The stars come out to celebrate the Astros/Colt .45s big birthday.

Two former Colt .45s: Jimmy Wynn and Bob Aspromonte

It’s probably a good thing that the Colt .45s changed their name to the Astros after three years, if only because “Aspro the Colt” just doesn’t have the same cool ring to it as “Aspro the Astro.”

Bob Aspromonte, an original Colt .45 and an original Astro, was in uniform as the starting third baseman 50 years ago when Major League Baseball was born in Houston. It’s only fitting that he was the guest of honor for a slew of activities on Tuesday, the exact 50th anniversary of the first game the Colt .45s played as a National League franchise.

Aspromonte headlined the introduction of the Astros new Walk of Fame, recently installed on the sidewalk of Texas Ave. near Crawford St. The original inductees include Aspromonte, all of the Astros retired numbers (Jim Umbricht, Don Wilson, Jose Cruz, Mike Scott, Nolan Ryan, Larry Dierker, Jimmy Wynn, Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio), plus broadcasters Gene Elston and Milo Hamilton.

Aspromonte was voted by a panel of experts as the best Houston player of the 1960s. The Astros will unveil the best player from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s on a month-by-month basis beginning in May and their names to the Walk of Fame.

Video from the Walk of Fame induction:

Photo album:

Aspromonte, Dierker, Cruuuuuuz

Aspromonte spoke glowingly of the Astrodome, which opened in 1965. It was obviously a gigantic step up from the old Colt Stadium, where Aspro played the first three years of his Houston baseball career.

Cruz next to his Walk of Fame plaque

Group shot: front: Elston, Wynn. Back: Cruz, Aspromonte, Dierker, Hamilton.

Aspromonte's Walk of Fame plaque

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Houston franchise, the Astros wore the Colt .45s jerseys during their game with the Braves. The club also honored several living members of that inaugural team that began a new era of baseball on April 10, 1962: Carl Warwick, Hal Smith, Al Spangler, Bob Bruce and Aspromonte. Also introduced: Rick Cagney, one of the original bat boys for the 1962 team; Elston, the first broadcaster for the ’45s, and Rene Cardenas, who broadcast both Colt .45s and Astros games in Spanish.

Warwick, Smith, Spangler, Bruce, Aspromonte, Cagney

Cardenas

Brad Mills greets Aspromonte and the Colt .45s alumni before the ceremonial first pitch.

Aspromonte throws the pitch. It was indeed a strike.

______________

Upon entering the clubhouse earlier in the day, players were sized for their Colt .45s cap that they were to wear during the game (they’ll wear the same uniforms on April 20 on the first official Flashback Friday). They also were given a sneak peek at the stirrups the Colt .45s wore 50 years ago.

I’m sure these strirrups were innovative and super-hip in the 1960s, but today, they’re a little funky. Judging from the players’ continued willingness to keep wearing the high socks, though, you have to assume funky can still be a good thing, even today.

Lucas Harrell was digging his stirrups.

Jose Altuve

Junction Jack

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9 Comments

It’s great to see the Astros/Colt .45 alumni being honored. While we don’t have the 27 championships of the Bronx, or the Green Monster at Fenway, we can celebrate the memories of players that put on the team colors, and how they continue to represent the class of this organization. And for those who complain about the rebuilding of this franchise…I hope to be laughing at them in the next 50 years (hopefully with season tickets in hand).

Has Jimmy Wynn suffered a stroke? I haven’t seen him much in public, and the pictures you posted are of him walking with a cane. By the way…….BEST. PICTURES. EVER.!!! Thanks! Becky:) :) :)

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Love the Colt .45 Jerseys. Can’t wait to come back home to Houston and see the Walk of Fame

WOW! This Truly is going to be a Fun and Memorable Year for the Astros! First a SUPER Opening Day Celebration Party and these type of Ceremonies and Tributes. I am soooo upset I missed this game because of a long time ago prior committment I couldn’t get out of. Alyson Thanks for sharing and informing of whos scheduled when. See ya at the next one, Bob Droubi

Sort of wish they could honor Lowell Passe as well. He was there in the beginning with Gene if I recall. Any reason why they didn’t?

Awesome. Those uniforms are the best. I’m glad that MLB reversed their decision and allowed the original jersey with the six-shooter to be worn. It was fun watching the game last night and seeing those jerseys on the field. That was a nice surprise. I had thought they’d only be worn for two Flashback Fridays. I especially liked how Altuve wore the stirrups like they are supposed to be worn. Enough of the baggy clown pants look. I also liked how the back of the jerseys didn’t have names on them. Very clean and crisp. Good job Astros.

Pingback: Last Night In Baseball: The Houston Colt .45s | NotGraphs Baseball

I LOVE the Colts uniforms. I wish we would be renamed the Colt 45′s again, I am so tired of the naysayers “lastros” comments we have had to endure over the years, even during all those winning seasons. Way to go COLTS management, great job on the uniforms!!

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