Astros’ Hall of Fame: Today, tomorrow and beyond


The Astros have just announced that they will be starting what many clubs already have, a team Hall of Fame.

The team will start off with what can only be called a huge inaugural class of 16 individuals. This includes those players, who have had their numbers retired – Nolan Ryan, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Jimmy Wynn, Jose Cruz, Mike Scott, Larry Dierker, Don Wilson and Jim Umbricht — and those individuals (former players and broadcasters) who have been honored on the Astros’ Walk of Fame – Joe Morgan, Bob Aspromonte, Joe Niekro, J.R. Richard, Shane Reynolds, Gene Elston and Milo Hamilton.

Some of those named will undoubtedly create arguments. Aspromonte was a solid, unspectacular third sacker. Shane Reynolds was good, not great. Umbricht is on the list because he died of cancer while active. Some folks may say that Hamilton is no Elston and is there only because of longevity. But beyond these folks…..who should be considered for the next class? Assuming the people listed have to be retired or gone from the organization…..

  • Lance Berkman. Easily the best player not listed. For his Astros career, he ranked high with a .296 BA (4th among Astros), .410 OBP (1st), .959 OPS (1st), 326 HRs (2nd), 1090 RBIs (3rd) and 1008 Runs (3rd). And of top Astros, he was a clutch post-season performer.
  • Cesar Cedeno. From an era and a stadium, where hitting stats were depressed, he still has solid career numbers among Astros. 487 SBs (1st), .289 BA (7th), 890 runs (4th), 163 HRs (6th) and 778 RBIs (6th). Due to his conviction on involuntary manslaughter that took his mistress’s life, he will never be in this HOF.
  • Bob Watson. He too still ranks high in many career numbers despite playing in a much more “dead” ball era in a huge cavern of a ball park. .297 BA (T-2nd), .364 OBP (7th), .808 (10th), 640 runs (9th), 139 HRs (7th) and 782 RBIs (5th). He also was the second African American GM, when he served the Astros in that capacity.
  • Billy Wagner. Wagner was one of the top closers in the game and arguably the best the Astros ever sent out there. As an Astro – 225 saves (1st), 2.53 ERA (T-3rd), 464 Games (2nd), 1.04 WHIP (1st) and saved 86% of his save opportunities.
  • Roger Clemens. In his relatively short time with the Astros he was 38W 18 L with a 2.40 ERA. That career ERA is the lowest among ALL pitchers for the Astros including the relievers. His 1.07 WHIP is 2nd to Wagner. I mis-remember why he might not make it into the Astros’ HOF……oh, yeah.
  • Dave Smith. Probably the number 2 closer for the Astros all-time (sorry Brad Lidge and Ken Giles). 563 games (1st), 199 saves (2nd), 2.53 ERA (T-3rd), and he saved 81% of his save opportunities.
  • Roy Oswalt. The Wizard of Os, was one of the best at squeezing out wins in Astros history. His 143 wins were one behind Niekro. His ERA of 3.24 was 8th among starters and considering he was pitching in the wild and woolly days of mis-remembering that is a heck of a good number. He was also a go-to clutch guy in the post-season.

There are other folks, who could be considered here whether it is Mike Scott, Ken Forsch or Darryl Kile and Ken Caminiti.

Questions for you…

  1. Anyone who has been announced to be in the Hall that you don’t think should be in there?
  2. Who on my list should have the next shot at a spot?
  3. Anyone else not mentioned you think should be considered?
  4. How about non-players like Bill Virdon or Drayton McLane?
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41 comments on “Astros’ Hall of Fame: Today, tomorrow and beyond

  1. I think Mike Scott and Roy Hofheinz should be seriously considered for the Astros HOF. It would be very hard for anyone to duplicate Scott’s contribution to Astros’ history and Hofheinz changed the entire world of sports with his vision and completion of the first indoor stadium with The Dome.

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    • I should have definitely had Hofheinz on there for both his role in bringing MLB to Houston and for the Dome. Heck I loved Astroworld in its younger days too.
      Yeah – probably should have moved Mike Scott on here. He was very good to excellent for 5 of his years here and threw the most iconic no-no in club history.

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      • Doubt Hofheinz will get many HofF votes from the Old Heads in Arlington. When he started Astroworld, he hired several of the #2 men in various departments at Six Flags. Paid them what their bosses were making at Six Flags. At the end of the first year, fired them all. If your career choice back then was “amusement parks” – you had a short list of future employers.

