Happy Memorial Day, 2017

May 28, 2017

To My Own Uncle Carroll
In Honor of All Who Served!
Major Carroll Houston Teas
Pilot / Pacific Theater
Happy Memorial Day, 2017!


My Uncle Carroll served the entire Pacific Theater as the pilot of a South Pacific inter-island supply plane. He finally came home paralyzed for life from a strain of polio that he contracted while stationed in New Guinea. He died in 1964 from complications of the original disease, but he will never fade from our loving memory of his healing presence in our lives. Thanks to all of you for your great military service to America on this Memorial Day 2017! Our beautiful nation and its freedoms could not last for long without you!




Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Memorial Day 1956 Movie Thoughts

May 28, 2017

Paul Newman
‘The Rack”


In the 1956 poorly named movie, “The Rack”, a young Paul Newman plays a US Army Captain returning from Korea as both a Silver Star winner and an accused collaborator with the enemy during his finishing stay in a concentration camp. From the way it struck me from a first viewing on TCM this Memorial Day Saturday, something like “Heroic Demise” really might’ve worked better.

The movie struck a chord with Memorial Day, but it also landed upon a major theme of pain that people have been bringing to my office in spades for close to fifty years:

We’re talking here about the pain of some unresolved regret a person may have been carrying with them for much of their lives for a critical choice they made years earlier about career, marriage, family, finance, friendship, or whatever.

At the end of the movie, Newman is found guilty of helping the Chinese captors and has accepted responsibility for his failure to overcome personal selfishness. I have taken the liberty of expanding his mostly soldier-context parting speech and taken it further than he did in his efforts to show how the lesson applies to all of us:

Here are what Newman’s writers and I came up with together:

“Everyone has a moment in life in which they have to choose. If he or she chooses right, it is then a moment of magnificence. If he or she chooses wrong, then it is a moment of regret that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

 “I wish that everyone could feel as I do now. Because if they did, they would then know what it feels like to be a man who sold himself short – and who lost that personal moment of magnificence forever.

 “I pray to God that others shall recognize their own moment of magnificence when it is the next opportunity resting before them – and choose well. The penalty for not doing so – because of whatever selfish motivation gets in the way at the time – is the implantation of an irresolvable state of regret in the tar pits of the mind of – something or someone – that is forever now missing from your life.”

Based upon Paul Newman’s character in the movie ‘The Rack’.


 I would never suggest that all regret is resolvable. In the movie, in fact, Newman’s character quickly does away with any defense based upon the idea that his Chinese Communist characters had mind-washed him into it. He did it because he had missed the opportunity to make the magnificent decision to stand up to them. His regret would be forever. His years of incarceration at home would be justified, but even those would never make up for what he had lost in the process.

In many instances, however, we do have the power to rid ourselves of much garbage about the past if we are both willing to take as much responsibility for our own actions – and if we are willing to make amends for any harm we may have created by something we did – or failed to do – a very long time ago.

We are all human. And none of us are perfect. But try hard to remember too: (1) We cannot be guaranteed forgiveness by others; we only control our ability to seek it, when to do so, will not simply hurt others or make things worse; and (2) We have to be equally capable of holding ourselves accountable as we are forgiving ourselves in the name of human frailty. Otherwise, all’s a waste of time and energy.


 Happy Memorial Day Weekend

To All the Military Men and Women

Who Serve Our Beautiful USA!


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle




An Imaginary Baseball Theme Horse Race Musical

May 26, 2017

“….and down the stretch they come!!!”


Once Upon a Fictional Eve, in a variation of our own three-dimensional Houston, a place known in its own warp-of-time setting as Houstonia is preparing for its own true version of the fourth great American horse race – The Houstonia Baseball Memorial at Crawford Avenue Downs. Each first June Saturday, The Houstonia Baseball Memorial features the best eight horses in the world with names that wreak of great baseball history. This year, at 3:00 PM on Saturday, June 3, 2017, the field will include these great ones:

 #1/8 Great Balls of Four

Owner: Bill Veeck of St. Louis, MO

Trainer: Zach Taylor

Jockey: Eddie Gaedel

Notes: Short on experience. Short period.

