1962 Houston Colt .45s season
|1962 Houston Colt .45s|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Craig F. Cullinan, Jr., Roy Hofheinz|
|General manager(s)||Paul Richards|
(Al Helfer, Gene Elston, Guy Savage)
|Local radio||KPRC (AM)|
(Al Helfer, Gene Elston, Loel Passe)
|Next season >|
The 1962 Houston Colt .45s were an expansion team in American Major League Baseball's National League, and 1962 was the first season in franchise history. Harry Craft was Houston's first manager. The .45s finished eighth among the National League's ten teams with a record of 64–96, 36½ games behind the league champion San Francisco Giants.
- September 11, 1961: Rusty Staub was signed as an amateur free agent by the Colt .45's.
- October 13, 1961: Al Cicotte was purchased by the Colt .45s from the St. Louis Cardinals.
- March 24, 1962: Dave Philley was signed as a free agent by the Colt .45s.
- March 24, 1962: Dave Philley was traded by the Colt .45s to the Boston Red Sox for Tom Borland.
- Prior to 1962 season: J. C. Hartman was acquired by the Colt .45s from the Houston Buffaloes as part of a minor league working agreement.
The Colt .45s were one of two teams added to the National League before the 1962 season, the other being the New York Mets. This brought the number of teams in the NL to ten, matching the 1961 expansion of the American League.
- $75,000 per player
- Eddie Bressoud, infielder, San Francisco Giants
- Bob Aspromonte, infielder, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Bob Lillis, infielder, St. Louis Cardinals
- Dick Drott, pitcher, Chicago Cubs
- Al Heist, outfielder, Chicago Cubs
- Román Mejías, outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates
- George Williams, infielder, Philadelphia Phillies
- Jesse Hickman, pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies
- Merritt Ranew, catcher, Milwaukee Braves
- Don Taussig, outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals
- Bobby Shantz, pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Norm Larker, infielder, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Sam Jones, pitcher, San Francisco Giants
- Paul Roof, pitcher, Milwaukee Braves
- Ken Johnson, pitcher, Cincinnati Reds
- Dick Gernert, infielder, Cincinnati Reds
- Ed Olivares, infielder, St. Louis Cardinals
- Jim Umbricht, pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Jim Golden, pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers
- $125,000 per player
- Joey Amalfitano, infielder, San Francisco Giants
- Turk Farrell, pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Hal Smith, catcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Al Spangler, outfielder, Milwaukee Braves
1961 minor league affiliates
The Colt .45s and Mets were established on October 17, 1960, giving them time to acquire professional minor-league players, sign amateur free agents (there was no MLB first-year player draft until 1965) and enter into working agreements with minor league affiliates during the 1961 season. Houston had formal working agreements with two minor league baseball teams in 1961:
|A||Jacksonville Jets||Sally League||Tom Saffell and Dixie Howell|
|D||Salisbury Braves||Western Carolinas League||Alex Cosmidis|
The first game
April 10, Colt Stadium, Houston, Texas
|W: Shantz (1–0) L: Cardwell (0–1)|
|HRs: Mejias (2), Smith (1), Banks (1)|
Opening Day lineup 
The Colt .45s started their inaugural season on April 10, 1962, with an 11–2 win against the Chicago Cubs, highlighted by a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning by Román Mejías. The .45s would go on to sweep the Cubs in their first three-game series at Colt Stadium. The team finished April with a 7–8 record, 4 games in front of the expansion Mets and only 5 games behind the National League leading Pirates and Giants.
By June 2, with the second loss to the Pirates in Pittsburgh, the Colt .45s had fallen to 16 games behind eventual National League Champion Giants, a deficit that no pre-wild card team had recovered from to make the post season. And, with an August 21 loss at the hands of the Phillies, the Houston Colt .45s were mathematically eliminated from the postseason with a 37-game deficit to the Dodgers with 37 games left.
To get an idea of how the first season was for Houston, look at the team's best pitcher, Richard "Turk" Farrell. A starter for the Colt .45s, he was primarily a relief pitcher when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. Turk lost 20 games in 1962, but had an ERA of 3.02. Turk was selected to both All-Star games that year.
There was a bright spot in the line up in 1962. Román Mejías, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the expansion draft, was named the Colt .45s starting right fielder. It was in Houston that Mejías would play the best season of his career. While he played better the first half of the season, an injury slowed him the second half of the season. However, he still finished with a .286 batting average, 24 home runs, and 76 RBIs. His modesty and his hard play made him a fan favorite that year. Despite his good year, Mejías was traded to the Boston Red Sox in the fall of 1962.
|San Francisco Giants||103||62||0.624||—||61–21||42–41|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||102||63||0.618||1||54–29||48–34|
|St. Louis Cardinals||84||78||0.519||17½||44–37||40–41|
|Houston Colt .45s||64||96||0.400||36½||32–48||32–48|
|New York Mets||40||120||0.250||60½||22–58||18–62|
Record vs. opponents
Sources:          
- May 7, 1962: Bobby Shantz was traded by the Colt .45s to the St. Louis Cardinals for John Anderson and Carl Warwick.
- June 26, 1962: Bob Cerv was purchased by the Colt .45s from the New York Yankees.
- July 30, 1962: Bob Cerv was released by the Colt .45s.
|1962 Houston Colt .45s|
|Houston Colt .45s 1962 Regular Season Game Log|
Starters by position
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; SB = Stolen bases Positional abbreviations: C = Catcher; 1B = First base; 2B = Second base; 3B = Third base; SS = Shortstop; LF = Left field; CF = Center field; RF = Right field
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; SB = Stolen bases
|J. C. Hartman||51||148||11||33||5||0||.223||0||5||1|
Note: G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
Note: G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
1962 minor league affiliates
|AAA||Oklahoma City 89ers||American Association||Connie Ryan|
|B||Durham Bulls||Carolina League||Lou Fitzgerald|
|C||Modesto Colts||California League||Fred Hatfield|
|D||Moultrie Colt .22s||Georgia–Florida League||Jim Walton|
- Rusty Staub at Baseball-Reference
- Al Cicotte at Baseball-Reference
- Dave Philley at Baseball-Reference
- J. C. Hartman at Baseball-Reference
- Merritt Ranew at Baseball Reference
- Don Taussig Archived March 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine at Baseball Reference
- Norm Larker at Baseball Reference
- "Retrosheet Boxscore: Houston Colt .45s 11, Chicago Cubs 2". Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
- Vass, George (2005). "The greatest pennant-chase comebacks in baseball history: here are 14 teams that trailed by 10 or more games near the season's midpoint and went on to win division or league titles". Baseball Digest.
- "Retrosheet Boxscore: Philadelphia Phillies 5, Houston Colt .45s 3 (1)". Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
- Coons, Ron (May 10, 2006). "Richard "Turk" Farrell". find a grave. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
- Briley, Ron (June 10, 2003). "ROMAN MEJIAS – BRIEF BIOGRAPHY". McFarland & co. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
- John Anderson at Baseball Reference
- Bob Cerv at Baseball Reference