Saturday, April 19, 2014

4/19: Hans, Boots, Bottles, Rip, RJ, St. Mary's Joe, Tim Foli, Zachster, Wandy's Gem...

Hans, Boots, Bottles, Rip, RJ, St. Mary's Joe, Tim Foli, Zachster, Wandy's Gem...
  • 1900 - The Pirates lost their opener to St. Louis 3-0 at Robison Field as Cy Young pitched a five hitter and K’ed nine. The game was auspicious because it marked the Pittsburgh debut of SS Honus Wagner, who had played for Louisville of the American Association for three seasons. He didn’t disappoint, getting two of the Bucs five hits. 
  • 1902 - The Cardinals booted 11 balls in a 10-4 loss to the Bucs at Sportsman Park‚ setting a NL record. The Pirates mishandled four more plays to help set a single game NL error record. The Pittsburg Gazette called it a “game that would make amateurs blush.” 
  • 1948 - At Cincinnati‚ the Reds opened the season with a 4-1 win over the Pirates in a game delayed by a shower of bottles in the eighth frame. The Bucs went down fighting when Cincy’s Babe Young doubled and got tangled with Buc SS Stan Rojek. Young went after Rojek, failing to note that the ball was back in play, and was tagged out. A fan jumped the railing to go after ump Jocko Conlin, who had rung Young up. First base ump Beans Reardon came over to help get things in order, but instead got into a fight with the riled fan. Police restored peace while the Queen City faithful pitched a few bottles the Buccos’ way. The fighting fan, btw, was allowed to return to his seat. 
  • 1949 - Rip Sewell whipped Dutch Leonard 1-0 in front of Governor Adlai Stevenson and Chicago Mayor Martin Kennelly at Wrigley Field. It was the third time Sewell blanked the Cubbies on Opening Day. The Pirates scored in the ninth when pinch-hitter Les Fleming’s grounder scored pinch runner Jack Cassini for an unearned run; he was in for Dixie Walker, who reached on an error. 
  • 1959 - Robert James “RJ” Reynolds was born in Sacramento. The switch-hitter spent six seasons with the Pirates, hitting .269 as a platoon outfielder and pinch hitter from 1985-90. He often played with Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke, but age and Bobby Bo’s emergence was the beginning of the end for RJ, who finished his career playing in Japan and Mexico. 

Topps 1987 series

  • 1977 - Joe Beimel was born in St. Mary’s PA. The lefty from Duquesne University started his career in Pittsburgh (2001-03) and made another stop in 2012. He was 11-20 in his four campaigns with the Bucs, pitching to a 5.03 ERA. The Bucs released him after he had TJ surgery in 2012. 
  • 1979 - The Mets traded Tim Foli and minor league prospect Greg Field to the Pirates in exchange for SS Frank Taveras. Foli solidified the infield for the eventual World Champs, batting .291 and appearing in 133 games. 
  • 1983 - LHP Zach Duke was born in Clifton, Texas. He spent the first six years of his career in Pittsburgh and put up a line of 49-75/4.99. Called up in July of 2005 after being named the Bucco Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2004, he went 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA, but never posted an ERA south of four after that as a Pirate. 
  • 1986: Happy birthday to me! Leadoff hitter RJ Reynolds celebrated his 27th birthday with a grand slam off Chicago’s Scott Sanderson in the fourth inning at Wrigley Field during a 14-8 Pirates win. The game featured six home runs (three by each team) and 28 hits (14 by each team). 
  • 2013 - Wandy Rodriguez tossed seven innings of one hit ball as the Bucs beat the NL leading Atlanta Braves 6-0 at PNC Park. The Bravos ended up with two hits, and both were erased on DP balls. There were no walks or errors, and the three Pirate hurlers (Wandy, Mark Melancon, Vin Mazzaro) faced the minimum 27 batters.

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