Friday, August 7, 2015

8/7: HBD Reddy & Deacon Bill; Under the Lights; #9 Retired; Pedro Walk Off

  • 1862 - IF Jim “Reddy” Gray was born in Pittsburgh. Gray was a local kid that “who helped in an emergency” whenever a Pittsburgh club was short handed, per Frederick Lieb in his book The Pittsburgh Pirates. Playing in six games - not many emergencies back in the day, we guess - he got 23 at-bats and hit for a .304 average (His fielding was unfortunately kinda brutal at .719; the infielder made nine errors in 32 chances). He played for the Alleghenys in 1884 & 1890, the Player’s League Burghers, also in ‘90, and finally for the Pirates in 1893. And yes, Reddy's brother was author Zane Grey, who also played minor league baseball.
  • 1886 - Bill McKechnie was born in Wilkinsburg. A backup infielder for Pittsburgh (1907, 1910-12, 1918, 1920), he began 1922 as a Pirate coach. McKechnie replaced George Gibson as manager in midseason, and the team improved from fifth place to a tie for third. The club got better in each of the next few seasons before capturing the NL pennant and the World Series crown in 1925. But after the Pirates fell to third place in 1926, McKechnie was fired. He resurfaced and became the only skipper to win pennants with three different NL clubs - Pittsburgh (1925), St. Louis (1928), and Cincinnati (1939-40). A popular and quiet man, Bill McKechnie earned the nickname Deacon because he sang in his church choir and lived a quiet lifestyle. He’s the namesake for Bradenton’s McKechnie Field and entered the Hall of Fame in 1962.

Bill McKechnie 1925 (photo - TSN Mears Collection)
  • 1904 - The Pirates sent IF Jimmy Sebring to the Reds, Cincy sent Mike Donlin to New York, and the Giants then sent OF Moose McCormack to the Bucs. The reason this is a big deal is because the Pirates flipped Moose for IF/OF Del Howard, who become part of the 1905 deal with Boston that landed Hall of Fame RHP Vic Willis, who won 89 games for Pittsburgh in four seasons.
  • 1920 - The Pirates made local front page news by beating the Brooklyn Superbas 7-0 for their fifth win in a row, moving into third place. Babe Adams got the win at Ebbets Field, tossing a six hitter. A two-run throwing error on a pickoff play gave the Pirates a five run cushion in the sixth and Max Carey’s two-run triple in the seventh was the icing. Alas, the pennant fever was premature. The Bucs faded and finished fourth at the end, 14 games off the pace.
  • 1922 - Ten different Pirates had two hits apiece, a club record, as the Bucs whipped the Phillies 17-10 at the Baker Bowl. The only Buc batter without two knocks was cleanup hitter Clyde Barnhart; even the pitchers combined to go 5-for-5 with a homer. Whitey Glazner picked up the win in relief after Wilbur Cooper and Hal Carlson were bombed early.
Whitey Glazner 1922 E-120 American Caramel series
  • 1925 - The Pirates and Brooklyn Robins had a wild final three innings at Forbes Field. The Robins scored twice in the seventh to go ahead 7-4; Pittsburgh scored three times in their half to tie. Brooklyn then plated twice in the eighth to go up 9-7; the Pirates answered in the ninth with three runs to take home a 10-9 win. Max Carey, Pie Traynor and Kiki Cuyler each had three hits in the victory, which went to Johnny Morrison.
  • 1930 - Playing under Kansas City's portable lighting system, a baseball first, the Homestead Grays' 44-year-old Smokey Joe Williams spun a one-hitter with 27 K to defeat the Monarchs' Chet Brewer, who fired 19 strikeouts of his own (10 in a row starting in the seventh) while surrendering just four hits by a 1-0 score in a famous 12-inning duel. Oscar Charleston scored the only run on a Chaney White double.
  • 1966 - Roberto Clemente put on a one man show at Forbes Field with four hits, two homers and five RBI, but it wasn’t enough in a 9-7 loss to the Reds. Clemente had a chance to win the game in the ninth with two on and two out, but his flare to center was run down.
  • 1987 - Billy Mazeroski’s number 9 was retired during a 9-3 victory over the Expos at TRS in front of 24,093 fans. C Spanky Lavalliere and SS Al Pedrique helped the party along by collecting three hits, two runs and a pair of RBI each. Bob Walk went six innings for the win, saved by Bob Gideon, who worked the last three frames.
Maz's retirement program.
  • 1994 - SS Jay Bell went 5-for-6 with a pair of doubles to lead the Pirates to a 6-5 win over the Cardinals at TRS. His bases-loaded single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth plated Tim Foli with the winning run. Carlos Garcia homered in the Paul Wagner victory.
  • 2010 - Colorado scored three runs in the ninth to tie the game and two more in the tenth to take the lead, but the Bucs prevailed at PNC Park to claim an 8-7 victory. With runners at first and second and two down in the 10th, Pedro Alvarez took Huston Street deep for the walk off win, giving Sean Gallagher the W even though he gave up two runs in his inning of work.
  • 2013 - Petrina McCutchen, Andrew’s mom, sang the National Anthem before the Miami Marlins’ game at PNC Park. Her son responded with a 2-for-3 night with a walk and a homer, and so did the team, as they won 4-2 behind Charlie Morton, Tony Watson and Mark Melancon.

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