- 1863 - SS William “Bones” Ely was born in North Girard, just outside Erie. And if you’ve ever wondered who held down SS before Honus Wagner, wonder no more - Bones is the man. Ely played for the Alleghenys/Pirates from 1896-1901, and was a good glove man who hit .256 for Pittsburgh. He was released in the summer of 1901, the Bucs first pennant-winning year, at the age of 38 and his spot was taken by the Flying Dutchman.
- 1907 - Les Biederman was born in Wilkinsburg. He was the Pittsburgh Press' Pirates beat reporter for 31 years (1939-69) and served as The Sporting News's Pittsburgh correspondent. Les was also president of the BBWAA and named “Sportswriter of the Year” in 1960 by a pair of national writers' organizations.
|Les Biederman via Bill Burgess|
- 1911 - Talk about pitching to contact: Pirates hurlers had the Giants beating the ball into the dirt all day as Pittsburgh fielders handled 55 chances for a MLB record 28 assists and 27 putouts. Unfortunately, more than a couple that got away, as the Bucs committed seven errors on their way to a 9-4 loss to New York at Forbes Field.
- 1939 - The Bucs signed former All-Star/triple crown winner and future Hall-of-Famer OF Chuck Klein, who was released by Philadelphia. Klein, 34, hit .300 in 85 games for Pittsburgh and then returned to the Phils as a free agent. In a bit of an oddity, the Bucs released another future Hall of Famer at the end of his career, Heinie Manush, to make roster room for Klein.
- 1940 - LF Maurice Van Robays went 4-for-5 with a 2B, 3B and five RBI to lead Pittsburgh to a 10-5 win over Philadelphia at Forbes Field. Paul Waner and Arky Vaughan added three hits apiece.
|Maurice Van Robays - The Sporting News Collection|
- 1946 - An hour before the game, the Pirates voted against a walkout in support of the American Baseball Guild, which was pushing for a minimum salary of $7‚500‚ arbitration of salary disputes‚ and players sharing in 50 percent of any team sale price. The motion actually carried by a 20-16 vote, but needed a ⅔ majority. The Bucs took it out their frustrations on the poor baseball, beating the New York Giants 10-5 behind a 15 hit attack.
- 1966 - Bob Gibson K’ed four Pirates in the fourth inning - Jerry Lynch, Jim Pagliaroni, Bill Mazeroski and Don Cardwell - to tie a record held by several (Maz reached on a wild pitch third strike). He struck out 12 in seven innings, but also gave up 11 hits as the Pirates laid a 9-1 whipping on him and especially the Card bullpen at Forbes Field.
- 1967 - HS outfielder Joe Grigas was the Pirates first (#16) pick in the draft, and never advanced past Class A ball. They had better luck with OF Richie Zisk in the third round. He spent six of his 13 big league seasons with the Pirates, hitting .299. The second half of his career was in the AL, where he earned a pair of All-Star berths.
- 1969 - Manny Sanguillen hit his first MLB homer and added a double to drive in three runs as the Bucs dusted the Braves 10-2 at Atlanta Stadium. Roberto Clemente went 4-for-5 with a three run homer and triple, scoring three times.
- 1969 - Pittsburgh picked HS righty John Morlan first (#10) selection in the draft; he won two games over two seasons. The rest of the draft was a complete washout.
- 1972 - The Bucs can beat ya with a hammer or with small ball, as they proved to SD in a doubleheader sweep at Jack Murphy Stadium. They won the opener 12-5 behind Willie Stargell’s two homers and five RBI, then took the nitecap 1-0 in 18 innings with two infield singles, a double steal, and two walks. Maz was walked intentionally to get to Gene Alley, who drew a free pass from Mike Corkins to force home Al Oliver. Bob Johnson, who made his first two relief appearances of the year in the twin bill, got a win and save. Starter Dock Ellis was brilliant, giving up just two hits and at one point retiring 22 straight Padres.
|Dock Ellis - 1972 Topps series|
- 1976 - The Pirates and Reds combined for seven solo homers bombed out of TRS. Al Oliver, Willie Stargell and Bill Robinson connected in the seventh off Jack Billingham while Richie Zisk hit the game-winner in the eighth for a 5-4 Buc victory.
- 1977 - HS outfielder Anthony Nicely was the Pirates first pick (#18). He never made it to the show, but two of his draft mates did - SS Wayne Tolleson (12th round), who spent ten years in the league mostly as a reserve for Texas and the Yankees, and LHP Dennis Rasmussen (18th round), who pitched 12 seasons of MLB ball for five teams.
- 1982 - High school SS Sammy Khalifa was the first (#7) Pirate pick in the draft. the good glove, bad bat infielder would play 186 MLB games. They also drafted LHP Joe Magrane in the third round, but he didn’t sign with Pittsburgh, going to the Cards in 1985 as a first-rounder.
- 1986 - The Pirates selected University of Arkansas's Jeff King‚ The Sporting News college player of the year‚ as the first overall pick in the June draft, giving him an $185K bonus. The Bucs selected other MLB talent in OF Tom Goodwin (.268 over 14 years), SS Mike Mordecai (.244 over 12 years) and pitchers Stan Belinda (who spent his first four plus seasons as a Pirate) and Rick Reed, who started as a Pirate but blossomed as a Met and Twin.
- 2005 - Andrew McCutchen was selected in the first round (#11 overall) of the draft and was signed to a $1.9M bonus to pry the prep star away from a scholarship to Florida. That made it a great day, even though the only other selections to make it to the show were eighth round pick Steve Pearce and fourth rounder Brent Lillibridge.
- 2010 - Pittsburgh drafted high school ace RHP Jameson Taillon, inking the second overall pick for a $6.5M bonus. They also signed preppie RHP Stetson Allie in the second round for $2.5M, who fizzled as a pitcher due to control issues and was converted to an outfielder. The club spent $11.9M on their draft class overall.
- 2012 - Clint Barmes and Mike McKenry hit back-to-back doubles off Aroldis Chapman in the 10th inning to give the Pirates a 5-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds at GABP. Chapman hadn't allowed an earned run in 24 appearances covering 29 innings prior to the game and hadn't even allowed a hit since May 17th, while Barmes and McKenry were both batting under .200. It was especially sweet coming right after Joel Hanrahan had blown the save by allowing Ryan Ludwick’s homer to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth.