Remembering The Late, Great Don Wilson – VIDEO
With the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game schedule for tonight, I thought it might be a good time to go back and remember a Louisiana native, who represented the Houston Astros in an All-Star Game from the early 70's.
I'm referring to the late, great Don Wilson, who had his life cut far too short.
The 1974 MLB All-Star Game, which I will get to, has kind of special meaning to me, because it's one of my earliest memories of watching a sporting event. Granted, my memories are vague, because I was only 4-years old, but I do have at least some memory of the game, and seeing Wilson pitch.
Wilson, who was born in Monroe in 1945, although he was brought up in California, made his first appearance for the Houston Astros in 1966.
Over the span of the next nine years, Wilson went 104-92, with a 3.15 ERA. for the Astros, including two no-hitters. He no-hit the Braves, 2-0, in 1967, becoming the first pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter in a domed stadium, before throwing his second career no-hitter, in a 10-0 win over the Reds in 1969.
Below are some highlights of his no-hitter against the Braves:
Wilson was prone to wildness in his career, but he could really bring the fastball, accumulating 1,283 career strikeouts.
Wilson's #40 is retired by the Astros.
Sadly, Wilson’s career, and more importantly, life, was cut short on January 5, 1975, when he was found dead in the garage of his home.
Wilson’s car was running inside the garage, and he succumb to the carbon monoxide poison coming from the fumes.
Just as tragically, his five-year old son, Alex, also lost his life.
The deaths have been officially ruled accidental.
Below is video of Wilson pitching in that 1971 Major League Baseball All-Star Game that I spoke about earlier, where he faces the likes of Carl Yastrzemski, Al Kaline, and Harmon Killebrew: