Tuesday, June 16, 2015

6/16: Bonus Baby Groat, Kiki's 22-Gamer, Kevin Young's B-Day (Fritz, Pete, Max & Arquimedes, Too)

  • 1890 - 1B Fritz Mollwitz was born in Koburg, Germany. The sweet fielding first baseman played from 1917-19 for the Pirates, hitting .245. He was near the end in Pittsburgh. The Bucs sold him to the Cards in August 1919, and that was his last MLB stop after a seven year career.
  • 1913 - IF Pete Coscarart was born in Escondido, California. He spent the last five years of his career in Pittsburgh (1942-46) after an All-Star stint at Brooklyn. Coscarart backed efforts in 1946 to form a players union and voted to strike for its acceptance, and as a result, he found himself out of the major leagues. He sued MLB baseball in 2001 for royalties associated with the use of his name and image, lost the case and had his $10,000/year pension taken away from him by Bud Selig because of the suit.
  • 1916 - Boston RHP Tom Hughes tossed a no-hitter against the Bucs, winning 2-0 at Braves Field. The Pittsburgh Press cited Hughes’ fastball and change of pace, while noting “he has ever been a Buccaneer hoodoo.” Hard luck Pirate starter Erving "Peanuts" Kantlehner worked his third straight game without the Pirates scoring a run in his support.
  • 1922 - RHP Max Surkont was born in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Max had been an effective pitcher for the Braves, but during his Buc years (1954-56) he sailed in rough waters, tossing for a team noted for its futility. He went 16-32/4.92 as a Pirate.
Max Surkont - 1954 Bowman series
  • 1925 - The Pirates blew a 9-4 lead, allowing the NY Giants to come back and tie the game in the ninth and then jump ahead by a pair in the 10th. But the Bucs answered with four runs of their own with Kiki Cuyler’s two-run homer being the game winner to claim a 13-11 victory at Forbes Field for Lee Meadows.
  • 1926 - Kiki Cuyler collected two hits and three RBI to lead the Bucs to a 6-3 win over Boston at Braves Field. It ran his hitting streak to 22 games, which ended the next game when he was held hitless, although drawing a walk and HBP.
  • 1927 - Lee Meadows defeated Boston 6-0 behind the smokin’ bat of Paul Waner. Big Poison ran his hitting streak to 19 games‚ his multi-hit and RBI streak to 12 games and his extra-base hit streak to 11 games, going 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBI. Meadows did his part, too, spinning a six-hitter against the overmatched Braves at Forbes Field.
  • 1940 - Max Butcher tossed a complete game, two hit shutout against a NY Giants team that boasted five .300+ hitters in their lineup, taking a 5-0 decision in the opener of a Polo Grounds DH. Elbie Fletcher went 4-for-5 with a triple to support Butcher. The Bucs took the nitecap too, 5-3, with Rip Sewell on the hill. Debs Garms had three hits and three RBI in game two.
Debs Garms - 1942 Play Ball
  • 1952 - Dick Groat was signed out of Duke University as a bonus baby for $25,000 plus $5,000 annually for the next five years, according to interviews. At the time of his signing, the media speculated that it was more like $75,000, and the Pirates never officially announced a figure. The story told is that the Pirates offered Groat a contract the year before, but the All-America hoopster and baseballer told them that he wanted to play out his last season, and if the team came back with the same offer after that, he'd sign with them.
  • 1969 - 1B Kevin Young was born in Alpena, Mississippi. Young played 11 of his 12 seasons for the Pirates (1992-95, 1997-2003), hitting .259 with 138 HR. He was the last Buc on the right side of the long losing slide. At the time of his retirement in 2003, he was the only player remaining who had played on the last winning Pirate team in 1992, during his rookie year.
  • 1994 - The Pirates beat the Cardinals 7-5 in 10 innings. They made it hard on themselves by banging into a NL record-tying seven double plays at Busch Stadium, but put up a three spot in the tenth for the win. The Pirates scored their last run on a DP; Carlos Garcia’s sac fly brought home Orlando Merced while Gary Varsho, who had started on first base, was thrown out trying to get to third after the play at the plate.
Gary Varsho - 1992 Donruss series
  • 1987 - RHP Arquimedes Euclides Caminero (named after Archimedes and Euclid) was born in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. The speed demon - he’s hit 100 on the radar gun - had his contract sold to the Pirates by the Miami Marlins this year.
  • 1998 - The Bucs blew a 7-1 ninth inning lead against the Phillies to lose 8-7 at Veteran’s Stadium after Philadelphia roughed up relievers Ricardo Rincon and Rich Loiselle. The pair walked three and gave up a triple and a two out walk-off grand slam to Mike Lieberthal. SS Lou Collier also threw away a grounder that allowed two runs to score and made the final tallies all unearned, wasting three-run homers off the bats of Al Martin and Aramis Ramirez.
  • 2005 - Randy Johnson and NY shut down the Bucs pretty easily by a 6-1 score at Yankee Stadium, but Michael Restovich’s fourth inning solo shot left Pittsburgh as the only team to collect an extra-base hit at least once in a game all season, with the streak at 64 games.
  • 2012 - Pedro Alvarez homered twice and Casey McGehee once, as did Alex Presley, to lead the Pirates to a 9-2 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. McGehee had four RBI and El Toro added three as AJ Burnett picked up the win.

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