HOUSTON, TX - Forty years ago today, on May 4, 1975, Astros first baseman Bob Watson scored Major League Baseball's one millionth run during an 8-6 win over the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park in what was the first game of a doubleheader.
The Astros recognized the 40th anniversary of Watson's milestone tonight with a special pregame presentation on the field prior to the 7:10 p.m. game vs. the Texas Rangers. Watson was presented with a shadow box representing his historic feat.
After scoring the historic run at Candlestick Park 40 years ago, the game was stopped and homeplate was removed and delivered to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Watson scored the run from second base on a home run by Milt May, resulting in May's bat being sent to Cooperstown along with Watson's cleats.
In the days prior to Watson's historic feat, Major League Baseball had installed counters in each ballpark to keep track of the run tally throughout the entire league. When May homered, the counter at Candlestick Park indicated that one run was needed to reach 1,000,000. As Watson approached third base, his teammates in the bullpen urged him to sprint home, which he did. Watson would end up crossing homeplate seconds before Reds shortstop Davey Concepcion, who was sprinting around the bases at Riverfront Stadium after homering in the same time frame.
As part of the promotion, Watson received a $1,000 Seiko watch, one million Tootsie Roll candies and one million pennies. He would donate the Tootsie Rolls to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations. For the '75 season, Watson ended up hitting a career-high .324 while earning N.L. All-Star honors.