Monday, September 1, 2014

9/1: First All-Black Lineup, Pud, Joe Brown, The Quail, Bucs Drop Koufax/Drysdale, Teke, Catapult & More...

First All-Black Lineup, Pud, Joe Brown, The Quail, Bucs Drop Koufax/Drysdale, Teke, Catapult & More...
  • 1877 - Jim “Pud” Galvin and the Alleghenies edged St. Louis in 15 innings‚ 1-0. Two days earlier‚ they had beat Milwaukee by the same score in 12 innings, per Charlton’s Baseball Chronology. Both games were played in the International Association, considered a minor league. 
  • 1890 - On Labor Day at Washington Park, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, later known as the Dodgers, won all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team swept the visiting Alleghenys, who were renamed the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4. The Alleghenys lost the next game to them by a 5-4 count to run their losing streak to 23 games. 
  • 1917 - The Pirates lost their third straight 1-0 game to the St. Louis Cardinals at Robison Field. The Cards‚ behind the pitching of Red Ames, Oscar Horstmann and Milt Watson‚ outpitched Bob Steele, Wilbur Cooper and Hal Carlson. With the three-in-a-row 1-0 wins, the Cards tied the MLB mark and set the NL standard. 
  • 1918 - GM Joe L Brown was born in New York City. Brown served as the general manager from November 1, 1955, through the end of the 1976 season, replacing mentor Branch Rickey. Under his watch, the Pirates became world champions in 1960 and 1971. Ever a loyal Pirate, after a decade of serving as a Southern California-based scout for the Bucs, Brown was called back in 1985 to serve as acting GM when the Pirates, rocked by a drug scandal, poor play and falling attendance, were sold by the Galbreath family to a local group. He oversaw the transition and acted as a bridge between GMs Pete Peterson and Syd Thrift. 
Joe Brown 1985 - photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images
  • 1927 - The Pirates tied for the NL’s top spot by beating the Cubs‚ 4-3 at Forbes Field. Joe Harris homered and doubled, with two runs and two RBI, to back Lee Meadows. The Waner brothers cut down Chicago runners at home and third. The Bucs whipped the Cards the next day to take the sole possession of first place and never looked back, winning the hotly contested pennant race by 1-½ games. 
  • 1963 - The “Quail,” CF’er Bill Virdon, hit a two-out walk off grand slam off Al Worthington to give the Bucs a dramatic 6-4 win over the Reds at Forbes Field. Willie Stargell drove in the other runs with a homer and double. Earl Francis, the third Buc pitcher, got the win. 
  • 1965 - The Bucs laid losses on aces Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale on the same day during a Forbes Field twinbill with last at-bat rallies. The Pirates defeated Koufax, 3-2, in 11 innings in the opener and then beat Drysdale, 2-1, in the nitecap. Joe Gibbon and Vern Law picked up the victories. Jim Pagliaroni doubled home Willie Stargell to claim the opener while Bill Virdon scored on a two-out error in the eighth to take the nitecap. It was the Bucs 12th win in 14 games and moved them within 2-½ games of LA in the NL pennant race. 
  • 1971 - The Pirates fielded baseball's first all-minority lineup 24 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line in a 10-7 win over the Phillies at TRS. The card read: Rennie Stennett (2B), Gene Clines (CF), Roberto Clemente (RF), Willie Stargell (LF), Manny Sanguillen (C), Dave Cash (3B), Al Oliver (1B), Jackie Hernández (SS) and Dock Ellis (P). Six starters had two hits and every position layer reached base during the game. It went almost unnoticed in Pittsburgh; both newspapers were on strike, Bob Prince and Nellie King, the radio announcers, mentioned it only in passing, and Bill Guilfoile, the Pirate PR man, said they had to check the records afterward to see if it really was the first all-black lineup after receiving a couple of inquiring letters.
  • 1974 - The Major League Scouting Bureau was founded to cut costs and centralizing scouting. Membership wasn’t mandatory until 1984‚ and the Bucs refused to join until then. 
  • 1979 - Chuck Tanner sent reliever Kent Tekulve from the mound to left field and brought in southpaw Grant Jackson to face lefty Darrell Evans against the Giants with two down in the ninth. (He wanted Tekulve available in case Evans got aboard.) Evans hit a fly to Teke, who waved his arms and made the catch to finish the game, a 5-3 Bucco win in the opener of a DH at Candlestick Park. Willie Stargell had two homers and Dale Berra added another in support of the Bruce Kison win. It was Teke’s only appearance in the field anywhere but on the mound during his entire major and minor league career. Jim Bibby pitched the Bucs to a 7-2 sweep in the nitecap, backed by Lee Lacy’s three hits, including a homer, two runs scored and three RBI. 
  • 2008 - Andy LaRoche’s 45’ roller was the only hit against CC Sabathia in a 7-0 Brewer win in Pittsburgh. Sabathia picked up the ball dribbled up the right side and then dropped it. Scorer Bob Webb ruled it a hit almost immediately. Brew Crew players and coaches were livid it wasn’t ruled an error, except for Sabathia, who blamed himself, not the scorer, for LaRoche reaching base. 
  • 2013 - The opening pitch was tossed out not by a human celebrity, but by a trebuchet (a catapult), designed by the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. The first machine to ever toss a ceremonial ball at PNC Park (it was named "Rookie of the Gear"), it delivered a strike to the designated catcher, the Pirate Pirate, 10 minutes before the game against the St. Louis Cards was to begin. The Bucs might have been better off keeping the contraption on the mound, as they lost to the Redbirds 7-2.
"Rookie of the Gear" warms up - photo from Gatesman+Dave advertising agency
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