HOUSTON, TX - The Astros revealed full details for the Astros Hall of Fame presented by Houston Methodist at a press conference this morning at FanFest in the Diamond Club at Minute Maid Park. Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan officially unveiled the Astros Hall of Fame jacket and renderings for the Astros Hall of Fame Alley. Bill Brown, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Dierker and Mike Acosta (Astros historian) took part in the press conference.
THE 2019 ASTROS HOF INDUCTEES
The inaugural 2019 Astros Hall of Fame induction class features the nine Astros with retired numbers, as well as the members of the Astros Walk of Fame on Texas Ave. In subsequent years, Astros Hall of Fame inductees will be determined by the Astros Hall of Fame Committee.
The 2019 inductees are as follows: Bob Aspromonte, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Jose Cruz, Larry Dierker, Gene Elston, Milo Hamilton, Joe Morgan, Joe Niekro, Shane Reynolds, J.R. Richard, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Jim Umbricht, Don Wilson and Jimmy Wynn.
HALL OF FAME ALLEY
The Astros Hall of Fame presented by Houston Methodist will be located in the Home Run Alley area of the ballpark, and will be renamed Hall of Fame Alley. The Astros Hall of Fame will be open and ready for fans to enjoy starting with the Astros exhibition games against the Pirates from March 25-26. Text and images of the Hall of Fame plaques will not be revealed until Astros Hall of Fame weekend from Aug. 2-4.
HALL OF FAME WEEKEND
Astros Hall of Fame weekend presented by Houston Methodist will take place from Aug. 2-4. All members of the inaugural class will be inducted in a pregame ceremony prior to the Astros game on Aug. 3 vs. the Seattle Mariners at 6:10 p.m. CT.
In addition, the weekend will consist of gate giveaways each night for 10,000 fans, including a replica Rainbow Shoulder Nolan Ryan Jersey, a replica HOF Plaque Monument, and a replica HOF Jacket Statue, thanks to our partners at Houston Methodist.
Full details about Hall of Fame weekend are available on Astros.com/HOF.
THE ASTROS HOF COMMITTEE
The Astros Hall of Fame Committee will convene each year to determine the members of each subsequent Astros HOF induction class. The members of the committee are Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan, Astros Manager of Authentication and Team Historian Mike Acosta, 2019 Astros HOF inductee and Special Assistant to the GM Craig Biggio, Astros Community Outreach Executive and former broadcaster Bill Brown, Astros VP of Communications Gene Dias, 2019 Astros HOF inductee Larry Dierker, President of the Houston / Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR Bob Dorrill, Astros VP of Foundation Development Marian Harper, MLB.com National Correspondent Alyson Footer, MLB.com Astros Beat Writer Brian McTaggart, and baseball and Houston historian Mike Vance.
THE 2019 ASTROS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CLASS
Please note, the text below is not what will be featured on the Hall of Fame plaques.
Bob Aspromonte (1962-67)
An original member of the Colt .45s, Bob Aspromonte was a fixture at third base for the first seven seasons of the Houston franchise from 1962-67. Affectionately known by Astros fans as "Aspro", he became the first batter in franchise history, as he hit leadoff in the first Colt .45s game played on April 10, 1962. In 1964, Aspromonte was named the Astros team MVP after batting .280 with 20 doubles, 12 home runs and a Major League-best .973 fielding percentage in 157 games at third base. Aspromonte logged 1,007 games during his seven years with Houston, including 931 games at third base. Aspromonte holds the distinction of recording the first hit, run and stolen base in franchise history.
Jeff bagwell (1991-2005)
One of two players inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of the Astros, Jeff Bagwell was one of the greatest sluggers of all-time. Over his 15 years with the Astros, Bagwell hit .297 with 488 doubles, 32 triples, 449 home runs, 1,529 RBI and a .948 OPS (.408 OBP/.540 SLG) in 2,150 games. The four-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger Award winner was the first player in Astros history to be named the MVP of his league (1994), as well as the first player to receive a Rookie of the Year Award (1991). The franchise leader in homers, walks and RBI, Bagwell was also known for his elite defense at first base, winning a Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 1994. He is the only first baseman in MLB history to record a 30-homer, 30-stolen base season, which he accomplished twice (1997, 1999). Under Bagwell's leadership, the Astros won four division titles and made the playoffs six times, reaching the National League Championship Series in 2004 and the World Series in 2005.
