- 1867 - OF Jake Stenzel was born in Cincinnati. He patrolled center field for five years (1892-96) for Pittsburgh. Stenzel was a strong guy with the stick, putting up a line of .360/.429/.528 in his Alleghenys years, adding 188 stolen bases. He was a monster in 1894, hitting .352 with 150 runs and 121 RBI, banging 13 HR, 20 triples, and 39 doubles while swiping 61 sacks. Stenzel scored 100+ runs in his final three seasons with Pittsburgh. Per John Dreker of Pirates Prospects, Stenzel is the only player in baseball history to produce a .350 BA, 80 RBI, 100 runs & 50 SB line in a season four times (Honus Wagner did it twice) and is the franchise leader in batting average and on base percentage.
- 1902 - The Bucs whipped the Orphans 7-2 at the West Side Grounds in a game that was highlighted by a brawl between Chicago’s Joe Tinker and the Pirates Wid Conroy. Steamed that Conroy had held him (literally) at second in the previous game, Tinker launched a punch at Conroy, who promptly retaliated before ump Hank O’Day could restore order. Conroy ended up with a 20 day suspension while instigator Tinkers was given a three day slap on the wrist. Pure baseball was at a minimum as the Pittsburgh Press described the game action as providing “an oversupply of bungling” and added that “neither team did sufficient good playing to deserve a victory.” Chicago picked up the nickname of Cubs during this season because of the youthfulness of their roster.
- 1907 - C Ralston “Rollie” Hemsley was born in Syracuse, Ohio. Rollie spent the first four years (1928-31) of his 19-year MLB stay with Pittsburgh, starting the last two and putting up a .264 BA. After being traded, he went on to have five All-Star years with three different clubs.
|Rollie Hemsley (photo: Retro Images Archive)|
- 1908 - The Flying Dutchman did it all this day: he smacked a home run and double‚ then broke a 3-3 tie with an eighth inning single. Wagner then added an insurance run by stealing home as the Pirates won 5-3 over the Reds at Exposition Park.
- 1917 - Pitcher Al “Lefty” Gerheauser was born in St. Louis. Lefty tossed during 1945-46 for the Bucs as a swingman, going 7-12 with a 3.93 ERA. He came to the Pirates from the Phils in exchange for Vince DiMaggio.
- 1924 - Cincinnati’s Eppa Rixey retired the first 23 Bucco batters that he faced and had a 1-0 lead in a duel with Ray Kremer. But the Pirates scratched out a run in eighth and added three more in the ninth, with the big blow a two-run single by Kiki Cuyler, to take a 4-3 win at Redlands Field. The Reds almost came all the way back, scoring twice in their half of the ninth, with Edd Rousch, representing the tying run, cut down at the plate on a strong relay by SS Glenn Wright. Pittsburgh was outhit 13-6 in the contest.
- 1933 - Arky Vaughan hit for the cycle against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. He went 5-for-5 with five RBI and three runs in a 15-3 Bucco victory. He was (and still is) the youngest MLB player to hit for the cycle, at 21 years, 3 months of age.
|Arky Vaughan image via Deadball Era|
- 1963 - The baron of the Bullpen, ElRoy Face, was featured as the cover story of Sports Illustrated in an article titled “Baseball’s Best Reliever.”
- 1965 - Willie Stargell’s first career three homer game (the Bucs hit five dingers during the match, with Bob Bailey and Jim Pagliaroni also going yard) sparked the Bucs to a 13-3 romp over first-place Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. Don Cardwell got the win over Don Drysdale.
- 2008 - For the first time since Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, the New York Yankees visited Pittsburgh. Bill Mazeroski threw out the first pitch at PNC Park, and it was deju vu all over again as the Bucs broke out the bats to win 12-5. Freddy Sanchez had three hits and three runs scored while Ryan Doumit and Adam LaRoche also had three knocks with a pair of RBI each. The Bucs were the last MLB team to earn a regular season win against the Yankees. Also true to form, they were clobbered 10-0 by the Bronx Bombers the following day.