Thursday, August 13, 2015

8/13: ABC Affair; HBD Steve, Vinegar Bend, Tom; Roberto's 3 Bombs Away; Kip & Maholm Gems

  • 1889 - Ned Hanlon won his managerial debut with the Alleghenys in a 9-0 thumping of the Beaneaters at Exposition Park. Pud Galvin tossed a five hitter for the first Pittsburgh win of the season against Boston, which had taken the previous 11 matches. Galvin added a pair of hits, including a triple, and Jocko Fields and Jack Rowe contributed two knocks.
  • 1902 - The Bucs split a twin bill with the Boston Beaneaters at the South End Grounds. They lost the opener 8-6 when ace Jack Chesbro lost a four run lead in the eighth, giving up six scores. Tommy Leach doubled, homered and scored three times in a losing cause. They took the nightcap 6-1 behind Deacon Phillippe. Wid Conroy had three hits, while Honus Wagner and Jesse Tannehill added a pair of knocks. The Bucs tortured C Pat Moran, stealing seven bases, including second, third and home by The Flying Dutchman.
Honus Wagner (photo via
  • 1903 - RHP Steve Swetonic was born in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. A Pitt grad, he pitched for the Bucs from 1929-33 and in 1935 to a line of 37-36/3.81. He won 11 games in 1932 and tied for the league lead in shutouts with four. He spent his entire MLB career in Pittsburgh; he retired young at 28, suffering from a chronic sore arm.
  • 1910 - The Pirates and Brooklyn Superbas met at Washington Park for a twin bill, and the opener took 13 frames, with Pittsburgh coming out on top 3-2. All the scoring was in extra innings, with Babe Adams and Medicine Man Scanlon each giving up a tenth inning run. The next three frames were turned over to Deacon Phillippe and Nap Rucker. Pittsburgh pushed a pair of runs over the plate in the 13th. Tommy Leach scored when Dots Miller was walked with the bases jammed (after Honus Wagner had been intentionally walked to get to him), and Mike Flynn’s sac fly brought home Fred Clarke. Brooklyn fought back; Jake Daubert’s homer cut the lead to one and with two outs and a runner on, Jack Dalton drilled a ball deep to left, but Clarke ran it down. There was a lot more action in the nitecap, but it was called because of darkness with the score tied 8-8.
  • 1916 - The Pirates lost the opener of a twin bill against the Cards 9-8 at Robison Field. The Bucs scored eight runs in the first two innings of the nitecap, and while the Bucs rushed to get the game in‚ the Cards begin to dally in hopes of darkness arriving before the fifth inning. St. Louis stole 11 bases‚ while the Bucs added three as neither side contested the swipes, one hoping to move the game along and the other hoping to slow it down. The game went five frames in a 9-5 Buc win, but led to an eventual rule change. 1920 saw the genesis of today's defensive indifference rule, as stolen bases would not be credited unless an effort was made to stop the runner.
  • 1923 - The Bucs beat the Brooklyn Robins 5-2 at Ebbet’s Field. Charlie Grimm had three hits and two RBI, and Max Carey stole second, third and home to back Lee Meadow’s four hitter.
Max Carey 1926
  • 1926 - The ABC Affair concluded with Babe Adams, Carson Bigbee and Max Carey cut loose from the club. Adams had been a World Series hero, Bigbee spent 11 years with the team, and Carey was a Hall of Fame player. But they crossed management by holding a team meeting to complain of an odd management dynamic - Bill McKechnie was the manager, but the owner, Barney Dreyfuss, had Fred Clarke sit on the bench every game, leaving the players befuddled as to who was in charge. After the ABC heads rolled, Clarke never sat on the bench again and Dreyfuss fired McKechnie after the season.
  • 1930 - LHP Wilmer “Vinegar Bend” Mizell was born in Leakesville, Mississippi. The Pirates sent 2B Julian Javier to St Louis for Mizell in May of 1960, and in four months he won 13 games to help carry the Bucs to the 1960 championship. In parts of three seasons, Mizell’s Bucco line was 21-16/3.94. He was nearing the end of his career, and the Pirates sent him to the NY Mets in 1962, from where he retired at season’s end.
  • 1930 - The Pirates won their fourth game in row, scoring exactly eight runs in each, by dropping the Philadelphia Phillies 8-4 at Forbes Field. Paul Waner had three hits and a homer, while pitcher Ray Kremer also went yard. 
Ray Kremer 1925 (photo The Sporting News archives)
  • 1950 - The Pirates took a twin bill from the Chicago Cubs by 7-4 and 2-0 scores at Forbes Field. The Bucs rode a six run fifth inning to victory in the opener. Gus Bell had three hits, including two doubles, while Ralph Kiner (#200) and Danny O’Connell homered. Cliff Chambers went the distance for the win. Mel Queen was the story in the nitecap, tossing a complete game five hitter with 11 K. Johnny Hopp went 4-for-4 and was a homer shy of the cycle.
  • 1953 - The Pirates fell behind three times but overcame the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 at Forbes Field when Hal Rice’s eighth inning fly scored Cal Abrams with the game winner. Frank Thomas had a pair of solo homers to back Lefty LaPalme’s pitching. For the Bucs, it was a rare bright spot. The victory was their only win in a dozen game stretch.
  • 1958 - Though nicked by three-run pinch-hit homers off the bats of Rip Repulski and Bob Bowman‚ the Pirates nosed the Phils 10-9 at Connie Mack Stadium for their seventh straight victory. Roberto Clemente had two homers (his first ever multi-homer game), Maz added one more‚ and Ted Kluszewski doubled and tripled.
  • 1964 - C Tom Prince was born in Kankakee, Illinois. Prince started his career in Pittsburgh (1987-93) as a backup catcher behind Mike LaValliere and Don Slaught. In 177 games for the Pirates, he hit .177. Despite his bat, he played for five teams and parts of 17 seasons in the show before hanging up his spikes in 2003. He’s been a Buc minor league manager since 2005.
Tom Prince 1989 Score Rookie series
  • 1969 - Roberto Clemente hit three homers for the second time in his career to lead the Bucs to a 10-5 win over the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park. He had four hits, four RBI and four runs to back Jim Bunning’s win, saved by Bob Moose.
  • 2003 - Pittsburgh scored twice in the eighth to take the lead, then the Cards came back to tie it 5-5 in the ninth at PNC Park. But with two away and the bases empty in their half, Pittsburgh, thanks to some off-the-book strategy by Tony LaRussa, walked away with the win. After two routine outs, Jason Kendall doubled, and St. Louis intentionally walked both Brian Giles and Reggie Sanders to load the bases for Randall Simon. Simon fell behind Pedro Borbon 0-2, then shot a single through the left side to plate Kendall with the game winner.
  • 2005 - Kip Wells dueled Roger Clemens at Minute Maid Park as the Bucs nosed the Astros 1-0. The game eventually became a battle of the bullpens, and Jack Wilson’s ninth inning, 0-2 count homer off Brad Lidge was the difference. Salomon Torres claimed the win, saved by Jose Mesa.
  • 2007 - Paul Maholm tossed a three hit complete game to lead the Bucs past the Giants 3-1 at PNC Park. The big blow was a two out, two run double by Jose Castillo off San Francisco’s Matt Cain in the first inning on an 0-2 pitch. The win was in the opener of a twilight doubleheader and pushed the Bucs winning streak to four, which ended with a 10-3 whipping in the second game.

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