- 1896 - Manager Connie Mack announced that he was leaving Pittsburgh to guide the Milwaukee club of the Western League; the Pirates finished in sixth place with a 66-63 slate during his last campaign. Patsy Donovan took over the reins in 1897.
- 1910 - RHP Max Butcher was born in Holden, West Virginia. He went 67-60/3.34 for the Bucs in seven seasons (1939-45), and had an ERA over 3.43 just once as a Pirate. His best year was 1941, when he went 17-12 with a 3.03 ERA. Though he was a big guy at 6’2” and 220 pounds, he averaged only 2.5 K/nine in Pittsburgh.
- 1925 - In a 9-7 win over the Phillies at Forbes Field, Kiki Cuyler singled off Roy Crumpler in the second inning to run his consecutive hit streak to 10, a team record that still stands today. Cuyler began his streak against Boston’s Skinny Graham, and the hits fell in conjunction with a nine game winning string for Pittsburgh, which won 95 games, the NL pennant and the 1925 World Series against the Washington Senators. Kiki went 4-for-4 the next game, making him 14-of-16 during his streak.
|Kiki Cuyler via The Sporting News|
- 1940 - OF Deb Garms went 5-for-6 in the second game of a twinbill split against the Cincinnati Reds to push his BA to .379. He doubled, scored three times and drove in a pair in the 8-7 win during the second game after going 0-for-4 in a 8-1 loss in the opener at Forbes Field. Though he wore an 0-for-23 collar over the remainder of the season, his .355 BA won the NL crown. He played just 103 games (100 games played was the accepted, although unwritten, standard) with 385 PA but was still awarded the title, eventually leading to minimum qualifying plate appearances for the batting championship.
- 1942 - LHP Sudden Sam McDowell was born in Pittsburgh. Though he pitched only briefly for the hometown Pirates, he may be the best hurler the area ever produced. Sam went directly to the majors out of Central Catholic HS, signing with Cleveland. He played from 1961-75 with the Indians, Giants, Yankees and Bucs. McDowell struck out 2,453 batters in that span with a blazing fastball. His career was infamously short circuited by booze and pills, and he was said to be the model for Cheers bartender Sam Malone. He beat his demons after retiring and became a MLB drug and alcohol counselor. His nickname was bestowed on him by Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Bob Dolgan during Sam’s first spring training camp in 1961.
- 1947 - The Bucs made a little more broadcast history when their game against Cincinnati was broadcast on TV by W8XCT (WLWT), the first time a Reds game was aired. An estimated home audience of 10,000 viewers watched the Redlegs lose 11-7 at Crosley Field. Elbie Fletcher, Jimmy Bloodworth and Clyd Kluttz each had three RBI; Gene Woodling had the other pair. The opening game of the doubleheader wasn’t shown (we think), and it turned out better for the Reds, who won 3-1 as Ewell Blackwell outpitched Kirby Higbe.
|Elbie Fletcher 1941 Goudey series|
- 1969 - LHP Jason Christiansen was born in Omaha. The reliever worked six seasons (1995-2000) for the Pirates with a 14-20-10/4.13 line before being traded to the Cards at the 2000 deadline for SS Jack Wilson.
- 1972 - Fueled by a five run third inning, Pittsburgh clinched the East Division crown with a 6-2 win over the Mets at Shea Stadium; the club won the pennant by 11 games. The Pirates had seven straight batters reach in the third, and the big frame provided plenty of cushion for Steve Blass, who tossed a seven hit, seven K complete game victory.
- 1978 - The Bucs nipped the Cubs 3-2 in 14 frames at Wrigley Field. Rennie Stennett walked to lead off the 14th and pinch runner Matt Alexander made it happen. As he stole second, C Doug Radar's throw went into center. Alexander bolted for third and was hit in the back by CF Bobby Murcer’s peg‚ which ricocheted away and allowed Matt “The Scat” to score. Ed Whitson got the win and Jim Bibby the save. Cub manager Herman Franks pulled out all the stops to no avail. Chicago tied an NL record by using 27 players (20 position, seven pitching) in the loss.
|Matt The Scat 1981 Topps series|
- 1990 - Barry Bonds became the first Pirate player (and just the second major leaguer, along with the Reds Eric Davis) in history to hit 30+ homers and steal 50 + bases in the same season when he swiped second against the Cards at TRS in a 1-0 Bucco victory. Zane Smith tossed a five hitter for the win, and Bonds scored the game’s only run in the seventh when he led off with a single and come around on Sid Bream’s double.
- 1992 - Bob Walk and Steve Cooke (who went seven innings for the win) combined for a four hit, 3-0 blanking of the St. Louis Cardinals at TRS. Don Slaught had three hits including a homer as Pittsburgh won for the seventh time in eight games to stretch their lead over the Montreal Expos to seven games.
- 1998 - Jason Kendall stole his 26th base of the season to claim a new NL record for catchers in an 8-1 loss to the Giants at 3Com Park, breaking the mark set by John Stearns in 1978.
- 2013 - AJ Burnett struck out a dozen Cincinnati Reds in seven innings, becoming the first Pirate RHP to whiff over 200 batters in a season with 203 K, as the Bucs took a 4-2 decision at PNC Park. The big blow was a two run homer by Russ Martin, and the tying and go-ahead runs were set up by Marlon Byrd, who hit a sac fly to drive in Andrew McCutchen and move Justin Morneau to second, where he scored on a two-out knock by Pedro Alvarez