Tuesday, June 9, 2015

6/9: Hans Collects 3,000; Quail & Cobra B-Days; Zisk Cycle; NY Pelted By Bucs, Then Fans...

  • 1905 - It was a wild first inning, as attested by the Pittsburg Press headline "Pirates Win Slugging Bee: Two Twirlers Driven Off the Rubber After One Inning." The Giants scored five runs in the top of the first off Sam Leever and the Pirates came back with six runs off Iron Man Joe McGinnity in the bottom of the frame. Deacon Phillippe of the Pirates and Christy Mathewson of NY replaced the twirlers in the second inning. It was all Pittsburgh after that, with the Bucs rolling over New York 12-6 at Exposition Park. Fred Clarke, Ginger Beaumont, Honus Wagner, Del Howard and Tommy Leach each collected a pair of hits. And to add insult to injury, the Giants were pelted with fruit as they walked along Market Street after getting into a name-calling contest with some gloating Pittsburgh fans.
  • 1906 - The Phillies had a 1-0, eighth inning lead over the Pirates at the Baker Bowl. As a storm approached, the Pirates rallied in the ninth to forge ahead, and the Phils decided to give away outs‚ bean batters, toss wild pitches (the Pirates caught on and swung at them, trying to strike out on purpose) and argue almost every call in the hope of umpire Bill Klem calling the game because of the weather. He did, all right: after seven runs crossed the plate‚ Klem declared a forfeit because of Philadelphia’s antics. The Philly ploy almost worked - it rained two minutes after the game was called.
  • 1914 - Honus Wagner became the first 20th Century ballplayer to collect 3,000 hits when he doubled off Philadelphia's Erskine Mayer in a 3-1 loss at Shibe Park. Cap Anson, whose career ended in 1897, was the the first to reach the magic mark. Wagner is the only hitter to get his 3,000th career hit off a pitcher who won 20 games that same season (Mayer went 21-19).
Honus and his sticks (photo - Library of Congress)
  • 1931 - Bill Virdon was born in Hazel Park, Michigan. The Quail came over from the Cards in 1956 and patrolled center field for 11 years (1956-66) in Pittsburgh, including the 1960 World Series season. Virdon won Rookie of the Year in 1952, the World Series in 1960 and a Gold Glove in 1962. He later coached and managed the Bucs and still lends a hand at spring training.
  • 1940 - The Pirates won for the fifth time in six games when they took the back end of a twin bill from Philadelphia by an 11-5 score at Forbes Field. Elbie Fletcher went 3-for-4 with a double and five RBI while Paul Waner matched him, also going 3-for-4 with a double, with two RBI and three runs. Mace Brown got the win.
  • 1946 - The Bucs really got under the skin of Giants manager Mel Ott. He was ejected from both games of a doubleheader at Forbes Field for arguing calls with the men in blue (two different umps tossed him), a MLB first. Ott should have scolded his hitters, who were shut down by 2-1 and 5-1 scores by Bucco hurlers Fritz Ostermueller and Johnny Lanning.
  • 1951 - Dave Parker was born in Calhoun City, Mississippi. The Cobra manned right field for 11 years (1973-83) for the Bucs with a line of .305/166/758, earning four All-Star appearances and three Golden Glove awards. He was the 1978 National League MVP and the first professional athlete to earn one million dollars per year after signing a five-year, $5 million contract in January 1979.
The Cobra (photo - CBS Sports)
  • 1953 - The refusal of the NL owners to allow the Pirates to take down Forbes Field’s Kiner Korner after the trade of Ralph Kiner played into the Pirates’ hands in their 7-4 win over the Cards. Eddie Pellagrini belted a three run pinch HR over the short porch in the eighth‚ after Dick Hall earlier lofted a solo shot in the fourth into the same spot.
  • 1966 - For the second time in a week, Roberto Clemente homered over the center field wall at Forbes Field, the first right handed batter to ever pull off that feat more than once. That blast came during a 4-2 loss to the Cards; the first was part of a 9-5 win over Houston.
  • 1974 - Richie Zisk hit for the cycle against the San Fran Giants during a 14-1 romp at Candlestick Park with five RBI and four runs scored. Willie Stargell outdid him with two homers, a double and six runs driven home. Bob Robertson also went long as Jerry Reuss cruised to victory.
Cap'n Willie slaps skin with Roberto in 1969 (photo - Post Gazette archives)
  • 1978 - Down 8-1 after five innings, the Bucs came to life and ran down the Cincinnati Reds by an 11-9 count at TRS. They were led by Willie Stargell, who had pumped up his teammates with a short mid game speech, and Bill Robinson. The pair combined for seven hits (four 2B), six RBI and five runs scored. Chuck Tanner made the unorthodox move of bringing in starter John Candelaria from the pen, and he recorded four straight outs for the save of Grant Jackson’s victory.
  • 1989 - Pittsburgh scored in the bottom of the ninth to tie the Mets after they had gone ahead in the top half, and then again in the tenth to take a 4-3 win at TRS. Gary Redus’ two-out single-and-error bouncer to short scored Rafael Belliard to knot the game. Another Met miscue led to the winner. Andy Van Slyke’s single to right was misplayed into a three-bagger, and after a pair of intentional walks, Benny Distefano’s ground ball was the walk off at-bat to earn Bill Landrum the W.
  • 1999 - The Pirates beat up on the Tigers‚ 15-3‚ as Brant Brown smacked out five hits‚ including a double and homer, scored four runs and drove home five. Ed Sprague and Jose Guillen each added a bomb and three RBI at Tiger Stadium.
  • 2009 - C Tony Sanchez was the Pirates first selection (#4 overall - $2.5M signing bonus) in the draft. RHP Vic Black ($717K bonus) was the second round pick, and IF Brock Holt was chosen in the ninth round; both were later traded.

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