- 1865 - 2B Lou Bierbauer was born in Erie (some sources have his b-day as 9/28, and at least one other says he was born in Philly, que sera, sera). The Pirates signed him in 1891, as he wasn’t on the reserved roster of his American Association club, the Philadelphia Athletics (he had skipped to the outlaw Players League in 1890). His rights were decided by an arbitrator, and though the AA thought the Alleghenys’ act was “piratical,” Pittsburgh was awarded Bierbauer and a new nickname, the Pirates. From 1891-96, Bierbauer was a defensive master and hit .260 for the Pirates.
- 1886 - According to Charlton’s Baseball Chronology and Wikipedia, Pittsburgh Alleghenys’ pitcher Pud Galvin walked the first three Brooklyn Bridegrooms he faced - and picked them all off for a 1-2-3 inning! Pittsburgh went on to win the game 8-2.
- 1904 - The Pirates downed the runaway NL leaders, the NY Giants, by a 7-0 score at the Polo Grounds. Charlie Case tossed a two-hitter, and didn’t give up a knock after the second frame. His opponent wasn’t quite up to snuff; the Pittsburg Press said that “Leon Ames...was as wild as a March hare and issued six free passes. Besides, the Pirates stung his delivery at a lively rate and practically sewed up the game in the second inning, when three free passes turned into tallies.” The New York Herald was a little less kind - "Pittsburg Plays All By Itself" was its headline.
|Charlie Case image via Baseball Prospectus|
- 1907 - The Pirates dropped the NY Giants 2-1 at Exposition Park. Vic Willis tossed a six hitter with six K to outgun Hooks Wiltse. Bill Hallman had three hits and a run scored for the Bucs, Honus Wagner added two knocks and a stolen base, and Ed Abbaticchio doubled and scored. The game had a little added spice when umpire Bill Klem and Giant manager John McGraw argued during the lineup exchange, setting the scene for McGraw’s ejection in the sixth inning.
- 1915 - It was “Fred Clarke Day” in Pittsburgh, and Cap suited up one last time in his only on-field appearance of his final season. He played four innings and went 1-for-2 against Dick Rudolph of the Boston Braves in an 8-4 win at Forbes Field with Wilbur Cooper on the hill. For farewell gifts, Clarke received an eight-day grandfather clock from his players and a leather binder containing the names of several thousand supporters as a keepsake.
- 1924 - OF Dino Restelli was born in St. Louis. He had just a two-year MLB career (1949, 1951) spent with the Pirates, but has a legit claim to fame: he hit a record seven home runs in his first ten games. He, along with Jose Abreu (White Sox - 2014) and Mark Quinn (KC - 1999), are the only players since 1914 to have a pair of multi-HR outings in the first 10 games of their career.
- 1925 - The Pittsburg Press wrote “The Phillies gave the Pirates a merry tussle in the game that cinched the pennant for the Smoky City…” as the Bucs turned six DP and edged the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 at Forbes Field to claim the NL flag for the first time since 1909. It was the ninth straight victory for the Pirates. Emil Yde tossed a seven hitter for the victory with late help from Tommy Sheehan. Max Carey and Pie Traynor contributed a pair of knocks.
|Emil Yde 1992 reprint The Sporting News Conlon Collection|
- 1935 - Behind the four hit pitching of Jim Weaver and Pep Young’s three knocks and seven RBI, the Bucs left the St. Louis Cardinal’s pennant hopes on life support, taking a 12-0 over the Redbirds at Sportsman’s Park. Woody Jensen had four hits, including a pair of doubles, while Lloyd Waner and Arky Vaughan added three hits and runs apiece.
- 1942 - LHP Jim Rooker was born in Lakeview, Oregon. Rook pitched eight years (1973-80) for the Bucs with a line of 82-65/3.29, which he equalled in playoff time with a 3.20 ERA, including a strong start in Game #5 of the 1979 Series, a crucial match that the Pirates, down 3 games to one, won. He was also a Pirate TV color analyst from 1981 through 1993, and worked for ESPN from 1994 to 1997. Rooker’s most memorable TV moment came when he said on air that he’d walk home from Philadelphia if the Pirates lost, which they did. True to his word, he staged a charity walk after the season.
- 1947 - Ralph Kiner hit his franchise record 51st homer (he would break that mark in 1949) against Jim Kearns of the Cards at Forbes Field in an 8-4 loss to the Redbirds.
