- 1895 - RHP Carmen “Specs” Hill was born in Royalton, Minnesota. Carmen pitched eight years in Pittsburgh (1915-16, 1918-19, 1926-29) and went 47-31-8 with a 3.26 ERA. He won 22 games for the NL Champion Pittsburgh Pirates in 1927. As for his nickname, Carmen was the second pitcher in major league history to wear glasses, and the other players wouldn’t let him forget it.
- 1903 - Deacon Phillippe pitched a six hitter while whiffing 10 and defeated the legendary Cy Young as the Pirates downed the AL’s Boston Americans, 7-3. It was the first World Series game in baseball history, played at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds in front of 16,242 fans. For the books, the first WS hitter was CF Ginger Beaumont, who flew out to American’s CF’er Chick Stahl. Tommy Leach got the first hit, a triple, and became the first runner to score when Honus Wagner singled him home for the first WS RBI. Jimmy Sebring hit the first Series’ homer (a seventh inning inside-the-park dash) and drove in four runs.
- 1917 - Wilbur Cooper tossed a four hit shutout as the Pirates closed the season with a 2-0 win over the Boston Braves at Forbes Field. Bill Webb had three hits and a run scored to lead the attack. Fritz Mollwitz also crossed home while Lee King & Max Carey drove in the runs. It was Cooper’s 17th win for a team that finished last by 47 games with only 51 victories.
|Wilbur Cooper 1924 Diaz Cigarette series|
- 1918 - OF Jim Russell was born in Fayette City, between Belle Vernon and Stockdale on the Mon. He played for the Pirates from 1942-47, starting all but his rookie campaign, and put up a .277 BA during that time. As a youth, he contracted rheumatic fever twice; his baseball span was cut short because of rheumatic heart disease which sapped him in his later career.
- 1922 - Max Carey swiped his 51st base against the Reds in a 5-1 loss at Redland Field. Not only did he lead the league in larceny, but his 51 steals in 53 attempts was the highest success rate ever achieved by a stolen base leader. His record of 31 straight steals without being caught stood until 1975, when Davey Lopes put together a 38 swipe streak.
- 1927 - Paul Waner collected a pair of hits against Cincinnati in a 9-6 win at Redland Field to finish the season with a Bucco record 237 knocks. The victory also clinched the pennant for the Pirates, who finished the year with 94 wins, 1-½ games ahead of St. Louis and two up on NY. Pie Traynor, Lloyd Waner and Earl Smith each added three hits to back Johnny Miljus.
|Paul Waner 1960 Fleer retro series|
- 1944 - As noted by John Dreker’s Pirates Prospects feature “This Date In Pirates History,” P Len Gilmore set a couple of dubious Pirate records. His start against the Phils at Shibe Park was his only big league game, and he gave up 13 hits and seven runs, going the distance in a 7-1 loss. All 36 batters he faced put the ball in play, leaving him with the Pirates standard for most innings pitched without recording a strikeout and or a walk.
- 1956 - SS Vance Law was born in Boise, Idaho. Drafted out of high school by Pittsburgh, the son of Bucco great Vern Law spent his first two years as a Pirate (1980-81) and hit .184 as a seldom used reserve. After being traded to the White Sox, he carved out an 11 year MLB career, including an All-Star season. Law was quite the fireman. He was called on seven times to pitch in blowout games, and finished each one while compiling a career ERA of 3.38 in eight innings.
- 1964 - Danny Murtaugh retired as Buc skipper, citing health reasons. Danny joined the Pirate front office, evaluating players for GM Joe L. Brown. Harry “the Hat” Walker was later named as his replacement. He’d be back; Murtaugh was the Pittsburgh skipper for all or parts of 15 seasons over four different periods (1957–64, 1967, 1970–71, 1973–76).
|Harry Walker 1966 Topps series|
- 1966 - The Giants swept Pittsburgh 5-4 and 2-0 at Forbes Field to eliminate the Pirates from the pennant race. Juan Marichal and Bob Bolin teamed up to defeat Pete Mikkelson and Tommy Sisk. The Bucs would finish third, three games behind the Dodgers.
