Monday, April 14, 2014

4/14: Bucs Christen WGN, Roberto & Maz, Jim Bunning, Nate the Great, The Fort and More...

Bucs Christen WGN, Roberto & Maz, Jim Bunning, Nate the Great, The Fort and More...

  • 1925 - Chicago’s WGN Radio broadcast its first ever baseball game as Grover Alexander and the Cubs defeated the Pirates and Emil Yde on Opening Day, 8-2. Six of the runs against Yde were unearned thanks to three Bucco boots. 
  • 1960 - The Pirates showed that they would be a NL force during their home opener, pounding the Reds 13-0 in front of 34,064 fans. Vern Law pitched a complete game shutout while Roberto Clemente and Billy Maz combined to drive home nine runs. One of the Great One’s RBI was a 445’ sac fly that Vada Pinson corralled just short of the batting cage parked in center field. 
  • 1968 - Jim Bunning earned his first win with Pittsburgh‚ 3-0 at Los Angeles. It was his 40th career shutout and included his 1‚000th NL strikeout‚ making him the first pitcher since Cy Young with 1‚000 punchouts in each league. His bacon was saved when Roberto Clemente brought back a potential two-run homer to right by Ron Fairly, leaping above the wall to snag the ball. 
  • 1980 - The Pirates got their World Series rings at the home opener at TRS. The rainy day (the game was delayed three times) drew 44,088 to the yard. The Bucs were cruising in the ninth when Teke was touched up for a couple of runs to tie the match; it was untied an inning later when Bill Robinson took Bruce Sutter yard for a trot-off 5-4 Bucco win. 

 1979 World Series ring

  • 1980 - RHP John Van Benschoten was born in San Diego. As a top draft pick in 2001 (eighth overall), the debate whether was to have JVB pitch (he was Kent State’s closer) or hit (he led the NCAA in HRs). The Pirates thought he had a better shot physically at pitching. But in three stops at Pittsburgh (2004, 2007-08) he went 2-13 with a 9.20 ERA, with arm problems along the road, and he never tossed in the majors again. 
  • 1984 - RHP Chris Leroux was born in Montreal. The reliever pitched for the Bucs from 2010-13, getting fairly regular work between 2010-11. His Pirate line was 1-2 with a 5.56 ERA. 2008 - The Bucs took a down-to-the-wire 6-4 win at Dodger Stadium when Nate McLouth hammered a three-run, two-out homer in the ninth off Dodger closer Takashi Saito. Matt Capps saved the win for Tyler Yates. 
  • 2013 - The Pirates fell behind the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 before scoring 10 runs in the seventh and eighth innings to rally for a 10-6 win behind Mike McKenry’s two long balls, the first multi-homer day of his career. The PNC fans wouldn’t sit down until The Fort tipped his cap during a curtain call. Appropriately, the Pirates were dressed in throwback seventies “Lumber Company” uniforms.

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