Wednesday, September 2, 2015

9/2: Roberto Sets Pirate Hit Mark; HBD Milo, Luke, Gaby; Stu Drives In 5...

  • 1909 - Per Charlton’s Baseball Chronology, Boston's Cliff Curtis pitched his first MLB game and beat the Pirates 1-0 to give the Doves their only win against Pittsburgh that year. The Pirates, who would claim the NL pennant, won the nightcap at the South End Grounds 5-3, took the remaining September games and finished the season 20-1 against last-place Boston.
  • 1927 - Leland Milo Hamilton was born in Fairfield, Iowa. Milo had the unenviable and ultimately untenable job as Bob Prince’s replacement in the broadcast booth. His quiet demeanor was a stark contrast to the Gunner’s folksy ways and boosterism, and the gig wore thin on both Hamilton and the City. He moved on to the Cubs job in 1980, and discovered that working with Harry Caray wasn’t much easier than replacing Prince. Milo finally found a home in Houston in 1985, where he broadcast for 28 years until his retirement in 2012.
Milo Hamilton (photo via The National Baseball Hall of Fame)
  • 1927 - The Pirates took over first place with a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Cards at Forbes Field. Ray Kremer won against Grover Cleveland Alexander, and added an RBI to the effort. The Waner brothers went 7-for-10 with two runs scored and two RBI. The Bucs never relinquished first place after the victory, and nosed out the Cards for the title by a 1-½ game margin.
  • 1933 - Pittsburgh won its eighth straight game by a 4-1 tally over the St. Louis Cardinals at Forbes Field. Woody Jensen and Tommy Thevenow each had a pair of hits with a triple each and together drove in three runs to give Howie Meine the win. The Cincinnati Reds ended the streak convincingly the next game by a 9-3 score.
  • 1943 - LHP Luke Walker was born in DeKalb, Texas. He worked eight years (1965-66, 1968-73) for the Bucs, with a line of 40-42-9/3.47. Walker had a breakout 1970, going 15-6 with a 3.04 ERA and was a member of the 1970-72 championship teams. He not only started, but worked everything from long man to closer.
  • 1944 - The Pirates slid by the first-place St. Louis Cards 5-4 at Forbes Field‚ giving Ted Wilks his first loss after he had reeled off 11 straight victories. The Bucs scored in the bottom of the ninth when Bob Elliott, who was 4-for-5 with a homer, singled home Jim Russell to give Max Butcher the victory. The lead switched hands several times during the game; Dick Fortune of the Pittsburgh Press called the contest “...a ding dong battle all the way.”
Bob Elliott via Out of the Park Development
  • 1948 - The Bucco hand was caught in the cookie jar... Commissioner Happy Chandler fined the Pirates $2‚000 for violating the NL bonus rule when the Pirates signed ML Lynch as a scout while offering his son Danny a contract. Chandler interpreted this (and probably rightly so) as an attempt to influence the second baseman's decision. Lynch was declared a free agent and signed with the Cubs. He played just seven MLB games.
  • 1961 - Dick Stuart had a pair of homers, but his biggest hit was a broken bat single that went off the pitcher’s mitt in the eighth to plate Dick Groat. That knock proved the game winner in a 5-4 Buc victory over the St. Louis Cards at Busch Stadium. Stu had all five RBI and ElRoy Face shut the door in the last two frames to earn the win. Joe Christopher threw out Stan Musial in the sixth, trying to go from first-to-third on a single to right. That was followed by a pair of knocks, so Joe’s arm defused a possible big frame.
  • 1966 - The Pirates claimed first place by besting the Cubs 7-5 on a Roberto Clemente homer‚ his 2,000th career hit. Clemente's long fly gave him 101 RBI for the year‚ the first time he reached the century mark. He ended up with a career high of 119 RBI in 1966, and collected 110 the next season, the only other time he drove in 100+. The Bucs would finish third with 92 wins, three games behind the LA Dodgers.
Roberto Clemente 1972 Topps series
  • 1972 - With his 2,971st knock as a Bucco, Roberto Clemente broke Honus Wagner's record for the most hits in the history of the franchise. The record-setting blow was a three-run homer off Giant hurler Sudden Sam McDowell in the bottom of the fourth inning during an 6-3 victory at Three Rivers Stadium.
  • 1972 - LHP Bob Veale, 36, was sold to the Boston Red Sox after an 11 year career in Pittsburgh that saw him win 116 games and save six more, starting 255 times in his 341 Buc outings. His 1,652 strikeouts are still the Pirate mark for a LHP and second overall in Bucco history.
  • 1983 - 1B Gaby Sanchez was born in Miami. He joined the Pirates from the Marlins in 2012 as the right-hand half of a first base platoon, first with Garrett Jones and then with Ike Davis. He played for the Buccos through 2014, hitting .241 before going to Japan.
Gaby Sanchez 2014 Topps series
  • 1992 - Tim Wakefield came one out away from a complete game as the Pirates beat the Giants 3-2 at TRS. Bob Patterson came in to get the final out while picking up his ninth save of the year. The Bucs took the lead for good in the sixth inning on a two-run homer from Barry Bonds after Don Slaught’s blast in the fifth provided the first score. The victory was in the midst of a seven game Pirate winning streak and kept the Bucs comfortably in first place by a three game margin.
  • 1997 - In front of 43,380 at TRS, newcomer Shawon Dunston hit a pair of homers to lead the Freak Show Bucs to a 6-4 win over the Cleveland Indians. His four RBI powered Jose Silva, with help from the bullpen, to the victory and helped pull the Pirates to within 1-½ games of first, the closest they would come to the top spot for the rest of the season.

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