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  2. By the way if you are interested, Rogelio Armenteros had a very good stint in the Dominican Winter League. He was the best starting pitcher on his team. His numbers there can be found on his stat page at Baseball Reference.

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  3. Rogelio would be starting for quite a few ML clubs this year. Will he be held on to for depth, or will he part of a trade that brings an already established arm to the rotation? I think he’ll be successful somewhere someday.

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  4. As to Aspromonte, Sport magazine wrote an article back then about the most “clutch hitters” in important game situations. He was a top rated hitter by other teams, while on the lowly Colt 45s or maybe early Astros. His supporting cast was very poor.

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    • ac –
      Granted it was a different time for hitters and the Astros were pretty bad back then – but he hit better for the Astros than anyone else and not that great overall. And he was one of the guys I liked a lot, but I think Doug Rader was better as a 3B – field and batting.
      Aspro
      Astros – 7 years .258 BA/ .313 OBP/ .658 OPS 51 HRs / 358 RBIs
      Dodgers – small sample over 2 seasons – .211/.244/.516 1 HR/8 RBIs
      Braves – 2 seasons – .237/.295/.600 3 HRS/ 31 RBIs
      Mets – 1 season – .225/.285/.586 5 HRs / 33 RBIs

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      • OP he was absolutely one of my favorites from when I was a fan in the 60’s, but he was not a HOF hitter for the Astros. I don’t think he is hurting otherwise – if I remember correctly, he was the main distributor for Coors in Houston back when they first came here

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      • given who he had around him, i think aspromonte deserves consideration. he made those around him better and was a steadying influence on the the team, somewhat like bagwell.

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  5. I like your list and look forward to seeing all those players enshrined one day. I hope the broadcasters get a bit more credit moving forward though. Those guys really sold the game/team to us fans who had no television options.

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  6. *How good can Alex Bregman be with two healthy arms?
    * Round Rock sold out for the Caravan Celebration yesterday.
    *Astros Fanfest is sold out in Houston.
    *Baseball America will have 5 Astros on their Top 100 prospect list today. That’s two more than last year’s list.
    *Like seeing Akeem Bostick on that Spring Training invite list, as Dan mentioned. Gosh, it seems like forever since we got him in the Carlos Corporan trade.
    * Quoting Reid Ryan yesterday, according to the Austin Statesman: “We think this is a year to showcase a lot of that young pitching talent.”
    *Voter’s reluctance to add guys like Mussina, Martinez and a bunch of the cheaters in years past, cost Berkman and Oswalt a chance to stay on the ballot in the coming years. Too many choices for the new breed of voters, although I don’t think Berkman and Oswalt had HOF credentials. They do merit consideration for Astros HOF, though.

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  7. From the HOF to our Minor leaguers:
    Baseball America put out their top 100 Prospects list today and, of course, I don’t have access to it. But TCB gave us the Astros guys on that list.
    #5 is 21 year old RHP Forrest Whitley
    #12 is 22 year old OF Kyle Tucker
    #34 is 21 year old OF Yordan Alvarez
    #77 is 25 year old RHP Josh James
    #78 is 23 year old RHP Corbin Martin
    So, in this ranking system’s eyes, Whitley has caught and passed Tucker.
    The New York Yankees do not have a player on this Top 100 Prospects list.
    Could find no info on if there were any Bosox on this list. If there is, nobody on Boston websites are talking about it.
    The Cubs have one prospect on this list.
    Seattle had 4
    Oakland had 3
    Dodgers had 5
    Braves had 8
    Blue Jays had 8
    Padres had 9

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    • This is way off base. But I can remember when they talked about cable TV was coming. The selling point was “it would have no commercials.” Today, we pay $50-100-200 a month to watch cable TV that has 20 minutes of commercials every hour. WE PAY TO WATCH COMMERCIALS. Bill Gates started us having to pay for software. Then we got the Internet content for free. Now if you want to see anything or read anything that is of value (except for Chipalatta) you have to subscribe and pay. At some point in everyone’s life, if you live long enough, you have to decide if you want to SEE the Astros, or if you want to READ about the Astros, you have to make a choice. My granddaughter sees nothing unusual with paying $600 a month for her phone, Internet, cable package. I am way too old to be comfortable paying 1/3 as much. (I am now descending the soapbox)

