- 1897 - IF Gene DeMontreville had five hits, but it wasn’t enough as the Pirates went down to the Senators 10-8 at Washington’s Boundary Field. DeMontreville had a 36-game hitting streak from 1896 to 1897. The mark wasn’t discovered by baseball historians until 2007, and ranks as the tenth-longest hitting streak in MLB history.
Gene DeMontreville (Wikipedia )
- 1909 - The Pirates defeated the Brooklyn Superbas 8-2 at Washington Park for their 14th straight win. It was snapped the following day, but between May 24th - June 29th, Pittsburgh won 27-of-30 games on the way to their first World Series title over Ty Cobb’s Detroit Tigers.
- 1912 - 1B Babe Dahlgren was born in San Francisco. He played for the Pirates from 1944-45, hitting .271 and earning an All-Star spot in 1944. Babe was famous for two things: He replaced Lou Gehrig in 1939, ending the Iron Horse’s 2,130 game playing streak, and was credited as being the first MLB player to take a drug test for a non-performance enhancing drug. He took it voluntarily in 1943 to dispel rumors that he was a marijuana smoker.
- 1925 - Gene Baker was born in Davenport, Iowa. The back-up infielder played for the Bucs from 1957-58 and 1960-61 with a .259 BA. In 1961, he became the first African-American manager in organized baseball when the Pirates named him skipper of their Batavia farm club in the New York-Penn League. In 1963, the Pirates promoted him to the big team as the second black coach in MLB, behind Buck O'Neil by three months. When Danny Murtaugh was tossed by an ump, Baker became the interim manager for two games, making him the first black to manage a team in a major league game. Baker managed Batavia again in 1964, and after more time as a minor league coach and manager, he returned to Davenport and became the Bucs’ top midwest scout for 23 years.
- 1939 - The Pirates picked up 1B Elbie Fletcher from the Boston Bees for IF Bill Schuster and cash. Fletcher played seven seasons for Pittsburgh (he missed three because of WW2) and hit .279 with 60 HR and 464 RBI for the Bucs. Broadway Bill Schuster was a sub who also missed three war years, and hit .234 over a five-year career.
- 1941 - RHP Bruce Dal Canton was born in California, PA. Dal Canton was signed by the Bucs out of California State College and tossed his first four big-league seasons (1967-70) in Pittsburgh, finishing with an 11-year career as a starter and long man.
- 1949 - Rookie OF Dino Restelli homered twice and drove in five RBI against Boston’s Warren Spahn, leading the Pirates to an 8-7 come-from-behind victory at Forbes Field. After a blazing start, he was back in the minors the next season. Some people say his career was ruined when he took a Ewell Blackwell fastball in the neck; another theory was that he couldn’t see because of east coast humidity - his glasses kept fogging up!
Dino Restelli 1949 Photo
- 1951 - The Pirates received RHP Ted Wilks, IF Dick Cole, C Joe Garagiola, OF Bill Howerton and LHP Howie Pollet from St. Louis for LHP Cliff Chambers and OF/3B Wally Westlake. Pollet and Chambers ended up as washes on the hill, but Westlake played seven more seasons and retired with a lifetime .272 BA.
- 1958 - SS Johnny O’Brien and 3B Gene Freese were traded to the Cardinals for IF Dick “Ducky” Schofield, who would play a key role in the Bucs 1960 NL championship as a sub for the injured Dick Groat during the stretch run for the pennant.
- 1961 - Pittsburgh traded OF Gino Cimoli to the Milwaukee Braves for IF Johnny Logan. Cimoli was a bench player for the Braves, then went on to start for KC in 1962-63. Logan’s All_Star days were behind him and he spent three seasons with the Bucs as a reserve infielder.
- 1966: The Atlanta Braves traded LHP Billy O'Dell to the Pirates for RHP Don Schwall. O’Dell was effective in ‘66, making 37 appearances with a 2.78 ERA, but that doubled the next season, his last in the majors. Scwall went 3-3 in eight starts for Atlanta, and pitched one game in 1967 before his career ended, too.
- 1971 - The Bucs scored twice in the ninth to beat Houston 3-0 at the Astrodome behind Steve Blass’ six hitter. But Roberto Clemente’s catch was the highlight reel. Ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth with one on and one out, Clemente first robbed Cesar Cedeno with a sliding shoestring catch. The next grab off Bob Watson may have been his best, when he leaped and pulled in his liner from over the wall in a twisting motion with his back to the plate, crashing into the fence at full throttle. He landed dazed; CF Al Oliver had to take the ball from him. UPI’s Darrell Mack caught Watson’s reaction: "I never saw one like that...he hit it (the wall) wide open. He never slowed up. I don’t see how he could keep the ball in his glove. The thing that makes him so great is that he does it all in a jam. He’s one of the best clutch players in the game.” The fans in Houston gave him two ovations; one after the catch and once again in the ninth when he batted.
Roberto Clemente - Duane Rieder Photography
- 1976 - The Bucs were in effect rained out of a game at the Houston Astrodome. Though the field was fine and the teams took their pre-game warmups, flooding prevented the umps from reaching the yard. The Pirates and Astros shared their clubhouse buffet on the field with the few faithful Texans who had shown up for the game. It was the only time in MLB history that a game under a dome was called off because of bad weather rather than a building malfunction.
- 1987 - In a 3-1 win over the Cardinals‚ Jim Morrison set a MLB record by getting caught stealing home twice in the same inning. He was first caught in a rundown and Terry Pendleton dropped the throw to third, with Morrison being charged with a CS and Pendleton an error. Morrison tried to steal again - some guys never learn - and was caught cleanly the second time.
- 1992 - Jeff King was caught stealing twice in the same inning. The first time he was given 1B after being picked off when he collided with Phillies P Terry Mulholland during the rundown. Mulholland was called for interference‚ and King was charged with a caught stealing. He was nailed later in the frame trying to steal third. The Bucs lost 4-1.
- 2008 - The Bucs squandered a 4-2 lead in the ninth, allowing the Orioles to score twice, but came back in the tenth to claim a 5-4 win at Camden Yards. Jason Bay walked to start the extra frame and scored on Adam LaRoche’s single. Matt Capps, who had blown the save by giving up a two run, two out homer to Bip Roberts, struck out a pair in the tenth to claim the W.
- 2010 - The PA House passed a bill recognizing the Pirates 1960 championship team as part of the club’s 50th anniversary celebration. It was accepted by a 197-0 vote and was sponsored by 64 members in a rare bipartisan display.
- 2010 - The Pirates lost to the Chicago White Sox 6-4 at PNC Park, but don’t blame Andrew McCutchen. He had his seventh 3+ hit game, with a walk, run scored, RBI and stole three bases for the second time in his brief career. In one sequence, Chicago’s Matt Thornton threw to first 14 times to keep Cutch close - and he still stole second. Brad Lincoln lost his second straight start since being called up from the minors, and for the Bucs, it was their ninth consecutive loss.