Authored two no-hitters while with St. Louis
  • Carried a .213 career batting average with 12 homers
  • Traded 8/31/88 to Houston for Denny Walling
  • Died the week after throwing the 'first pitch' of Game 7 of the 2011 World Series

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Obradovich
Full name: James Thomas Obradovich
Born:9/13/1949, Fort Campbell, KY
Died: 3/3/2012, Stanford, KY; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1978)
Notes: Batted .176 in 10 games for Houston.

(c) Houston Astros
Bruce Von Hoff
Full name: Bruce Frederick Von Hoff
Born: 11/17/1943, Oakland, CA
Died: 9/11/2012, Gulfport, FL; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1965, '67)
  • Appeared in 13 games for Astros with 0-3 record
  • Pitched no-hitter for Durham Bulls (Carolina) on 8/10/66
  • Drafted by Astros from Giants on 11/30/64

(c) Topps Baseball
Jimmy Stewart
Full name: James Franklin Stewart
Born: 6/11/1939, Opelika, AL
Died: 11/24/2012, Odessa, FL; cause not reported
Career: CHC (1961-67), CWS (1967), CIN (1969-71), HOU (1972-73)
  • Switch-hitting utility player batted .207 with Houston in 129 games
  • Sent to Astros as part of infamous Joe Morgan trade, 11/19/71
  • Member of Austin Peay University Hall of Fame

(c) Topps Baseball
George Witt
Full name: George Adrian Witt
Nickname: "Red"
Born: 11/9/1931, Long Beach, CA
Died: 1/30/2013, Laguna Beach, CA; cancer
Career: PIT (1957-61), LAA (1962), HOU (1962)
  • Appeared in 8 games for Colt .45s with 0-2 record
  • Was 9-1 with 1.61 ERA in rookie year with Pirates in 1958
  • Served with the Marines during the Korean War

(c) Baltimore Sun
Gus Triandos
Full name: Gus Triandos
Born: 7/30/1930, San Francisco, CA
Died: 3/28/2013, San Jose, CA; congestive heart failure
Career: NYY (1953-54), BAL (1955-62), DET (1963), PHI (1964-65), HOU (1965)
All-Star: 1957, 1958, 1959 (two games)
  • Hit .181 with two homers for 1965 Astros
  • Caught no-hitters of Hoyt Wilhelm and Jim Bunning.
  • Hit 167 homers in 13-year career

(c) Houston Astros
Jose Sosa
Full name: Jose Ynocencio Sosa
Born: 12/28/1952, Santo Domingo, DR
Died: 6/8/2013, Santo Domingo, DR; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1975-76)
  • Posted 1-3 record and 4.60 ERA in 34 games for Houston
  • Homered in first big league at bat, 7/30/75
  • Cousin to Felipe, Jesus, Matty and Moises Alou

(c) Houston Astros
Gene Freese
Full name: Eugene Lewis Freese
Nickname: Augie
Born:1/8/1934, Wheeling, WV
Died: 6/19/2013, New Orleans, LA; natural causes
Career: PIT (1955-58, 64-65), STL-N (1958), PHI (1959), CWS (1960, 65-66), CIN (1960-63), HOU (1966)
  • Hit .254 with 115 homers in 12-year career
  • Member of 1961 NL Champion Cincinnati Reds
  • Batted .091 in 21 games for 1966 Astros

(c) Houston Astros
Dan Osinski
Full name: Daniel Osinski
Nickname: The Silencer
Born: 11/17/1933, Chicago, IL
Died: 9/13/2013, Sun City, AZ; cause not reported
Career: KCA (1962), LAA (1962-64), MIL-N (1965), BOS (1966-67), CWS (1969), HOU (1970)
  • Member of 1967 AL Champion Boston Red Sox.
  • Among first to be used as a "closer" as the role would be called.
  • Posted 0-1 record and 9.82 ERA for Astros in three games.

(c) Houston Astros
Mark Small
Full name: Mark Allan Small
Nickname: Scoobs
Born: 11/12/1967, Portland, OR
Died: 10/22/2013, Edmonds, WA; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1996)
  • Posted 0-1 record with 5.92 ERA in 16 games for Astros
  • Drafted in 17th round by Astros in 1989
  • Younger brother of Jeff Small, former Cubs top draft pick

(c) Topps Baseball
Ed Herrmann
Full name: Edward Martin Herrmann
Nickname: Hoggy
Born: 8/27/1946, San Diego, CA
Died: 12/22/2013, San Diego, CA; prostate cancer
Career: CWS (1967-74), NYY (1975), CAL (1976), HOU (1976-78), MON (1978)
All-Star: 1974
  • Hit .227 with four homers while with Astros
  • Caught Larry Dierker's no-hitter, July 9, 1976
  • Active as baseball coach, motorcycle enthusiast and Christian minister after retirement

(c) Topps Baseball
Bill Henry
Full name: William Rodman Henry
Nickname: "Gabby", for his terseness
Born: 10/15/1927, Alice, TX
Died: 4/11/2014, Round Rock, TX; heart attack
Career: BOS (1952-55), CHC (1958-59), CIN (1960-65), SF (1965-68), PIT (1968), HOU (1969)
All-Star: 1960
  • Pitched in two games in the 1961 World Series for the Reds.
  • Had a 0.00 ERA in three relief appearances for Houston in 1969.
  • Reported dead by the media in 2007 until someone called his "widow" in Texas and discovered that he was alive. The dead man in Florida was an imposter that had been using Henry's identity for decades.

