Friday, April 12, 2013

Pirates History 4/12

A birthday, a presidential scouting report and some oddball games:

  • 1876 - Vic Willis was born. The Hall of Fame righty spent four seasons in Pittsburgh (1906-09) with an 89-46/2.08 line and was part of the 1909 team that won the World Series (the first Pittsburgh title team) against the Tigers. He won 249 games over a 13 year career.
  • 1937 - The Pirates and White Sox played an exhibition game with a new “dead ball” the league was experimenting with. The score ended up 9-6 Chicago with a couple of dozen hits. All but one hit was a single, and that was a double.
  • 1942 - Tommie Sisk was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The righty tossed seven seasons for Pittsburgh (1962-68) as a swingman after spending just two years in the minors. He went 37-35 with a 3.69 ERA. His best effort was against the Mets on September 20th, 1965 when he tossed a two-hitter.
  • 1958 - On a recommendation from former GM Branch Rickey’s bud President Dwight D. Eisenhower‚ the Pirates signed RHP Preston Bruce‚ the son of the White House doorkeeper, and assigned him to Salem in the short-season Class D Appalachian League. DDE wasn’t much of a scout; Bruce put up a 15.60 ERA and his pro career ended the following season.
  • 1965 - Bob “Beetles” Bailey hit a walk-off homer to give Bob Veale a 1-0 win in ten innings over the Giants’ Juan Marichal (both guys went the distance) at Forbes Field in the Bucco Opener.
  • 1966 - The first major league game played in Atlanta featured Braves' hurler Tony Cloninger pitching thirteen innings and fanning a dozen in a losing effort to the Pirates, 3-2. Willie Stargell hit a two-run, two out homer in the thirteenth to provide the winning runs for Don Schwall at Atlanta Stadium.
  • 1983 - In the 8th inning of the home opener, Bill Madlock took a long lead off first with 1B Keith Hernandez playing well behind him. Bruce Sutter checked the runner and spun off the mound to chase him back - and beat him to the bag for an unassisted pickoff! The Bucs lost to the Cards 4-3.
  • 1985 - In their first night home opener, the Bucs prevailed over the Cards 6-4. A crowd of 47,335 watched Maz throw out the first pitch and Jason Thompson mash a two-run homer. Starter John Candelaria came on to earn the save of Don Robinson’s win.
  • 2002 - Cubbie Sammy Sosa set the PNC Park record with a 484’ home run off Dave Williams during a 7-3 Chicago victory.
  • 2009 - With runners on the move from first and second base, the Reds' Edwin Encarnacion's soft liner to Pirates' SS Jack Wilson was turned into a triple play, the Bucs' first since 1993. Pittsburgh still lost at Great American Ballpark by a 2-0 score on Aaron Harang’s three hitter, the first MLB shutout of the year. The game’s only runs came on a first inning two out, two run homer by Brandon Phillips off Ian Snell.

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