Don Wilson - Timeline

Astros Trades & Transactions

Jan 1, 1964?:Signed by the Houston Colt .45's as an amateur free agent.

This Date in Astros History

Feb 12, 1945:Don Wilson is born in Monroe, LA. He wins 104 games and tosses two no-hitters in eight memorable seasons as an Astro. He was the third baseman on his Little League team in Compton, CA and only began pitching when his cousin got hurt.
Jun 18, 1967:Don Wilson, just 22, fans Hank Aaron to complete his first no-hitter, a 2-0 gem over the Atlanta Braves . Aaron is Wilson's 15th strikeout victim that Father's Day afternoon. Jim Wynn's double off Phil Niekro keys a two-run rally for the game's only scoring. Though it is the third no-hitter in franchise history, it's the first shutout no-hitter and the first hurled in the Astrodome.
Jul 16, 1967:Houston sweeps a twinbill against the Dodgers for the first time. Ron Davis bashes two run-scoring doubles while Don Wilson tosses seven shutout innings in the 4-1 opener. Eddie Mathews and Jim Wynn belt homers to lead the 8-2 nightcap win at Dodger Stadium.
Jun 1, 1968:Bill Hands of the Cubs outduels Don Wilson for a 3-1 decision at the Dome but it's definitely not the most newsworthy event that day. Judge Hofheinz opens Astroworld right across the Loop 610 freeway, featuring rides and exhibits. In the Texas can-do spirit of the times, outdoor seating areas are air conditioned.
Jul 14, 1968:Don Wilson whiffs Johnny Bench for his 18th strikeout to tie, what was then, the major-league record held by Bob Feller and Sandy Koufax . It is part of a rain-soaked 6-1 nightcap that completes a doubleheader sweep in Cincinnati. Ron Brand scored Denis Menke for a 5-4, ten-inning victory in the opener.
May 1, 1969:For only the second time in major league history, back-to-back no-hitters are tossed. Don Wilson avenges Jim Maloney's no-no by hurling one against the Reds, 4-0, at Crosley Field . Doug Rader homers and squeezes the final out on a foul pop. Wilson, who fans 13 and walks six, has two career no-hitters and has yet to see his 25th birthday.
May 27, 1969:Doug Rader belts a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth off Luis Peraza to beat the Phillies, 6-2. Don Wilson strikes out 13 and goes the distance for the victory. Denis Menke also homers.
Jul 11, 1969:Cincinnati manager Dave Bristol launches a tirade for the ages during a 13-2 massacre by Don Wilson and the Astros. Bristol bumps umpire Augie Donatelli, steps on his shoes, berates the ump for several minutes then flings chairs and equipment upon returning to the dugout. And he was only behind 2-1 at the time! Good thing he didn't see the nine-run Houston sixth, highlighted by a bases-loaded triple from Denis Menke and two hits by Sandy Valdespino. Wilson fans ten and posts a six-hitter. He's also plunked twice at the plate.
Aug 15, 1970:Don Wilson hurls a 16-hitter during a 7-3 victory in Montreal. That's no typo. Wilson caps a five-run first inning with an RBI single and this lead lets him stay in the game as he dodges Montreal's bullets all day. Fred Gladding is summoned to get the final out after Wilson allows three straight hits with two out in the ninth.
Aug 30, 1970:Jim Wynn launches two homers off Nolan Ryan to pace a 9-5 thrashing of the Mets. Wynn totals four hits and drives in five. Denis Menke also goes deep twice. Don Wilson survives an early 3-0 deficit to gain the victory. Wynn tells the press that Ryan's fastball is no match for his bat and backs it up.
May 7, 1971:Joe Morgan raps four hits, steals two bases, scores three times and drives in two to lead the Astros over the Phillies, 8-1, in their first game at Veterans Stadium. Don Wilson strikes the key blow off Jim Bunning, a bunt that found a hole in the artificial turf between third and the pitcher and rolled until two runs were in.
Aug 2, 1971:Don Wilson fires a two-hitter to outduel Ferguson Jenkins and Chicago, 2-1. Denis Menke doubles home Doug Rader then scores on a single by Jesus Alou. Houston fans boo Joe Pepitone in each of four hitless trips to the plate.
Sep 17, 1971:Don Wilson fires a one-hitter and drives in two to sink the Reds, 4-1. The Astros make their second triple play of the season as Joe Morgan snares a blooper by Darrell Chaney, flips to Roger Metzger for the force at second, who then throws to John Mayberry at first. Wilson wins his 16th, contributing a suicide squeeze and an RBI single to his own cause.
