Monday, April 15, 2013

Buc History 4/15

A lot of firsts today:

  • 1876 - The Pittsburgh Alleghenys played the city's first professional baseball game against the Xanthas at Union Park, winning 7-3. The following year, the franchise was accepted into the minor league International Association, but the team and league disbanded after the season.
  • 1877 - Ed Abbaticchio, the first known Italian American to play MLB, was born in Latrobe. “Batty” was also the first person to play both pro baseball and football, starring on the gridiron for Latrobe, thought to be the first pro football team in America. The middle infielder played 3-1/2 of his nine big league seasons for Pittsburgh, hitting .253.
  • 1921 - Pirate pitcher Moses “Chief” Yellow Horse made his major league debut against the Reds. Yellow Horse, a Pawnee, was believed by many baseball historians to be the first full-blooded American Indian to play in the big leagues. He worked the last two innings to save a win for Earl Hamilton as the Bucs beat the Reds 3-1 at Crosley Field.
  • 1947 - In his Pirate debut, Hank Greenberg doubled home the only run in the Pirates' 1-0 win over the Cubs and Hank Borowy. Rip Sewell got the win by scattering five hits at Wrigley Field. Pittsburgh bought the slugger from the Tigers after a contract impasse.
  • 1952 - Pittsburgh became the first team that had to wear helmets, both at bat and in the field. Branch Rickey mandated their use, and though his intentions were no doubt noble, he did happen to own the company that made the hats. Though first used in 1907, they weren't required to be worn by baseball until 1971.
  • 1961 - The Dodgers and Pirates tied a MLB record by turning 9 DPs (Los Angeles 5‚ Pittsburgh 4) in a 4-1 Buc win at Memorial Coliseum. It was only the second time (July 3rd‚ 1929, Cubs-Reds) that 9 DPs have been turned in a nine inning NL game. Eight were grounded into, one was a line drive DP.

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