The HOUSTON COLT .45s

First National League Baseball Team in Houston (renamed Astros in 1965)

1962 was a magical year in Houston, Texas: MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL CAME TO TOWN!

The new expansion team of the National League was named THE HOUSTON COLT .45s.

A new stadium (COLT STADIUM) was built south of Downtown Houston.

Next door, a fantastic new DOMED STADIUM was taking shape that would be the team's home starting in 1965.  It would be called the Eighth Wonder of the World, because it would be the first indoor, air-conditioned baseball stadium.

But from 1962 through 1964, fans braved the heat and mosquitoes in COLT STADIUM to watch their new hometown baseball heroes THE COLT .45s battle the superstars of the baseball world: Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Stan Musial, Don Drysdale and many others.

ROMAN MEJIAS is not a familiar name to many sports fans nowadays.
But for me and many other Houston youngsters in 1962,
ROMAN MEJIAS was the home run king of baseball!

According to the statisticians, the Colts may never have had a winning season;
but in the hearts of their loyal fans, the Colt .45s were always Number One!

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This Web Page Updated: 

E-mail me with your comments or suggestions!



2012 is the 50th Anniversary of the Houston Colt .45s!

The Houston Astros wore the Houston Colt .45s uniform
for the games on April 10, April 20 and Sept. 21!

View a Slide Show of photos from the 2012 Colt .45s uniform games

Houston Chronicle article on 50th Anniversary

Recap of the 4/10/12 game

THE SIX-GUN CONTROVERSY
At first, MLB required the Astros to REMOVE THE SIX-GUN
from the Colt .45s logo!   (Read the article showing photo of mutilated jersey)
But then they relented, and the original logo was used!  (Read the article)
Correct Colts jersey which was distributed to fans at 9/21/12 game

Photo from press conference announcing 50th Anniversary events, showing the retro uniforms







ROMAN MEJIAS - Home Run King of the Colt .45s
Roman Mejias was the STAR PLAYER of the 1962 Houston Colt .45s and I have a separate page devoted to him.


   
JIM CAMPBELL - Catcher for the Colt .45s (1962-1964)



Book -  "A SIXGUN SALUTE: An Illustrated History of the Colt .45s"
    by Robert Reed (Lone Star Books, 1999  ISBN 0884152839)
If you are a Colt .45s fan, you MUST have this book in your collection!

    Front Cover   /    Back Cover
Page with player autographs   /    Page with author autograph



1962 Book "The National League" includes chapters on the two new expansion teams:
THE HOUSTON COLT .45s and the NY Mets

Front cover of book

The complete chapter on the Houston Colts' first season (1962)


SCANS FROM A 1962 HOUSTON COLT .45s SCRAPBOOK
(newspaper clippings)


THE HOUSTON BUFFS (BUFFALOS)
(Dixie League team - forerunner of the Houston Colt .45s)


LOGOS / PATCHES / DECALS:

"TEXAS WITH CROSSED GUNS" LOGO:

"SMOKING GUN" LOGO: OTHER DESIGNS:



PLAYER PHOTOS:
 


1961 DRAFT PHOTOS

.....from the front office of the Houston Colt .45s....each photo is from the player's former team and was apparently sent to the Houston Colt .45s after the 1961 draft to stock the 1962 expansion club.....all of the photos have a biography which goes with the photo....the biography generally states that the player was picked up in the player pool for $75,000 and gives a capsule career history, written and statistical...most of the bio sheets are two pages long, some just one...a couple of the minor league pictures have just a few lines of type on the bio sheet and are 6 1/2 x 8 1/2...I believe all of the others are 8x10.