Morning Line: 25-1


#3 Sultan of Swat

Owner: Jacob Ruppert of New York, NY

Trainer: Ed Barrow

Jockey: Miller Huggins

Notes: Responds poorly to swats.

Morning Line: 3-1


#5 Five Not So Easy Pieces

Owner: Joe DiMaggio

Trainers: Baseball, Life, Marilyn Monroe,

Fan Adulation, and His Own Exalted Ego

Jockey: Joe DiMaggio

Notes: Greatest living player in his own mind.

Morning Line: 75-1


#10 Cuba Carrot Cap Cool

Owner: The Houston Astros

Trainer: A.J. Hinch

Jockey: Yuli Gurriel

Notes: Wearing cap, he’s age 33. Without cap, he’s 13.

Morning Line: 15-1


#13 Sacrifice Fly

Owner: Jeff Goldblum of Sleepy Hollow, NY

Trainer: Washington Irving

Jockey: Ichabod Crane

Notes: Often loses head; gives up too much.

Morning Line: 70-1


#24 Toy Cannon

Owner: Jimmy Wynn of Rosharon, TX

Trainer: Jimmy Wynn

Jockey: Jimmy Wynn

Notes: Exploding from the gate, the rest is fate.

Morning Line: 2-1


#29 Human Rain Delay

Owner: Mike Hargrove of Perryton, TX

Trainer: Mike Hargrove

Jockey: Mike Hargrove

Notes: Time, Ump. Gotta scratch.

Morning Line: 5-9


#33 The Great Scott

Owner: Drayton McLane of Temple, TX

Trainer: Roger Craig

Jockey: Mike Scott

Notes: The horse that split-fingered the world.

Morning Line: 3-5

Fortunately, we were able to retain three of the musical race touts at Sam Houston Race Track to rap a little “Fugue for the Tinhorns” recommendation for whom we should pick in this race for the ages.

If you know the music from “Guys and Dolls”, you will also know exactly how each of their picks sounds as a sung and sold chorus on the favorites of these three characters of the sub-culture.

We’ll let the boys serenade you from here as we hurry as best we can for our nightly reality check in time at the OK Corral Hotel.

Where’s that place, you ask? Why it’s down at the end of Lonely Street in Houstonia – very near the track – and the only place we ever stay whenever we choose to warp over to our beautiful sister city for events like the big June 3rd race.

We’ll leave things at that for now and turn things over to the boys that want to sing you into picking the big race winner. We’ll catch you down the road.

Some other time. Some other road.

“Fugue for the Tinhorns”


I got the horse right here
He says it’s “Cannon” clear
And he’s a guy that says if the weather’s clear
Can do, can do, this guy says the “Toy” can do
If he says the horse can do, can do, can do.


I’m pickin’ “29”, ’cause on the morning line
A guy has got him figured at five to nine
Has chance, has chance, this guy says the horse has chance
if he says the horse has chance, has chance, has chance.


My good friend, Epitaph, touts Scott by more than half
According to this here in the Telegraph
“Big Threat” – “Big Threat”
This guy calls “Great Scott” – “Big Threat”
If he calls the horse “Big Threat”,
Big Threat, Big Threat.


Toy Cannon! …. Human Rain Delay! …. Great Scott!

We got your winning HORSE …. RIGHT …. HERE!!!


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle










Time to Celebrate Astros’ Carrot Top

May 25, 2017

Two Smiling Carrot Tops
ROOTS TV Broadcasters
Todd Kalas and Mike Stanton

Tomorrow night, Friday, May 26, 2017, the Houston Astros will celebrate the next unusual hairstyle on their roster when they pass out 10,000 of these “Yuli” Gurriel rally caps to fans attending the first game of the weekend Baltimore Orioles series at Minute Maid Park. ROOTS TV game caller Todd Kalas and analyst Mike Stanton rolled out the models pictured here Wednesday night, whetting the appetites of those fans who just can’t wait to add an attractive alternative to their “Keuchel’s Korner” black beard hangers – although, we assume that some radically inclined fans may now choose to wear both on nights when Dallas Keuchel pitches and Yuli Gurriel plays first base.

