Sunday, September 20, 2015

9/20: HBD Vic, Jay Bay; Nick's No-No; Crawfords Win Crown; Friend Sets K Mark; Maz-Alley Set Standard; Coke Trial Verdict

  • 1907 - In his third big league start, Nick Maddox became the first Pirate pitcher to throw a no-hitter by defeating the Brooklyn Superbas, 2-1, at Exposition Park. At the age of 20 years and ten months, Maddox was the youngest pitcher and the second rookie to throw a no-hitter. Errors by Maddox and Honus Wagner gave Brooklyn their run; Fred Clarke had both Bucco hits, but neither figured in the scoring as the Pittsburgh runs were also unearned.
  • 1922 - LHP Vic Lombardi was born in Reedley, California. He put in three good years with the Dodgers and a workmanlike season with the Bucs in 1948 (10-9/3.70) but went downhill over the next two years to put up a slash line of 15-19/4.56 in Pittsburgh. Branch Rickey offered him a 1951 contract with a 25% cut; Lombardi didn’t take it and that was the end of his MLB career as took his services to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League.
Vic Lombardi 1951 Bowman series
  • 1924 - The Pirates edged Brooklyn‚ 5-4‚ in 11 innings at Ebbet’s Field to end Dazzy Vance's 15-game winning streak. Pie Traynor singled with two gone in the 11th‚ and Rabbit Maranville lined a ball to center that got past the Robins’ outfielder Eddie Brown, who missed at a shoestring effort to glove the ball. Pie came in with the game winner as he touched home for the third time during the game. Wilbur Cooper went the distance for the win.
  • 1934 - In a 2-1 loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbet’s Field, Burleigh Grimes made his last appearance, working a 1-2-3 ninth inning with a whiff. Not only did it mark the end of a 19 year career that led to the Hall of Fame, but also the end of an era. Grimes was the last legal spitballer standing after the pitch had been outlawed starting in 1921. 17 practitioners, including Grimes, were grandfathered into the ruling and allowed to serve a wet one at will.
  • 1935 - The Pittsburgh Crawfords beat the New York Cubans to win the Negro NL Championship 3-0. Left-handed curveballer Leroy Matlock, who went 18-0 during the regular season, tossed a three hitter. He was backed by Josh Gibson‚ Cool Papa Bell, Judy Johnson and Oscar Charleston, all future Hall of Famers. The Crawfords won in a hard fought seven game series after falling behind three-games-to-one to the Cubans. It was the only undisputed Negro League title won by the Crawfords.

Leroy Matlock via pitchblackbaseball
  • 1956 - The seventh place Pirates edged Milwaukee 2-1 in 10 innings at Forbes Field. It was a classic spoiler win, as the Braves eventually lost the pennant on the last day of the season by one game to the Dodgers. Bob Friend held the Braves to four hits for the complete game victory.
  • 1960 - Bob Friend beat the Phillies 7-1 as part of a DH sweep at Connie Mack Stadium and set a new club record for strikeouts in a season with 179 (he ended the campaign with 183). The old mark was held by RHP Claude Hendrix with 176, set in 1912. Friend tossed a complete game and fanned six.
  • 1962 - Rookie Willie Stargell collected his first hit, a triple that scored Bob Skinner. Willie had happy feet; the youngster was thrown out at home trying for an inside the park HR. The Bucs rallied in the ninth to take a 4-3 win at Forbes Field against the Cincinnati Reds. Pittsburgh scored three times, thanks to a two-out boot by 3B Eddie Kasko that allowed one run to score followed by a two run, game-winning double by the Tiger, Don Hoak.
  • 1966 - The Pirates turned four DP against the Giants at Candlestick Park, helping Vern Law to a 6-0 win. The first twin killing set a NL record at 199, and the Bucs ended the year with 215 double plays. Bill Mazeroski and Gene Alley both won Gold Gloves that season, with Maz participating in 161 twin killings and Alley in 128.
  • 1969 - At New York's Shea Stadium, Bob Moose stopped the pennant-bound Mets 4-0 with a no-hitter, just the third in franchise history. He walked three with six whiffs. Two of the Pirates four runs scored on wild pitches by Gary Gentry as the Bucs only collected six hits themselves.

