Monday, July 6, 2015

7/6: Ward Splashdown; HBD Cy; Freak Show Sweep; McClatchy Steps Down; All-Star Outings

  • 1896 - The Pittsburgh Press described the game, played in the rain at Washington, as “...a farce. But was not without excitement, however, for Umpire Tim Hurst threatened to whip half a dozen players.” Hurst reportedly punched Pirates Jake Stenzel and Emerson "Pink" Hawley in the jaw for the guff they had given him during the game. According the New York Clipper "neither player resented the attack." The Pirates defeated the Senators 6-2 at Boundary Park.
  • 1901 - NY Manager George Davis said he would pull his team off the Polo Grounds rather than allow ump Harry Colgan to call the game, and he got his wish. Colgan didn’t show up, and under the threat of a forfeit and fine by the league if the blustering Giants didn’t play the match, the two teams each selected a player - Giant Charlie Buelow and Pirate Jack O'Connor - to ump. Davis might have been better off with Colgan as his club lost 6-2, but at least there weren’t any rhubarbs. There were only two bang-bang plays, and sportsman O’Connor called them both for the Giants.
  • 1908 - RHP Darrell Elijah “Cy” Blanton was born in Waurika, Oklahoma. He twirled for Pittsburgh from 1934-39, going 58-51-4/3.28 and earning an All Star spot in 1937 with a dazzling array of breaking pitches. In 1935, his 2.58 ERA was the lowest in MLB, besting Lefty Grove. But his promising career was shortened by arm and physical woes, aggravated by an alcoholism, and he died at the age of 37. A bit of trivia: he barnstormed with fellow Oklahoman and good bud Carl Hubbell, another pitcher noted for his breaking ball.
Cy Blanton 1935 Diamond Stars series
  • 1933 - CF Paul Waner and 3B Pie Traynor represented the Bucs in the first-ever All-Star Game held at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The AL won 4-2. Traynor doubled against Lefty Grove in his only at-bat, and Big Poison got into the game but didn’t make a plate appearance.
  • 1938 - The Bucs sent P Mace Brown, SS Arky Vaughan and CF Lloyd Waner to the All-Star Game at Crosley Field. Brown was the only guy to play; he went three innings, giving up a run on five hits with two strikeouts, and earned a save for starter Johnny Vander Meer in a 4-1 NL win.
  • 1940 - Arky Vaughan, Elbie Fletcher and Maurice Van Robays each homered and combined for 10 RBI and six runs as the Bucs romped over the Cards 15-8 in the lidlifter of a Sportsman’s Park DH’er. Pittsburgh took the second match from St. Louis, also by a 4-3 count, pushing across a 10th inning run for the win. Van Robays had a two run homer in that game to help give Mace Brown the win. Brown pitched five innings of one hit, shutout relief to get that hard earned victory.
  • 1942 - 3B Bob Elliott was the sole Bucco invited to the All-Star Game at the Polo Grounds. He singled in his only at-bat during a 3-1 loss to the AL.
Bob Elliot 1948 Leaf series
  • 1945 - A doubleheader couldn’t begin any better; Pete Coscarart and Jim Russell started it off with a bang, smacking back-to-back homers, the first time that had been done in franchise history. But Boston regained its composure pretty quickly and swept the Buccos 13-5 and 14-8 at Braves Field.
  • 1954 - 1B Jason Thompson was born in Hollywood. He played for the Pirates for five years (1981-85) and hit .253 with 93 HR, with a particularly sharp eye that led to a .376 OBP. Thompson was an All-Star in 1982, batting .284/31/101, and spent 11 years in MLB.
  • 1955 - Jerry Lynch, Frank Thomas and Dale Long hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the sixth inning against the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Carl Erskine during a 10-5 loss of a doubleheader lidlifter at Forbes Field. The Bucs didn’t homer in the nitecap, but won 4-1 behind Vern Law.
  • 1980 - Cub relief pitchers held the Pirates hitless for 12-2/3 innings at TRS but Pittsburgh took home a 5-4, 20 inning victory. Cliff Johnson's two-out homer in the ninth off Bert Blyleven tied it for Chicago‚ but Omar Moreno's single hours later (it was a 5-1/2 hour affair, the longest in TRS history) was the game winner. Jim Bibby (11-1) earned the win with three scoreless innings‚ but lost a probable start in the All Star game because of his unexpected relief outing.
Omar Moreno 1981 Topps Star Sticker series
  • 1983 - The AL broke out of a two-decade long slumber and pummeled the NL 13-3 at Comiskey Park in the All Star game. 3B Bill Madlock, the only Bucco AS, went 0-for-1.
  • 1985 - The Pirates blew a three run lead at TRS, allowing the Padres to tie the game in the ninth inning, but came back in their half to take an 8-7 decision. Steve Kemp homered and the Bucs added a triple and five doubles during the contest, but Pittsburgh used three consecutive two-out singles against Craig Lefferts, the last by Marvell Wynne, to claim the victory.
  • 1992 - If you like pitching, this was the game. Zane Smith and Houston’s Jimmy Jones started in a game that ended up 1-0, with Orlando Merced’s sixth inning homer the only run scored in front of the 15,385 fans at TRS. Smith worked 8-⅓ innings of five hit ball with Stan Belinda coming on to record the final two outs. It was exciting. Belinda inherited Jeff Bagwell at second and walked the first hitter he faced, but got a pair of pops to ice the game.
  • 1997 - The Pirate “Freak Show” completed a four game sweep of St. Louis, 6-3, at Busch Stadium to go into the All-Star break with a one-game lead in the NL Central standings after winning seven straight. Steve Cooke won the game backed by Jose Guillen’s homer and four RBI, the first four-ribbie day of his career.
Steve Cooke 1997 Upper Deck Collectors Choice series
  • 2001 - Pittsburgh put up a five spot in the eighth inning to rally past the White Sox 10-6 at Comiskey Park. Jack Wilson had three hits and John Vander Wal added a homer to pace the attack.
  • 2002 - Houston's Daryle Ward became the first player to put a baseball in the Allegheny on the fly when he homered off Kip Wells during a 10-2 Astro win. The ball traveled an estimated 463'.
  • 2002 - The Pirates traded RHP Mike Fetters to the Arizona Diamondbacks for RHP Duaner Sanchez in a swap of relievers. Sanchez pitched poorly for the Bucs and was released after the 2003 season, but found success with the Dodgers and Mets until a mid-season car accident in 2006 caused what would eventually be a career-ending shoulder damage.
  • 2007 - Kevin McClatchy announced that he would step down as CEO after the 2007 MLB season, resulting in the September hiring of Frank Coonelly.

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