- 1863 - John Tener was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, and moved to the City as a babe. A pitcher for the Pittsburgh Burghers in 1890, he later served as Governor of Pennsylvania from 1911 to 1914, and President of the National Baseball League from 1915 to 1918.
- 1894 - The Chicago Colts pounded out 26 hits, 12 for extra bases, and laid a 24-6 beating on Pittsburgh at the West Side Grounds. Every Colt had at least a hit and a run, and Chicago batted around in four innings. It could have been worse; the game was called after seven innings so the Pirates could catch a train back home. The Pittsburg Press noted that the game “...resulted in the most disastrous whipping recorded in the annals of the national league of baseball,” adding that “...the Pittsburg fielders were kept busy chasing savage drives...Pittsburg’s weakness in the box was apparent,” as it was in the 18-11 loss suffered the day before. Still, the club did finish the year at 65-65, albeit with a 5.62 team ERA.
- 1896 - The Pirates traded 1B Jake Beckley to the New York Giants for 1B Harry Davis and cash. Beckley was a local favorite and would eventually enter the Hall of Fame, so the deal didn’t sit very well with the fans. Both teams got a good year, bad year out of the players, who went on to star for different clubs. Beckley spent seven years with Cincinnati and hit .325 over that span, cementing his HoF path, while Davis spent 16 of his last 17 seasons (he played 22 years) hitting .279 for the Philadelphia Athletics.
- 1908 - Before an overflow crowd of 30,000 at the Polo Grounds, the Pirates' Lefty Leifield topped the NY Giants and Christy Mathewson, 7-2. Two errors in the seventh opened the gates for five Pirate runs. Pittsburgh was led by Honus Wagner, who went 5-for-5 to take over the batting lead from a hitless Mike Donlin of the Giants. After each hit, Wagner held up a finger to show the number of safeties he had to RF Donlin, according to the BR Bullpen entry.
Hans - 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats series
- 1912 - The Pirates blew an early lead against Brooklyn, but rallied to tied the score in the eighth and then rode Howie Camnitz’s arm to a 14 inning, 8-7 win over the Superbas at Forbes Field. Camnitz gave up just two hits in six innings, and got the win when Dots Miller’s sac fly brought home Chief Wilson, who had singled and moved to third on a Honus Wagner double.
- 1913 - Max Carey scored five runs against the Phils without a hit‚ reaching first via an error and four walks‚ as the Bucs won 12-2 at Forbes Field. He also stole four bases and advanced twice on wild pitches to help Claude Hendrix to the win. The Pittsburg Press griped that “The battle was a long, drawn out affair that required two hours and 10 minutes.”
- 1917 - 1B George “Highpockets” Kelly was claimed by the Bucs in a waiver deal with the NY Giants. He got in eight games, and after the injured player he replaced (43 year old Honus Wagner) came back, he was returned to the Giants in another waiver deal. Kelly became a Hall-of-Fame player for NY, hitting .297 over 16 seasons.
- 1921 - CF Max Carey corralled 11 flies during the Pirates' 6-3 win over New York at Forbes Field. He also scored three times, going 3-for-4 with two doubles. Rabbit Maranville, batting behind him, drove home three to support Babe Adams, who went the distance for the win.
Max Carey - 2004 Upper Deck Legendary Cuts series
- 1925 - In a ho-hum 7-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Forbes Field, Kiki Cuyler became the last Bucco to steal second, third and home in a game.
- 1931 - Larry French went the distance at Forbes Field during a 14-inning, 3-2 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the longest NL contest of the season. It wasn’t exactly a gem, as he gave up 15 hits, but enough of an effort to outlast Fred Heimach, who also went gate-to-gate. Pie Traynor had three hits (two 3B & 2B), two runs and an RBI. It was the second game of a twin bill; the Bucs took the opener 5-2. Spades Wood not only tossed a three hitter, but drove in a pair of runs. Traynor had two hits in that match, including a double, and scored twice.
- 1944 - Max Butcher tossed a six-hit goose egg at the Polo Grounds as the Bucs blasted the NY Giants‚ 15-0. Pittsburgh banged out 20 hits and posted a nine run second inning. Bob Elliott had the hot bat with six RBI and a homer while Pete Coscarart and Jim Russell each had four knocks.
