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The KHOU-TV Collection - Don Wilson (1975)

Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Sound | 1975

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  •  Bob Watson of the Houston Astros shares memories of his teammate, Don Wilson 
  •  KHOU’s Bill Balleza reports from Wilson’s Houston home 
  •  Archival footage of Wilson 
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This film from KHOU-TV Channel 11 in Houston includes short segments that would have aired as highlights to news stories. Many are silent and would have been voiced over by the anchorperson during a live broadcast. The clips on this reel, dating from January 6, 1975, all relate to the passing of former Astros pitcher Don Wilson. In the first segment, fellow Astro Bob Watson shares memories of his friend and teammate. In the second, KHOU-TV reporter Bill Balleza covers the probe into the cause of Wilson’s death. (Balleza is now a news anchor for KPRC-TV in Houston.) Archival footage of Wilson is also included. Please note, this film was edited in order to remove sensitive material.
This film was donated to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image by the Houston Public Library and is a part of the Houston Area Digital Archives.  Many more films from the KHOU-TV Collection are available on the Houston Public Library Houston Area Digital Archives website
Professional baseball pitcher Don Wilson was born in Monroe, Louisiana on February 12, 1945. He was recruited by the Houston Astros in 1966. Wilson played all or part of nine seasons with the Astros, making his last Major League Baseball appearance in a two-hit, 5-0 shutout against the Atlanta Braves on September 28, 1974.
On January 5, 1975, Wilson died at his Houston home as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. He was found in the passenger seat of his car inside the enclosed garage with the engine running. (Because the garage was attached to his house, Wilson’s son, Alex, also died from carbon monoxide poisoning, while Wilson’s wife and daughter were hospitalized.) The coroner ruled Wilson’s death as accidental. The Houston Astros retired Wilson’s number, 40, on April 13, 1975.