Some Major Firsts in Astros Franchise History

Opening Day, April 10, 1962
Colt Stadium, Houston
Colt .45s 11 – Cubs 2.
“It was a day of firsts.”

 

We couldn’t resist rummaging through our own suggestions for further research from yesterday’s column, “Forever Firsts in Houston MLB History.”

https://bill37mccurdy.com/2017/06/28/forever-firsts-in-houston-mlb-history/

We tried to simply run a table on which players, friend and foe alike, who contributed so much to the anchor game in Houston’s 55 season MLB history without going to the extreme of listing the names of those who became the first to catch or drop fly balls down either sideline in the process. Even with Retrosheet, you would need a lot more library help to go that arcane on the project, but that was never the point anyway.

Going in, we always knew that original Astros Bob Aspromonte was grabbing up a lot of the significant “game firsts” in that famous first franchise regular season game of April 10, 1962. That was confirmed rather quickly this morning. For a while, it seemed he might even have bagged them all in the first inning, if the rest of the Colt .45s could have kept that bottom of the first going. Jeez, he was busy. But so was Mr. Shantz, Senor Mejias, and a few others.

Here’s our Pecan Park Eagle Table of Big Franchise First Finds. Please still use the link to check out the play-by-play account from yesterday’s column from which all these below were gleamed. We left out a number of less notable marks by design.

The great thing about these marks is the fact that they are unbreakable. Nothing on any timeline measurable scale will ever be “earlier than earliest” – and that goes for first baseball games as much as it does for first loves. And what sweet memories they both each brew in the hour glasses of our minds:

Here’s our Pecan Park Eagle Table of Big Franchise First Finds:

FIRST PLAYER POSITION INNING OUTS RUNNERS
PITCH Bobby Shantz P T 1st 0 0
FOE BATTER & 1ST K Lou Brock CF T 1st 0 0
FOE HIT Billy Williams LF T 1st 2 0
FOE SINGLE Billy Williams LF T 1st 2 0
HIT Bob Aspromonte 3B B 1st 0 0
SINGLE Bob Aspromonte 3B B 1st 0 0
RUN Bob Aspromonte 3B B 1st 0 1st
RBI Al Spangler CF B 1st 0 1st
TRIPLE Al Spangler CF B 1st 0 1st
DOUBLE Hal Smith C B 2nd 0 0
STRIKE OUT Don Buddin SS B 2nd 1 2nd
DOUBLE PLAY Don Cardwell (B) 6-4-3 T 3rd 0 1st
WALK Bob Aspromonte 3B B 3rd 0 0
HOME RUN Roman Mejias RF B 3rd 0 1st & 2nd
FIELD ERROR Joey Amalfitano 2B T 5th 0 0
HIT BY PITCH Joey Amalfitano 2B B 6th 0 0
SACRIFICE BUNT Don Buddin SS B 6th 0 1st
FOE HOME RUN Ernie Banks 1B T 7th 1 0
FOE RUN & RBI Ernie Banks 1B T 7th 1 0
FOE DOUBLE PLAY Hal Smith (Batter) 6-4-3 B 7th 0 1st & 2nd
CAUGHT STEALING Joey Amalfitano 2B B 7th 2 0
FOE TRIPLE Jim McKnight PH T 8th 0 0
FOE SAC FLY Lou Brock CF T 8th 1 3rd
STOLEN BASE Bob Aspromonte 3B B 8th 2 1st
AT GAME’S END
1ST COMPLETE GAME Bobby Shantz P
1st FRANCHISE WIN Bobby Shantz P

 

***********

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

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