Perhaps, the Astros will consider renaming a small fan section near the first base side in honor of dear Yuli. They could call it “The Carrot Patch” – giving power to this haircut’s ability to transform the wearer into something that resembles a a bi-pedaling human carrot. It’s the orange hair and the orange reflection on the face that seals the deal on this special carrot stalker look. Gurriel does it really well.

“Glad to have you with me tonight, Mike!” ~ Todd Kalas

The style also possesses a definite “Fountain of Youth” quality to it. – With his cap in place, Yuri Gurriel looks like the mature, nearly 33-year old guy he actually is. Let him knock a homer, or some other kind of walk-off Astros victory hit, and the cap goes rolling away under the congratulatory body slaps from euphoric teammates.

And Yuri Gurriel goes instantly from his first image as a capped serious-looking early 30s guy into a giggling, blushing 13-year old teen in a flat-out nanosecond – and one who just seems to be looking for a quiet, private place to relax in the worst of all possible places – the TV-covered bench of a winning MLB club.

The carrot topped hair does its aging magic every time.

“Are you sure this isn’t why Blummer couldn’t be here?” ~ Mike Stanton

Once the Astros get involved in using a player’s hair-style in their gate promotion plans, we imagine that the club would be more than a little disappointed if Yuri Gurriel showed up for work tomorrow with a brand new burr haircut.


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle



Memories of Pitcher Milt Gaston

May 24, 2017

Milt Gaston
MLB Pitcher


Right handed pitcher Milt Gaston was a pretty big guy for his early 20th century time. At 6’1″ and 190 lbs, Gaston won 97 and lost 164, posting a career ERA of 4.55 in American League play over 11 seasons of MLB play (1924-1934). Although he broke in with the New York Yankees (1924), Milt spent most of his career in less hopeful places, pitching for the St. Louis Browns (1925-27), the Washington Senators (1928), the Boston Red Sox (1929-31), and the Chicago White Sox (1932-34).

Gaston’s best year was 1925, when he went 15-14 with a 4.41 ERA in his first season for the Browns, but he would never play for any team that gave him much hope for anything better than a mediocre mark with either a middle of the pack or fallen flat competitive club. Still, he gave it his best. In 193o at Boston, Milt Gaston went 13-20 with a 3.94 ERA, proving himself worthy as one of the answers to a question that Houston pitcher Turk Farrell would raise about himself some 30 odd years later: “Do you realize how good I had to be to lose 20 games in one season?”

Milt Gaston also had some “old” genes in him too. He reached his 100th birthday on January 27, 1996 – and didn’t pass away for another 3 months on April 26, 1996.

As an old Browns fan, I had dropped Milt Gaston a birthday card at his Massachusetts rest home residence in Barnstable in late January 1996. I had not heard anything from Milt as a result, but that’s OK. I do not recall asking for anything. Then, one day, shortly after his late April 1996 death, I received a rather clumpy-shaped envelope in the mail. My name was hand-scribbled all over it. I wondered how the post office had processed it accurately to even get it to my house.

When I opened it, I found a folded over 5×7 inch photo of Milt Gaston in a Browns uniform. Milt, or someone helping him, had sent it to me with no further message. But that was OK. Milt had signed the photo in the same handwriting I recognized from the envelope. The Gaston photo now rests in safe deposit with anything else of sentimental or material value that belongs to me.

The following Baseball Almanac.com box score is included as a tribute to Milt Gaston.

On September 11, 1927, the St. Louis Browns entered their final 1927 game against the great New York Yankees of Ruth and Gehrig at Yankee Stadium, trailing 21-0 in the 1927 season series. Milt Gaston was taking the mound against future Hall of Fame lefty Herb Pennock.

Here’s the box score version of how the game played out. Babe Ruth nailed his 50th home run off Gaston on that day – and 19 days later – he would crunch his season record 60th homer off Tom Zachary of the Washington Senators – but this earlier September day, small as it now seems, would belong to the hope-starved Browns and star pitcher Milt Gaston.

