Astros History

Several players remain Astros Hall of Fame candidates

CHICAGO - MAY 31: Pitcher Billy Wagner #13 of the Houston Astros throws a pitch during the MLB game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois on May 31, 2002. The Astros defeated the Cubs 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - MAY 31: Pitcher Billy Wagner #13 of the Houston Astros throws a pitch during the MLB game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois on May 31, 2002. The Astros defeated the Cubs 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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1989 – Jim Deshaies #43 of the Houston Astros pitches during a 1989 season game. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
1989 – Jim Deshaies #43 of the Houston Astros pitches during a 1989 season game. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Bob Knepper

Knepper was a reliable member of the Astros rotation throughout much of the 1980s. The left-hander is ninth in team history in wins, fifth in games started, and sixth in innings pitched, complete games and shutouts.

His years in Houston were bookended by two All Star appearances, posting a 2.18 ERA in 1981 and going 14-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 1988. In between, he posted three seasons of 15 or more wins and made no fewer than 29 starts per season.

Jim Deshaies

Like Knepper, Deshaies was a reliable member of the team’s rotation in the late 1980s alongside Ryan, Scott and Niekro. He won 61 games in six seasons as a member of the Astros rotation, including 12 wins and some Rookie of the Year consideration on the 1986 division winning team.

He also served the Astros in a broadcasting capacity alongside Bill Brown for several years, giving further reason to add him to the team’s Hall of Fame at some point in the future.

Dave Smith

Smith spent 11 seasons as the team’s relief ace from 1980-1990, compiling 199 saves and matching Wagner’s 2.53 ERA with the team. He’s also the franchise leader in pitching appearances (563) and games finished (400).

He was a two-time All Star and finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1980. Aside from Wagner, Smith undoubtedly had the biggest impact in franchise history among relief pitchers. He should join Wagner in the team’s Hall of Fame.

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