Thursday, July 9, 2015

7/9: The Sausage Affair; Cutch Named AS For 1st Time; Eephus; Triple Play; More AS Moments

  • 1912 - In a duel of young guns, the Pirates Marty O’Toole bested the Phils Eppa Rixey 2-0 at Forbes Field. Max Carey provided the big blow, a sixth inning triple that was sandwiched around a pair of singles for all the offense. O’Toole was in the midst of his best season, winning 15 games with a 2.71 ERA and a league-leading six shutouts.
  • 1940 - Pittsburgh was represented by SS Arky Vaughan in the All-Star Game at St. Louis’ Sportsman’s Park. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run in a 4-0 NL victory.
  • 1942 - The Bucs drew 29,488 fans to Forbes Field on Army-Navy Relief Fund Night, raising over $36,000 in donations with an extra $10,000+ from the gate and rewarded the patriotic crowd with a 9-0 win over the Phils. It was 1-0 after seven innings, but Philadelphia starter Frank Melton was lifted for a pinch hitter and Pittsburgh then rattled the Philly pen for eight runs. Rip Sewell tossed a five-hitter for the win.
  • 1946 - Bucco Rip Sewell's most famous blooper pitch came in the All Star game against Ted Williams at Fenway Park. Sewell warned Williams before the game he was going to throw him the blooper (eephus). With the AL ahead 8–0, Williams came to bat, and Sewell nodded to let him know the blooper was coming. Williams fouled it off. Sewell nodded again, and threw another blooper and then another. With the count 1–2, Williams smacked the next one for a home run, the only homer ever hit off Sewell's trick pitch. As The Kid rounded the bases, Sewell followed him, saying, "the only reason you hit it was because I told you it was coming." Williams laughed back, the fans loved it, and Sewell received a standing ovation when he walked off the mound. (from Donald Honig’s 1975 book "Baseball When the Grass Was Real") The kicker was that The Splendid Splinter took a running start toward the pitch before he blasted it, and was out of the batter’s box when he made contact. 3B Frank Gustine was the other Pirate All-Star; he went 0-for-1 with a walk and no comedy routine.
Rip Sewell (photo Walter Stein/Associated Press)
  • 1957 - C Hank Foiles was the Pirate’s rep at the All Star Game at Busch Stadium, a 6-5 win for the junior circuit. Hank batted once, singled and scored.
  • 1959 - Starting his first game since injuring his shoulder on May 19th, Roberto Clemente's 10th inning leadoff single helped Elroy Face to his 18th consecutive win after he blew a save chance with two outs in the ninth. A bunt by Roman Mejias moved Clemente to second and a single up the middle by pinch-hitter Harry Bright completed the Bucs 4-3 win over the Cubs at Forbes Field.
  • 1963 - The NL beat the AL 5-3 at Cleveland Stadium in the All Star game. Roberto Clemente came in as a late sub, never batting, and Bill Mazeroski was injured and didn’t play. The NL-AS middle of Dick Groat and Julian Javier, who was traded to the Cards because Maz blocked him as a Pirate, may have sported Redbird logos across their chest but were Pittsburgh products.
  • 1967 - Willie Stargell hit a walk off homer against the Reds’ Jim Maloney that carried over the RF roof at Forbes Field in a 2-1 win. Dennis Ribant tossed a complete game six hitter to earn the W.
Cap'n Willie 1975 Topps series
  • 1968 - All Star pitching duels don’t get much better than the NL’s 1-0 win over the AL in the All Star game at the Astrodome as the only run scored in the first inning on a double play grounder. The Bucs didn’t have much to do with the outcome, as Matty Alou singled in his only at bat and Gene Alley was a bench player.
  • 1971: The Pirates turned the first triple play of the 1971 season when Atlanta’s Leo Foster hit a grounder to 3B Richie Hebner, who stepped on third and threw to Dave Cash at second for the second out. Cash’s relay to Bob Robertson at first nipped Foster to complete the play as the Pirates rolled past Atlanta 11-2 at TRS. Willie Stargell went 3-for-4 with a homer, three runs and four RBI while Manny Sanguillen went 3-for-5 with a triple and four RBI. Richie Hebner also homered as Nellie Briles went the distance for the win.
  • 1977 - SS Mario Mendoza smacked the only walk-off hit of his career, a two out single to right in the twelfth off Gene Garber at TRS for a 9-8 Pirate win over the Phillies. Phil Garner had a good day, going 3-for-6 with a homer, double, two runs and two RBI, and Dave Parker also homered against Philadelphia. Mendoza, btw, was batting under the his own line, hitting just .182.
Mario Mendoza 
(image "Orange Crate Label Unauthorized History of Baseball" Ben Sakoguchi)
  • 1991 - The junior circuit took a 4-2 win from the NL in the All Star game played at the Skydome. Bobby Bonilla started at DH and went 2-for-4 with an RBI. P John Smiley faced one batter, Joe Carter, who singled off him. 1996 - The NL shut down the junior circuit 6-0 at Veteran’s Stadium to take the All Star game. C Jason Kendall was the Pirate AS, and came in to catch the ninth.
  • 2002 - This was the infamous 7-7 All Star game, when the managers both threw in the towels after burning through their pitchers and accepting an 11 inning draw at Miller Park. The Buccos’ only rep, reliever Mike Williams, worked the third inning cleanly, striking out a pair.
  • 2003 - Inexplicably during a 2-1 Pirate loss, 1B Randall Simon swatted a racing sausage with his bat from the dugout at Miller Park in Milwaukee as it waltzed around the stadium, causing a collision that left the mascots looking like a heaping plate of schnitzel. Simon was questioned by police and later fined $432.10 for disorderly conduct. MLB suspended him for three games and fined him $2,000; the Bucs traded him away a few weeks later. He issued an apology and an autographed bat to Mandy Block, the college student stuffed into the sausage costume. She ended up with a scraped knee, but it concluded well for her. Mandy received a free trip to Curaçao, (Simon's home island) for two from the Curaçao Tourism Board. When Simon returned to Miller Park later that year as a member of the Chicago Cubs, he purchased Italian Sausages for an entire section, and during the race, his teammates playfully held him back until all the sausages raced past the dugout.
The sausage incident (image Dan Friedman)
  • 2004 - Jason Bay went 4-for-5 with two homers, a double, four RBI and four runs scored as the Pirates blanked the Expos 11-0 in San Juan’s Estadio Hiram Bithorn, the Expos’ part-time home until their move to Washington. Sean Burnett scattered 10 hits for a complete game shutout.
  • 2005 - Sparked by Jack Wilson’s grand slam, the Bucs broke open a tight game against the NY Mets with a seven run seventh inning, banging around Heath Bell and Danny Graves, to take an 11-4 win at PNC Park in front of a Saturday night crowd of 36,708. Dave Williams got the win.
  • 2009 - Joel Hanrahan won his first game of the year while sitting in a hotel room in Philadelphia. He was credited with a W when Washington won a game suspended on May 5th by defeating the Astros, 11-10. Hanrahan, since traded to Pittsburgh, was the pitcher of record when the game was postponed. The winning Nat run was scored by Nyjer Morgan, who was one of the Pirates sent to Washington in the Hanny deal.
  • 2011 - Andrew McCutchen, passed over in the voting, was named as a late choice as a first-time NL All-Star, replacing an injured Ryan Braun. The Pirates announced on the PNC Park jumbotron that Cutch was named to the team during the fourth inning, drawing an ovation and a curtain call from the crowd. Unfortunately, he suffered through an 0-fer that night as the Bucs fell to the Chicago Cubs 6-3.

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