“You gotta have hope! – Mustn’t sit around and mope! – Nothing’s half as bad as it may appear! – Wait til next year! – And hope!”

Those words match the St. Louis Browns as well as they do their Washington Senator designated losers in “Damn Yankees!” And that shall always be so!

Baseball Almanac: St. Louis Browns 6, New York Yankees 2
St. Louis Browns ab   r   h rbi
O’Rourke 3b 3 1 2 2
Rice rf 5 1 1 0
Sisler 1b 5 0 3 2
Williams lf 5 0 3 1
Miller cf 5 0 0 0
Schang c 2 2 1 0
Melillo 2b 4 1 1 0
Gerber ss 4 0 0 1
Gaston p 4 1 0 0
Totals 37 6 11 6
New York Yankees ab   r   h rbi
Combs cf 3 0 1 0
Koenig ss 3 0 0 0
  Gazella ss 1 0 0 0
Ruth rf 4 1 1 1
Gehrig 1b 4 0 1 0
Meusel lf 3 1 0 0
Lazzeri 2b 4 0 0 0
Dugan 3b 3 0 2 1
Bengough c 3 0 0 0
Pennock p 1 0 0 0
  Shawkey p 1 0 0 0
  Durst ph 1 0 0 0
  Pipgras p 0 0 0 0
Totals 31 2 5 2
St. Louis 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 6 11 1
New York 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 1
  St. Louis Browns IP H R ER BB SO
Gaston  W(12-15) 9.0 5 2 2 2 6
  New York Yankees IP H R ER BB SO
Pennock  L(15-8) 3.2 8 5 5 4 1
  Shawkey 4.1 2 0 0 3 5
  Pipgras 1.0 1 1 1 1 2

E–O’Rourke (21), Lazzeri (24).  DP–St. Louis 1. Gaston-Gerber-Sisler.  PB–Schang (7).  2B–St. Louis O’Rourke (22); Melillo (18).  3B–St. Louis Sisler (8).  HR–New York Ruth (50,4th inning off Gaston 0 on).  Team LOB–12.  Team–4.  SB–Williams (8).  U–Brick Owens, Roy Van Graflan, Tommy Connolly.  T–2:15.  A–35,000.

Baseball Almanac Box Score | Printer Friendly Box Scores


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Even the ’27 Yankees Got Swept

May 23, 2017

“The Midnight Special is now departing from Boston for St. Louis at 6:55 PM, Sunday. Estimated Time of Arrival in St. Louis is 10:55 AM Monday. ALL ABOARD!”


This is major league baseball. The rules of the long season apply. And that means any kind of streaky win/loss pattern is possible – including ones in which better teams get swept by lesser light clubs, etc.

When the Astros returned from this last short roaring success trip to New York and Tampa Bay, they came home with a 6-1 mark and an MLB-best 29-12 record to show for it. Of course, that rush of momentum quickly got stalled by the visiting Cleveland Indians, who out-pitched, out-hit, out-played, and out-lucked our Houston Home Boys for a three-game series sweep.

Don’t feel so bad, Astros! Even the ’27 New York Yankees (110-44) got swept – and, like the 2017 Astros just experienced, it too came at the hands of the 1927 version of those still rascally and warpathing 2017 Cleveland Indians.


The ’27 Indians sweep of the ’27 Yankees occurred in 3 single games played in Cleveland on 3 contiguous days, August 20-22, 1927. The Yankees also had lost their last game in Chicago to the White Sox on the previous day, August 19th. And, remember, this was 1927. The Yankees had to take a long train ride from Chicago to Cleveland right after the game in order to get there in time to start a new series on the road the next afternoon. Plus, it was late August. All teams were tired, but Cleveland had played at home against the A’s on August 19th and had the chance to sleep in their own beds that night that the Yankees were riding the rails to get there on time for the following day’s series opener.

Oh, yeah. The Yankees ended their Cleveland sweep loss series by traveling to Detroit for a sweep of their own – followed by another sweep at St. Louis over the Browns. The ’27 Yankees never got too far away from their Murderers’ Row identity.

