This Day In Astros History: April 30-May 1, 1969

Forgive me for breaking the rules a bit with this post. The day in question didn't happen today all those years ago, but happened over the weekend. Hearken back to 1969 with me, when the Astros were still in their infancy.

On April 30, Cincinnati Reds starter Jim Maloney threw a no-hitter against Houston, allowing five walks while striking out 13. The Reds scored 10 runs to beat Houston 10-0 with Maloney himself chipping in a double and Bobby Tolan going 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs for the Reds.

On May 1, with the Astros at 4-20 on the season, Don Wilson threw his second career no-hitter and the third no-hitter in franchise history. Wilson struck out 13 of his own while walking six. The Astros won 4-0 with Doug Rader adding a home run at Crosley Field and Curt Blefary and Denis Menke each going 2 for 3. Wilson had just thrown his first career no-no two years previously and is still the only pitcher in team history to record two no-hitters.

Houston was not a good baseball team in 1969, the year of the Miracle Mets. But, the Astros were good enough to finish at .500 for the first time in franchise history. Wilson, 24 at the time, was a big part of that, going 16-12 with a high 4.00 ERA and 235 strikeouts in 225 innings. Wilson and a 22-year old Larry Dierker (who won 20 games that season) teamed up to front a very impressive rotation. Dierker even topped 300 innings that season while Jimmy Wynn and Joe Morgan led the way offensively.

Sadly, this team didn't last long. Morgan only stayed with the team for two more seasons, Wynn four and Wilson five. Only Wilson and Wynn were around in 1972 to see the Astros record their first winning season in franchise history. That one weekend, however, will always remain in major league history, when two teams traded no hitters on consecutive days.

Here is the replay of Wilson's no-hitter, thanks to Back to Baseball.

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