- 1891 - The Pirates played their first game at Exposition Park, located on the North Shore of the Allegheny River across from downtown Pittsburgh, not far from where PNC Park sits. Pittsburgh lost to the Chicago Cubs 7-6. The Pittsburg Press printed a special “Sporting Edition” that included a game story and illustrations. The 16,000 seat yard featured 400-foot foul lines and a 450-foot center field fence. It was their home field until 1909, when Forbes Field opened in Oakland.
|Exposition Park (undated photo from the Historical Society of Western PA)|
- 1892 - The Pirates set a franchise record when they scored twelve times in the first inning against St. Louis at Expo Park, beating the Browns 14-3. The game provided this footnote: Pittsburgh OF Elmer Smith worked a pair of free passes in that opening frame, the first time a player was walked twice in one inning.
- 1898 - Cincinnati's Ted Breitenstein tossed a no-hitter against the Pirates, winning easily by an 11-0 count at League Field. He struck out two, walked one, and another runner reached via error. All in all, the Pittsburg Press saw fit to call it “...a wonderful feat.”
- 1902 - The Pirates and their opponents, the Cincinnati Reds, marched in a raucous parade from the Monongahela House hotel to Exposition Park for the Home Opener that was seen by thousands, the Pittsburg Press wrote on the front page. The Bucs raised their 1901 pennant flag over the ballyard in front of a record 15,000 fans and then edged the Reds 4-3, overcoming an early three run deficit. Tommy Leach scored the winning run in the eighth, singling and then advancing from first-to-third on a bunt. He scored on starting and winning pitcher Sam Leever’s sac fly.
|Sam Leever display (Goshen Ohio Historical Society)|
- 1903 - Theodore Roosevelt “Terrible Ted” Page was born in Glasgow, Kentucky. The speedy and gritty OF’er played for the Homestead Grays (1931-32) and Pittsburgh Crawfords (1932-34). He grew up in Youngstown, and turned down a football scholarship offered by Ohio State to focus on baseball. The lefty Page batted .335 for his career, but injured his knee in 1934, leading eventually to his retirement in 1937. He stayed in Pittsburgh, and his sports focus switched. After baseball, Page ran bowling alleys, including Meadow Lanes (he was hired to work there by former teammate Jack Marshall), and wrote a bowling column for the Pittsburgh Courier. He met a tragic end, beaten to death at home during a robbery, and is buried at Allegheny Cemetery.
- 1913 - Manager Fred Clarke was suspended for five days after a “run in” with umpire Brick Owens, who rang up a Red at Forbes Field for the final out of a Bucco win on 4/19, only to change his mind and decide it was a ball, after all. The Pirates had started to trot off the field, allowing a runner to scoot to third while the club was in disarray. It became a moot point when the Bucs held on for a 6-5 win over Cincinnati. Afterward, Clarke admitted that he had used “forceful language” in arguing his case, but given the circumstances, was upset with the time off. First-place Pittsburgh was already missing injured stars SS Hans Wagner and C George Gibson, and would shortly start a slide that dropped them out of contention.
- 1937 - Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Truijillo signed several players from the Crawfords including Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, to his Dragones of Ciudad Trujillo squad. It was the blow that eventually brought down the Pittsburgh team as a powerhouse Negro League club. The Crawfords were sold in 1939 and moved to Toledo.
- 1941 - Pitcher Mace Brown was sold to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Mace had spent seven years as a Pirate, doing everything from starting to closing, but with Brooklyn was converted to one of the first full-time relievers. He was fairly effective over the next three years, but lost 1944-45 to the war while serving in the Navy, and 1946 was his last MLB campaign.
|Mace Brown 1941 Double Play series|
- 1949 - The Pirates won their home opener‚ beating the Reds‚ 5-4. Ralph Kiner's 3rd-inning grand slam was the key blow. The Bucs had fallen behind 4-0 in the first, but Bill Werle tossed 7-2/3 frames of scoreless relief to claim the win.
- 1951 - Led by Gus Bell‚ who belted a homer‚ three doubles and a single while scoring three times‚ the Pirates defeated the Reds 7-5 at Crosley Field. Bill Werle tossed 2-1/3 scoreless relief frames to claim the win.
- 1957 - Hank Foiles hit a 425’ triple and a 258’ homer off the RF foul pole in a 3-1 loss to the Giants at the weirdly configured Polo Grounds. Willie Mays hit a two-out, three-run homer in the third off Luis Arroyo to carry NY to victory.
|Hank Foiles 1957 Topps series|
- 1962 - The Pirates won their tenth straight game since Opening Day, 4-3, equalling the major league record to start a season. Bob Veale beat the Mets at Forbes Field; the NY nine tied a NL record going in the opposite direction by opening the year 0-9. The Pirates won it in the bottom of the eighth when Bill Mazeroski’s double scored Roberto Clemente.
- 1997 - The Pirates signed OF’er Turner Ward to a $300K deal after he had was released by the Brewers. He had two solid years for the Bucs, including an all-time TV moment when he crashed through the TRS wall. But he hit under the Mendoza line in 1999 and was released in August,.
- 2001 - Jason Kendall gave the Bucs their first walkoff win at PNC Park with a two-run homer off Chicago’s Jeff Fassero in the 10th inning. The Cubs took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 10th on a leadoff homer by Gary Matthews. But in the home half, Kevin Young delivered a pinch-hit single and Kendall followed with his blast to give the Bucs and Mike Williams the win.
- 2010 - The Pirates were humiliated by the Brewers at PNC Park 20-0 for their worst loss ever. Six Bucco pitchers surrendered 25 hits. The victory completed a three-game sweep of the Bucs in which the Brew Crew outscored Pittsburgh, 36-1