(c) Houston Astros
Joe Pittman
Full name: Joseph Wayne Pittman
Nickname: "Shoes"
Born: 1/1/1953, Houston, TX
Died: 6/13/2014, Lake Jackson, TX; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1981-82), SD (1982), SF (1984)
  • Houston native, graduated from Kashmere HS
  • Fifth-round draft choice by Astros in 1975
  • Hit .276 in 67 games over two seasons in Houston
  • Served as a scout for the Astros 1988-2003, and as a minor league instructor in 1996
  • Pleaded unsuccessfully with Astros to sign Frank Thomas as undrafted HS player

(c) Houston Astros
Russ Kemmerer
Full name: Russell Paul Kemmerer
Nickname: "Rusty", "Dutch" or "Kimmersak"
Born: 11/1/1930, Pittsburgh, PA
Died: 12/8/2014, Indianapolis, IN; cause not reported
Career: BOS (1954-57), WSH-A (1957-60), CWS (1960-62), HOU (1962-63)
  • Posted 5-3 record with 4.64 ERA and 4 saves in 53 games with Colt .45s
  • Obtained from the White Sox for pitcher Dean Stone in 1962
  • Ordained minister who presided over funeral for teammate Jim Umbricht in 1964

(c) Houston Astros
Don Bryant
Full name: Donald Ray Bryant
Nickname: "Bear"
Born: 7/13/1941, Jasper, FL
Died: 1/22/2015, Gainesville, FL; cause not reported
Career: CHC (1966), HOU (1969-70)
  • Caught Don Wilson's second no-hitter May 1, 1969
  • Bullpen coach for Red Sox, 1974-76

(c) Houston Astros
Dave Bergman
Full name: David Bruce Bergman
Nickname: "Bergie"
Born: 6/6/1953, Evanston, IL
Died: 2/2/2015, Detroit, MI; bile duct cancer
Career: NYY (1975, '77), HOU (1978-81), SF (1981-83), DET (1984-92)

(c) Houston Astros
Gary Woods
Full name: Gary Lee Woods
Born: 7/20/1954, Santa Barbara, CA
Died: 2/19/2015, Solvang, CA; heart attack
Career: OAK (1976), TOR (1977-78), HOU (1980-81), CHC (1982-85)
  • Member of Astros' 1980 and 1981 playoff teams.
  • Failed to tag up at third in key Game 4 loss of 1980 NLCS.
  • Career .243 hitter in parts of nine big league seasons.

(c) Gambo Photopack
Steve Shea
Full name: Steven Francis Shea
Born: 12/5/1942, Worcester, MA
Died: 3/4/2015, North Hampton, NH; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1968), MON (1969)
  • Compiled 4-4 record with 6 saves for 1968 Astros.
  • Sold to expansion Montreal Expos in off-season.
  • Sported career 3.22 ERA in brief career.

(c) Houston Astros
Ollie Brown
Full name: Ollie Lee Brown
Nickname: "Downtown"
Born: 2/11/1944, Tuscaloosa, AL
Died: 4/16/2015, Buena Park, CA; complications from mesothelioma
Career: SF (1965-68), SD (1969-72), OAK (1972), MIL-A (1972-73), HOU (1974), PHI (1974-77)
  • Career .265 hitter with 102 homers during 13 big league seasons
  • First player drafted in San Diego Padres history
  • Batted .217 in 27 games for Houston in 1974

(c) Houston Astros
Fred Gladding
Full name: Fred Earl Gladding
Born: 6/28/1936, Flat Rock, MI
Died: 5/21/2015, Columbia, SC; cause not reported
Career: DET (1961-67), HOU (1968-73)
  • Career 48-34 record with a 3.13 ERA over 13 seasons
  • 22-23 with a 3.68 ERA and 76 saves for his six seasons in Houston
  • Led National League in saves with 29 in 1969
  • Only career hit, a bloop RBI single, came off the Mets' Ron Taylor 7.30.1969
  • Coached 22 years for Tigers, Astros, and Indians

(c) Houston Astros
Joaquín Andújar
Full name: Joaquín Andújar
Born: 12/21/1952, San Pedro de Macoris, DR
Died: 9/8/2015, San Pedro de Macoris, DR; complications from diabetes
Career: HOU (1976-81, 1988), STL (1981-85), OAK (1986-87)
All-Star: 1977, 1978, 1984, 1985
  • Career 127-118 record with a 3.58 ERA over 13 seasons
  • 44-53 with a 3.67 ERA and 7 saves for his seven seasons in Houston
  • Won Gold Glove in 1984
  • Won 20 games in 1984, 21 in 1985
  • Played in two World Series: 1982 (won Games 3 and 7) and 1985 (lost Game 3)
  • Switch-hitter who batted left- or right-handed as he pleased regardless of the opposing pitcher
  • Described himself as "one tough Dominican"
  • "There is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is, 'You never know.'"

(c) Houston Astros
Ken Johnson
Full name: Kenneth Travis Johnson Sr.
Born: 6/16/1933, West Palm Beach, FL
Died: 11/21/2015, Pineville, LA; kidney infection
Career: KC-A (1958-61), CIN (1961), HOU (1962-65), MIL-N/ATL (1965-69), NYY (1969), CHC (1969), MON (1970)
  • Career 91-106 with a 3.46 ERA over 13 seasons
  • 32-51 with a 3.41 ERA and 3 saves for his four seasons in Houston
  • Only MLB pitcher to hurl a nine-inning no-hitter and lose
  • After his retirement, he worked as a community service coordinator at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida, then as a baseball coach ar Louisiana College in Pineville

(c) Houston Astros
Ramón de los Santos
Full name: Ramón de los Santos Genero
Nickname: "Pintacora"
Born: 1/19/1949, Santo Domingo, DR
Died: 11/29/2015, Santo Domingo, DR; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1974)
  • Career 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA over 12 games, all with Houston
  • 28-19 with 35 saves over 18 seasons in Dominican League where he played with the Leones del Escogido, Estrellas Orientales and Tigres del Licey
  • Led Dominican team to a 7-4 triumph over Cuba in the Central American and Caribbean Games, 1970
  • Inducted into Dominican Sports Hall of Fame, 2001

(c) Houston Astros
Hal Brown
Full name: Hector Harold (Hal) Brown
Nickname: "Skinny"
Born: 12/11/1924, Greensboro, NC
Died: 12/17/2015, Greensboro, NC; cause unreported
Career: CWS (1951-52), BOS (1953-55), BAL (1955-62), NYY (1962), HOU (1963-64)
  • Earned 8-26 record in two seasons with the Colt .45s
  • Compiled 85-92 record over 14 big league seasons
  • Winner of the first Sunday night game in NL history, 6/9/63
  • Flew bomber missions during WWII

