Caps Off to the ’62 Colt .45 Survivors

Caps Off to the ’62 Colt .45 Survivors 

Caps Off to the ’62 Colt .45 Survivors ~ A Labor Day Salute for All Time to the Guys Who Got Our Present Glory Hum Started 56 Years Ago. It began, as you already know, in our first day on a big league field.

First Houston MLB Game                                                

         April 10, 1962:

The Nine Man Lineup That

Played the Houston Colt .45s

1st Game and 11-2 Win over

the Chicago Cubs in Houston.


Names of Those Still Alive

On Labor Day, 9/03/2018

Are Shown in Bold Type:


Bob Aspromonte, 3B

Al Spangler, CF

Roman Mejias, RF

Norm Larker, 1B

Jim Pendleton, LF

Hal Smith, C

Joey Amalfitano, 2B

Don Buddin, SS

Bobby Shantz, P


Wrap your minds around this data, folks. ~ 1962 was 56 years ago. ~ Six of the starting nine who played the entire first game in the club’s MLB history debut are still alive in 2018 ~ including the CG starting pitcher-catcher battery. ~ What you don’t see above is that eight other players among those first season Colt .45s also have survived to see the light of day this Labor Day 2018, and enough to even put together a bedraggled and decrepit game lineup that would still be good enough to play a most improbable game against any other MLB club’s survivors from that same year ~ if there are any.

According to Baseball Almanac, 43 men played at one time or another for the original 1962 Houston Colt .45s. The survivors to this date by field position include these 14 total names:

3 of 17 Pitchers: Dave Giusti, Jim Golden and Bobby Shantz;

2 of 3 Catchers: Jim Campbell and Hal Smith;

4 of 12 Infielders: Joey Amalfitano, Bob Aspromonte, J.C. Hartman and Bob Lillis.

5 of 11 Outfielders: Roman Mejias, Dave Roberts, Al Spangler, Don Tausig and Carl Warwick.


Congratulations, Colt survivors; you are our inspiration!

Slow down, clock; we pay no heed to your desperation!

We’ve got heart! ~ Miles and miles and miles of heart!

And our Houston Big League Heart first took the field

in a game that counts on April 10, 1962.

Thanks, guys!






Here’s the Baseball Almanac link to the 1962 Houston Colt .45s roster:



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle



4 Responses to “Caps Off to the ’62 Colt .45 Survivors”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    As I recall, Bill, you were at the first Houston Colt .45s game on April 10, 1962. What are your special memories of that day?

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Contrary to broad belief, I wasn’t even in Houston that spring of 1962. I was knee-deep in grad school at Tulane in New Orleans on April 10, 1962 and had neither the time or money to come home and see them play the first spring games of the first season. There also was no TV that reached 365 miles east of Houston at that time either. I had to rely on the WDSU-TV IN NOLA to watch and see whatever it was they could show and tell me through my little black and white 14″ inch analog picture screen to get the score on the 10:00 PM news. I had to wait until the next morning to see a box score and read a few words in a purchased copy of the New Orleans Times-Picayune to get more details than the disinterested TV station’s report of the final score.

      What I read in the next morning paper is what would have pleased me most, had I been there: (1) Our Colts beat the Cubs, 11-2; (2) a fellow named Roman Mejias had two home runs in Houston’s behalf; and (3) the game had been pitched and won by one of my favorite childhood pitchers ~ little Bobby Shantz.

      Had I been there, seeing Bobby Shantz throw the first official pitch of the game to Lou Brock of the Cubs would have been my memorable moment. A number of us had been waiting for years to see that one.

  2. materene Says:

    I want to know what they are eating and drinking all these years. I just turned 70 and have a hard time putting on my shoes. The Colt 45s was a very big deal in Houston then and even youngsters such as I was experienced the happiness of many Houstonians. I along many other kids were working after school selling News Paper subscriptions for the Houston Press, the route manager in my group was an absolutely rabid 45’s fan and worn nothing but the shirts and cap sold at the games. Life then was really great, maybe that might be the secret of longevity, just be born at the right time. Finally congratulations to all these fine men, thanks for the memories.

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