- 1951 - The Pirates overcame a 4-0 deficit by scoring four times in the seventh and once again in the eighth to storm past the NY Giants 5-4 at Forbes Field. Joe Garagiola’s homer in the seventh was the big blow. The game winner was a bases loaded sac fly by George Strickland delivered an inning later. Ted Wilks got the win after two innings of clean relief work with three K.
Joe Garagiola 1953 Bowman series
- 1956 - The Bucs blew a four run lead by giving up eight tallies to the Cubs in the last two innings. But Chicago wasn’t the only comeback club at Forbes Field. Roberto Clemente ripped an inside the park, ninth inning grand slam to bring the Bucs back for a 9-8 win. He banged the pitch off Jim Brosnan, and it ricocheted off the base of the left field light standard and ran along the track into center. Clemente ran through 3B coach Bobby Bragan’s stop sign and as Ernie Bank’s relay headed home "He slid, missed the plate, then reached back to rest his hand on the rubber... as the crowd of 12,431 went goofy with excitement" wrote Jack Herndon of the Post Gazette. It was the first walk-off, inside-the-park grand slam in MLB history. In the same game, Dale Long hit his 20th homer, then a club record for lefties, breaking Arky Vaughan’s 1935 mark.
- 1960 - The Bucs regained first place when Bob Friend defeated the Cardinals 4-2 at Busch Stadium behind homers from Bill Virdon, Bob Skinner and Roberto Clemente. Pittsburgh wouldn’t relinquish the top spot for the remainder of the season.
- 1962 - RHP Doug Drabek was born in Victoria, Texas. He tossed six seasons (1987-92) in Pittsburgh with a line of 92-62/3.02. Drabek won the Cy Young in 1990 when he went 22-6, but oddly never made an All-Star team as a Pirate.
- 1963 - Tommie Sisk pitched five innings of near perfect relief (he walked two) and rode Roberto Clemente’s three run homer to a 6-2 win over league leading Los Angeles and ace Sandy Koufax at Dodger Stadium. Smoky Burgess chipped in with a pair of RBI. Koufax had entered the game with just three losses and a 1.75 ERA.
- 1972 - The NL nosed the AL 4-3 at Atlanta Stadium in the All-Star game. Manager Danny Murtaugh had a boatload of Bucs on his roster: P Steve Blass, OFs Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Al Oliver plus C Manny Sanguillen. Blass went an inning and gave up a run. Sangy went 1-for-2, Pops 0-for-1 with a walk, and Scoops went 0-for-1. The Great One didn’t get in the last of his 12 All-Star games; he was voted a starter, but was injured. He did have a pretty capable replacement, though - Hank Aaron played in his stead.
- 1982 - John Candelaria faced the minimum 27 batters in a four hit shutout win over the Atlanta Braves. Three DP and a caught stealing took the Brave runners off the basepaths in an 8-0 whipping at TRS. The middle of the Pirate lineup - Bill Madlock, Jason Thompson and Dave Parker - drove home a pair of runs each.
John Candelaria 1982 Fleer series
- 1985 - OF Alex Presley was born in Monroe, Louisiana. Picked in the eighth round of the 2006 draft, he hit .261 as a yo-yo part of the Pirate roster between 2010-13, when he was traded to Minnesota as part of the Justin Morneau deal.
- 1992 - Danny Jackson gave up one hit at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, but it was unfortunately a home run to David Justice as the Braves behind Charlie Leibrandt beat the Bucs 1-0. The Pirates best chance to score was in the first, but both Andy Van Slyke and Lloyd McClendon were caught stealing to run themselves out of the frame - and the game. Pittsburgh didn’t make any noise again until the ninth, when Barry Bonds bounced out with two down and two aboard.
- 2003 - Pittsburgh won its fifth game in six tries 10-5 over the Cards at Busch Stadium. Reggie Sanders had a homer and triple, Brian Giles a homer and double and Jose Hernandez added a pair of two-baggers against Saint Louis. Brian Meadows got the win in relief of Kip Wells.
- 2004 - The Bucs won their eighth game in ten outings with a 6-5 decision against the Reds at PNC Park. Tike Redman had a homer and three RBI as Sean Burnett, who was yanked with an out in the sixth, got the win behind 3-2/3 scoreless innings from the pen.
- 2011 - In their first ESPN-televised game in seven years, the Pirates defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-1 behind James McDonald, who struck out nine in 5-2/3 frames, and four relievers at Turner Field, keeping the Bucs tied for first place in the NL Central for the last time in 2011.
James McDonald 2013 Topps Opening Day series