(c) Houston Astros
Walt Williams
Full name: Walter Allen Williams
Nickname: "No Neck"
Born: 12/19/1943, Brownwood, TX
Died: 1/23/2016, Abilene, TX; heart attack
Career: HOU (1964), CWS (1967-72), CLE (1973), NYY (1974-75)
  • Played ten games for the 1964 Colt .45s
  • Career .270 hitter with Colt .45s, White Sox, Indians, and Yankees
  • Career year was 1969 with the White Sox when he batted .304
  • Got his nickname No Neck from his physical appearance. A typhus injection he received in his neck when he was very young, following a flood in Brownwood, caused his neck to shrink.
  • After MLB career, played two seaons for Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, and two seasons in the Mexican League
  • Was a first base coach for White Sox in 1988, then a minor league manager 1992-94

(c) Houston Astros
Dave Adlesh
Full name: David George Adlesh
Born: 7/15/1943, Long Beach, CA
Died: 2/15/2016, Long Beach, CA; cancer
Career: HOU (1963-68)

(c) Houston Astros
Ken Ramos
Full name: Kenneth Cecil Ramos
Born: 6/6/1967, Sidney, NE
Died: 5/15/2016, Pueblo, CO; suicide
Career: HOU (1997)
  • Picked up by Astros off waivers from the White Sox in 1994
  • Played in 14 games, mostly as a pinch-hitter, for the 1997 Astros. It was his only MLB experience.
  • Coached high school baseball in Pueblo, 2000-03
  • Inducted into Greater Pueblo Sports Association Hall of Fame, 2008
  • Shot his wife Lisa and then himself in their Pueblo, CO home in an apparent murder-suicide

(c) Houston Astros
Bob Bruce
Full name: Robert James Bruce
Born: 5/16/1933, Detroit, MI
Died: 3/14/2017, Plano(?), TX; cause not reported
Career: DET (1959-61), HOU (1962-66), ATL (1967)
  • Houston's first 15-game winner, 1964
  • 22-inning scoreless streak, 1964
  • Houston's starting pitcher for the last game in Colt Stadium (9/27/1964, a complete-game 1-0 12-inning win over the Dodgers), and the first official game in the Astrodome (4/12/1965, a 2-0 loss to the Phillies)
  • Career with Houston: 5 seasons, 42-48, 3.78, 138 starts, 24 complete games
  • Owned and operated a successful real estate agency in Plano for many years
  • interview, 8/28/2001

(c) Houston Astros
Bob Cerv
Full name: Robert Henry Cerv
Born: 5/5/1925, Weston, NE
Died: 4/6/2017, Blair, NE; cause not reported
Career: NYY (1951-56, 1960, 1961-62), KCA (1957-60), LAA (1960), HOU (1962)
  • Batted .226 with 2 homers in 19 games for Houston before release
  • American League All-Star for Kansas City in 1958, belting 38 homers that season
  • Appeared in three World Series with the Yankees, batting .258 with one homer

(c) Houston Astros
Anthony Young
Full name: Anthony Wayne Young
Born: 1/19/1966, Houston, TX
Died: 6/27/2017; brain tumor
Career: NYM (1991-93), CHC (1994-95), HOU (1996)
  • While with the Mets, from 5/6/92 to 7/24/93, set the major league record for consecutive lost decisions at 27.
  • Had a six-year career record of 15-48 with a 3.89 ERA.

(c) Houston Astros
Lee May
Full name: Lee Andrew May
Nickname: "The Big Bopper from Birmingham"
Born: 3/23/1943, Birmingham, AL
Died: 7/29/2017, Cincinnati, OH; cause not reported
Career: CIN (1965-71), HOU (1972-74), BAL (1975-80), KC (1981-82)
All-Star: 1969, 1971, 1972

(c) Houston Astros
Danny Walton
Full name: Daniel James Walton
Nickname: "Mickey"
Born: 7/14/1947, Los Angeles, CA
Died: 8/9/2017, Morgan, UT; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1968), SEP (1969), MIL (1970-71), NYY (1971), MIN (1973, '75), LAD (1976), HOU (1977), TEX (1980)
  • Hit .174 with 1 RBI in 23 AB for the 1968 and 1977 Astros
  • For his 9-year MLB career, he hit .223 with 28 HR and 107 RBI

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Landis
Full name: James Henry Landis
Born: 3/9/1934, Fresno, CA
Died: 10/7/2017, Napa, CA; cause not reported
Career: CHW (1957-64), KCA (1965), CLE (1966), HOU (1967), DET (1967), BOS (1967)
All-Star: 1962
  • Awarded five Gold Gloves, 1960-64
  • Member of 1959 AL Champion Chicago White Sox. Slashed .272/.370/.379 with 26 doubles, 7 triples, 5 homers, 60 RBI and 20 steals while finishing seventh in MVP voting.
  • Hit a career .247 with 93 home runs, 467 RBI and 139 stolen bases in 1,346 games.
  • Hit .252 with 1 HR and 14 RBI in 50 games for Houston in 1967
  • In 2000, was named to the Chicago White Sox All-Century Team

(c) Houston Astros
Ross Powell
Full name: Ross John Powell
Born: 1/24/1968, Grand Rapids, MI
Died: 10/25/2017, Lucas, TX; carbon monoxide poisoning
Career: CIN (1993), HOU (1994-95), PIT (1995)
  • Posted 6.61 ERA in 16.1 IP for Houston
  • Combined 0-5 record with a 5.40 ERA for his three big-league seasons

(c) Houston Astros
Dick Gernert
Full name: Richard Edward Gernert
Born: 9/28/1928, Reading, PA
Died: 11/30/2017, Reading, PA; cause not reported
Career: BOS-A (1952-59), CHC (1960), DET (1960-61), CIN (1961), HOU (1962)
  • Hit .254 with 103 HR and 402 RBI during his 11-year major league career
  • Hit .208 with 1 RBI in 24 AB during his 10-game tenure in Houston
  • Became a minor league manager and major league coach and scout

(c) Houston Astros
Ernie Fazio
Full name: Ernest Joseph Fazio
Nickname: "The Faz"
Born: 1/25/1942, Oakland, CA
Died: 12/1/2017, Danville, CA; dementia and Parkinson's disease
Career: HOU (1962-63), KCA (1966)
  • One of the first "Bonus Babies" signed by the .45s in 1962
  • Hit .182 with 2 HR and 8 RBI during his 3-year major league career
  • Batted .179 with 2 HR and 6 RBI for the 1962-63 Colt .45s