1962 JKW player page showing the Colt .45s players signed to the new club    

    Page 1           Larger scan  

    Page 2           Larger scan









PAUL RICHARDS - STORY AND PHOTOS courtesy of his nephew, Paul Bolton (check out Paul's art gallery website)

    Paul Richards was the biggest thing to ever to come out of Waxahachie, Texas, so many of the locals named their kids after him.   My cousins & Texas relatives are mostly all named Paul. Paul's only daughter is named Paula. There's probably more "Paul's" or "Paula's" that were from Waxahachie than anywhere else on earth!
    As kids Paul R. & my Dad (Stanley Bolton) loved hopping the freight train (right besides Paul Richards ball park were the train tracks).
They were too poor to be able to travel by bus or car so hopping the train going to neighboring towns in Texas was an exciting way to escape for them.   They would bring their gloves & bats with them and start baseball games in other little towns around Waxahachie.
    Paul R. & my Dad & my Grandmother all lived together til Paul was signed to a baseball contract in '32 I believe. He helped my Dad get signed to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1936 (I still have his original 1936 contract for $200 a month pay).   
    My Dad also scouted for Houston during the Colt .45 years.   In fact he scouted for many of the teams Paul managed.
    If there's one thing I could add........ according to my Paul R. & my Dad:
Back then it was ONLY about LOVE of the game. NEVER about money.  Baseball came first, money came second.  To them getting their meals/rooms paid was plenty of payment. They LOVED the game that much.  Being able to have their shoes shined was a big deal to them and they felt special. Money was NEVER a priority in their lives. My how things have changed !! I miss the "old-school" game.

Paul Richards and his nephew, Paul Bolton at Comiskey Park (1955 or 1956)

Paul Richards booklet "Signals: The Secret Language of Baseball" (a "Fingertip Movies" booklet sponsored by Gillette)

Stanley Bolton's business card as a scout for the Houston Colt .45s


1962 COLT .45s JERSEY #25: ROMAN MEJIAS (?)
(Photos courtesy of
Andrew Caparelli / B&E Collectibles Inc.)

View 1      View 2      View 3      View 4      View 5      View 6


BASEBALL CARDS:

VISIT GLYNN LIGON'S SITE "HOUSTON COLT .45s BASEBALL CARDS" (www.colt45scards.info / www.colt45scards.com)
  Glynn has done a great job of presenting his complete collection of the Topps and Fleer cards, plus many other varieties of Colt .45s cards.
  He also provides some interesting Colts trivia and humor!

Cover of Surf booklet with photos of all Colt & Astro cards from 1962 to 1986

4 Autographed Colts cards


1962 CARDS:

Topps 1962 Colts - Part 1         Part 2

Rare Topps 1962 Card # 598 "Rookie Parade - Outfielders" with Ed Olivares of the Houston Colts:         FRONT     BACK
This is the highest number from 1962, which was Topps largest set.   (Thanks to Glynn Ligon for providing these images)

Colts First Year Plaque - showing all 1962 Topps cards

1962 Colts Card Set (Forest Service 1989)    Part 1       Part 2       Part 3        Part 4
    (For some unknown reason, this commemorative set does not include Roman Mejias!)

1962 Jello Cards:        Norm Larker

1962 Bazooka Cards:      Norm Larker

1962 APBA Cards        Envelope


1963 CARDS:

TOPPS:
Topps 1963 Colts - Part 1       Part 2
Topps 1963 Colts Team Card  -   Front   /  Back

1963 Topps Peeloff Card - Dick Farrell

FLEER:
Fleer 1963 Colts cards: Aspromonte, Farrell, Spangler


POST:
Price List of 1963 Post Cereal Cards

1963 Post Cereal Cards:

185 - Al Spangler
186 - Roman Mejias
187 - Bob Aspromonte

188 - Norm Larker
189 - Johnny Temple
190 - Carl Warwick
191 - Bob Lillis
192 - Dick Farrell      

Lot of 5 1963 Post Cereal Cards: Spangler, Mejias, Temple, Lillis, Farrell

JELLO:

BAZOOKA:


PEPSI:
Pepsi 1963 Colts Card Set:


1964 and other CARDS:

Topps 1964 ColtsPart 1        Part 2       Part 3

Exhibit Cards:      
Bob Aspromonte      
Both sides of card (stats on back)        2nd copy of Aspromonte card      
Dick Farrell               Both sides of card (stats on back)        2nd copy of Farrell card          Another copy of Farrell card
Pete Runnels             Both sides of card (stats on back)

Oversize Postcards:        Glenn Vaughan - Front     Back

Topps Baseball Bucks:  Dick Farrell and Dick Gernert

Bob Aspromonte sticker (2.75 x  1.75 inches)

Ken Johnson punch-out card

Dick Farrell punch-out card

Dick Farrell - J.D. Murphy postcard

Rusty Staub stamp

STRAT-O-MATIC CARDS:  These cards were used to play games based on the statistics of each player.