Earlier in the season, the Yankees did not come close to what first looks like a 3-game sweep loss on the linked chart. In a series at Yankee Stadium, which started with 3 games played from June 25-26, the Yankees lost all three – the first 2 being a doubleheader played on June 25 and the third being the first game of a double-header, played on June 26. (Keep reading the list.) The Yankees then snapped and won the 2nd game of the DH on June 26 and two single games against the A’s that followed on June 27 and June 28. It was along six game stand that the two teams split at 3-3 – and almost certainly was one of those long series that got built into a travel schedule that had to rely upon rail travel as both an economy and time management factor.

If you read much baseball history about that era, you already are aware of the many times that clubs from the east arrived in St. Louis just in time to dress on the train and go straight to Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis for games against the Browns and Cardinals.

At least, the night train riders of big league baseball in the 1920s didn’t have to lose sleep over concern for any bombs exploding in the dark space above the clickety-clack while they rested.


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle



A Closer Look at the Save Rule in Sunday’s Game

May 22, 2017

Zach McAllister didn’t even get credit Sunday for saving the Astros from the fire works expense of a victory celebration.


The Rules Scoring Supposition for Save Awards

Under certain defined conditions, relief pitchers may earn a Save (Sv) credit for coming into a game and protecting a lead that is never yielded prior to the recording of the last out in the game.

These three conditions are all based upon the premise that the qualifying pitcher never yields the lead, even to a tie score status, and that he qualifies for the Sv award as follows:

(1) The pitcher enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or,

(2) The pitcher enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck; or,

(3) The pitcher pitches for at least three innings.

Affirmation for the Save Rules Correctness from the Box Score of the 5/21/17 Cleveland@Houston Game Linked Below:


Our Conclusion

It is our conclusion that the official scorer acted correctly in awarding no Sv to Indians relief pitcher Zach McAllister. He entered the game and pitched the 9th and final inning, but the score was 8-3, Cleveland, when his work started and 0nly 8-6, Cleveland, when the game ended. McAllister had yielded 3 earned runs on two home runs in the 9th, but he did not qualify for a Sv credit by any of the three conditions that are currently in place.

What brought this request to mind was the comment I heard Astros TV voice Todd Kalas make after Alex Bregman hit the second of two consecutive home runs off McAllister. “It is now a save situation with the tying run on deck,” Kalas noted, with no further reference. And we don’t mean to take it out on Todd Kalas. We probably would have made the same kind of mistake many times over in the bright sunshine of his big league audience world – and maybe over the same rule.

In fact, what really sent me running to Google the save award rules noted above was my own state of uncertainty about them. I first thought, “maybe Todd’s right. Maybe some pitchers are getting saves awarded for games that did slap them back into their fields of eligibility by big scores that slipped the margins of victory down to close scores in the late goings.

I was all so ready to tear into the rules makers for leaving another hole in the boat of pitching credit stats when I looked more closely today – and I now think I saw a place where the rules writers got it right.

Unless a pitcher has been in the game for three innings, he can’t shave a bunch of runs off a big lead in order to qualify for a save. The credit is tied to both what a pitcher does – and how long he’s been in the game. And any “closer” today is still worth his salt in save credits if he can come into a game in the 9th with a one-run lead and hold it for a victory.

It also makes me wonder. – Are there some official scorekeepers out there who might have given McAllister a save today for what he did in the 9th at Minute Maid Park?


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle


Who Are These Guys, Sundance?

May 20, 2017

Butch: “Who are those guys that are coming after us so hard, Sundance?”
Sundance: “I’m afraid we both know who they are, Butch. Looks like we got to show ’em they got the wrong mountain this year!”


We know damn well who they are. – They are those hard-riding devil dogs from the north plains that stand between Houston and Oklahoma, the hot-dam, shoot-em-up, take-no prisoners Texas Rangers – the ones with that wild-eyed trail boss manager who looks like he wants to start a fight with our A.J. Hinch every time he steps onto the same turf he’s forced to share with our noble leader.

Who are these guys, anyway, we ask again. – Like we already said. We already know damn well who they are and we know too, as Astros fans, that they aren’t up to “no good.”

Let’s take a record look at the situation – from how things look this morning – to how things looked ten games ago.

