Houston’s all-rookie lineup

This one gets trotted out every year, so why not now? On September 27, 1963, the Houston Colt .45’s started an all-rookie lineup, all age 21 or under. Here’s their box score, with age (years.days), year in MLB, career game number, and a few notes:

Batting AB R H RBI BB SO Age
(Y.D)
Year Car.
Gm#
Notes
Sonny Jackson SS 3 0 0 0 0 1 19.080 1st 1 1st batter grounded out to him; booted his 3rd chance.
First full year was ’66. Played 936 MLB games.
     Ernie Fazio 3B 1 1 0 0 1 0 21.245 2nd 113 141 career games.
Joe Morgan 2B 5 0 2 1 0 1 20.008 1st 6 Hit first XBH (triple). First full year was ’65. 2,649 games.
Jim Wynn CF 4 0 2 0 1 0 21.199 1st 68 1,920 games. Went 9-6 in SB first 2 years, then 43-4 in ’65.
Rusty Staub 1B 5 1 2 1 0 1 19.179 1st 148 Most G in a season by a teenager* (150). 2,951 games.
Aaron Pointer RF 5 0 1 0 0 1 21.161 1st 2 1st start, 1st PAs, 1st hit. Next MLB game in ’66. 40 career games.
Brock Davis LF 5 0 1 1 0 1 19.343 1st 34 Made 2 errors in this game.
Homered in 25th game, age 19; no more HR in 217 G thru age 28.
Glenn Vaughan 3B-SS 4 0 2 0 0 0 19.223 1st 7 This the only 2-hit game of his 9-game career.
Jerry Grote C 3 0 1 0 0 2 20.356 1st 3 1st hit in this game. In ’64, hit .181 in 325 PAs; worst BA since ’47
(300+ PAs). 2-time All-Star with Mets. 1,421 games.
     Dave Adlesh C 1 0 0 0 0 1 20.074 1st 5 Career .168 BA is 8th-worst with 250+ ABs. 106 games.
Jay Dahl P 0 0 0 0 0 0 17.295 1st 1 His only MLB game: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R. Last 17-year-old to appear
in a MLB game. Died in a car crash 2 years later.
     Danny Coombs P 0 0 0 0 0 0 21.188 1st 1 First 3 batters got hits off him. Had good ’70 in SDP rotation. 144 G.
     John Weekly PH 0 0 0 0 1 0 26.105 2nd 47 Hit .363 at AAA that year. 1st MLB hit was a HR. 53 games.
     Joe Hoerner P 1 1 0 0 0 0 26.319 1st 1 3 scoreless IP in debut, and scored a run. Didn’t stick until ’66, but
had a fine run from then thru ’71: 2.16 ERA, 163 ERA+ in 375 IP.
     Mike White PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 24.283 1st 3 Full name Joyner Michael White; son of Joyner Clifford (Jo-Jo) White,
Tigers CF of the ’30s. (Only other “Joyner” in MLB is Wally.) 100 G.
     Jim Dickson P 0 0 0 0 0 0 25.160 1st 12 Later traded for Eddie Kasko, starting SS of ’61 Reds. 109 games.
     Carl Warwick PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 26.212 3rd 367 2nd and last year as a regular. Acquired for Bobby Shantz. 530 G.
     Dick Drott P 0 0 0 0 0 0 27.088 7th 176 Last MLB game. #3 in 1957 ROY (15-11, 109 ERA+, age 20). 176 G.
Team Totals 39 3 11 3 3 8
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/6/2012.

Houston lost the game, 10-3, to the last-place Mets, who had dropped 12 of their past 13 games.

P.S. Two days later, in the season finale, John Paciorek — older brother of Tom, much-older brother of Jim — had the greatest 1-game career ever, with a line of 3-4-3-3, plus 2 walks.

__________

* Staub’s 150 games in ’63 is a teenage record by true age, not seasonal age. Bob Kennedy played 154 games in 1940 at seasonal age 19, but he turned 20 after 109 games. Staub was 19 the whole season.