- 1967 - Roberto Clemente ended the season by going 2-for-5 with a triple, homer‚ three RBI and two runs scored to win his fourth batting title with a .357 average, in a 10-3 victory over Houston at Forbes Field in front of 28,244 fans on Prize Day. Jerry May matched Roberto, going 3-for-5 with a homer, double, three RBI and two runs while Maury Wills added three more hits. Tommy Sisk finished the year with his 13th win.
- 1973 - By losing 4-3 to Randy Jones and the San Diego Padres at TRS on the season’s last day, the Bucs were officially eliminated from the NL East title hunt. They were 1-1/2 games back going into the contest, with the league leading Mets scheduled to play a doubleheader. NY won the first game, making it a moot point. Bob Moose took the loss.
- 1974 - The Bucs took a one game lead over the Cards in the NL East title by beating the Cubs 6-5 at TRS. A two run pinch hit HR by Bob Robertson in the eighth inning was the game winner. Dave Giusti closed out the last two frames to earn the come-from-behind win. The Pirates would clinch the pennant the next day.
|Dave Giusti 1975 Topps series|
- 1990 - Bobby Bonilla was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the story “Down To the Wire.” It didn’t end up that close; the Bucs won the division by four games, though losing the NLCS to the Reds. Bobby Bo had an All Star season, hitting .280 with 32 HR and 120 RBI, finishing second in the MVP voting to teammate Barry Bonds.
- 2000 - A crowd of 55,351, the largest gathering to ever to see a regular season baseball game in Pittsburgh, watched the Pirates fall to the Chicago Cubs, 10-9, in the final game at Three Rivers Stadium. Sister Sledge was on hand to sing the National Anthem. Brian Giles had three hits and became the first Pirate to hit .300 with 30+ home runs and 100+ RBIs in back-to-back seasons. The Bucs ran through seven pitchers, with Scott Sauerbeck taking the loss after surrendering three eighth inning runs.
- 2006 - Freddy Sanchez went 2-for-4 against the Reds to finish with a .344 BA, the tops in the NL. The Bucs won 1-0 in front of 25,004 at PNC Park behind the pitching of Shane Youman, John Grabow, Matt Capps and Salomon Torres, who combined on a four hitter. Pittsburgh scored in the eighth by rapping four straight two out singles; Xavier Nady drove in Jay Bay with the winner.
- 2012 - It took ten starts, but Jeff Locke got his first MLB win by beating the Braves 2-1 at PNC Park. He gave up two hits (and five walks) in six frames while three relievers tossed hitless ball behind him. Starling Marte provided the offense; he homered and tripled, coming in on Chase d’Arnaud’s ground out, to account for the Bucco runs.
|Jeff Locke 2013 Topps Heritage series|
- 2013 - A record PNC Park crowd of 40,487 saw the Pirates win the NL Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Reds by a 6-2 score. Francisco Liriano gave up one run on four hits over seven innings for the win. He was supported by Russell Martin, who had a pair of homers, and Marlon Byrd, who also went long. Martin became the first catcher to homer for three different teams in the postseason, going yard with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008 and the New York Yankees in 2012. Martin's first blast was legendary; the crowd was chanting "Cueto" after Byrd's dinger; Johnny dropped the horsehide and then served up another long ball to Russ, lifting the roof off PNC Park. Byrd’s homer was during his first post-season at-bat after playing 1,250 MLB games before reaching the promised land. It was the first playoff game ever held at PNC and the first Pirate playoff win in Pittsburgh since defeating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on October 11th, 1992 in the NLCS at TRS. The victory cost the Reds more than a playoff run; it also cost them a manager when Dusty Baker was fired three days later after suffering his seventh straight playoff loss as Cincinnati skipper.
- 2014 - The Pirates laid a playoff egg in front of a record crowd of 40,629 at PNC Park, falling to Madison Bumgarner and the SF Giants 8-0 in the winner-take-all NL Wild Card elimination game. Bumgarner tossed a complete game whitewash with 10 K and Brandon Crawford’s grand slam in the fourth inning off Edinson Volquez would provide Mad Bum with more than enough runs; for good measure, Brandon Belt drove in three more Giants. Josh Harrison was the Bucs lone bright spot at the dish, collecting two of the four Pirate hits. Much of the embarrassment wore off as the Giants, sparked by Bumgarner’s brilliant post-season pitching run, beat Washington, St. Louis and KC to claim the 2014 World Series crown.