(c) Houston Astros
Rusty Staub
Full name: Daniel Joseph Staub
Nicknames: "Rusty", "Le Grand Orange"
Born: 4/1/1944, New Orleans, LA
Died: 3/29/2018, West Palm Beach, FL; multiple organ failures
Career: HOU (1963-68), MON (1969-71), NYM (1972-75), DET (1976-79), MON (1979), TEX (1980), NYM (1981-85)
All-Star: 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1976
  • Signed with the Houston Colt .45s 9/11/1961 as a free agent in New Orleans while Hurricane Carla ravaged Houston
  • Made his MLB debut for the Colts 4/9/1963 at the age of 19
  • Only player with 500 hits for four teams (Astros, Expos, Mets, Tigers)
  • Joins Ty Cobb, Alex Rodriguez, and Gary Sheffield as only players to homer in the majors before age 20 and after age 40
  • Inducted into Mets Hall of Fame, 1986
  • Inducted into Texas Baseball Hall of Fame, 2006
  • Inducted into Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, 2012
  • For his 23-year career, hit .279 with 292 HR and 1,466 RBI

(c) Houston Astros
Dean Stone
Full name: Darragh Dean Stone
Born: 9/1/1930, Moline, IL
Died: 8/21/2018, Moline, IL; cause not reported
Career: WSH (1953-57), BOS (1957), STL (1959), HOU (1962), CHW (1962), BAL (1963)
All-Star: 1954
  • Pitched Houston's first complete-game shutout, 4/12/1962
  • Best remembered for being the winning pitcher of the 1954 All-Star Game without having officially faced a batter
  • For his eight-year career, posted a 29-39 record with a 4.47 ERA

(c) Houston Astros
José Castillo
Full name: José Rondon Castillo
Born: 3/19/1981, Las Mercedes, Venezuela
Died: 12/6/2018, Yaracuy, Venezuela; auto accident/robbery
Career: PIT (2004-08), SFG (2008), HOU (2008)
  • Hit .281 in 15 games for the 2008 Astros
  • Hit .254 with 39 HR and 218 RBI in his five-year MLB career
  • Died in the same auto accident as Luis Valbuena (see below).

(c) Houston Astros
Luis Valbuena
Full name: Luis Adan Valbuena
Born: 11/30/1985, Caja Seca, Venezuela
Died: 12/6/2018, Yaracuy, Venezuela; auto accident/robbery
Career: SEA (2008), CLE (2009-11), CHC (2012-14), HOU (2015-16), LAA (2017-18)
  • Fondly remembered for his bat flips, even after walks
  • Key member of the Astros' 2015 Wild Card squad
  • Hit .238 with 38 HR and 96 RBI for the 2014-15 Astros
  • Hit .226 with 114 HR and 367 RBI in his eleven-year MLB career
  • Died in the same auto accident as José Castillo (see above). The two had played a winter ball game and, with former major leaguer Carlos Rivero, were being driven to another town by Rivero's chauffer. Robbers had placed a large stone in the road to stop or cause their victims to have an accident. Attempting to avoid the stone, the chauffer lost control and the vehicle overturned, ejecting Valbuena and Castillo. Rivero and the chauffer survived. Police arrested four suspects who were found in possession of some of Valbuena's and Castillo's belongings.

(c) Houston Astros
Joe Gibbon
Full name: Joseph Charles Gibbon
Born: 4/10/1935, Hickory, MS
Died: 2/20/2019, Newton, MS; cause not reported
Career: PIT (1960-65), SFG (1966-69), PIT (1969-70), CIN (1971-72), HOU (1972)
  • Was a standout at both baseball and basketball at Ole Miss
  • Finished second in the nation in collegiate basketball scoring in 1957 with 30.2 points per game, ahead of both Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain
  • Was drafted by the Boston Celtics, though he had made his intention to play baseball known
  • Member of 1960 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates as a rookie
  • Finished his MLB career with nine games for Houston in 1972, posting a 9.82 ERA in 7.1 innings pitched
  • For his 13-year MLB career, he went 61-65 with a 3.52 ERA and 743 strikeouts

(c) Houston Astros
Hal King
Full name: Harold King
Born: 2/1/1944, Oviedo, FL
Died: 3/23/2019, Oviedo, FL; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1967-68), ATL (1970-71), TEX (1972), CIN (1973-74)

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Bouton
Full name: James Alan Bouton
Born: 3/8/1939, Newark, NJ
Died: 7/10/2019, Great Barrington, MA; cerebral amyloid angiopathy
Career: NYY (1962-68), SEP (1969), HOU (1969-70), ATL (1978)
All-Star: 1963
  • Was a flame-throwing fastballer for the Yankees, but hurt his arm in 1965 and became a knuckleballer
  • Appeared in 1963 and '64 World Series, both for the Yankees, going 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA in the Fall Classic
  • Purchased for $20,000 by the expansion Seattle Pilots from the Yankees in June 1968
  • Traded to Houston by Seattle in August 1969 for Dooley Womack
  • Wrote the tell-all book Ball Four about his 1969 season with the Pilots and Astros.
  • Made a brief comeback with the Atlanta Braves in 1978 at the age of 39
  • For his two partial seasons with Houston, he went 4-8 with a 5.02 ERA
  • For his ten MLB seasons, he went 62-63 with a 4.97 ERA
  • Created Big League Chew with a former teammate

(c) Houston Astros
Don Larsen
Full name: Don James Larsen
Born: 8/7/1929, Michigan City, IN
Died: 1/1/2020, Hayden Lake, ID; esophageal cancer
Career: SLB (1953), BAL (1954), NYY (1955-59), KCA (1960-61), CHW (1961), SFG (1964), HOU (1964-65), BAL (1965), CHC (1967)
  • Threw the only perfect game in World Series history, 10/8/1956
  • Posted a 4-8 record with a 2.40 ERA for his time in Houston
  • For his MLB career, posted an 81-91 record with a 3.78 ERA

(c) Houston Astros
Hal Smith
Full name: Harold Wayne Smith
Born: 12/7/1930, West Frankfort, IL
Died: 1/9/2020, Columbus, TX; cause not reported
Career: BAL (1955-56), KCA (1956-59), PIT (1960-61), HOU (1962-63), CIN (1964)
  • Starting catcher for the Houston Colt .45s' inaugural game, 4/10/1962
  • A hero of the 1961 World Series for the Pirates
  • Hit .236 with 12 HR for his two seasons in Houston
  • Hit .267 with 58 HR for his ten-year MLB career

