Sorry for the delay in getting this posted...I've been running behind today. We open up the top half of this countdown to the top moment in Houston Astros history in the All-Star Game. Today, we're at No. 5 when the first player in franchise history made an appearance in the Midsummer Classic.
That player was Turk Farrell, who was selected to both All-Star games that season. There was a four-year period where Major League Baseball decided to hold two All-Star games each season. In '62, the first year of the Houston franchise, they held one on July 10 and July 30. Farrell didn't play in the first game but did make it into the second.
For those of you not familiar with him, Farrell was a 28-year old journeyman reliever before joining the Colt '45's in '62. He had pitched strictly out of the bullpen in his previous six major league seasons. He started 29 games for the Colt '45's that season, finishing with a 3.02 ERA, 203 strikeouts in 241 2/3 innings and a 2.81 FIP with a 124 ERA+.
Farrell entered the second All-Star Game in the top of the seventh, relieving Bob Gibson. He opened with a bang, striking out Hank Aguirre. He then walked Brooks Robinson before giving up a single to Billy Moran, putting men on first and second. Roger Maris then grounded out to second base, getting Moran on a force at second, but letting Robinson move up to third.
That set up Rocky Colavito's three-run home run that gave the AL All-Stars a 7-1 lead. Farrell then gave up a single to Jim Gentile before striking out Elston Howard to end the inning. It was the first of three All-Star appearances for Farrell with the Houston franchise and his fourth total All-Star appearance. Farrell pitched for six seasons with Houston and 1,000 innings.
His story ended just as sadly as J.R. Richard's, though not as quickly. Farrell retired after the 1969 season and was killed eight years later at the age of 43 in an auto accident in England. He was maybe the first star player for the young Houston franchise and deserved a high place on this list.
Watch this weekend for a couple more posts on this list, including the most All-Stars in Astros history.