Monday, April 7, 2014

4/7: Bobby Del Greco, Danny Murtaugh, Candy Man, Reuss-for-Rhoden, Walk-Off Opening Win, more...

Bobby Del Greco, Danny Murtaugh, Candy Man, Reuss-for-Rhoden, Walk-Off Opening Win, more...

  • 1887 - RHP Jack Ferry was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He worked sparingly for Pittsburgh from 1910-13, posting a 10-6 record with a 3.02 ERA in 160-⅔ IP. Ferry was the first Seton Hall grad to play MLB.
  • 1933 - OF Bobby DelGreco was born in the Hill District. He played his first two years with the Pirates in 1952 and 1956, hitting .219. His career spanned nine seasons, and he played regularly with the Phils and A’s. After finishing his playing career, his day job was as a delivery driver for the Pittsburgh Press and he moonlighted by tossing BP for the Bucs into the nineties. 
  • 1970 - After eight consecutive Opening Day defeats, the Mets finally won a lidlifter by beating the Pirates 5-3 at Forbes Field. It took 11 innings, but Ron Taylor, with a Tug McGraw save, beat Chuck Hartenstein. New York became the first team to have won a World Series (1969) before winning a season opener. 
  • 1977 - Danny Murtaugh’s number 40 was retired on Opening Day in front of 35,186 fans the year following his death. He won a pair of World Series and was twice Manager of the Year. Known for his dry wit, The Whistling Irishman attributed his success to “brilliant managerial thinking and dumb Irish luck.” 
 Danny Murtaugh from Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 1978 - The Candy Man tossed a seven hit shutout to thwart Rick Reuschel and the Cubs 1-0 in the Pirates home opener at TRS. Bill Robinson was the hero; his hard slide into second after a Willie Stargell grounder broke up a potential inning-ending DP and allowed Frank Taveras to score the game’s only run. The Bucs collected just three hits on in front of 39,082 fans who got home happy and quickly; the game took one hour and 52 minutes to complete. 
  • 1979 - The Pirates traded LHP Jerry Reuss to the Los Angeles Dodgers for RHP Rick Rhoden. Both sides got dependable starters out of the deal, as Rhoden won 72 games for Pittsburgh between 1981-86 and Reuss notched 84 victories in LA from 1979-85. 
  • 1999 - The Sixth Street Bridge was renamed the Roberto Clemente Bridge. 
  • 2008 - The Pirates lost the first home opener of the Frank Coonelly/Neal Huntington era in exciting fashion, dropping a 10-8 decision to the Cubs at PNC Park in 12 innings. The Bucs fell behind 7-0, rallied to tie the score, and were set to win it in the ninth when Jose Bautista laid down a squeeze with Brian Bixler at third. Bixler lost his nerve and retreated back to the bag, costing Pittsburgh its last chance at victory.
  • 2012 - Jeff Karstens and four relievers held the Phils scoreless for 9-2/3 innings to take a 2-1, ten inning decision at PNC Park. After Juan Cruz stranded a pair in the top of the final frame, Rod Barajas led off the tenth with a double. Mike McKenry ran for him, and Alex Presley brought him home by legging out a bleeder to third with two outs for the walk-off win.

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