Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy Birthday - 2/21

No future Astros with birthdays today, but one former Astro celebrates ~

RHP Jack Billingham (71)
Billingham came to Houston in a trade with the Expos prior to the 1969 season and pitched for the Astros from 1969 to 1971. In 131 appearances (61 starts), he was 29-32 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.297 WHIP. According to Baseball-Reference, he was a part of this trade to the Reds in 1971 ~
November 29, 1971: Traded by the Houston Astros with Ed Armbrister, Cesar Geronimo, Denis Menke and Joe Morgan to the Cincinnati Reds for Tommy Helms, Lee May and Jimmy Stewart.
He had his best season for the Reds in his 1973 All-Star season. That year he was 19-10 in 40 starts, pitching 293.1 innings with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.200 WHIP. Apparently, his arm didn't fall off after that workload since he went on to pitch another seven seasons in the majors.

Our good friend Appy Astros pointed out that Billingham went on to coach in the minor leagues for several years ending in 2004 as the Pitching Coach of the League Champion Greeneville Astros.

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