Former Major League All-Star Bob Watson amassed eleven sacrifices over his nineteen year career in Major League Baseball, but not one of them was as selfless as the sacrifice he recently made. In dire need of a new kidney, Watson refused to accept the offer his children made to be donors.
Watson said that he has already lived 71 years, and he should not hinder their chances to live long as well. He will continue to undergo dialysis three times a week, as he has done since doctors in 2016 suggested that he could have anywhere from two to twelve years.
As might be inferred from his refusal to accept his children’s life-endangering offer of a kidney, Watson’s career as a father certainly trumps his lengthy tenure in the Big Leagues. Still, he did indeed enjoy an impressive career, mostly spent with the Houston Astros before brief stints with the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.
Primarily a first baseman and outfielder, it was at the plate where Watson most stood out. He had a rare combination of hitting for power and high batting numbers, as evidenced by a yearly average of sixteen home runs while hitting at a .295 clip.
Perhaps what he is most remembered for, even beyond his service in the front office of the Yankees after his playing days, has more to do with being in the right place at the right time. He had the distinction in 1975 of scoring the one millionth run in the history of Major League Baseball.
It happened on May 4,1975 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, where Watson’s Astros were playing the Giants. Watson walked to lead off the Houston second inning against San Francisco starter John Montefusco.
The right hander, whose nickname was The Count, got behind in the count to the next batter and ended up walking outfielder Jose Cruz. Catcher Milt May then hit a home run, prompting Watson to sprint around third to reach the plate with the one millionth run in the history of the game.