- 1951 - Murry Dickson tossed a five hitter against the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field to win his 20th game 3-0. Gus Bell had a pair of hits and two RBI to back Dickson. Murry was the only Bucco pitcher to win more than eight games that season; the team only won 64 contests.
|Murry Dickson 1951 Topps series|
- 1952 - IF Jim Morrison was born in Pensacola, Florida. He spent half (1982-87) of his 12 year career as a Pirate, hitting .274 as a Bucco with a standout 1986 campaign. That year, Morrison together a line of .274/23/88 as Pittsburgh’s starting third baseman.
- 1956 - With the Dodgers leading the Pirates 8-3, 44,932 fans (with several thousand turned away), the largest crowd in Forbes Field's history, lured by a “prize day” promotion, left early when a ninth inning rain delay postponed the game with two outs, triggering the Sunday curfew. Brooklyn officially won the game the next day. Don Newcombe got the win in a match that saw seven Bucco hurlers take the bump.
- 1959 - RHP Jim Winn was born in Stockton, California. A first round draft pick (14th overall) of Pittsburgh in 1981, the reliever never quite panned out, pitching from 1983-86 for the Bucs with a 7-11-4/4.47 line, then spending a couple of years in the AL to end his career.
- 1974 - Jim Rooker threw nine shutout frames as the Bucs beat the St. Louis Cards 1-0 in 10 innings at Busch Stadium, with Dave Giusti working the last frame for the save. The Bucs scored when pinch hitter Paul Popovich singled and was replaced by Miguel Dilone on the basepaths. He was bunted to second and came around on Richie Hebner’s single. The win moved the club to ½ game behind the Cards in a see-saw pennant race that Pittsburgh eventually eked out.
- 1978 - Dave Parker was featured on the cover of The Sporting News for the story “Peerless Pirate.” He would win the MVP and his second batting crown (.334) despite playing with a football-like mask on his helmet after breaking his jaw in a plate collision in late June.
- 1986 - Barry Bonds hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off Philadelphia’s Steve Bedrosian to give Pirates a walkoff 6-5 win. The Bucs scored five times in the last two frames for the comeback; Mike Diaz was the hero, with three RBI at TRS. Four Pirate relievers tossed 6-⅔ innings of shutout ball, with Barry Jones getting the win.
- 2011 - The Bucs let the Reds tie the game in the ninth when Joel Hanrahan plunked Todd Frazier with a bases-loaded, two out, 3-2 pitch, but came back to claim a 4-3 walk off win when Jason Jaramillo doubled and came in on Ryan Ludwick’s knock. Garrett Jones’ two-run homer had staked the Pirates to an early lead.
- 2013 - For the first time in 21 years, the Pirates clinched a playoff spot with a 2-1 win at Wrigley Field. Charlie Morton tossed seven innings of three hit ball through seven and was up 1-0 on Neil Walker’s first inning homer. The Cubs tied it in the eighth on a ball that scooted through a drawn up infield, but the Bucs retook the lead in the ninth on Starling Marte’s two out, two strike homer into the bleachers. The drama wasn’t done; with two outs and Nate Schierholtz on first, Ryan Sweeney blooped a ball into right that glanced off Marlon Byrd’s mitt. Schierholtz was waved around, but an Andrew McCutchen-to-Justin Morneau-to-Russ Martin relay and tag were just enough to give Mark Melancon the win and Jason Grilli the save.
|Russ & Jason celebrate (photo Justin Aller/Getty)|
- 2014 - The Pirates guaranteed themselves a playoff berth with a 3-2 win over Atlanta at Turner Field, but it wasn’t easy. Down 2-0 after two innings, and saved from a bigger hole thanks only to bad Brave baserunning and a bases loaded, no out DP, Gerrit Cole found his rhythm and retired 17 straight Bravos. Andrew McCutchen scored on a delayed steal of home when the catcher’s throw to second was high in the fourth, then Travis Snider tied it with a leadoff homer in the fifth. Doubles by Cutch and Starling Marte gave the Pirates their first lead in the sixth. Cole worked seven innings and struck out eight for the win, with Jared Hughes picking up a hold and Tony Watson taking the save. To earn their playoff spot, the Pirates won 15-of-18 games after being written off following a sweep by the Cardinals in early September.