On this day, 21 years ago, Houston got beat by the Giants 8-4 at the Astrodome.
It was a game where Ken Caminiti went 0 for 4 and Craig Biggio was 1 for 4 with a run scored. Mike Scott started for Houston, allowing 11 hits and four runs (three earned) in seven innings of work while Juan Agosto gave up three more runs in relief to take the loss.
This game was really not that interesting, but it caught my eye for one reason. The leading Houston hitter? Right fielder Glenn Wilson. He only played in the league 10 years and only in Houston for 500 plate appearances over parts of two seasons. Wilson didn't stand out in Houston because of his contributions or his star status. He didn't get traded for a big name...well, he sort of did.
Wilson was born in Baytown, went to high school in Channelview and college at Sam Houston State. He couldn't get more invested in the Houston area unless he went to Rice of U of H. Wilson was drafted by Detroit in the first round (18th overall!) and made the majors two years after being drafted.
He only spent two seasons in Detroit before being traded for the first of four times in his career, going to Philadelphia for Dave Bergman and Willie Hernandez. He made his only All-Star appearance in '85 with Philly, largely based on his 102 RBIs, which also may explain why he ended up 23rd in the MVP voting that season.
He ended up in Houston in '89 after the Astros traded Billy Hatcher for him. You may remember Hatcher from that 16 inning Game 7 in the '86 NLCS. Hatcher never grabbed more of a spotlight than he did that season, but it was still a bit of a blow for the Astros to trade a 28-year old like him for a 30-year old like Wilson.
Looking back on it (and not having the context), it seems like the quintissential challenge trade, trying to see if Wilson would regain that All-Star form. He lasted 500 plate appearances, but he did hit 10 home runs in '90. After that season, he left in free agency for Atlanta, but didn't play with the Braves and didn't play in the majors until two years later.
The reason Wilson stuck out for me is a baseball card. The two seasons when he was a member of the Astros were right in my wheelhouse of collecting cards and Wilson had some doozies. For one, I was always struck by his glasses. I didn't see many baseball players on these cards with glasses, so he stuck out to me. Specifically, it was this Topps card here that I will always associate with Wilson. For that reason, this game got written up, because Wilson went 3 for 4 with a double and two runs scored in the losing effort.
Here is the graphic replay of the game, thanks to Back to Baseball.