Leave a Reply

73 Comments on "Houston’s all-rookie lineup"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Dick Drott’s nickname was Hummer.
___

Jay Dahl – the youngest age for a major leaguer to pass away (19).
Here’s an article about it:
http://www.astroland.net/in%20memory%20of%20jay%20dahl.html
___

Jim Wynn had 63.7 oWAR.
That is 73rd all time, and more than Willie Stargell.
___

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Interesting parallel – Wynn’s best season, 1969, is also tied for 73rd all-time in oWAR.
His 9.4 matches
2000 Giambi
1971 Torre
1949 J. Robinson

wlcmlc
Guest

How does Wynn’s 1969 season generate 9.4 of oWar but Stargell’s 1973 season which is substantially better only generate 7.7 of oWar?

How can Wynn have 3 oWar seasons better than Stargell’s best when Stargell clearly has better offensive stats?

bstar
Guest

My only guess is the super high amount of walks Wynn generated in 1969–148!! That led to an other-worldly .436 OBP, and Stargell didn’t reach .400. Again, just a guess but that’s the number that sticks out. WAR loves high BB/9 rates.

Timmy Pea
Guest

“I would be shocked if 10 years from now there’s not a DH in both leagues,” said one influential baseball source.
God I hope not. This was from a story on CNNSI, I won’t link it because it depresses me. I have come to accept the DH in the AL and I like the different game in different parks during inter-league play. I would have to think that all the stats guys would be against DH in both leagues. Curious to hear what others think.

Tmckelv
Guest
I was born in 1968 (started following Baseball in 1974) and have always rooted for the Yanks so the DH has always existed during that time. The DH doesn’t bother me, but watching pitchers that are a menace to themselves with the bat or on the base paths does bother me. I like the DH but don’t need for both leagues to have it. If I had to choose, I would say (out of the scenarios that could actually happen): 1) Keep it the way it is 2) DH in both leagues (remember, no one says you HAVE to use… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

One “benefit” would be that there is an extra player available for pinch-hitting duty.

Ed
Guest

The DH has been adopted pretty much everywhere except for the NL. They’re the last holdout against the Borg.

Timmy Pea
Guest

Good one Ed! I agree a hunner percent!

kds
Guest

Home team option to choose?

bstar
Guest
Hasn’t the lack of DH in the National League hurt them long-term in interleague play? Not having that roster flexibility, or let alone having that one or two guys that regularly DH and are used to the curious “I’m only batting in this game” thing. Sure, the AL’s pitchers probably aren’t quite as good at hitting and bunting, but I think that effect is lesser than the DH advantage for the AL. All-time AL is 1,937-1773. So, AL is at .522 and NL is at .478. Is this statistically enough to prove my point? I did find a good article… Read more »
bstar
Guest

I have seen the stats overall for DH’s for both leagues, I just can’t find them right now. The AL has definitely outperformed the NL at DH, but yeah there are many other factors involved. I guess the AL being better got a tad more lopsided this offseason with Prince and Pujols moving there.

bstar
Guest

The difference in interleague play, IIRC, seemed to be a little bigger than that. I’ll see if I can find it somewhere.

Timmy Pea
Guest

I don’t think the fact that pitchers strike out a lot and occasionally look bad on the bases is a big deal. I like the strategy of laying down the bunt and the pitchers that actually can hit give themselves a great advantage. I know the DH isn’t going away, it’s used in college and high school where they don’t even need it.

