Sunday, April 26, 2015

April 26, 1962: Gibby Tosses a Two-Hitter in Houston

     On April 26, 1962, a 26-year-old Bob Gibson flirted with a no-no in Houston, as he led the way to a 3-2 Cardinals victory over the Colt .45's.

     While Gibson dominated this game, the Colts did strike first, as they made the most of a second inning walk, which led to a run scoring on a wild pitch. That 1-0 deficit was erased in the top of the fourth when Julian Javier led off the inning with a solo shot. Julio Gotay put the Birds ahead with an RBI single in the seventh by knocking in Gene Oliver who had reached on a scoring error. Then the ageless Stan Musial stepped in the box in the eighth with two outs and came up big with a single and brought Curt Flood into score what proved to be the game winning run.

     Up to this point Gibby had not allowed a hit and only one other had reached, which came on a throwing error in the fifth. He was six outs away from the coveted feat, but on this day that was as close Gibson would get, as Houston's right fielder Roman Meijas turned on the first pitch of the inning and put it over the wall in left. The next man up singled, which was the second Houston hit, and the last Houston hit of the ballgame. In the ninth Gibson finished the day in fashion as he struck Jim Pendleton out looking. It was his fifth strikeout of the day.

     The night before this contest the two clubs had played to a 5-5 tie, which was called after five hours and thirteen minutes. Ken Boyer sent that one to extras in the ninth with a game tying single. A marathon began, however, at ten minutes to 1 a.m. it was called due to a curfew rule. The stadium that the Colt .45's played at was known as Colt Stadium. It housed the team that would be known as the Astros from 1962 to 1964, while the Astrodome was built. The ballpark was known for bloodthirsty mosquitoes, and was referred to as Cambodia by the players. Before the Colt .45's played a game at their new stadium sportswriters could not help but note how colorful it was, and that was not a compliment. Eventually the Astrodome opened its doors, and Colt Stadium went to the wayside. One of the most interesting facts about that stadium is it was eventually shipped to Mexico where fans would sit in its seats once again, as they listened to the crack of the bat. It may be safe to say that a great deal of those fans in Mexico never knew that the great Bob Gibson had stood before those same seats. Albeit in a different location.

Check out the box score here:

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