- 1920 - The Pirates bought Pie Traynor from Portsmouth for $10,000. The Boston Braves had stashed the infielder there on the assumption that they would have first dibs on him, but even an appeal to AL President Ban Johnson didn’t help in lieu of a written agreement as the Portsmouth owner was more than willing to let him go to the highest bidder. So instead of playing for his hometown Boston club - he came from Framingham, Massachusetts - Traynor spent his 17 year MLB career in Pittsburgh, eventually earning a spot in the Hall of Fame.
- 1940 - Jacinto “Jackie” Hernández was born in Central Tinguaro, Cuba. The good glove, terrible hitting (.205 as a Pirate) SS played three seasons (1971-73) for Pittsburgh, and when the Bucs traded for him in 1970, manager Earl Weaver of the Baltimore Orioles said that “The Pirates will never win a pennant with Jackie Hernandez at shortstop.” Not only did they win the flag, but Jackie was the regular shortstop from late August forward in 1971 as Gene Alley, the starter, had a bum shoulder. As fate would decree, he put the final nail in the Oriole coffin during the Series; the last out of the Bucs seventh game victory was recorded 6-3, Hernandez to Bob Robertson.
- 1947 - Ralph Kiner blasted three successive homers and knocked home six in a 10-8 win over the Braves at Forbes Field in the nitecap of a DH. He also homered in game one, a 4-3 win that was decided in the 13th when pitcher Kirby Higbe took Johnny Sain long to complete the first step of a Pittsburgh sweep of Boston. Kiner’s four homers in one day established a team record that wouldn’t be matched until 1984 by Jason Thompson. It also set a NL record of 10 multi-homer games in a season which stood until Sammy Sosa had 11 in 1998.
- 1948 - Out of the lineup because of a virus‚ Ralph Kiner came off the pine to whack an eighth inning pinch hit grand slam to give the Pirates a 13-12 win over Chicago at Wrigley Field. Max West also homered and had three RBI. Mel Queen won with a save by Elmer Riddle.
- 1958 - C Don “Sluggo” Slaught was born in Long Beach. He came to the Bucs in 1990 and platooned during the pennant years with Mike “Spanky” LaValliere. Slaught was the primary catcher in 1993-94, then injuries in 1995 led to his release. Sluggo hit .305 as a Pirate.
- 1959 - The LA Dodgers beat Pittsburgh and Elroy Face‚ 5-4, who lost the save and game in relief of Bob Friend in the ninth at Memorial Coliseum by giving up a pair of runs. It was Face's first loss after 22 straight wins‚ 17 this season. The defeat was Face's first to the Dodgers since September‚ 1956, with his last loss to any team going back to May 30th, 1958, at the hands of the Milwaukee Braves.
- 1974 - A line drive by the Phillies Willie Montanez fractured the hand of Dock Ellis during a 5-3 Philadelphia win at Veterans Stadium. The righty had won eight consecutive games and nine out of ten, tossing seven complete games in that ten-game span. He would miss the rest of the season. Despite the loss of the red hot Ellis, the Bucs took the division crown in a down-to-the-wire race with St. Louis, but fell to the Dodgers in the NLCS three games to one.
- 1982 - Bill Madlock led off the ninth inning with a walkoff home run, hitting Ron Reed’s first and only pitch, a hung slider. His blast gave the Pirates a see-saw 10-9 victory over the Phillies at TRS. The Bucs had started out up 6-0, but had fallen behind by the sixth. The Pirates regained the lead in the eighth on a two run, two out double by Willie Stargell, but the Phils tied it with a two-out RBI single off Dale Berra’s glove, setting the stage for Mad Dog.
- 1990 - Randy Tomlin, Neal Heaton and Ted Power combined on a seven hit, 5-1 victory over the Phillies at Veteran’s Stadium. Lloyd McClendon broke the game open with a two run, two out pinch homer in the seventh. For the Bucs, it was their ninth win in 11 games and upped the division lead to 3-½ games. They went into a six game tailspin after the victory and saw their lead dwindle to ½ game, but then won 10-of-11 to take the title comfortably.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
9/11: Pie, Jackie Hernandez, Ralph Kiner, Sluggo, Face Loses, Dock, Mad Dog, 1990 Bucs...
Pie, Jackie Hernandez, Ralph Kiner, Sluggo, Face Finally Loses, Dock, Mad Dog, 1990 Bucs...