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Wynn
Full name: James Sherman Wynn
Nickname: "The Toy Cannon"
Born: 3/12/1942, Cincinnati, OH
Died: 3/26/2020, Houston, TX; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1963-73), LAD (1974-75), ATL (1976), NYY (1977), MIL (1977)
All-Star: 1967, 1974, 1975
  • Had he not played half his games in the cavernous Astrodome, he would likely be in the Hall of Fame
  • Hit .255 with 223 homers, 180 steals, and 847 walks in 11 seasons with Houston
  • The 37 homers he hit for Houston in 1967 was a club record that stood for 27 years, until Jeff Bagwell surpassed him with 39 in 1994
  • His Astros career total of 223 homers was a club mark that stood until 1999, also eclipsed by Jeff Bagwell
  • Twice lead the National League in walks
  • 1974 World Series Champion with the Dodgers
  • Houston retired his #24 jersey, 6.25.2005
  • Named to the inaugural class of the Astros Hall of Fame, 2019

(c) Houston Astros
Matt Keough
Full name: Matthew Lon Keough
Born: 7/3/1955, Pomona, CA
Died: 5/2/2020, cause not reported
Career: OAK (1977-83), NYY (1983), STL (1985), CHC (1986), HOU (1986)
  • All-Star, 1978, for Oakland
  • Posted a 3-2 record with a 3.09 ERA in ten games for the 1986 Astros
  • Posted a 58-84 record with a 4.17 ERA for his nine-season MLB career
  • Appeared in the Bravo series "Real Housewives of Orange County" with his then-wife Jeana

(c) Houston Astros
Bob Watson
Full name: Robert Jose Watson
Nickname: "Bull"
Born: 4/10/1946, Los Angeles, CA
Died: 5/14/2020, Houston, TX; kidney disease
Career: HOU (1966-79), BOS (1979), NYY (1980-82), ATL (1982-84)
All-Star: 1973, 1975

(c) Houston Astros
Eddie Kasko
Full name: Edward Michael Kasko
Born: 6/27/1931, Elizabeth, NJ
Died: 6/24/2020, Richmond, VA; cause not disclosed
Career: STL (1957-58), CIN (1959-63), HOU (1964-65), BOS (1966)
All-Star: 1961
  • SS for Houston 1964-65
  • Hit .244 with 1 HR and 32 RBI in two seasons for Houston
  • For his 10-year MLB career, hit .264 with 22 HR and 261 RBI
  • Played in 1961 World Series for Cincinnati, going 7-for-22 with an RBI
  • Managed Red Sox, 1970-73, going 345-295
  • Inducted into Red Sox Hall of Fame, 2010

(c) Houston Astros
Carroll Hardy
Full name: Carroll William Hardy
Born: 5/18/1933, Sturgis, SD
Died: 8/9/2020, Highlands Ranch, CO; complications from dementia
Career: CLE (1958-60), BOS (1960-62), HOU (1963-64), MIN (1967)
  • Hit .194 with 2 HRs in 61 games for Houston
  • Outfielder batted .225 with 17 HRs in big league career
  • Best known as the only person to pinch-hit for Ted Williams, 9/20/1960
  • Three-sport letterman at University of Colorado, drafted by the NFL San Francisco 49ers before opting for baseball
  • Spent retirement years as scout, coach, and executive with the NFL Denver Broncos

(c) Houston Astros
Keith Lampard
Full name: Christopher Keith Lampard
Born: 12/20/1945, Warrington, UK
Died: 8/30/2020, Lincoln City, OR; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1969-70)
  • Born in the UK, moved to the US with his parents at the age of four in 1949 to Portland, OR
  • First Houston player born in the UK
  • Drafted by the Houston Astros in the second round of the 1965 Amateur Draft
  • Hit .238 with 1 HR and 7 RBI over two partial seasons with Houston (1969-70, 84 AB)
  • Sold to the St. Louis Cardinals in August 1972
  • After retirement, coached baseball and raised llamas with his wife Sandi

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Owens
Full name: James Philip Owens
Nickname: "The Bear"
Born: 1/16/1934, Gifford, PA
Died: 9/8/2020, Houston, TX; cause not reported
Career: PHI (1955-56, 1958-62), CIN (1963), HOU (1964-67)
  • Drafted by Houston from Cincinnati in the 1963 Rule 5 Draft
  • Compiled an 18-20 record with 16 saves in four seasons of relief in Houston (1964-67)
  • For his full career, he went 42-67 with a 4.31 ERA with 21 saves over twelve seasons
  • Did not play in 1957 and most of 1958 due to service in the U.S. Army
  • During 1965 Spring Training, he and Turk Farrell bought a boa constrictor and two baby alligators and unleashed them in the Astros clubhouse
  • Released by the Astros in July 1967, then served as Houston's pitching coach through 1972

(c) Houston Astros
Joe Morgan
Full name: Joe Leonard Morgan
Nickname: "Little Joe"
Born: 9/19/1943, Bonham, TX
Died: 10/11/2020, Danville, CA; unspecified causes related to polyneuropathy
Career: HOU (1963-71), CIN (1972-79), HOU (1980), SFG (1981-82), PHI (1983), OAK (1984)
All-Star: 1966, 1970, 1972-79
League MVP: 1975, 1976
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 1990
  • Hit .261 with 72 HRs and 219 SB over ten seasons with Houston
  • Debuted with the Houston Colt .45s at the age of 19 in 1963; started at 2B in the All-Rookie Game, 9/27/1963
  • Traded to Cincinnati by the Astros as the centerpiece of the worst trade in Houston franchise history, 1971
  • Returned home to Houston in 1980 as a free agent to help lead the club to its first division crown and playoff appearance
  • For his 22-year MLB career, hit .271 with 268 HR and 689 SBs
  • Won five straight Gold Gloves for his play at second base (1973-77)
  • Launched a highly successful career in broadcasting following his retirement for ABC, NBC, and ESPN
  • Cited by Bill James as the greatest second baseman of all time

(c) Houston Astros
Denis Menke
Full name: Denis John Menke
Nickname: "Tomato Face"
Born: 7/21/1940, Bancroft, IA
Died: 12/1/2020, Tarpon Springs, FL; cause not reported
Career: MIL-N (1962-65), ATL (1966-67), HOU (1968-71), CIN (1972-73), HOU (1974)
All-Star: 1969, 1970

