Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4/15: Alleghenys Play Ball, Batty, Chief Yellow Horse, Hammerin' Hank Greenburg, Twin Killings and More...

Alleghenys Play Ball, Batty, Chief Yellow Horse, Hammerin' Hank Greenburg, Twin Killings and More...

  • 1876 - The Pittsburgh Alleghenys played what’s thought to be the city's first professional baseball game against the local Xanthas at Union Park, winning 7-3. (The Alleghenys had paid players, but weren’t members of a league). 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 one of the first person to play both pro baseball and football, starring on the gridiron for Latrobe, perhaps the first pro football team in America. The middle infielder played 3-1/2 of his nine big league seasons (1907-10) for Pittsburgh, hitting .253, and was a reserve for the 1909 World Series champs. 
  • 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. 

 Image from Vintage Card

  • 1930 - The Bucs took the season opener from Cincinnati 7-6 at Redland Field. North Side’s Steve Swetonic went 5-1/3 innings of one run ball in relief for the win. Paul Waner batted 4-for-4 while Dick Bartell and Rollie Hemsley homered. 
  • 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 required 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. 
  • 1958 - The Pirates beat the Braves 4-3 in 14 inning contest, tying the longest opening day game ever played in the NL, a record they would tie again in 1969. Bill Virdon chased home Hank Foiles with the game winner at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Ron Blackburn got the win and Curt Raydon picked up the save. 
  • 1960 - OF/1B Mike Diaz was born in San Francisco. He played in Pittsburgh from 1986-88, hitting .250 with 28 HR in 524 AB. 
  • 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. Dick Groat started three of the four Buc twin killings. 
  •  2009 - The Pirates acquired IF/OF Delwyn Young from the Dodgers for RHPs Eric Krebs and Harvey Garcia. Young played 234 games for the Pirates during the 2009-10 seasons, hitting .255 with 14 HR and 71 RBI, while neither Krebs nor Garcia made it, although Garcia had a cup of coffee with Florida in 2007, appearing in eight games.

No comments: