Monday, August 18, 2014

8/18: Roberto's B-Day, Old Stubblebeard, Babe, Big Poison, Buck, Branch Leaves, Spanky, Dale & More...

Roberto's B-Day, Old Stubblebeard, Babe, Big Poison, Buck, Branch Leaves, Spanky, Dale & More...
  • 1887 - The Pirates gave up the most runs in franchise history when they were bombed by the Boston Braves 28-14 at North Side's Recreation Park. 
  • 1893 - RHP Burleigh Grimes was born in Emerald, Wisconsin. The Hall of Famer spent five years with the Bucs (1916-17, 1928-29, 1934), beginning and ending his career in Pittsburgh with a couple years in the middle. He was a modest 48-42/3.26 as a Pirate, but in a 19 year career with seven different clubs, Old Stubblebeard won 269 decisions. He was also the last player that was allowed to legally throw a spitball. 
  • 1914 - Babe Adams outpitched the NY Giants Rube Marquard to take a 3-1 decision at Forbes Field. The Babe helped his own cause by banging an inside the park homer, aided when frustrated center fielder Bob Bescher didn’t chase the ball after it got past him. 
  • 1931 - Paul Waner went 5-for-6 to lead Pittsburgh to a 14-5 win over the Phils at the Baker Bowl. Pie Traynor had three hits, three runs and two RBI and Eddie Phillips drove in four runs to help back Glenn Spencer’s pitching. 
Big Poison 1960 Fleer series
  • 1934 - The Great One, Roberto Clemente, was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico. The Hall of Famer and humanitarian compiled a .317 BA, hitting over .300 in 13 of his last 14 seasons, and collected 3,000 hits in eighteen years as a Pirate. 
  • 1940 - Homestead Grays’ P Ray Brown was part of the East All-Star staff that shut out the West 11-0 at Comiskey Park in the Negro League AS game. Teammate Buck Leonard added three hits and three RBI for the winners. 
  • 1948 - The Bucs put up a six-spot in the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs to pull away for a 7-4 win at Wrigley Field. Future manager Danny Murtaugh drove in three runs, and rookie pitcher Bob Chesne helped his own cause with two hits, a run and RBI. 
  • 1952 - The Pirates sent IF George Strickland and RHP Ted “Cork” Wilks to the Cards for Johnny Berardino‚ minor leaguer Charlie Sipple and $50‚000. For Berardino‚ it was his second stint in Pittsburgh, a stopping off point before his more lucrative career in movies and as a soap opera star, notably playing Dr. Steve Hardy on “General Hospital.” The deal was a win for the Tribe; Strickland ended up with eight years for the Tribe as a defensive whiz, playing 734 games while hitting .233. 
  • 1959 - Branch Rickey resigned as chairman of the Pirates board of directors to become president of the Continental League, a proposed third major league. The league disbanded in 1960 without playing a single game, but it helped to accelerate the expansion of MLB. NL and AL owners, who were opposed to the CL, approved expansion clubs in Houston, Minnesota and New York, all CL cities, to draw membership away from the new league, eventually killing it. 
Branch Rickey and, we think, Dick Groat - image from 1955 Jacksonville Journal
  • 1960 - C Mike LaValliere was born in Charlotte, NC. Spanky caught for the Bucs from 1987-93, putting up a .278 BA, and was part of three Jim Leyland-led division winning teams (1991-93) that couldn’t get past the NLCS. 
  • 1966 - Oooops! 3B Jose Pagan tied the modern NL record for errors in an inning with three in the fourth frame, booting four balls overall‚ as Pittsburgh lost to Mets 9-5 at Shea Stadium. Jose’s bad mitt day led to six unearned runs charged to loser Woodie Fryman. To make things a little worse, Pagan also went 0-for-4 with two whiffs. 
  • 1974 - The Bucs completed a three game sweep of the Dodgers at TRS, winning 10-4 behind the big bats of Bob Robertson and Richie Zisk. The pair combined to go 7-for-10 with five runs and five RBI, each collecting a homer and banging out three doubles together. Rennie Stennett and Manny Sanguillen went 6-for-9 at the top of the order and scored three runs as Larry Demery cruised to the win with ninth inning help from Dave Giusti. The game concluded an 11-for-13 streak; after a pair of losses, the Bucs then won 14-of-17 on their way to a division title. 
  • 1976 - Bucco bats were smokin’ against the Giants’ John “The Count” Montefusco and Mike Caldwell as Pittsburgh ran away with a rain shortened 12-1 win over San Francisco at Candlestick Park. Every player in the lineup had a hit, and four different Pirates either scored or drove in two or more runs. Richie Zisk led the way with a 4-for-4 day; five of his teammates had a pair of knocks. Jim Rooker rolled to victory, giving up four hits in six innings before the rain fell.
Richie Zisk 1975 Topps series
  • 1987 - LHP Justin Wilson was born in Anaheim, California. A fifth round pick in 2008 from Fresno, he didn’t sign him until two days before the deadline. A starter throughout his career (he was involved in a pair of no-hitters at AAA Indy), he was converted to a multi-purpose pen arm in the show, making his debut in 2012. 
  • 1989 - The Pirates traded OF Glenn Wilson to the Astros for OF Billy Hatcher. Wilson had hit well for the Bucs before the deal, but flopped with Houston. Hatcher didn’t hit at all for Pittsburgh and was traded after the season. 
  • 1999 - Dale Sveum became the second Pirate (Bobby Bonilla was first) to homer from both sides of the plate during a game in a 12-6 win over the Reds at TRS. Also going deep for the Bucs were Brian Giles, Ed Sprague and Al Martin. 
  • 2007 - The 2-3-4-5 hitters for the Bucs (Freddy Sanchez, Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, Adam LaRoche) combined to go 10-for-17 with a homer, four doubles, three walks, six RBI and eight runs scored to lead Pittsburgh to an 11-6 romp over the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park.

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