Bob Moose 1970 Topps series
  • 1973 - With Richie Zisk on first in the top of the thirteenth inning at Shea Stadium, Dave Augustine banged a two out drive to the left field wall. As Cleon Jones turned to watch, the ball grazed the top of the wall, just barely staying in the yard, and it bounced straight into his glove. His relay nailed the speed-challenged Zisk at the plate by 15’. Following the "Ball on the Wall" play, the Mets scored in their half to win 4-3 and moved within half a game of the first place Bucs. As beat writer Charlie Feeney of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette noted “The Pirates, stunned, bewildered, are a” NY eventually won the division, the NL title, and took Oakland to a seventh game in the World Series before calling it a season.
  • 1978 - Jason Bay was born in Trail, British Columbia. In his six years as a Pirate, his line was .268/219/715 and he was an All-Star twice. In 2004, he set the Pirate record for rookie home runs with 26 and was selected the NL Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News, the second Pirate player to win the award, after second baseman Johnny Ray in 1982. Bay was the first Canadian player to win the ROY.
Jason Bay 2008 Upper Deck series
  • 1979 - The Bucs lost 2-1 to the Phils at Veteran’s Stadium, but it could have been worse. Philadelphia C Keith Moreland hit a loud foul up the left field line with two aboard that third base ump Eric Gregg lost in the lights. The story goes that the Philly ballgirl went into a dance, thinking it a home run, and seeing that, so did Gregg. Chuck Tanner protested, and the umps got together and made the right call. That set Dallas Green off; he littered the field with equipment after being ejected, and Mike Schmidt added his helmet to the debris. Green also protested the game, but it was all for show; the Phils squeaked it out as the Bucs squandered nine hits, and ended the game when Manny Sanguillen bounced into a DP with one away and runners on the corners.
  • 1984 - With a crowd of 33,651 Cubby fans at Wrigley Field, Chicago passed the 2M mark in attendance for the first time in its history. But Pittsburgh ruined the big day as the Pirates overcame a 6-2 deficit to rally past the Bruins by a 7-6 score. Jim Morrison was the offensive man, hitting a homer, driving in a pair and scoring a pair to lead a balanced Bucco attack. Lee Smith lost to Kent Tekulve with John Candelaria chipping in with the save.
  • 1985 - A federal jury in Pittsburgh convicted Curtis Strong of 11 counts of cocaine distribution after hearing evidence in the “Pittsburgh Coke Trial.” Prominent players who were granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony included Dave Parker‚ Lonnie Smith‚ Keith Hernandez and Tim Raines. Peter Ueberroth, the commissioner, pushed through the beginnings of MLB drug testing because of the trial and its stain on MLB.
  • 1992 - 2B Mickey Morandini of the Phillies executed an unassisted triple play, the first NL player to pull one off in 65 years. He snagged a line drive off of the bat of Jeff King, touched second to force Andy Van Slyke, and tagged out Barry Bonds, who was on the move from first base. The Phillies still lost to the Pirates, 3-2, in 13 innings at TRS.
  • 2000 - The Pirates scored three times in the tenth inning thanks to long balls by Emil Brown and Adam Hyzdu, then hung on for dear life in a 7-6 win at Veteran’s Stadium. With two runs in for the Phils, runners on the corners and one away in the the tenth, Mike Williams got 2B Marlon Anderson to bang into a game ending (and saving) 4-6-3 DP.
Mike Williams 2001 Topps series
  • 2013 - The Bucs started off on fire when Jose Tabata and Neil Walker led off the game with homers for the fourth time in club history, and the Pirates were cruising along when Francisco Liriano K'ed Chris Heisey in the eighth for his 1,000th strikeout, also setting the team record for K's at 1,193, breaking last year's mark. But the 5-2 lead wasn’t enough to hold off the Cincinnati Reds, who scored three unearned runs in the ninth thanks to a two out error by Jordy Mercer. Cincy won in the 10th on a wrong way home run by Joey Votto that just dropped over the fence and a few feet inside the LF pole to stun the Bucs at PNC Park 6-5 and tie the teams for second place in the NL Central and the home wildcard spot with eight games left.

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