Colts 1964 APBA card set

1964 Big League Manager Cards

DON NOTTEBART ADVERTISING CARD (Automotive Shop):   View 1      /     View 2

DON NOTTEBART Autographed Postcard         2nd copy of postcard

WALT BOND Postcard        Back of postcard - autographed

CARL WARWICK PERFORMANCE CARD

2003 Fleer "Jewish Baseball Players" Series:    Steve Hertz        Larry Yellen

1978 TCMA gum cards:    13 card team set of the Houston Astros/Colt 45s in the 60's.  The players are---Claude Reymond---Al Spangler---Eddie Kasko---Harry Craft---Ernie Fazio---Robert Lillis---Dick Farrell---Don Nottebart---Ron Brand---Hal Woodeshick---Lee Maye---Mike White---and Don Larsen.

TCMA Colts/Astros Cards: Group 1:      Front of cards        Back of cards
TCMA Colts/Astros Cards: Group 2:      Front of cards        Back of cards

Ernie Fazio autographed TCMA card                  Al Spangler TCMA card          9 more TCMA cards

TOPPS GIANT CARDS (1964):

Giant card of Ken Johnson (#2)

Giant card of Nellie Fox (#13)              Closeup of Nellie Fox card        Another copy of this card

Giant card of Dick Farrell (#22)        Back of card       Another copy of this card

1965 Rookie card - Joe Morgan and Sonny Jackson (in Colts uniforms)

John Paciorek "One Year Winners" (OYW) card


STAMPS:

Colts Player Stamps  Another 4 stamps   Another 4 stamps   Another 4 stamps and logo stamp
Colts Logo Stamp  Colts/Mets Logo Stamps

1964 Bazooka stamp - Hal Woodeshick

1969 Souvenir Stamp Album


COINS:

SALADA TEA / JUNKET PUDDING COINS

In 1962,  these coins were  issued with Salada tea, and Junket pudding. They are plastic with paper photo inserts. The 1962 coin set has a total of 221 coins, 261 if you count the variations.   Plastic shields were available to display a complete team set of 10 coins.   The 10 Colts featured are: Al Heist, Al Spangler, Don Taussig, Don Buddin, Bob Lillis, Joe Amalfitano, Norm Larker, Dick Farrell, Bobby Shantz and Hal Smith.

5 Colts coins: Buddin, Amalfitano, Larker, Heist, Spangler
Individual coins:   Spangler   /   Taussig   /     Heist

5 more Colts coins

SHIRRIFF COINS (1962: like the Salada coins, but issued only in Canada with bags of potato chips)


1964 TOPPS COINS

#163   Bob Aspromonte


STAND-UP CARDS (TOPPS):

Bob Aspromonte

Hal Woodeshick

Dick Farrell


SOUND FILES and VIDEOS:
 

Bob Green was the original Producer of the Colt45s, and Astros Radio home & road broadcasts from the first spring game in
Palm Springs CA. vs LA Dodgers,  March 10th. 1962 thru 1994.
In this photo, Bob is standing on the left behind Lowell Passe and Gene Elston.



GAME TICKETS / PARKING PASSES / LINEUP CARDS:


PROGRAMS, PRESS RELEASES & STATIONERY:

1961:



1962:
Part 1   /    Part 2   /    Part 3   /    Part 4

"BLIND FAITH: BOB ASPROMONTE" (AMAZING SPORTS STORIES / Fox Sports Network / June 2008)
               This 30 minute television film tells the story of young Colts fan Bill Bradley and his hero, Bob Aspromonte.
                Newpaper article about the film       Photo of Bradley and Aspromonte


1963:

1964 and after:

PLAYER BOOKLETS:
 


COLLECTIBLES (mostly as seen on Ebay):
 



BOBBLEHEADS: 

NOTE:  For more information about bobblehead dolls, please visit this website:  http://jjpbr.tripod.com/id20.htm


CAPS & CLOTHING:
 