Craig biggio (1998-2007)
The first player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of the Astros, Craig Biggio played all 20 of his Major League seasons with the Astros. He is the only player in Astros history to reach 3,000 total hits, and is the MLB all-time leader in hit by pitches (285) and ranks third all-time in leadoff home runs (53). Biggio was named to seven All-Star teams and won five Silver Slugger Awards as the table-setter of the Astros lineup over his 20 seasons. One of the most versatile defenders in MLB history, Biggio excelled at multiple positions, winning four Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for his defensive prowess, three of which he received as a second baseman and one as a catcher. He is the only player in MLB history to win a Gold Glove Award at both catcher and second base. Biggio greatly impacted the community off the field as well with his lifelong dedication to the Sunshine Kids organization, and in 2007 he won MLB's Roberto Clemente Award for his efforts in the community.
jose cruz (1975-87)
Jose "Cheo" Cruz played 19 total seasons in the Major Leagues, including 13 seasons with the Astros where he was a fan favorite and helped lead the organization to its first appearances in the postseason. Cruz played in 1,870 games with the Astros, batting .292 with 335 doubles, a franchise-record 80 triples, 138 home runs, 942 RBI and 288 stolen bases while playing the majority of his games in the pitcher-friendly Astrodome. Cruz was a two-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner with Houston. In 1980, he finished third in the National League MVP voting after leading Houston to its first-ever division title and postseason berth. Cruz, who is currently a community outreach executive for the Astros, has held a strong presence within the organization since his playing days, as he spent 13 seasons as the Astros Major League first base coach and over a decade in the front office.
larry dierker (1964-77)
In addition to pitching 13 seasons in the Major Leagues with Houston, Larry Dierker impacted the Astros as a broadcaster, front office executive and as one of the greatest managers in franchise history. The franchise-leader in innings pitched, complete games, shutouts and starts, Dierker was a two-time All-Star during his playing days, posting a 137-117 record and a 3.28 ERA in 345 career games (320 starts) with the Astros. Dierker became the sixth manager in MLB history to lead his club to a division title in his first season, ultimately skippering the Astros to four division titles in his five seasons at the helm. In 1998, Dierker was named the NL Manager of the Year after the Astros set a then-franchise record with 102 wins. He spent 18 seasons in the broadcast booth, ultimately logging over 40 years of service to the Astros organization.
gene elston (1962-86)
Gene Elston broadcast Major League Baseball games in Houston for 25 years as the Voice of the Astros from 1962-86. He was behind the microphone for the first game in franchise history on April 10, 1962, when the Colt .45s defeated the Chicago Cubs. Elston was the first play-by-play broadcaster for the Houston franchise, and a generation of baseball fans received their introductions to both the Astros and MLB by his broadcasts. Elston broadcast baseball for 47 years, and in 2006 was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for his significant and lasting contributions to the game of baseball through his work in broadcasting.
milo hamilton (1985-2012)
Milo Hamilton, the 1992 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, broadcast Major League baseball for close to 60 years, including 28 seasons with the Astros. Hamilton was behind the mic for some of the greatest moments in Astros franchise history, including the club's National League pennant run in 2005, Craig Biggio's 3,000th hit, Nolan Ryan's 4,000th strikeout, the Astros six-pitcher no-hitter and six total postseason appearances. Hamilton's call of Chris Burke's 18th-inning, walk-off homer in the 2005 NLCS against the Cardinals has gone down as one of the most memorable calls in club history. Hamilton was also a tremendous ambassador for the Astros away from the booth, dedicating his time to numerous charitable endeavors and fundraising activities.
joe morgan (1963-71, 1980)
Before going on to win two NL MVP Awards and two World Series Championships with the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati, Joe Morgan kickstarted a Hall of Fame career with the Houston Colt .45s and Astros from 1963-71. A two-time All-Star with Houston, Morgan finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year Award voting in 1965, winning the Sporting News Rookie of the Year award after batting .271 with 22 doubles, 12 triples and 14 home runs in 157 games. Morgan came back to the Astros in 1980 and helped the club reach its first playoff berth and division title in franchise history, manning 141 games at second base while tying for the National League lead in walks (93). In total, Morgan played in 1,032 games with the Astros, and still ranks among the top five Astros all-time in triples (2nd, 63), on-base percentage (3rd, .374) and stolen bases (5th, 219).
joe niekro (1975-85)
The Astros all-time franchise leader in career wins with 144, Joe Niekro pitched in 11 seasons with the Astros as part of a 22-year career in the Majors. While the knuckleballer found moderate success prior to joining the Astros, he blossomed into a true ace with Houston. Over a seven-year stretch from 1977-83, Niekro was one of the game's elite pitchers, leading the National League in innings pitched (1,857) while ranking second in strikeouts (1,228) in that span. Niekro set a single-season franchise record for wins in 1979, going 21-11 with a 3.00 ERA while being named to the NL All-Star team. Niekro ultimately made 301 career starts for Houston, the second-most in franchise history, while his career 3.22 ERA with the club ranks fourth all-time.