MikeD
Guest
I started watching baseball in the early 70s, fan of an AL team. I never want to see pitchers with a bat in their hands. Ever. That said, I really don’t have a problem with the two leagues having different rules, probably because I grew up in that environment, so it’s the norm. That’s why I find it funny that the media will sometimes refer to those who are against the DH as “traditionalists,” yet tradition is constantly changing. Someone watching AL teams for 40 years views the DH as part of his/her baseball tradition, just as fans of NL… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
If the DH is now being used at every level, starting in grade school, it is absurd to ask pitchers to arrive in the bigs and stand in the box. Look at the case of Burnett: 21 PA since 2005 A total of 16 PA in the minors right before he got called up to pitch (and hit) in 1999. Don’t know if he hit at Central Arkansas Christian. Great athlete? Of course. That doesn’t mean that he is prepared to step in against the best pitchers on the planet. And not only step in, but turn and square his… Read more »
MikeD
Guest
Right. That just compounds the problem. Pitchers are not only good athletes, they are usually the best athletes on the teams growing up. That eventually changes as they move to more challenging leagues, either staying at pitcher or becoming a position player. Yet it’s still not entirely uncommon for a player to be drafted by MLB teams showing skills as as a pitcher and a position player (Casey Kelly one recent example), but their MLB teams will make a determination on where their skills fit best. The point is that no matter when it happens, eventually players become either position… Read more »
Ed
Guest

I give you Josh Tomlin. 2-2 so far as a hitter despite having no at bats in the minors and probably none in college either.

Doug
Guest

Lack of preparation doesn’t seem to have hurt Zach Britton of the Orioles.

8 big-league PAs, 5 hits including a double, a HR and 2 RBI. Has played 3 games in his career (all inter-league), and has one or more hits in each one.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Maybe this is the secret of Britton’s success:

During his only year at Canyon High School,[2] he spent two days in intensive care when he sustained fractures of the skull and clavicle and bleeding in the brain as a result of diving headfirst into concrete while attempting to catch a foul popup during baseball practice with the freshman squad.

Doug
Guest

I’m surprised to learn that, just since 1990, pitchers have had no fewer than 70 hitting streaks of 5 games or more (counting only games with an AB).

Livan Hernandez and Mike Hampton each have 4 such streaks, and Carlos Zambrano, Dontrelle Willis and Doug Drabek all have 3. Zambrano has the longest streak in this period – 13 games with 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1.265 OPS. Heck, even Roy Halladay has one of these streaks (5 singles).

Timmy Pea
Guest

I think the Burnett deal was a fluke. Yes pitchers strike out a lot and often look stupid at the plate, but I’d challenge you to come up with some numbers that say pitchers get hurt at the plate more than hitters because they don’t get enough practice. Zambrano hurt himself legging out a bunt a few years ago, and everyone was all up in arms about how he hustles too much. But Z springs off that mound many times during a game with the same risk of pulling a muscle.

Timmy Pea
Guest

I would like to spill bourbon on the Fox and Friends hostess. If I was sitting next to her I would order a Jack neat and lean over like I was listening to her and then I’d spill on her lap. I wouldn’t touch her like I was mopping it up even though with most non-celebrity aging babes in town I do. Just the thought of premium bourbon or scotch soaking her clothes makes me happy, if you know what I mean.

oneblankspace
Guest
Currently in the minor leagues, if either team is an affiliate of an AL team, the DH is used. I suspect that twist may come to the majors soon. The NL lost Fielder and Pujols to the AL this offseason; some have suggested it was so they could finish their careers as DHs. In the case of Hank Aaron, 201 of his 222 games with the Brewers (and all 22 of his HR) were as a DH. Of all the professional adult leagues in the world, only the NL and one of the Japanese leagues does not use a DH.… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

As I have proudly stated many times before, I attended the game at Connie Mack Stadium when Astros’ catcher Dave Adlesh slugged his sole ML homer. Went with the local little league…on another little league trip, saw 3 HR’s by Braves’ catcher Bob Tillman. I guess it was career day when we attended 🙂

Tmckelv
Guest
With Wynn, Staub, Grote, and Morgan, that is a nice core. The 1971 Astros team was really on the cusp of something great. They should have held onto Staub at 1B and not traded Joe Morgan. The rest of the lienup was solid – Roger Metzger, Doug Rader, Bob Watson, Cesar Cedeno, Jimmy Wynn and Johnny Edwards (not sure if Grote would have helped, but they did give him to the Mets for nothing). The pitching was coming around too, with Don Wilson, Ken Forsch, Larry Dierker, and a 21-year old J.R. Richard. Note: in my scenario above, the Astros… Read more »
Ed
Guest

They also had Cesar Geronimo (who they included in the Morgan trade to the Reds) and John Mayberry (who they gave away to the Royals).

bstar
Guest

Your last question, Tmckelv, is the most important. Sadly, I still somehow say yes.

