Tuesday, June 3, 2014

6/3: Big Poison, Josh Gibson, Bob Skinner, Kison to the Rescue, Barry Bonds Drafted, Nate to Atlanta, Much More...

Big Poison, Josh Gibson, Bob Skinner, Kison to the Rescue, Barry Bonds Drafted, Nate to Atlanta, Much More...
  • 1906 - The Pirates sent rookie LHP Ed “Loose’ Karger to the St Louis Cardinals for veteran RH hurler Chappie McFarland. Karger pitched well for some bad St. Louis teams and lasted through 1911, going 48-67 with a 2.79 ERA while working for four teams. Chappie was waived in August and pitched once more in the show, for Brooklyn in 1906. 
  • 1927 - Paul “Big Poison” Waner of Pittsburgh homered off the Phils’ Claude Willoughby in a 11-1 romp at Forbes Field. Waner’s homer ignited the start of a NL record 14 game streak with an extra base hit (12 doubles‚ 5 triples‚ 3 HR). 
  • 1932 - Behind 5-2, the Pirates scored three in the bottom of the eighth and then got an inside-the-park homer from Tony Piet in the eleventh to defeat the Cubs 6-5 at Forbes Field. Piet had four knocks and four RBI to prime the attack. The Bucs had three triples during the game, two of which got away from Chicago player-manager Rogers Hornsby, who then benched himself. 

 Tony Piet - 1933 Conlon All-Star series (1983 reprint)

  • 1937 - Homestead Gray C Josh Gibson hit his most storied homer, reported by the Sporting News to have traveled 580’, catching the back rim at Yankee Stadium (if accurate, which is a point of debate, it would be longest home run ever hit; Mickey Mantle’s 565’ blast in 1953 is considered the longest), two feet short of clearing the center field bleachers, against the NY Black Yankees. 
  • 1962 - During the nitecap of a double header, Bob Skinner hit a RF roof shot at Forbes Field, the second of his career, off Houston’s Ken Johnson during a 10-3 loss. The Bucs also lost the opener 10-6, giving the Colt .45s their first DH sweep in franchise history. 
  • 1964 - IF Nelson Liriano was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The veteran infielder saw a lot of part time action for the Bucs in 1995-96, getting in 219 games and hitting .277 after being claimed off waivers from Colorado. 
  • 1979 - The Bucs hit five home runs, two from Bill Robinson with four RBI, as the Bucs whipped the Padres 7-0 at TRS. But the big story was Bruce Kison, an emergency starter who got the nod shortly before the game when Don Robinson couldn’t go. In fact, the start time was delayed 10 minutes so he could warm up. He got loose pretty quickly; he carried a no hitter into the eighth, when with two outs, Barry Evans, a .197 hitter, bounced a ball inside the third base line. Phil Garner, who was playing off the bag, took a couple of steps over, went for the backhand grab and had it tick off his mitt into left for a soft two bagger. It was ruled a hit. Kison didn’t agree; he walked off the mound after the inning and shook his fist at the scorer, Dan Donovan, who was in the press box. The controversial (to Kison, anyway) grounder was the only hit he surrendered. 
  • 1985 - Barry Bonds was drafted by the Pirates in the first round (6th pick overall) of the 1985 draft and signed two days later for a $125,000 bonus. 
  • 1987 - Bucco second baseman Jim Morrison had a career-high three doubles, drove in two runs and tied his career high with four hits (4-for-4) in Pittsburgh’s 4-1 win over the Braves in front of just 5,368 fans at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. 
  • 1988 - The Pirates put up runs in the eighth and ninth frames to edge the Montreal Expos 2-1 at TRS. John Smiley tossed a one-hit complete game with eight K, but the knock was a two-out triple that RJ Reynolds couldn’t come up with followed by a balk. The Bucs tied it in the eighth on a Jose Lind solo shot. Mike Lavalliere doubled with an out in the ninth. John Cangelosi ran for him and came in on Mike Diaz’s pinch hit knock, making a hard-luck loser out of John Dopson. 
  • 1991 - JC catcher Jon Farrell was the Pirates first selection (#24) in the draft; he got as far as AA ball. The only noteworthy selection of the day was seventh round pick 2B Tony Womack, who spent 13 years in MLB, five as a Buc, for whom he hit .278 while stealing 122 bases. 
  • 1992 - The Bucs took an early 6-2 lead thanks to a four-run third inning and held on to drop the LA Dodgers at TRS by a 6-5 score. Jeff King brought home three runs and Jerry Gleaton claimed his only Pirate victory, with a save by Stan Belinda. With the win, the Pirates reclaimed first place in the NL East from the Cardinals and then held the top spot for the rest of the year, spending just eight days without the lead or a share of it.

 Jerry Don Gleaton - image from The Goal

  • 1993 - Pittsburgh pretty much missed the mark in this draft. They selected HS OF’er Charles Peterson first (#22 - $420K bonus), who never made it to the show, followed by second round OF Jermaine Allensworth (#34 - $194K bonus); he played 2-1/2 years for the Bucs, hitting .272 as a reserve. RHP Kane Davis was the only other big league contributor beyond a cup of coffee; his top season was 2001 for Colorado, when he made 57 appearances and went 2-4 with a 4.35 ERA. 
  • 1997 - The Pirates drafted HS OF/1B JJ Davis as their top pick (#8) and signed him to a $1.675M bonus (Davis was a three sport star and had a football scholarship in hand from USC). He played 67 MLB games, with 106 at-bats and a .179 BA. In a bit of down-the-road deja vu, Paul Meyers of the Post Gazette wrote that RHP Jason Grilli was on the Pirates “hot list” of potential picks, but he went off the board before they could get him as the #4 overall selection of the Giants, eventually joining the team in 2011. They found bullpen arms later on, selecting LHPs John Grabow third and Mike “Gonzo” Gonzalez in the 30th round. 
  • 2009 - The Bucs traded OF Nate McLouth to Atlanta for OF Gorkys Hernandez, LHP Jeff Locke and RHP Charlie Morton, clearing an everyday spot for Andrew McCutchen, who was called up from the minors that day. Hernandez was later flipped for Gaby Sanchez while Morton and Locke filled rotation spots. McLouth was a flop for the Braves and during a brief return to Pittsburgh but revived his career with Baltimore. 
  • 2011 - It took Pittsburgh 12 innings, but they finally took home a 2-1 win over the Phillies at PNC Park. Jose Tabata drove in the first run on a sac fly and the second during a two-out lightning strike. With the bases empty in the 12th and two away, Xavier Paul singled, stole second, and came in on JT’s grounder through the right side. Danny Moskos got the win, his first MLB victory. He was one of five Pirate pitchers that scattered six hits to Philadelphia hitters.

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