AL WEST STANDINGS (Morning of Saturday, May 20, 2017)

ASTROS 29 13 .690   8-2
RANGERS 23 20 .535 6.5 10-0
ANGELS 22 22 .500 8.0 6-4
MARINERS 20 23 .465 9.5 4-6
ATHLETICS 19 23 .452 10.0 4-6

And here’s the way things stood in the AL West, only ten games earlier in the records of each club:

AL WEST STANDINGS (Ten Games Earlier, Around May 10, 2017)

ASTROS 21 11 .656  
MARINERS 16 17 .485 5.5
ANGELS 16 18 .471 6.0
ATHLETICS 15 17 .469 6.0
RANGERS 13 20 .394 8.5

Lost in our local euphoria over how well the Astros have been playing – and they’ve been great – the Rangers have been winning even more often over the same period:

  • The Rangers’ perfect 10-0 win streak has allowed them to be the only AL West club to actually gain on the first place Astros during this period;
  • The Rangers have gone from 5th and last place to the 2nd spot in the division during their streak, picking up 2 full games on the high-flying Astros during their own hot short run;
  • And look out. – The long summer season of baseball is descending upon us and it looks like 2017 is going to be an exciting, quite contested, and most bumpy ride.
  • The Astros’ opening series loss to Cleveland last night was both a sobering reminder of the tender spots in our starting rotation and a reminder of an ancient baseball adage that says good pitching stops good hitting. The Cleveland starter and his relief crew were outstanding.
  • Better luck today in our Saturday day game.


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Beltran Climbing the Most Doubles List

May 19, 2017

“It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish!”
~ ancient wisdom


As the Astros Hit Bakery continues to souffle their win and hit totals through the early 2017 season, returning hero Carlos Beltran also continues to egg on up his career ladder for doubles, as well.

On the heels of the just completed club win tear through the Bronx and South Beach, Carlos comes home now with 545 career doubles, good enough for 31st place on the Top 40 Contender list – and placing Beltran 1 double ahead of Derek Jeter in 32nd place – and only 2 doubles behind Manny Ramirez for the # 30 spot. As you examine the other “nearbys”, you will find that Beltran has a number of famous retired names just ahead of him that he should catch on the list of “further ups” this season, if providence and fate allow him to play the full season at his current rate.

Look high enough on the list, of course, and the #5 man on the all times MLB doubles list needs no further introduction or explanation.

All Time Leaders
‘Top 40 Leaders’Courtesy Baseball Almanac.com
Tris Speaker 792 1
Pete Rose 746 2
Stan Musial 725 3
Ty Cobb 724 4
Craig Biggio 668 5
George Brett 665 6
Nap Lajoie 657 7
Carl Yastrzemski 646 8
Honus Wagner 640 9
David Ortiz 632 10
Hank Aaron 624 11
Albert Pujols 607 12
Paul Molitor 605 13
Paul Waner 605
Cal Ripken, Jr. 603 15
Barry Bonds 601 16
Luis Gonzalez 596 17
Todd Helton 592 18
Adrian Beltre 591 19
Rafael Palmeiro 585 20
Robin Yount 583 21
Wade Boggs 578 22
Bobby Abreu 574 23
Charlie Gehringer 574
Ivan Rodriguez 572 25
Jeff Kent 560 26
Eddie Murray 560
Chipper Jones 549 28
Alex Rodriguez 548 29
Manny Ramirez 547 30
Carlos Beltran 545 31
Derek Jeter 544 32
Tony Gwynn 543 33
Harry Heilmann 542 34
Rogers Hornsby 541 35
Joe Medwick 540 36
Dave Winfield 540
Al Simmons 539 38
Lou Gehrig 534 39
Al Oliver 529 40

Go Get the Tribe tonight, Astros! We need to keep the good times rolling, especially, now that the Rangers have figured out they are going to have to win a lot games this year too. A 9th win in a row for the Rangers last night has allowed them to move from last to 2nd place in the AL West – where they now “rest” only 7.5 games back of the fiery Astros going into today’s Friday action.