Jun 16, 1972:Jim Wynn belts a solo shot off Dick Selma in the bottom of the eleventh to stun the Phillies, 1-0. Houston outlasts eventual Cy Young Award winner Steve Carlton, who blanked them on six hits for the first ten frames. Don Wilson and Tom Griffin team for the shutout.
Sep 7, 1972:Don Wilson ties a club record by tossing 13 innings in a complete-game 5-1 victory in San Francisco. Bob Watson and Roger Metzger end it with home runs in the decisive frame. Metzger finishes with four hits and four RBIs. Imagine how scribes would howl at Leo Durocher these days for keeping Wilson out there for 193 pitches.
Sep 23, 1972:Don Wilson scatters four hits while Lee May gets just as many by himself. Houston tops the first-place Reds, 7-1. The Astros still stand in second place, 8-1/2 games behind Cincinnati, but can celebrate the first winning season in franchise history.
May 11, 1973:Manager Leo Durocher returns from a three-week hospital stay to watch Don Wilson toss a three-hitter over Cincinnati, 5-1. Lee May's two-run shot gets the scoring started. Interim manager Preston Gomez was 14-3 in Durocher's absence, perhaps leading Leo to a quicker recovery.
Jun 17, 1973:Roger Metzger goes 4-for-4 and Bob Watson drives in three to lead a 7-3 triumph over St. Louis. Tommie Agee homers. Jim Ray gets the victory in relief of Don Wilson.
Sep 29, 1973:Hank Aaron hammers his 713th career homer, one shy of Babe Ruth's record. It's a three-run shot off Jerry Reuss, part of a 7-0 Atlanta decision. The next day, Dave Roberts and Don Wilson hold Aaron to three singles and the season ends with a 5-3 Astros win in the last game of manager Leo Durocher's career.
Jun 7, 1974:Lee May stays hot. His solo shot in the second inning is the only run as Houston nips the Mets, 1-0. Don Wilson scatters seven hits in the shutout and delivers two of his own.
Jul 30, 1974:Don Wilson collects his 100th victory as an Astro, toppling the Reds, 8-4 . The righthander fans nine in eight innings of work. Lee May drives in three while Cesar Cedeno and Cliff Johnson support with solo homers.
Aug 5, 1974:Greg Gross raps five singles to lead the Astros over San Francisco, 7-2. In fact, it might have been Singles Night since 18 of Houston's 19 hits are the one-base variety. Pitcher Don Wilson has the double and two singles to help himself. Milt May drives in three.
Aug 25, 1974:Don Wilson and Mike Cosgrove blank the Phillies, 5-0, scattering six hits. It's Houston's third straight shutout. Before the game, Janice Graham Johnson is hit in the face by a batting practice home run leading to a lawsuit against HSA, the Astros and the Phillies. It's settled five years later and is the reason game tickets now warns fans to stay alert to balls flying into the crowd.
Sep 4, 1974:Don Wilson is taken out after eight innings of no-hit ball. He is behind, 2-1. Two walks and an error have put Cincinnati ahead. Ironies abound. Wilson is approaching a rare third career no-hitter. The man who hit into the error is Pete Rose, who hit into the run-scoring error that made Ken Johnson a no-hit loser in 1964. The Houston manager is Preston Gomez who similarly yanked Clay Kirby during a no-hit bid while with San Diego. Kirby is watching from the Reds' dugout. Mike Cosgrove gives up a meaningless single in the ninth that breaks up the bid. Houston loses. Gomez hears the boos.
Sep 28, 1974:Don Wilson hurls a two-hit shutout against the Braves in what would become the final start of his career. He wins, 5-0, even without recording a strikeout. Tommy Helms' three-run homer is the key blow. In the nightcap, Phil Niekro returns the favor with a two-hit complete game in a 6-2 decision over the Astros.
Jan 5, 1975:Pitcher Don Wilson , at age 29, dies at home from carbon monoxide poisoning after falling asleep in his car. His young son, asleep in a bedroom above the garage, also dies in the tragedy. His number 40 is retired by the Astros the following spring, the second Houston player to be so honored.
May 28, 1982:Nolan Ryan fans eleven Mets in 5-2/thirds innings during a 7-4 victory. Mike LaCoss and Dave Smith strike out three each to total 17 Ks, one short of Don Wilson's club record. Dave Kingman whiffs five times, once with the bases loaded. Terry Puhl socks a home run and Phil Garner drives in three to pace the offense