      Liked by 1 person

      • And while I am at it, not only do we not have to pay for Chipalatta (and thanks again you guys), we don’t have those annoying pop up ads telling us about men’s diapers, a trip to Pago Pago, houses selling in your area for %1 million. etc. Thanks to Chip, Brian, and Dan.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. Let’s see – what have we found out….
    – According to Becky – Aspromonte, also As promote in auto-incorrect world belongs in the Astros HOF because he was hot.
    – Raodthriller likes 4 of Dan P’s picks to get in later
    – AC45 brings up a real interesting guy in Turk Farrell. In the very earliest days of the franchise, he was a guy who pitched with little support. 53-64 with a 3.42 ERA. When’s the last time you saw a guy with 20 losses make the All Star team – but when’s the last time you saw a guy with 20 losses with a 3.02 ERA? He was the Astros lone rep on the AS team 3 out of 4 teams, but played for a team that did not score a lot of runs. He was also not fortunate in life, dying in a car accident in England at 43.
    – Kevin goes with the fun/ridiculous Conger and his Conga dance
    – Le Grande Orange from rj had better numbers than Aspro in his short time with the team at a very tender age
    – old pro reminds us that the front office has built a beast of a contender without draining the top prospects from the system.
    – And AC45 praises our content at no cost and no ads. OK – now we’ve sucked you in here it’s time to sell out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey – if I ever got to the point that I needed to get paid to do this – shoot me. I do this for love of the game (Hmmm – good movie title), love of the Astros and love of the other nut cases that love this team so much.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Here in the Tar Heel State, I keep reminding people that Spring Training is only 3 weeks away and my beloved Astros are ready to take back the WS Trophy. Some understand, but others look and say that I’m almost obsessed. I say I am and say thank you for noticing. So I’m also one of those nut cases. Thanks for all you and others do!

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I have to give these guys an A for effort
    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/01/trying-to-identify-mystery-teams-for-manny-machado.html
    Things are so slow that they expend tremendous effort in trying to identify the “mystery” team(s) that may be in on Manny Machado. The part that gets me is that it is a lot of effort for something that may be just an agent’s (imagination) (lying) (wishful thinking) in conjuring up another suitor to drive the price up.

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  10. I enjoyed reading that article, Dan, because they gave a reason for every team to be in or out, based on where that team is in their individual circumstances. I like it when it’s put out there with reasoning.
    I also think the article on Dallas Keuchel and the Astros on MLBTR has some merit. I believe the Astros would love to have him resign at a figure they believeis affordable for them and for a number of years they believe they could pay him before their core becomes too expensive to consider resigning.

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  11. No problem, Dan.
    Pollock has agreed to sign with the Dodgers. I expect LA will try to trade Pederson. Whether he goes in a separate deal or in the next deal they make with the Marlins for Realmuto is to be seen.
    Could be that the Marlins get Pederson, plus one of the big catching prospects the Dodgers have and a couple more prospects in a deal.

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  12. That Pollock signing is an interesting one. Basically 5 years $60 million or so. Here is a guy who is 31 y.o. Has shown decent power and hitting stats. But since his debut his year by year games played has been
    137
    75
    157
    12
    112
    113

    That seems like a lot to give somebody who may or may not stay healthy for you.

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    • They must really love this guy. Only 32 years old. Retired from playing and then coached at Buies Creek (A+ ball) one season. Immediately went and managed Quad Cities (A ball) for one season and jumps up to AAA the next.
      What do you think the chances are he has fully embraced the advance analytics of this organization?
      He’s two years younger than Yuli, three years younger than JV.
      As OP says along with 29 major league games (26 with the Astros) he pitched with like 11 different minor league teams, plus Mexican and Venezuelan ball and Arizona fall league.

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  13. Baseball Prospectus has released their Top 101 Prospects list and here it is:
    https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/46653/2019-prospects-the-top-101/
    Corbin Martin is not on the list, although Baseball America had him at #78.
    But, JB Bukauskas is #80 for BP.
    Look who is #101! I had to laugh at this. With all of the minor league stars working like crazy to get to the majors, why would you add this guy in at 101. What a slap in the face to so many players.

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    • Well yeah Kyler Murray should not be on the list ahead of guys who are already playing in the minors, but he’s also not Tim Tebow. He was a very good player in college last year – hit just below .300 BA and / .400 OBP and a OPS well over .900. The baseball prospectus guys are just trying to push a little controversy
      He is so small, it is hard to see him making it in the NFL, so we may see him in a few years turn to baseball (I’m assuming he will go NFL first where he can go directly to the bigs).

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