Originally created 06/26/02

Astros erect plaque to honor Kile



HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros are honoring Darryl Kile, who pitched for the club from 1991 to 1997, with a memorial plaque at their ballpark.

The white, circular plaque is three feet in diameter and bears Kile's initials, "DK," which was his nickname among players and fans.

It will hang along the left field wall at Minute Maid Park under the 1997 Central Division championship banner, the last season he played for Houston before signing as a free agent with Colorado.

Kile, 33, died Saturday in a hotel room in Chicago, where his St. Louis Cardinals were playing the Cubs. Preliminary autopsy results indicate he suffered a heart attack caused by blocked arteries.

Kile was the Astros' 30th round selection in the June 1987 draft and debuted with the club in 1991. He threw the ninth, and most recent, no-hitter in franchise history against the New York Mets on Sept. 8, 1993.

Two of the Astros' six retired numbers were worn by pitchers who died while on the roster. Jim Umbricht, 33, died of cancer in 1964, and Don Wilson, 29, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his garage in 1975.