Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pirate History 5/9

Plunked batters, a sale, a curfew ignored, long balls and grounders, a brawl, a meet-and-greet, big days from unusual suspects and Cutch's contract...

  • 1896 - RHP Emerson "Pink" Hawley plunked three Washington batters in the seventh inning at Exposition Park, tying a mark he set two years earlier. Eight batters were hit in the contest‚ an NL-record five by Hawley, during the Pirates 14-9 loss. The five Senator batters hit by pitches tied the NL mark and wasn’t matched again until 1969. Hawley retired in 1900 after nine seasons with a still-standing NL record of 201 hit batters; he also walked 933 hitters. For all of that, he was a capable hurler, winning 31 games in 1895 and 167 over his career.
  • 1932 - Tony Bartirome was born. The slick fielding 2B played one year for the Bucs in 1952, hitting .220. The Hill District native did have a long career with Pittsburgh as their trainer, lasting from 1967-85. One Bartirome tale involves an RBI he earned, not as a player but as a sawbones. As related in John McCollister’s Tales From The Pirate Dugout, Bartirome went out to check on Bill Robinson, who had just been knocked down by a pitch in the seventh game of the 1979 World Series. The bases were loaded in the ninth with two down when he was brushed back. Robinson told Bartirome that he was OK; the pitcher (Dennis Martinez) didn’t hit him. “The hell he didn’t” replied Bartirome, who dug his nail into Robinson’s thumb until it bled. The uimp, Jerry Neudecker, saw the blood and waved him to first to bring home the Bucs final run in the 4-1 win.
  • 1947 - The Pirates sold lefty Ken Heintzelman‚ 33‚ to the Phillies. Heintzelman worked 7-1/2 years (1937-46) for the Bucs, interrupted by the war, and had a 37-43 record with a 4.14 ERA. The swingman wasn’t done; he pitched 5-1/2 more seasons for the Phils, winning 40 more games.
  • 1948 - In the second game of a Sunday doubleheader at Forbes Field between the Pirates and the Dodgers‚ umpire Jocko Conlan let the game play through a 7 PM curfew because he thought Pittsburgh manager Billy Meyer was stalling while sitting on a 5-4 lead. Brooklyn went ahead 7-5‚ but Ralph Kiner hit a three run HR to give Pittsburgh the 10-8 victory. The Bucs were fined $100 by the City for violating the curfew. Brooklyn romped in the opener, 14-2.
  • 1950 - Ralph Kiner hit his second grand slam in three days (the eighth of his career) and added a three run homer for seven RBI as the Bucs beat Brooklyn 10-5 at Forbes Field.
  • 1958 - Ted Kluszewski broke up a scoreless tie between starters Robin Roberts and Ron Kline by belting a walk-off homer in the 12th to give the Bucs a 1-0 win over the Phils at Forbes Field.
  • 1963 - The Bucs beat Dick Ellsworth’s slider into the dirt all day as Ernie Banks became the first NL-1B to garner 22 putouts in a game (with an assist)‚ as the Cubs whipped Pittsburgh 3-1 at Wrigley Field. Ellsworth allowed Pittsburgh just two singles.
  • 1979 - Four bench-clearing brawls, four beaned batters and two grand slams (one by John Milner) were the highlights of a 17-9 Bucco victory over the Braves at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Substitute umps ejected five players‚ four managers‚ and a coach.
  • 1997 - Prior to the game with Atlanta‚ Pirate players had a meet-and-greet inside the TRS gates to shake hands and pose for pictures in a fan promotion. The up close and personal approach worked as they proceeded to beat the Braves 9-0 behind Francisco Cordova. Jose Guillen homered and drove in three runs while Al Martin added three knocks.
  • 1999 - Two of Pittsburgh’s biggest disappointments showed what coulda been. The Pirates beat the Cards‚ 12-9 behind SS Pat Meares’ five hits and OF Brant Brown’s three run, inside the park homer at Busch Stadium.
  • 2012 - Andrew McCutchen agreed to terms on a six-year contract worth $51.5M with a club option for 2018 worth $14.75M. The deal bought out McCutchen's remaining arbitration seasons and at least two years of free agency.

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