It's unfortunate that this list (and this entry) has to come up this week, when the main reason it's getting written is facing trial on perjury charges. But, there was more to that 1986 season than meets the eye. Let's walk through the sixth-best All-Star moment in franchise history.
I contemplated flip-flopping this entry with J.R.'s start, simply because Richard was so much more iconic. However, it was a big deal that Clemens, who was a star at San Jacinto and then for Texas, came home to big-time praise and actually delivered.
Clemens won the MVP of this game, starting for the American League and throwing three scoreless innings, striking out two while retiring the side...that's right, nine straight outs. He even got one of three Astros participants (Kevin Bass) to ground out to second baseman Lou Whitaker as his ninth and final batter.
Mike Scott pitched for the NL side, in easily his most iconic season. Scotty struck out two, but gave up the game's pivotal home run, a solo blast by Frank White that gave the AL a 3-0 lead in a game that finished at 3-2. Oh, Glenn Davis also got into this game, but fouled out to Brook Jacoby in his only at-bat.
So, we've got three Astros in the game, a Houston favorite in Clemens winning the MVP and the game was held in the Astrodome, during the team's best season to that point. Oh, and Doc Gooden started for the National League and was outdueled by Clemens. That'd be the same Gooden who'd face down Scott and the Astros in the NLCS a few months later.
Basically, anything connected to the '86 season deserves mention, but being the second and final All-Star game in the 'Dome deserves mention here. I realize J.R.'s start probably deserves this spot, but it's my list. Make your own if you don't like it.
Can I also add that Charlie Hough, knuckleballer extraordinaire, was also in this game, along with a host of Hall of Famers, including Mike Schmidt, Gary Carter, Ozzie Smith, Tony Gwynn, Ryne Sandberg, Kirby Puckett, Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken, Dave Winfield, Harold Baines and *ahem* Jim Rice. And yet, this game didn't come close to the talent in that '68 game we mentioned a few times past on this list. Add in a great, great broadcaster in Mike Krukow and this was still a pretty good collection of talent.
Next up, we'll delve into the very beginnings of the franchise for the midpoint on our list. Do you know who the first Astros All-Star was?