(c) Houston Astros
Don Sutton
Full name: Donald Howard Sutton
Nickname: "The Mechanic" or "Black & Decker"
Born: 4/2/1945, Clio, AL
Died: 1/18/2021, Rancho Mirage, CA; cancer
Career: LAD (1966-80), HOU (1981-82), MIL (1982-84), OAK (1985), CAL (1985-87), LAD (1988)
All-Star: 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977
Hall of Fame: Inducted in 1998
  • First winning pitcher on artificial turf, 4/18/1966, against future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts
  • Signed as a free agent by Houston for the 1981 season
  • Traded to Milwaukee in 1982 for Kevin Bass, Frank Dipino, and Mike Madden
  • Won 324 games with a 3.26 ERA during his 23-year MLB career

(c) Houston Astros
Juan Pizarro
Full name: Juan Ramon Pizarro Cordova
Nickname: "Terin" or "Ter"
Born: 2/7/1937, Santurce, PR
Died: 2/18/2021, Santurce, PR; prostate cancer
Career: MIL-N (1957-60), CHI-A (1961-66), PIT (1967-68, 74), BOS-A (1968-69), CLE (1969), OAK (1969), CHI-N (1970-73) HOU (1973)
All-Star: 1963, 1964
  • Pitched for World Champion Milwaukee Braves in 1957 Series
  • Won 61 games in four-year span with White Sox 1961-64
  • Purchased by Houston on July 8, 1973 from the Cubs; was released the following spring. He was 2-2 with a 6.56 ERA in 15 appearances as an Astro
  • Had a big league career record of 131-105 with a 3.43 ERA over 18 seasons. He also starred in the winter and Mexican leagues
  • Is hailed as the best Puerto Rican pitcher of all time

(c) Topps Baseball
Mike Marshall
Full name: Michael Grant Marshall
Nickname: "Iron Mike"
Born: 1/15/1943, Adrian, MI
Died: 5/31/2021, Zephyrhills, FL; complications from Alzheimer's Disease
Career: DET (1967), SEA (1969), HOU (1970), MON (1970-73), LA-N (1974-76), ATL (1976-77), TEX (1977), MIN (1978-80), NY-N (1981)
All-Star: 1974, 1975
  • NL Cy Young Award winner (1974), first reliever to earn honor
  • Set major league record with 106 appearances in 1974
  • Compiled 97-112 big league record over 14 seasons, with 3.14 ERA and 188 saves. Appeared in only four games while an Astro
  • Selected in the 1969 expansion draft from Detroit by Seattle, sold to Houston that winter then traded in June to Montreal
  • Earned a doctorate in kinesiology from Michigan State University. He encouraged teammate Tommy John to undergo the experimental ligament replacement surgery that now bears John's name

(c) Houston Astros
Tim Tolman
Full name: Timothy Lee Tolman
Born: 4/20/1956, Santa Monica, CA
Died: 6/3/2021, Tucson, AZ; complications from Parkinson's Disease
Career: HOU (1981-85), DET (1986-87)
  • A 12th Round selection of the Astros in the 1978 June draft
  • Won an NCAA title while with Univ. of Southern California
  • Played on 2 national teams in international competition
  • As a reserve OF/1B, played five seasons with the Astros, batting .173 with five homers in 107 games
  • After retirement, coached, scouted and was a minor league manager for the Astros and Cleveland Indians

(c) Houston Astros
J.R. Richard
Full name: James Rodney Richard
Born: 3/7/1950, Vienna, LA
Died: 8/4/2021, Houston, TX; complications from COVID-19
Career: HOU (1971-80)
All-Star: 1980
  • 2nd overall pick of the 1969 amateur draft (1st pick was Jeff Burroughs by the Washington Senators)
  • Tied big league record with 15 strikeouts in his major league debut (9/5/71)
  • Compiled a 107-71 record in 10 seasons, all with Houston
  • Struck out over 300 batters in a season twice (1978, 79). He was a 20-game winner (1976) and an ERA champ (1979)
  • Cut down in the 1980 season when he suffered a stroke which nearly took his life. He did not make another big league appearance

(c) Houston Astros
Julio Lugo
Full name: Julio Cesar Lugo
Born: 11/16/1975, Barahona, Dominican Republic
Died: 11/15/2021, heart attack, location unknown
Career: HOU (2000-03), TB (2004-06), LAD (2006), BOS (2007-09), STL (2009), BAL (2010), ATL (2011)
  • Drafted by Astros in 1994 Summer Draft
  • Hit .268 with 24 HR, 114 RBI, and 45 SB for the 2000-03 Astros
  • Released by the Astros 5/9/2003 after his arrest on charges of misdemeanor assault on his wife. He was later acquitted.
  • Member of World Champion 2007 Boston Red Sox
  • Played 12 seasons in MLB, hitting .269 with 34 HR, 475 RBI, and 198 SB

(c) Houston Astros
Doug Jones
Full name: Douglas Reid Jones
Born: 6/24/1957, Covina, CA
Died: 11/22/2021, Arizona; complications from COVID-19
Nicknames: "Jonesy", "Mild Thing"
Career: MIL-A (1982), CLE (1986-91), HOU (1992-93), PHI (1994), BAL (1995), CHI-N (1996), MIL-A (1996-98), CLE (1998), OAK (1999-2000)
All-Star: 1988, 1989, 1990,1992, 1994
  • Posted 15-18 record with a 3.02 ERA and 62 saves for Astros
  • In 16-year career, was 69-79 with a 3.30 ERA and 303 saves
  • Known for his change-up which came to the plate so slowly that many batters looked inept trying to hit it
  • Appeared in only three playoff games, late in his career

(c) Houston Astros
Jim Corsi
Full name: James Bernard Corsi
Born: 9/9/1961, Newton, MA
Died: 1/4/2022, Bellingham, MA; liver and colon cancer
Career: OAK (1988-89), HOU-N (1991), OAK (1992), FLA-N (1993), OAK (1995-96) BOS-A (1997-99), BAL (1999)
  • Pitched for World Champion Oakland A's in 1989
  • Posted 22-24 record with a 3.25 ERA over 10 seasons
  • During brief tenure with Astros (1991), he was 0-5 with a 3.71 ERA over 77.2 innings
  • Was analyst for NESN after playing career

