Friday, September 18, 2015

9/18: HBD Kitten; All-Century Club; 20 Game Winners; Iron Man Russ; Pie Sets Standard

  • 1909 - Vic Willis stopped the Brooklyn Superbas on one hit‚ a Baltimore chop off the plate in the third inning by Zack Wheat. It was as close as anyone came to a tossing a no-hitter at Forbes Field. Pittsburgh won‚ 6-0, with two hits each from Honus Wagner and Tommy Leach.
  • 1925 - LHP Harvey Haddix was born in Medway, Ohio. The Kitten (he got that moniker as a rookie in St. Louis because of his similarities to Harry "The Cat" Brecheen) worked for the Pirates from 1959-63 with a line of 45-38/3.73. He won two games against the Yankees in the 1960 World Series, including the seventh, and tossed 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves on May 26th, 1959, losing in 13 frames, a game considered by many to be the best pitching performance in major league history. He was also the Pirate pitching coach from 1979-84.
  • 1930 - Ray Kremer picked up his 20th win of the year when he slipped by the Phils 6-5 at the Baker Bowl. He went the distance, surviving a pair of Chuck Klein homers behind a balanced Bucco attack that saw every Pirate position player reach base. It was Kremer’s second 20-win campaign. He won 20 in 1926, too.
Ray Kremer 1925 (The Sporting News collection)
  • 1931 - The Bucs split a twin bill with Boston at Forbes Field, losing the opener 6-1 and taking the nitecap 4-1. It was a memorable day for Pie Traynor. He doubled and drove in a run in the first game, then went 4-for-4 in the closer with a HR & 2B, scoring twice and bringing home a pair. His three RBI for the day were #99, 100, & 101, giving him his fifth straight 100 RBI season, which set the franchise record. He finished the year with 103. In his career, Pie had seven 100+ RBI campaigns and drove in 1,273 runs, the fourth highest total in franchise history, behind only Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner and Roberto Clemente.
  • 1937 - Paul Waner established a 20th century NL record with his eighth year of 200+ hits (he finished the year with 219 hits) when he collected three knocks against the Brooklyn Robins in a 3-2 win at Forbes Field. Pittsburgh’s Cy Blanton outlasted Freddie Fitzsimmons for the victory behind Gus Suhr’s pair of RBI.
  • 1938 - Pitching on one day’s rest (he worked 6-⅓ innings against the Braves on 9/16), Russ Bauers threw a complete game four-hitter at the Phillies and took a 1-0 victory as Paul Waner drove in pinch runner Johnny Dickshot in the ninth at Shibe Park. The second game was also a pitching duel between the Bucs’ Ed Brandt and Syl Johnson, but was called after five innings because of darkness with the score 1-1.
Russ Bauers 1940 Play Ball series
  • 1960 - Vern Law joined the 20 win club with a complete game, 5-3 win in the lidlifter of a Sunday doubleheader at Cincinnati's Crosley Field. The Deacon won the 1960 Cy Young award with a 20-9 record and 3.08 ERA. The Bucs didn’t have another 20 game winner until John Candelaria went 20-5 in 1977. His support came from Dick Stuart and Don Hoak, both of whom homered, doubled and drove in two runs. The Pirates took the nitecap 1-0 as Vinegar Bend Mizell tossed a three hitter against the Reds and Bob Purkey. Ducky Schofield drove in the game’s only run.
  • 1971 - The Bucs clinched at least a tie for the Eastern Division title (they sewed it up two games later) with a 4-0 win against the New York Mets at TRS. Richie Zisk smacked his first career home run to drive in a pair of runs, and Dave Cash’s two-bagger plated the other two. Steve Blass tossed a two-hitter.
  • 1979 - The Pirates scored three times in the first inning against the Expos at Olympic Stadium, then laid goose eggs for nine frames before finally solving Montreal pitching in the eleventh to pull out a 5-3 victory. Willie Stargell had the game deciding blow, a two run homer in extras to win the game for Grant Jackson.
  • 1987 - In a wild west shootout at TRS that took over 3-½ hours to play, the Pirates outhit the Mets to take a 10-9 victory. Mike Diaz went 4-for-5 with a 2B, 3B and four RBI, Junior Ortiz knocked in a pair, Felix Fermin had three hits and John Cangelosi homered, providing enough firepower for John Smiley to get the win in relief of Brian Fisher, with Jim Gott closing it out.
Mike Diaz 1988 Score series
  • 1992 - Barry Bonds hit his 30th homer of the season off Philadelphia's Terry Mulholland in the Pirates' 5-2 win at Veteran’s Stadium. Bonds became the fifth MLB player to date with a pair of 30-HR‚ 30-stolen bases seasons. The others were his dad Bobby‚ Willie Mays‚ Howard Johnson‚ and Ron Gant.
  • 1998 - A state historical marker was dedicated outside TRS to honor the first World Series, with games 4-7 played at Exposition Park between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Americans in 1903.
  • 1999 - The Pirate “Team of the Century,” voted on by fans, was announced. The winners were: C Jason Kendall, 1B Willie Stargell, 2B Bill Mazeroski, SS Honus Wagner, 3B Pie Traynor, LF Ralph Kiner, CF Lloyd Waner (barely over Andy Van Slyke), RF Roberto Clemente (leaving Paul Waner off the club), LHP Harvey Haddix (his perfect game eliminated the Pirates’ winningest pitcher, Wilbur Cooper), RHP Vern Law, RP Kent Tekulve (in a close race with ElRoy Face) and MGR Danny Murtaugh.

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