Apr 5, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; former Houston Astro Roy Oswalt is honored prior to the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Dierker is the original “Mr. Astro.” Starting at the tender age of 17, Dierker was the franchise ace for 13 seasons from 1964-76 before playing his final season in St. Louis. In an Astros uniform, Dierker won 137 games with a 3.28 ERA (3.21 FIP), 106 complete games, and 25 shutouts.
In 1997 he became the Houston manager, leading the Astros to three consecutive NL Central titles from 1997-99 after a 10-year playoff drought, and then another in 2001. Dierker’s #49 was retired by the organization in 2002.
As for The Wizard, was there another Astros pitcher in the past 25 years that was more important to his team? Roy-O was great during the regular season and he possessed the capability to elevate his game during the postseason. Here’s a well-reasoned argument from Astroscounty.com:
"Roy Oswalt was the best Astros pitcher in history. Nolan Ryan might have a better career overall, J.R. Richard and Mike Scott might have had better individual seasons, but no one matches Oswalt over his career in an Astros uniform. His 143 wins are second only to Joe Niekro’s 144 in a Astros uniform, and he did that with 34 fewer losses. He’s second to Nolan Ryan in strikeouts, with 1573, while walking nearly 350 fewer batters… Looking beyond his stats, I’d argue that Oswalt meant more to the franchise than any player outside of Biggio, Bagwell. Bill James recently ranked “big game pitchers” and, somewhat surprisingly ranked Oswalt number one all time. The numbers listed as eye popping; 36-14 in big games, with the team going 46-12, with a 2.63 ERA. And no game was bigger than Oswalt, with ice in his vein, erasing the Pujol’s home run and sending the Astros to their first World Series. 7 Innings, 6 strikeouts, 1 earned run. That was a franchising defining moment, matched in history only by Mike Scott’s no-hitter in 1986."
Who are the Franchise Four in your opinion? Go here and vote. Voting ends on Friday, May 8. The players receiving the most votes will be honored in Cincinnati at the All-Star Game in July.
Did the omissions overlook anyone? Who did you pick? Sound off in the comments below.
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