It was forty years ago…
John G. Zimmerman/Sports Illustrated (C) 1966 Time Inc.
Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of the first time in which the Houston Astros team appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. Readers back then saw Sonny Jackson and Joe Morgan depicted on that front page.
Jackson was an explosive shortstop who would set a record among NL rookies for stolen bases with 49, and was the Astros batting leader with .292. Jackson would remain with the Houston franchise during five seasons since 1963, when it was named the Colt .45s. By the way, on June 21, 1966 he would hit an inside-the-park home run off Dodgers pitcher Don Sutton; four days later, he achieved the same feat against Cardinals hurler Ray Washburn. On August 19, he got yet another inside-the-park tater off Milt Pappas from the Cincinnati Reds. All were hit inside the Astrodome.
Morgan would bat .285 in that ’66 season. He played for the Astros until 1971, for a comeback in 1980. Obviously, his best moments were lived playing for another team.
The Astros have been depicted on the SI cover in a total of 12 occasions, between full-page pictures and smaller mentions. Only one player has appeared twice in an Astros uniform in a full cover, and not precisely for the happiest reasons: J.R. Richard, one of the best Astros pitchers ever. We will talk about him in another post.
In the meantime, we invite you to enjoy the excellent history section from our friends at AstrosDaily.com.