Other "Retro" Caps: Shirts, Jerseys & Jackets:


PINS & BUTTONS:
 


PENNANTS:
 


1962 STADIUM PENNANTS  (for display at stadiums)       

Roll of all pennants

Angels - Braves - Cardinals - Colts - Cubs - Dodgers - Giants - Indians - Mets - Orioles - Phillies - Reds - Red Sox - Senators - Tigers - White Sox - Yankees




BASEBALLS:

Baseball with original autographs by the 1962 Houston Colts:

2nd baseball autographed by the 1962 Houston Colts:

3rd baseball autographed by the 1962 Houston Colts:

4th baseball autographed by the 1962 Houston Colts (courtesy Jim Campbell)

5th baseball autographed by the 1962 Houston Colts:
6th baseball autographed by the 1962 Houston Colts (courtesy Justin Richards):


1962 Colts Facsimile Autograph Baseball -
This souvenir item was available for purchase by fans at Colt Stadium in 1962.   Thanks to Bob Marks for providing these detail photos of the ball that he purchased at the stadium:

Another 1962 facsimile ball - photos by Chris Hays
(
in memory of his grandfather Johnny "Papa Johnny" Warren, original owner of the ball):
Another 1962 facsimile autograph ball:   View 1   -    View 2


Baseball with autographs (facsimile?) by the 1963 Houston Colts:

2nd baseball autographed by 1963 Houston Colts

3rd baseball autographed by 1963 Houston Colts


Baseball in holder with original autographs by the 1963-64 Houston Colts:

Baseball with original autographs by the 1964 Houston Colts:

Another 1964 autographed ball:


Colts Retro Baseball
 

OTHER ITEMS:



COLT STADIUM:
 


ARCHEOLOGICAL FIND: THE WOODEN BASE OF HOME PLATE FROM COLT STADIUM
(DISCOVERED IN 1976 BY GEORGE HODAK)

George Hodak's story: "2 friends and I were going to go on a tour of the Astrodome. We asked the parking lot attendant where Colt 45 stadium was located and he pointed to some weeds in one corner of the lot. We parked and went in. We could quickly tell where the dugouts had been because some concrete was still there. From the position of the dugouts, we located the mound, walked off 60 feet 6 inches and saw a small amount of wood in the ground. We were astounded to find it was home plate. It's actually the wood base, about 4 inches thick.  We pried it out of the ground with a hand ax.  We cut it out, took some photos, and got out quick. We were not sure of the response we would get if someone found us in there. For all purposes, the stadium had been dismantled and was nothing but overgrown weeds. I wrote the Astros and asked some history, but they did not seem concerned.  I have the plate, I have photos, a ticket stub from the previous night's game and 2 witnesses that were with me on that date."

PHOTOS:



THE ASTRODOME (and Minute Maid Park):



"Cranks, Rooters and Fans" Memorabilia Store hosted a Colt .45s exhibit July - Sept 2006:

COLTS MEMORABILIA ON DISPLAY AT THE HOUSTON SPORTS MUSEUM
(formerly located in the Fingers Furniture Store on I-45 south of downtown Houston - closed as of April 2009)

NOTE ABOUT COLT .45s MERCHANDISE AND MEMORABILIA:

I get many inquiries about where to purchase Colt .45s merchandise.    The photos contained in this website have been gleaned from many sources, including my own collection, eBay auctions, and around the Internet.    I am not a merchant and I do not offer any of these items for sale.     If you are looking for Colts memorabilia, a good place to start is by doing a search on eBay.  Here are a few web links I have found that offer Colt .45s merchandise.     I am not affiliated with them in any way, and although they appear to be reputable merchants, I do not endorse them or vouch for their integrity.  Order at your own risk.

http://www.dugout-memories.com/coophous.html


ebay searches:    Colts T-shirts      Colts Caps     Colts Jerseys      Houston Colt .45s



LINKS:




THE HOUSTON ASTROS
2005 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!

Astros 2005 player photos:   Part 1     Part 2      Team Photo

Astros World Series placard        Ticket to World Series Game 3
Ticket to World Series Game 5 in Houston (unused)
Astros NL Championship Ring (Souvenir Replica)



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