Saturday, September 19, 2015

9/19: Ralph Hits 50, # Retired; O'Connell's 26 Game Streak; Doug Wins #20; Barry Joins 30/30 Club

  • 1882 - Rookie Guy Hecker of the American Association Louisville Eclipse (Colonels) tossed a no hitter against the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, winning 3-1 at Eclipse Park. He would join the Pirates in 1890, albeit for his final MLB season.
  • 1908 - Ralph Davis of the Pittsburg Press wrote “In the presence of a grand out-pouring of more than 25,000 fans and in one of the most stubbornly fought battles ever waged at the Polo Grounds, the Pirates defeated the New York Giants by the score of 6-2 after ten innings of strenuous work.” The better part of that battle was fought by Lefty Liefield, who went the distance to outlast Red Ames and Doc Crandall. Ed "Batty" Abbaticchio knocked home a pair of runs in the 10th, and an error followed by Chief Wilson’s hit brought in the final two tallies.
  • 1943 - Rip Sewell whipped the Reds, 10–3 for his 21st win, which would top MLB that season. Rip also stole a base to finish the year with seven swipes. The Pirates swept the DH 2-1 as three Pirate pitchers combined to outlast Johnny Vander Meer.

  • 1949 - In a 6-4 loss to the NY Giants at Forbes Field‚ Ralph Kiner hit his 50th home run (he finished the season with 54) off Kirby Higbe. With that blast, the 26-year old outfielder became the first NL’er to hit 50 bombs in two different seasons. It would take Willie Mays until 1965 to match Kiner’s record.
  • 1953 - Danny O'Connell hit safely in his 26th game‚ a 4-1 loss to the NY Giants at the Polo Grounds. The streak ended the next day and was the second longest in Pirate history.
  • 1959 - Bill Mazeroski, who homered earlier, drilled a two run triple in the 12th as the Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds‚ 4-3, at Forbes Field. Elroy Face gave up a run in the top of the 12th but got the win thanks to Maz. Face’s record was 18-1‚ and he won eight straight games in extra innings. He ended the year with the top winning percentage (.947) of any pitcher with 15 decisions, capping a season for the ages for the relief ace.
  • 1965 - Bob Veale allowed one hit, a two-out sixth inning single by Tony Taylor, and struck out 12 to earn a 1-0‚ ten-inning win over the Phillies at Forbes Field. Roberto Clemente's two-out single off Philadelphia reliever Jack Baldschun to score Bob Bailey was the game winner; Veale had been thrown out at home the batter before, trying to score on Manny Mota’s single.

  • 1966 - The Bucs took an 11 inning victory from the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park by a 6-1 score, sparked when Roberto Clemente ignored manager Harry “The Hat” Walker’s instructions. Clemente, leading off and in an 0-for-13 funk, was told to bunt for a hit; instead he swung away and homered. Bob Bailey added a grand slam to close out the frame, giving Pete Mikkelson the win in relief of Bob Veale.
  • 1974 - Pittsburgh put up a five spot in the seventh inning to take an 8-6 win from the St. Louis Cards at TRS. The big blow in the frame was Richie Hebner’s three run homer, giving Ramon Hernandez the win with a Dave Giusti save. The win moved the Bucs within ½ game of first, and they won the pennant over the Cards by sweeping the Cubs in the last series of the season.
  • 1978 - In one of Pittsburgh’s lighter moments, 38 year old Willie Stargell attempted to steal 2B against Chicago (he did have 3 steals that year) quite unsuccessfully. As Cubs' SS Ivan DeJesus waited at the bag with the ball, Stargell slid in 10 feet short of the base, looked up and called for time-out. The Bucs won despite Pops’ baserunning antics, 12-11. Dave Parker’s homer, his second of the day, in 11th off Bruce Sutter, gave the Bucs their seventh straight win and 30th in their last 38 games.
  • 1987 - Ralph Kiner’s number 4 was retired. The Mets won the game at TRS 5-4 in front of 20,933 fans in a match he announced. The slugger was a Hall-of-Famer, and in his eight years as a Buc, he hit .280 with 301 HR and 801 RBI.

  • 1990 - Doug Drabek won his 20th game and Bobby Bonds hit his 30th and 31st HRs as Pittsburgh beat Chicago 8-7 at Wrigley Field. Bonds and his dad became the first father-son members of the 30/30/ club. Two days later, Bonds swiped his 50th base of the season to became the second MLB player to join the 30/50 club.
  • 1997 - The Pirates held a Roberto Clemente commemoration night, unveiling a video of his career highlights followed by his widow Vera tossing out the first pitch at TRS before playing the Cards. They lost 6-5 in front of 16,235.
  • 2000 - The Pirates rode a nine run sixth inning to a 12-8 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium. The Bucs sent 13 batters to the plate, with the big hits being a two run knock by Emil Brown and a bases loaded double by John Wehner. The Phils made a game of it in the ninth, scoring three runs off Scott Sauerbeck before Mike Williams came on to end it.
  • 2003 - Jay Bay drove in eight runs in a 10-9 loss to the Cubs, hitting a pair of homers and a double in the first game of a DH split at PNC Park.

  • 2005 - Ian Snell pitched eight innings to earn his first MLB win as he beat Roger Clemens and the Houston Astros 7–0 at PNC Park. Snell allowed just three hits, retiring the final nine batters he faced before José Mesa closed out the four-hit shutout in the ninth. Four different Pirates - Tike Redman, Jason Bay, Jack Wilson & Freddy Sanchez - had three hits, and every Buc starter except JJ Furmaniac had a hit and either scored or drove in a run (or both). Though a loss, the game checked off another notch on Clemens’ bucket list - he’s now pitched in every major league ballpark currently in operation.
  • 2014 - The Pirates were dueling with the Milwaukee Brewers for the last wild card spot and losing late 2-0 at PNC Park, unable to dent long time nemesis Yovani Gallardo. Jonathan Broxton came on in the eighth, and after giving up singles to Starling Marte and Neil Walker, watched Russ Martin launch a ball into the right center field seats to give the Bucs a 3-2 lead, with the electrified sellout crowd of 37,974 fans demanding a curtain call. Ike Davis singled in an insurance run as John Holdzkom earned his first MLB win after a strong start by Jeff Locke, with Mark Melancon nailing down his 31st save. It also marked the 21st time that the Pirates won a game during their last at-bat that season
The images are from the Pittsburgh Baseball Hero Decks, available at: - Heinz History Center - Sportzburgh, Pittsburgh Airport & Settlers Ridge Shopping Center - Hall of Cards, 300 Mt Lebanon Blvd - Allegheny General Hospital Gift Shop - Morini, The Mall at Robinson - Do It Best Hardware, Ambridge, PA - Washington Hospital Gift Shop - Synders Gateway Travel Plaza, Breezewood, PA

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