(c) Houston Astros
Tommy Davis
Full name: Herman Thomas Davis
Born:3/21/1939, Brooklyn, NY
Died: 4/3/2022, Phoenix, AZ; cause not reported
Career: LA-N (1959-66), NY-N (1967), CHI-A (1968), SEA (1969), HOU (1969-70), OAK (1970, 1971), CHI-N (1970, 1972), BAL (1972-75), CAL (1976), KC (1976)
All-Star: 1962, 1963
  • Batted .348 on World Champion Dodger teams of 1963, 1965
  • Won NL batting titles in 1962, 1963
  • Won NL RBI title in 1962
  • Traded to Astros late in 1969 from Seattle. Sold to Oakland the following June. Hit .271 while with Houston.
  • Recruited by Jackie Robinson to play for hometown Brooklyn Dodgers but the team had moved to LA by the time of his debut

(c) Houston Astros
Lee Thomas
Full name: James Leroy Thomas
Born: 2/5/1936, Peoria, IL
Died: 8/31/2022, St. Louis, MO; cancer
Nicknames: "Mad Dog", "White Fang"
Career: NY-A (1961), LA-A (1961-64), BOS (1964-65), ATL (1966), CHI-N (1966-67), HOU (1968)
All-Star: 1962 (both games)
  • Hit .194 with one homer in 90 games for Houston
  • Outfielder batted .255 with 106 HRs in big league career
  • Phillies General Manager, 1988-97
  • Sporting News Executive of the Year, 1993

(c) Houston Astros
Chuck Carr
Full name: Charles Lee Glenn Carr
Born: 8/10/1967, San Bernadino, CA
Died: 11/13/2022, undisclosed
Nicknames: "Chuck, Chuckie"
Career: NY-N (1990-91), STL (1992), FLA (1993-95), MIL-N (1996-97), HOU-N (1997)
  • Hit .276 with Astros in 63 games in 1997
  • Outfielder batted .254 with 13 homers over 8 seasons
  • Original Florida Marlin, he led NL in stolen bases (58), 1993
  • Homered off John Smoltz in Game 3 of the 1997 NLDS, the final game of his big league career

(c) Houston Astros
Buddy Harris
Full name: Walter Francis Harris, Jr.
Nickname: "Buddy"
Born: 12/5/1948, Philadelphia, PA
Died: 11/5/2022, Roxborough, PA; sepsis
Career: HOU (1970-71)
  • Appeared in 22 games for the 1970-71 Astros with a 1-1 record and a 6.32 ERA
  • His only victory came in relief on 7/19/71 against his hometown Phillies
  • Two-sport all-star in basketball and baseball as a teen
  • Honored by President Richard Nixon in 1972 for his work in an anti-drug campaign

(c) Houston Astros
Wilbur Howard
Full name: Wilbur Leon Howard
Born: 1/8/1949, Lowell, NC
Died: 12/17/2022, Humble, TX; cause not reported
Career: MIL-A (1973), HOU (1974-78)
  • Selected by the Seattle Pilots in 1969 June draft
  • Batted .252 with 6 HRs in five seasons with Houston
  • Was warming up with J.R. Richard in 1980 when Richard suffered a stroke which ended his career
  • Played catcher and second base as well as all three outfield positions

(c) Houston Astros
Nate Colbert
Full name: Nathan Colbert
Nickname: "Nate"
Born: 4/9/1946, St. Louis, MO
Died: 1/5/2023, location and cause unreported
Career: HOU (1966, 1968), SD (1969-74), DET (1975), MON (1975-76), OAK (1976)
All-Star: 1971, 1972, 1973
  • Batted .133 in 39 games with Houston
  • Drafted by San Diego in the 1968 MLB Expansion Draft
  • Franchise home run leader for Padres (163) at time of his passing
  • Three-time All-Star (1971-73)
  • Hit five home runs and drove in 13 during double-header, 8/1/72. Both tied NL records

(c) Houston Astros
Frank Thomas
Full name: Frank Joseph Thomas
Born: 6/11/1929, Pittsburgh, PA
Died: 1/16/2023, Pittsburgh, PA; no cause reported
Nicknames: "Big Donkey", "The Original"
Career: PIT (1951-58), CIN (1959), CHI-N (1960-61), MIL-N (1961), NY-N (1962-64), PHI-N (1964-65), HOU (1965), MIL-N (1965), CHI-N (1966)
All-Star: 1954, 1955, 1958
  • Hit .172 with three homers in 23 games for Houston
  • Original New York Met
  • Batted .266 with 286 homers over 16 NL seasons
  • Had run-ins with both players and front office, once dubbed the "Phighting Phillie" after an altercation with Dick Allen

(c) Houston Astros
Bert Pena
Full name: Adalberto Pena
Born: 7/11/1959, Santurce, PR
Died: 1/19/2023, Caguas, PR; esophegal cancer
Nicknames: "Berto"
Career: HOU (1981-87)
  • Reserve infielder hit .203 with one homer in 88 career games for Astros
  • .231 batter with 53 homers in minor league play
  • Managed for three years for the Pennsyvania Road Warriers of the independent Atlantic League, (2002-04), compiling a record of 87-289.

(c) Houston Astros
Roman Mejias
Full name: Roman Mejias (Gomez)
Born: 8/9/1925, Abreus, Cuba (his birth year is disputed)
Died: 2/22/2023, Menifee, CA, cause unreported
Career: PIT (1955, 1957-61), HOU-N (1962), BOS-A (1963-64)
  • Batting star of inaugural Colt .45s (.286, 24 HRs, 76 RBIs)
  • Homered twice and drove in six on franchise's first Opening Day
  • Traded in November 1962 for Pete Runnels
  • Hit .254 with 54 homers in nine big league seasons, mostly as a backup

(c) Topps Baseball
Dave Nicholson
Full name: David Lawrence Nicholson
Born: 8/29/1939, St. Louis, MO
Died: 2/25/2023, Carmi, IL cause unreported
Career: BAL (1960,62), CHI-A (1963-65), HOU-N (1966), ATL (1967)
  • Power-hitting outfielder who struck out often
  • Hit .246 with 10 homers for 1966 Astros
  • Sent to Atlanta, 12/31/66 as part of trade to acquire future Hall-of-Famer Eddie Mathews
  • Batted .212 with 61 homers during seven-year career

