Tuesday, April 16, 2013

4/16 In Bucco History

Wagner signs, sneaky DP, grand slams and great pitching:

  • 1903 - The Bucs started the season off right, defeating the Reds 7-1 behind a Deacon Phillippe two hitter. Playing before 12‚000 fans at Cincinnati’s Palace of the Fans, it was the first of four straight wins over Cincy to open the season. 
  • 1903 - Pirate Hall-of-Fame OF Paul "Big Poison" Waner was born in Harrah, Oklahoma. He had a 20 year big league career, with the first 15 spent in Pittsburgh where he compiled a line of .340/.407/.490.
  • 1908 - Sam Leever tossed a three hit shutout over the Cardinals to lead the Bucs to a series sweep. More important in the long run, though, was the signing of Honus Wagner, who had retired as a contract ploy. Barney Dreyfuss made him the highest paid player in baseball with a $10K deal, and The Flying Dutchman proved worth every penny. Bill James cited Wagner's 1908 campaign as the greatest single season ever for any player. Wagner hit .354 with 109 RBI in an era when half as many runs were scored as today. James wondered in his 2001 book Historical Baseball Abstract "if you had a Gold Glove shortstop like Wagner, who drove in 218 runs, what would he be worth?”
  • 1912 - The Bucs booked the rare 5-3-7 DP at Redland Field, with LF Max Carey sneaking behind second base to finish the twin killing. The Pirates took an 8-2 decision for their first victory of the year while dealing Cincy its first loss.
  • 1929 - The Cubs drew their largest Opening Day crowd to date, estimated at 46,000, but lost to the Buccos 4-3 at Wrigley Field. Burleigh Grimes went the distance for the win, while Pie Traynor banged out three hits and scored twice.
  • 1953 - The Pirates beat the Phils in a 14-12 barnburner on Opening Day at Forbes Field. The Phillies scored nine runs in the top of the fifth‚ and the Pirates came back with six in the bottom half to tie the NL record for runs in an inning at fifteen. They added five more in the sixth to pull away. It was a team effort; all nine members of Pittsburgh’s starting lineup had at least one hit. Cal Abrams led the pack with three knocks while Danny O’Connell had three RBI.
  • 1962 - Roberto Clemente's three run homer in the fifth propelled the Bucs to a 6-5 win over Chicago at Wrigley Field, redeeming himself for a first inning error that allowed a run. Diomedes Olivo got the win in relief of Bob Veale. Bill Virdon had three knocks, and Dick Groat, Dick Stuart and Don Hoak each chipped in a pair.
  • 1985 - Jose DeLeon tied the Bucco record for most strikeouts thrown in a game by a right-handed pitcher as he whiffed 14 Mets at TRS. He gave up four hits without a run or walk in eight innings of work. But the Pirates fell 1-0, victims of a Ron Darling/Jesse Orosco one-hitter. Candy took the loss in relief.
  • 1996 - Orlando Merced and Jay Bell both hit grand slams at Busch Stadium to lead the Bucs to a 13-3 win over the Cards.

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