shane reynolds (1992-2001)
Shane Reynolds led the Astros starting rotation during the final years of the Astrodome and the first years of Minute Maid Park, helping the Astros reach the playoffs four times in his 11 seasons with the club. An All-Star in 2000, Reynolds went 103-86 with a 3.95 ERA and 1,309 strikeouts in 274 career games (248 starts) in his Astros career. Reynolds led the NL in starts in back-to-back years from 1998-99, and eclipsed 200.0 innings pitched in three out-of-four seasons from 1996-99. He won 19 games while posting a 3.51 ERA and 209 strikeouts in 1998, propelling the Astros to a second-straight division title.
j.r. richard (1991-2005)
J.R. Richard was one of the most imposing and electrifying pitchers of his era. In 10 seasons with Houston, he went 107-71 with a 3.15 ERA, 76 complete games, 19 shutouts and 1,493 strikeouts in 238 games (221 starts). Richard won the National League ERA title in 1979 with a 2.71 mark over 38 starts while also setting a single-season franchise record for strikeouts with 313. In 1978, he became the first pitcher in franchise history to lead the Majors in strikeouts in a single season (303), and to this day is the only pitcher in franchise history to lead the Majors in strikeouts in back-to-back seasons. Richard's 1,493 strikeouts are the third-most in club history, while his career 3.15 ERA is better than all but two pitchers in club history. Richard was named to the NL All-Star team in 1980 after going 10-4 with a 1.90 ERA in 17 starts, but suffered a career-ending stroke on July 30, 1980, which ultimately derailed a career that was on track for Cooperstown.
nolan ryan (1980-88)
Major League Baseball's strikeout king spent nine seasons pitching at the top of Houston's rotation, his most among any of the four teams he played for in a 27-year career. In 282 starts with the Astros, Ryan went 106-94 with a 3.13 ERA, 1,866 strikeouts, 38 complete games and 13 shutouts. The all-time franchise leader in career strikeouts, Ryan also owns the top career ERA in Astros history. A two-time All-Star with Houston, he led the NL in both ERA (2.76) and strikeouts (270) as a 40-year-old in 1987. In 1980, his first year with Houston, he helped pitch the club to their first National League West Division title after posting a 3.35 ERA in 35 starts. Ryan tossed his fifth-career no-hitter on Sept. 26, 1981, and became MLB's all-time strikeout king on April 27, 1983. Ryan was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 and now serves as an executive advisor for the Astros.
mike scott (1983-91)
Mike Scott pitched nine seasons in a Houston uniform, tallying a 110-81 record with a 3.30 ERA and 1,318 strikeouts in 263 games (259 starts). He became the first pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in a clinching situation when he shut down San Francisco, 2-0, to help the Astros wrap up the NL West Division title on Sept. 25, 1986. Scott won the NL Cy Young Award that season after winning 18 games and leading the National League in ERA (2.22), innings pitched (275.1) and strikeouts (306). A three-time All-Star with Houston, Scott's heroics in the 1986 National League Championship Series made him the first player ever to win NLCS MVP honors while pitching for the losing team. He held the Mets to just one run in 18.0 innings across two starts in that series, both of which were wins. In 1989, Scott became the first Astros pitcher to win 20 games in a season.
jim umbricht (1962-63)
Jim Umbricht was an original member of the Houston Colt .45s after he was purchased from Pittsburgh in the 1961 National League player pool. He opened the 1962 season with the Colts and was one of the top relief pitchers in the National League, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.01 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 34 games. Umbricht was diagnosed with cancer in 1963, and made a remarkable comeback. Following a cancer operation in mid-March of 1963, Umbricht came back to the Astros and pitched in 35 games, making three starts, posting a 4-3 record with a 2.61 ERA and 48 strikeouts. Umbricht died on April 8, 1964 at the age of 33. His number, 32, was officially retired by the Astros on April 12, 1965.
don wilson (1966-74)
Don Wilson compiled a 103-92 record in nine seasons with the Astros, posting a 3.15 ERA with 78 complete games and 20 shutouts. He was named to the NL All-Star team and named the Astros Team MVP in 1971 after going 16-10 with a 2.45 ERA in 268.0 innings pitched. Wilson is the only pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a Houston uniform. On July 14, 1968, he established the franchise record for strikeouts in a single game with 18, eight of which were consecutive. He died on January 5, 1975, and his number, 40, was retired by the Astros on April 13, 1975.
JIMMY WYNN (1963-73)
Jimmy Wynn spent the first 11 years of his 15-year Major League career with Houston, the first two as a member of the Colt .45s. In 11 years with Houston, "The Toy Cannon" hit .255 with 228 doubles, 32 triples, 223 homers, 719 RBI and an .806 OPS in 1,426 games, the majority of which were played in the pitcher-friendly Astrodome. Wynn was named to the 1967 All-Star Team after clubbing 37 home runs with 107 RBI. Wynn remains an active member in the Houston community and currently works as a community outreach executive for the club.