Paul E
Guest

Pat Gillick made a career of NOT making trades like that and took it to the Hall of Fame. He may have developed great farm systems and scouting, but he sure didn’t appear to want to go out on a limb to make trades

I believe the 1972 Astros moved Wynn to RF and the entire team had a good year offensively and ended up .500 – which was light years of improvement over the first ten years of the franchise

Doug
Guest

“In ’64, [Jerry Grote] hit .181 in 325 PAs; worst BA since ’47”

Must have started a fad. Worse BAs than that in 300+ PAs occurred 11 times in 11 years (1967-77), including such notables as:

– Clay Dalrymple, 1967
– Elston Howard, 1967
– George Scott, 1968
– Al Weis, 1968
– Dal Maxvill, 1969
– Dave Roberts, 1974
– Deron Johnson, 1974
– Bud Harrelson, 1977

TheGoof
Guest

Remember this game?
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN199909110.shtml
Check out that lineup! No wonder he no-no’d them.
DaVanon’s second career game. One of 12 career games for Hemphill. Rookie Durrington. A batch of no-names and just one real regular in his first full season.

Hartvig
Guest
I watched Todd Greene take batting practice before a game in Milwaukee in what must have been 1999, because Mo Vaughn was also playing. I don’t recall ever seeing a player make contact like that. Almost every time he made contact it was an absolute laser beam and about half of them made it into the stands. I have to admit that I’ve only seen major league teams take most of their batting practice maybe a dozen times or so but I’ve seen it in the minors more times than I can count plus several of the All-Star game home… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

H-vig:
….or maybe even the next Brian Harper. Both of them raked in the minors and, if I remember correctly, both were Angels draftees. I fremember seeing old issues of the Sporting News and being amazed at the ridiculous numbers guys would put up in the Texas League….

Hartvig
Guest
I thought for a brief moment that I had probably seen Harper play when he was with the Quad Cities but that was a couple years before I had moved there. I did see him a few times when he was with the Twins. For reasons I cannot explain, the teams catcher is almost always my favorite minor league player. I’ve seen a few that I thought were good enough to make it someday but for one reason or another none have ever had more than a cup of coffee. I’m sure I’ve seen a few catchers from visiting teams… Read more »
MikeD
Guest
The trio of Morgan, Wynn and Staub was quite a solid foundation. Wynn never did quite escape the AstroDome until near the end of his career, with only a couple of solid seasons left in him. I clicked on Staub’s B-R page for a quick review, and two things occurred to me. Perhaps they had in the past and I forgotten. First, I immediately thought of Harold Baines, so it wasn’t too surprising when I clicked to the bottom of the page and noticed Baines was #3 on Staub’s similarity score. Yet I have heard some people argue for Baines… Read more »
Ingrid's Angel
Guest
Pardon me for being a bit late to the party (and for reading for all these years, but not posting), but had to chime in, as I often wind up thinking about this game – and it was played nearly 12 years before I was born. It’s easy to look at the box score and focus on some of the more notable names in the lineup. There’s guys like Jimmy Wynn and Rusty Staub, members of the Hall Of Very Good. There’s guys like Sonny Jackson, who had long careers. Of course, there is Joe Morgan. And we certainly can’t… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest

Great story.

And the Pointers Sisters connection was news to me as well.

Learn something new every day.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

#71/John A.,
I might agree with you somewhat if Perez played third base regularly after 1971, but he NEVER played third base again, ever. Rightly or wrongly, management collectively decided that Tony Perez wasn’t good enough to play third base, and 1971 was the last stop on the transition to first base.

wpDiscuz