And another one bites the dust. Another franchise icon has been shown the door by the Astros new ownership group and team president George Postolos. David Barron is reporting that Larry Dierker has cut ties with the team after almost a half-cenury of service. Dierker made his first appearance for the Houston franchise when he took the mound at Colt Stadium on September 22, 1964. It was his eighteenth birthday. With the exception of the 1977 season, when he pitched for the Cardinals, Dierker has been a member of the Astros organization ever since. That relationship will come to an unceremonious end when Dierker’s contract expires on April 15. Dierker gets to don the Astros colors one last time for before riding off into the sunset. Dierker will take part in an April 1 softball game against members of the Texas Rangers ownership group. After a playing career that included two All-Star appearances, a 20-win season, and a no-hitter, Dierker spent a year in the Astros marketing department before moving to the broadcast booth. After eighteen seasons as a color commentator, Dierker was back in uniform as the Astros manager. The brunt of many jokes at the time, including the popular comic strip Tank McNamara, Dierker silenced critics by guiding the Astros to three straight division titles. The Astros missed the playoffs l in 2000 but Dierker had them back on top in 2001, his final season at the helm.