Baseball really is a crazy game sometimes. Do you know who led the 1962 Houston Colt .45's in home runs, RBIs, runs scored, hits, batting average and stolen bases? Yes and no, right? The name in the title above gives it away, but it's probably not someone you're terribly familiar with, unless you happened to be following the team around that time.
Roman Mejias was easily the biggest star for that inaugural Houston team. He was one of the best players on it, played right field and was a mature ball player in his Age 31 season. Mejias should have anchored that outfield for years to come, ushering in Jimmy Wynn and all the rest.
Roman Mejias never got that luxury, because Roman Mejias spent exactly one season with the Houston franchise. It was a glorious star, burning through the baseball sky before falling to the Boston Red Sox in a trade.
Well, you say to yourself, those building pre-Astros teams needed to sell off older players to get younger prospects in return. They needed to maximize their depth by trading away older players and getting something in return. In essence, he's an example of what some of us have been preaching about Jed Lowrie.
The comparison goes deeper, as Mejias was never a starter before coming to Houston in '62, like Lowrie. Oh, and he was also involved in a trade with the Boston Red Sox, but not in the same way as Lowrie was.
See, Mejia was shipped to Boston after dazzling the Houston world in November of '62...for Pete Runnels, 35-year old first baseman.
Roman Mejias got exactly one season as an every day player and hit .286/.326/.445 with 24 home runs. He had a .311 average with 19 homers at the all-star break, but an injury in the season's second half tailed off his production.
After the Boston trade, he was never really a big star and failed to play everyday again.
In essence, Roman Mejias got one half-season in the sun when everything clicked right for the Cuban-born right fielder. And then it all went away.
I told you baseball was a crazy game.