Thursday, June 5, 2014

6/5: Jack Chesbro, Shutdown City, Lefty, Stu, Pops, Bill Robinson, Drafts - Scurry, Burnett, Pedro - & More...

Jack Chesbro, Shutdown City, Lefty, Stu, Pops, Bill Robinson, Drafts - Scurry, Burnett, Pedro - & More...
  • 1874 - RHP John D. Cheesbro, better known as Jack Chesbro, was born in Houghtonville, Massachusetts. The righty spent the first four years (1899-1902) of his career as a Pirate, going 70-38/2.83 with a pair of 20+ win seasons. He jumped from the NL Pirates to the AL New York Highlanders in 1903, and won 41 games in 55 appearances (41-12/1.82) in 1904, a record that will never be overtaken. The Old Timers’ Committee voted him into the Hall of Fame in 1946 on the strength of that superb season. 
  • 1903 - The Pirates banged out 17 hits against Boston at Exposition Park to claim a 9-0 victory and Pittsburgh's fourth straight shutout‚ setting a new MLB record. Fred Clarke went 5-for-5 and Ginger Beaumont 4-for-5 to lead the attack. The Buc pitchers would run their shutout streak to six games before finally yielding a run. 

Fred Clarke - Sweet Caporal Cigarettes 1911 series

  • 1951 - Buc rookie knuckler Paul “Lefty” LaPalme hurled a 8-0 shutout against Boston at Braves Field in his first major league start. It was his only win of the year, though he lasted seven MLB seasons, four with the Pirates, with a 24-45/4.42 line. 
  • 1959 - Dick Stuart hit a 457’ homer over the Forbes Field center field wall, the longest home run in the history of the ballpark. Dr. Strangeglove's blast came in the first inning off Glenn Hobbie during the Pirates' 10-5 loss to Chicago.
  • 1966 - In a 10-5 Bucs win over Houston at Forbes Field‚ Willie Stargell went 5-for-5 with two HR and a double‚ giving him nine straight hits in two days against the ‘Stros. Roberto Clemente added a 500’ shot off Turk Farrell. 
  • 1973 - The Pirates selected HS catcher Steve Nicosia first (#24) in the draft. He spent eight years in the show, six as a Bucco reserve, with a Pittsburgh BA of .248. In the third round, they chose 1B Mitchell Paige, who had a couple of strong years in Oakland. 
  • 1974 - The Bucs selected high school lefty Rod Scurry as their top pick (#11) in the draft. He began a battle with drug addiction during the eighties when the Pirate clubhouse was nose candy central and became the centerpiece of the Pittsburgh coke trial, and died addicted at 36. The Bucs also added some fringy pieces that year - RHP Ed Whitson (sixth round), IF Mike Edwards (seventh round) and LHP Bryan Clark (10th round). 
  • 1976 - McKeesport’s Bill Robinson hit three homers and drove home four runs, but the Pirates lost in fifteen innings to the San Diego Padres at TRS 11-9 after scoring three times in the ninth, the rally built around Dave Parker’s triple, to send the game into overtime. 
  • 1979 - The Bucs spent their second round pick (they didn’t have a first rounder) on prep lefty Scott Fiepke, who was injured in the minors and never rose above AA ball. They had better luck in the next round with RHP Jose DeLeon, using a pick they got from the Expos as compensation for FA Duffy Dyer. RHP Mike Bielicki was their top selection in the secondary phase of the draft. 
  • 1989 - The Pirates picked high school SS Willie Greene first (#18) in the draft. He played nine years in the show, though not for Pittsburgh, and was a four-year starter for the Reds, ending up with a .234 lifetime BA. They also signed starting pitchers Paul Wagner and Steve Cooke along with reliever Jeff McCurry, whom all spent considerable time as MLB players.

 Steve Cooke - 1997 Upper Deck Collector's Choice series
  • 2000 - High school lefty Sean Burnett was the Pirates top choice (#19 - $1.65M signing bonus) in the draft. Pittsburgh signed some nice players - RHP Chris Young (third round), OF Jose Bautista (20th round), OF Nate McLouth (25th round), RHP Ian Snell (26th round) and RH reliever Scott Baker (36th round) in one of their better draft days. 
  • 2001 - The Pirates selected RHP John Van Benschoten of Kent State first in the draft (#8 overall) and signed him to a $2.3M bonus. LHP Zach Duke, the twentieth selection, was the only long time Bucco (9 yrs, 49-75/4.60) chosen that year. Other notable players signed from that draft were Jeff Keppinger, Rajai Davis, Chris Shelton and Chris Duffy. The Pirates selected a SS out of Georgia’s Lowndes County HS, Stephen Drew, in the 11th round, but couldn’t sign him; he instead went to Florida State and was drafted by Arizona in 2004. They also lost their third round pick, Stanford RHP Jeremy Guthrie, who didn’t sign and went in the first round to Cleveland the following season. 
  • 2008 - Pedro Alvarez was drafted by the Pirates in the first round as the second pick overall of the draft. He signed on September 24th at the midnight hour as Scott Boras and the FO locked horns until the last minute (and maybe beyond), settling on a $6.335M bonus. SS Jordy Mercer was selected in the third round and LHP Justin Wilson in the fifth.

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