(c) Atlanta Braves
Sandy Valdespino
Full name: Hilario Valdespino
Born: 1/24/1939, San Jose de las Lajas, Cuba
Died: 2/26/2023, Moultrie, GA, cause unreported
Nicknames: "Sandy"
Career: MIN (1965-67), ATL (1968), HOU-N (1969), SEA (1969), MIL-A (1970), KC (1970)
  • Had his career year as a rookie in 1965 for the American League Champion Twins (.261 average in 108 games)
  • Batted .244 in 41 games as an Astro
  • Traded to the Seattle Pilots 8/30/69 with Danny Walton for Tommy Davis
  • Career .230 hitter over 7 MLB seasons

(c) Houston Astros
Jesús Alou
Full name: Jesús Maria Rojas Alou
Born: 3/24/1942, Bajos de Haina, DR
Died: 3/10/2023, location and cause unreported
Nicknames: "Jay"
Career: SF (1963-68), HOU-N (1969-73, 1978-79), OAK (1973-74) NY-N (1975)
  • Younger brother of Alou brothers Felipe and Matty, all played in the Giants outfield, 9/15/63
  • Dealt to Houston from Montreal as part of the infamous Rusty Staub trade
  • Batted .282 over seven seasons as an Astro, including two that came after a three-year gap in big league service
  • Career .280 hitter over 15 MLB seasons
  • Member of World Champion Oakland A's (1973-74)

(c) Houston Astros
Joe Pepitone
Full name: Joseph Anthony Pepitone
Nickname: "Peppy"
Born: 10/9/1940, Brooklyn, NY
Died: 3/13/2023, Kansas City, MO, cause not reported
Career: NY-A (1962-1969), HOU-N (1970), CHI-N (1970-73), ATL (1973)
All-Star: 1963, 1964, 1965
  • Hit .258 with 219 homers in 12-year career
  • Dealt to Houston from the New York Yankees for first baseman Curt Blefary in December, 1969
  • Batted .251 with 14 homers in 75 games as an Astro
  • "Retired" in 1970 before he was traded to the Cubs
  • Colorful fan favorite with the Yankees known for bringing a hair dryer into the locker room

(c) Houston Astros
Joe Gaines
Full name: Arnesta Joe Gaines
Born: 11/22/1936, Bryan, TX
Died: 5/30/2023, Oakland, CA; cause not reported
Career: CIN (1960-62), BAL (1963-64), HOU (1964-66)
  • Hit ,239 with 13 homers during three seasons in Houston
  • Traded by the Orioles to Houston for outfielder Johnny Weekly during the 1964 season
  • Was the Opening Day left fielder when the Astrodome opened in 1965
  • Over his seven big league seasons, he batted .241 with 21 homers

(c) Houston Astros
Larry Yellen
Full name: Lawrence Alan Yellen
Born: 1/4/1943, Brooklyn, NY
Died: 7/18/2023, Union City, GA; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1963-64)
  • Appeared in 14 games for the 1963-64 Colt .45s with no record and a 6.23 ERA
  • His big league debut came in late September in 1963 at age 20 vs the Pirates, allowing two runs in five innings
  • Refused offer to pitch in the All-Rookie game because it fell on the Jewish Sabbath.

(c) Houston Astros
Mike Ivie
Full name: Michael Wilson Ivie
Born: 8/8/1952, Atlanta, GA
Died: 7/21/2023, North Augusta, SC; cause not reported
Career: SD (1971, 1974-77), SF (1978-81), HOU (1981-82), DET (1982-83)
  • First overall selection of the June 1970 draft by San Diego, played six games as a 19-year-old with the Padres before he was sent to the minors
  • Overall, hit .269 with 81 homers during an 11-year career
  • Suffered mental issues, including with throwing the ball back to the pitcher from behind the plate
  • Acquired by Houston from the Giants for Dave Bergman and Jeffrey Leonard
  • Released one year later after batting .250 in 26 games with the Astros

(c) Houston Astros
Larry Ray
Full name: Larry Dale Ray
Born: 3/11/1958, Madison, IN
Died: 7/22/2023, Double Springs, AL; cause not reported
Career: HOU (1982)
  • A 4th round selection of Houston in the 1979 draft
  • Played in only five games as a big leaguer, going 1-for-7 with an RBI
  • Came up as a late season roster addition at the end of the 1982 season

(c) Topps Baseball
Pete Ladd
Full name: Peter Linwood Ladd
Nickname: "Bigfoot" or "Sasquatch" due to size 15 shoes
Born: 7/17/1956, Portland, ME
Died: 10/20/2023, Portland, ME; cancer
Career: HOU (1979), MIL-A (1982-85), SEA (1986)
  • Made big league debut with Astros in 1979, appearing in 10 games with a 2.92 ERA
  • Resurfaced with Brewers in 1982 and became their closer the next year
  • Overall, built a 17-23 record with a 4.14 ERA and 39 saves in 205 games
  • Did not allow a run in four postseason appearances, including the 1982 World Series

(c) Houston Astros
Ken MacKenzie
Full name: Kenneth Purvis MacKenzie
Born: 3/10/1934, Gore Bay, ON
Died: 12/14/2023, Guilford, CT; cause not reported
Career: MIL-N (1960-61), NY-N (1962-63), STL-N (1963), SF (1964), HOU (1965)
  • Attended Yale University
  • Purchased by the Mets from Milwaukee along with pitcher Johnny Antonelli prior to Mets inaugural season (1962)
  • Was one of three Canadian pitchers in the Houston bullpen in 1965, along with Claude Raymond and Ron Taylor
  • Crafted an 8-10 career mark with a 4.80 ERA. He was 0-3 in Houston with a 3.89 ERA

(c) Houston Astros
Chuck Harrison
Full name: Charles William Harrison
Born: 4/25/1941, Abilene, TX
Died: 12/30/2023, Abilene, TX, cause not reported
Career: HOU (1965-67), KC (1969,71)
  • Starred at Texas Tech University
  • Hit .248 with 12 homers in parts of three seasons as an Astro
  • Traded with shortstop Sonny Jackson to Atlanta for pitcher Denny Lemaster and infielder Denis Menke after the 1967 season
  • Played with the expansion Kansas City Royals for parts of two seasons
  • Played first base in the first game in Kansas City Royals history (Apr 8, 1969)