Tuesday, April 22, 2014

4/22: Exposition Park, Terrible Ted, Ralph Kiner, Gus Bell, Stomped At Home and More...

Expo Park, Terrible Ted, Ralph Kiner, Gus Bell, Stomped At Home and More...

  • 1891 - The Pirates played their first game at Exposition Park, located on the North Shore of the Allegheny River across from downtown Pittsburgh, not far from where PNC Park sits. Pittsburgh lost to the Chicago Cubs 7-6. The Pittsburg Press printed a special “Sporting Edition” that included a game story and illustrations. The 16,000 seat yard featured 400-foot foul lines and a 450-foot center field fence. It was their home field until 1909, when Forbes Field opened in Oakland. 
  • 1892 - The Pirates set a franchise record when they scored twelve times in the first inning against St. Louis at Expo Park, beating the Browns 14-3. The game provided this footnote: Pittsburgh OF Elmer Smith worked a pair of free passes in that opening frame, the first time a player was walked twice in one inning. 
  • 1898 - Cincinnati's Ted Breitenstein tossed a no-hitter against the Pirates, winning easily by an 11-0 count at League Field. 
  • 1902 - The Pirates raised their 1901 pennant flag over Exposition Park in front of a record 15,000 fans and then edged the Reds 4-3, overcoming an early three run deficit. 
  • 1903 - Theodore Roosevelt “Terrible Ted” Page was born in Glasgow, Kentucky. The speedy and gritty OF’er played for the Homestead Grays (1931-32) and Pittsburgh Crawfords (1932-34). He grew up in Youngstown, and turned down a football scholarship offered by Ohio State to focus on baseball. The lefty Page batted .335 for his career, but injured his knee in 1934, leading eventually to his retirement in 1937. He stayed in Pittsburgh, and his sports focus switched. After baseball, Page ran bowling alleys, including Meadow Lanes (he was hired to work there by former teammate Jack Marshall), and wrote a bowling column for the Pittsburgh Courier. He met a tragic end, beaten to death at home in a robbery, and is buried at Allegheny Cemetery.

  Terrible Ted Page from 1932 Crawfords

  • 1937 - Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Truijillo signed several players from the Crawfords including Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, to his Dragones of Ciudad Trujillo squad. The blow that would eventually bring down the Pittsburgh team as a powerhouse Negro League club. The Crawfords were sold in 1939 and moved to Toledo. 
  • 1949 - The Pirates won their home opener‚ beating the Reds‚ 5-4. Ralph Kiner's 3rd-inning grand slam was the key blow. The Bucs had fallen behind 4-0 in the first, but Bill Werle tossed 7-2/3 frames of scoreless relief to claim the win. A
  • 1951 - Led by Gus Bell‚ who belted a homer‚ three doubles and a single while scoring three times‚ the Pirates defeated the Reds 7-5 at Crosley Field. Bill Werle tossed 2-1/3 scoreless relief frames to claim the win. 
  • 1957 - Hank Foiles hit a 425’ triple and a 258’ homer off the RF foul pole in a 3-1 loss to the Giants at the Polo Grounds. Willie Mays hit a two-out, three-run homer in the third off Luis Arroyo to carry NY to victory. 
  • 1962 - The Pirates won their tenth straight game since Opening Day, 4-3, equaling the major league record to start a season. Bob Veale beat the Mets at Forbes Field; the NY nine tied a NL record going in the opposite direction by opening the year 0-9. The Pirates won it in the bottom of the eighth when Bill Mazeroski’s double scored Roberto Clemente. 
  • 2010 - The Pirates were humiliated by the Brewers at PNC Park 20-0 for their worst loss ever. Six Bucco pitchers surrendered 25 hits. The victory completed a three-game sweep of the Bucs in which the Brew Crew outscored Pittsburgh, 36-1.


WilliamJPellas said...

That 20-0 loss and 36-1 three game sweep led to my column in which I said the Brewers beat the Pirates like it was "Genghis Khan versus the village idiot". I still say the "teardown phase" of the Nutting "rebuild" was handled poorly, was handicapped and greatly lengthened by several very bad personnel decisions and evaluations (Kevin Hart, Andy LaRoche, Brandon Moss, several others), and didn't have to reach nearly the depths that it did. There was no excuse for that beatdown by the Brewers. None.

Ron Ieraci said...

They did misfire early on, Will. But they're getting better.

When Polanco arrives, he'll fill that #2 hole in the order and leave SS as the major weak link, just as Davis helped make the middle more respectable. The bench is improved too, at least compared to past seasons.

The starters are a little thin, especially if Locke doesn't come around at Indy. But they appear to be addressing team/lineup building with more of a plan now.