Monday, June 1, 2015

6/1: Kendall Drafted, Clemente Found, Veale & Frankie K Marks, Eephus...

  • 1901 - The Bucs lost to the Reds 4-3, following a disputed call by rookie umpire Bert Cunningham, a pitcher whom the Pirates got in an offseason trade and then cut, ending his playing career. Cunningham ruled Kitty Bransfield out at first on a questionable bang-bang call, costing the Pirates the tying run, to end the game. 2,000 fans stormed the field at Exposition Park after the decision, suspecting a bit of bias in the ump’s call, and Cunningham had to led to the locker room by Fred Clarke and Honus Wagner to escape mob justice. 
  • 1939 - Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia in the Phillies’ first night game at Shibe Park, 5-2, as Rip Sewell took the W. The Bucs only had seven hits, but eight walks and a beaned batter gave them plenty of runners. Bill Brubaker homered while Paul Waner & Arky Vaughan scored the other four runs from the top of the order. 
Bill Brubaker 1934 Play Ball series
  • 1943 - For the first time that we can find, Rip Sewell tossed the ol’ eephus in a MLB game during a 5-4 win against the Boston Braves at Forbes Field. He first unveiled it during the 1942 exhibition season against Detroit’s Dick Wakefield. The pitch went by the names blooper, LaLob, dew drop, moon ball and many other less flattering titles. It’s name legendary came from Pirate OF Maurice Van Robays, who said an "'Eephus ain't nothing, and that's a nothing pitch." It’s thought that his reference was from the Hebrew word "efes,” meaning "nothing.” The Bucs won the game thanks to Huck Geary and his 14th inning steal of home. 
  • 1954 - Montreal Royals OF’er Roberto Clemente, who the Dodgers had sent to Canada, was nevertheless found out by Pirate scout Clyde Sukeforth. Sukeforth, ironically, wasn’t even a scout but a Pittsburgh pitching coach on special assignment in Richmond, where the Royals were playing, to check out pitcher Joe Black. Sukeforth strongly recommended that the Bucs take Clemente in the upcoming minor league draft, based more on his pre-game eyeball scouting of Roberto throwing and running than his actual performance, and the rest is history. 
  • 1960 - Bob Friend gave up a leadoff single to Eddie Kasko, but the Reds would find him hard to hit the rest of the way as the Bucs beat Cincinnati 5-0 at Forbes Field. Friend tossed a three hitter, walking only one, and none of the Redlegs reached second base. Four Pirates had two hits, with Roberto Clemente driving home a pair of runs and Don Hoak plating twice. 
Bob Friend 1993 Topps Archive series
  • 1965 - Bob Veale set the Pirate nine inning strikeout mark when he K'ed 16 Phillies at Forbes Field in a 4-0 victory, even though he sat through two rain delays that added two hours to the game. The five-hitter was the Bucs 12th consecutive win. The big lefty also struck out 16 Reds in 12 innings on September 30th, 1964. Back before the gun, the 6’6” lefty was estimated to throw a heater in the 97-98 MPH range. 
  • 1971 - Dock Ellis tossed a three hitter as the Bucs bombed the Cardinals 9-0 at TRS. It was a team effort - every Buc had a hit, all but Ellis scored, and six players had RBI. Richie Hebner and Dave Cash had three hits while Manny Sanguillen and Vic Davalillo added a pair. It was the third straight shutout authored by the Bucs as Steve Blass and Bob Moose zipped the Cubs leading into the series.
  • 1978 - The Pirates released back-up infielder Jim Fregosi at the request of California Angels’ owner Gene Autry. Fregosi, 36, replaced Dave Garcia as Angels manager the next day. 
  • 1979 - The Pirates scored four times in the ninth inning to rally past the San Diego Padres 9-8 at TRS. Dave Parker cranked a one out, three run homer off John D'Acquisto to tie it, and Lee Lacy drew a bases loaded free pass with two away off Rollie Fingers for the win after Ed Ott had been intentionally walked before him. Phil Garner went 4-for-5 and scored twice. 
  • 1988 - The Pirates drafted prep SS Austin Manahan first in the draft (his bonus wasn’t released; Manahan said in an interview that it was “six figures”); he never made it past AA, and in fact their first five picks never made the show. They did hit on a couple of later selections, selecting Tim Wakefield, Randy Tomlin, John Wehner and Blas Minor. 
John Wehner 1992 Score Rising Stars series
  • 1992 - Prep C Jason Kendall was selected in the first round (#23) of the draft and signed for a $336K bonus in one of Pittsburgh’s more enlightened picks. He spent nine of his 15 MLB seasons with the Pirates, hitting .306 and earning spots on three All-Star teams. After him came a group of reserves - OF’ers Adrian Brown and Trey Beamon, pitcher Marc Wilkins, and infielders Lou Collier and Kevin Polcovich. 
  • 1996 - Paul Wagner tossed a one-hitter with ten K for seven innings at TRS, but lost to Colorado 2-0. He couldn’t find the plate in the third; two walks followed by a wild pitch cost him as Dante Bichette hit a ball through the shortstop hole to score the pair. The Bucs had nine hits, but stranded 10 in the whitewash. 
  •  2005 - Florida lost its ninth straight game at PNC Park‚ 9-1. Rob Mackowiak hit his second career grand slam and Jack Wilson went 4-for-4 to pace the attack behind Josh Fogg and Salomon Torres’ pitching. The last Marlin win in Pittsburgh was September 8th‚ 2002; they snapped the streak the next day by a 6-3 count. 
  • 2006 - The Pirates swept the Milwaukee Brewers in a four game set by scoring twice in the ninth to take a 4-3 decision at PNC Park. With two away, Jose Castillo doubled home Jeromy Burnitz, followed by the game winning knock by Ryan Doumit, both off Derrick Turnbow. The Pirates outscored the Brew Crew 34-8 in the series.
Jeremy Burnitz (photo: Lynne Sladky/Associated Press)
  • 2010 - Pittsburgh fell behind Chicago 2-0 on a two run, third inning blast by ex-Pirate Xavier Nady. A homer by Garrett Jones in the next frame halved the lead and in the eighth inning, a blast to left center by Neil Walker off Ted Lilly with Cutch on ahead of him was enough to give Joel Hanrahan a 3-2 win over the Cubs at PNC Park. Octavio Dotel earned the save for his set-up man (and future closer) Hanny thanks to The Pittsburgh Kid’s first MLB homer. 
  • 2013 - Francisco Liriano tied the franchise record by striking out seven consecutive Reds, but Mike Leake won the duel at PNC Park by a 2-0 count. Liriano went six innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, punching out 11. Not a ball left the infield in the inning he surrendered the run, and only a disputed two-out call at first allowed Cincy to score at all.


Lee Foo Rug Bug said...

Neat story about Sukeforth. I never knew he was the pitching coach.

I used to have that Friend Baseball card. When we moved, my stupid brother put my stuff out for trash, and put the trash box on the truck.

Ron Ieraci said...

Same story here, Lee. When I left for the Army, my cards, records, etc when donated to the trashman. I guess my mom thought I was gonna be a military lifer.