Saturday, April 11, 2015

4/11: Turner's B-Day; El Coffee Signs, Rallies Galore, TRS Sellout

  • 1912 - Pittsburgh finally gave in to the inevitable and used “Pirates” on their uniforms, displayed in capital letters down the jersey’s button lapel. It replaced the old PBC (Pittsburgh Baseball Club) logo. It didn’t appreciably improve the club as they were drubbed 7-0 on opening day by St. Louis at Robison Field. They finished the year respectably, though, with a 93-58 record and a second place finish. 
  • 1961 - Bill Virdon smacked a two-out, three-run HR to right off reliever Mike McCormick to give the Pirates and Clem Labine a ninth inning, 8-7 win over the Giants in SF’s home opener. Dick Groat and Roberto Clemente each added four hits and four RS in the victory. 
  • 1965 - OF Turner Ward was born in Orlando, Florida. The journeyman played in Pittsburgh from 1997-99, hitting .281 in a fourth outfielder role. After his career, he was in the Bucco organization for a year, managing Low-A State College in 2007.
Turner Ward crashes the gate.
  • 1975 - The Bucs scored four times in the ninth to overtake Jerry Koosman and the Mets 4-3 on a chilly Opening Day match played in front of 43,880 at TRS. Richie Zisk (who had three hits) and Manny Sanguillen knocks tied the game; Richie Hebner’s one-out bloop into no-man’s land in left center was the walk-off hit. Larry Demery won the game in relief of Jerry Reuss. 
  • 1976 - At Philadelphia‚ Doc Medich, walking in from the bullpen, spotted a man having a heart attack in the stands. He jumped over the railing and applied CPR to revive him. Sadly‚ the fan later passed away in the hospital. 
  • 1980 - The Bucs defeated the Cards at Busch Stadium 4-3 as Pittsburgh scored twice in the ninth. Ed Ott singled home the tying run and the winner scored on the same play when SS Gary Templeton mishandled the relay as the Bucs overcame a sixth inning 3-0 deficit. Grant Jackson got the win. 
  • 1988 - A record crowd of 54,089, the first baseball sellout in TRS history, watched the Bucs handle the Phils 5-1, thanks to an eighth inning, bases-loaded triple by Spanky LaValliere. It was the Bucs home opener, and Mr. Rogers tossed out the first ball. 
Mike LaValliere 1992 Leaf series
  • 1989 - In the home opener at TRS, the Bucs rallied twice from the brink of defeat to take a 4-3 win off the Mets. With Jose Lind on first with one gone in the ninth Bobby Bonilla singled to center off Mets reliever Randy Myers. Lind moved to third and scored on Glenn Wilson's sac fly. Lind singled to right field against Myers in the 11th with one away and stole second base. An out later, Bonilla came through again, singling Chico home for the win, credited to Jeff Robinson. 
  • 2009 - The Pirates signed Dominican OF Gregory Polanco for $150,000 after switching him from the mound to the pasture. He made his debut last season, and Pittsburgh is looking for him to have a breakout campaign in 2015. 
  • 2010 - The Diamondbacks scored a team-record 13 runs in the fourth inning of a 15-6 victory over Pittsburgh at Chase Field. Daniel McCutchen started and gave up three homers in the fourth; he left after tossing 3-1/3 innings. McCutchen was charged with nine of the runs that inning; Hayden Penn was credited with giving up the other four.

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