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

A 1965 Contribution from Astros Daily

May 19, 2017


Victoria Advocate
May 20, 1965


Thanks to Pecan Park Eagle contributor Darrell Pittman, here’s a timely piece from Bob Hulsey’s “1965 Day by Day” column @ http://astrosdaily.com/1965/1965.html#0521:

May 21:

San Francisco (18-16) at Houston (17-19)
The Astrodome

The John Kibler controversy reaches a new level when Bob Aspromonte is ejected after disputing a “safe” call by Kibler at third base in the sixth inning. Aspro thought he had the tag on Jim Davenport and exploded when Kibler ruled otherwise. With Luman Harris already suspended, it was up to other Astros to calm down their third-sacker. Bill Giles, the Astros’ publicity director and scoreboard operator, flashes “KIBLER DID IT AGAIN” on the big board as fans voice their displeasure.

The game itself wasn’t in doubt by this time. The Giants tee off on Don Nottebart and lead, 7-0, by the time of Aspromonte’s eruption on their way to an 8-1 decision. Willie McCovey leads the charge with three hits, including a homer and four RBIs. Davenport and Matty Alou also swat three hits apiece. Things are going so well for the Giants that pitcher Ron Herbel gets the first hit of his big league career, snapping an oh-for-55 streak, on a roller through a drawn-in infield. John Bateman‘s solo shot in the eighth is the only relief for the home crowd.

May 22:

San Francisco (19-16) at Houston (17-20)
The Astrodome

At last, America gets to watch a game inside the new Astrodome. ABC televises the day game of a day-night twinbill against the Giants with Chris Schenkel and Leo Durocher supplying the commentary. If they tuned in on time, they got to see Willie Mays smash a mammoth two-run homer in the first off Bob Bruce. Jesus Alou, Tom Haller and Hal Lanier smack four hits apiece in a 10-1 rout. Juan Marichal spins a complete-game six-hitter. Dating back to the previous September, San Francisco has won ten straight over Houston.

In the untelevised nightcap, the Astros squeak out a 3-2 victory. Mays spanks another two-run first-inning homer, his 17th long ball of the season. Houston responds with a run-scoring double by Walt Bond. Joe Gaines belts a home run, pinch-hitting for starter Turk Farrell in the seventh. Houston takes the lead in the eighth when Rusty Staub singles off Masanori Murakami, moves up on a walk to John Bateman and scores on a pinch-hit single by player-coach Nellie Fox. Hal Woodeshick holds on for his second win of the year. Almost 66,000 cross the turnstiles during the doubleheader.

May 23:

San Francisco (20-17) at Houston (18-21)
The Astrodome

Ken Johnson, the only person ever to pitch a complete no-hit major league game and lose that game, gets another bit of bad luck when Jim Ray Hart hits a fly ball to center with two on and two out in the first inning. Jim Wynn loses track of the ball amongst the roof panels and can’t locate it until it falls harmlessly behind him. By the time the ball is thrown back in, Hart has a three-run inside-the-park homer which he scores standing up. That’s the difference in a 5-2 Astro defeat with Houston’s only runs coming on an eighth-inning single by Walt Bond, plating Al Spangler and Joe Morgan.

Johnson is pulled in the fourth inning after allowing all five runs and informed he has been traded to the Braves for outfielder Lee Maye. The lefthanded-hitting Maye led the league in doubles the previous year with 44. For Johnson, it’s a new beginning after coming from the Reds in the 1961 expansion draft. In a separate deal, the Braves also acquired outfielder Jim Beauchamp for a player to be named later. Beauchamp had hit .189 in part-time duty and was in an oh-for-12 slump.

Wynn is asked to field flies after the game along with Rusty Staub and Nellie Fox. The decision is made to add a darker layer of paint to the roof panels around home plate.


Thank you, Darrell Pittman, Bob Hulsey, and Astros Daily for being the best always active source on Houston Baseball History in the digital world. Here at The Pecan Park Eagle, we always are honored to share whatever you make further available to the fans through us. Keep up the good work. And we shall always try to do the same. – Regards, Bill McCurdy, The Pecan Park Eagle.


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle