Tuesday, April 12, 2016

4/12: HBD Vic, Woodie, Tommie, Jeff, Triple Play, Long Leash for Mad Dog, Big Taters

  • 1876 - Vic Willis was born. The Hall of Fame righty spent four seasons in Pittsburgh (1906-09) with an 89-46/2.08 line and was part of the 1909 team that won the World Series against the Tigers, the first championship team from Pittsburgh. He won 249 games over a 13 year career.
  • 1927 - Lloyd Waner made his Pirate debut in left field for the Pittsburgh Pirates. His brother Paul was in right field in the Bucs' 2–1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Redland Field. Little Poison collected his first hit and scored the winning run, driven in by his brother to back Ray Kremer’s six hitter.
Lloyd & Paul 1935 (photo Leslie Jones via Boston Public Library)
  • 1937 - The Pirates and White Sox played an exhibition game with a new “dead ball” the league was experimenting with. The score ended up 9-6 Chicago, though all but one hit was a single, and that was a double.
  • 1940 - LHP Woodie Fryman was born in Ewing, Kentucky. He started his career in Pittsburgh in 1966-67, going 15-17-2 with a 3.91 ERA. He was part of the Jim Bunning deal in 1968, and went on to have a breakout All-Star campaign with the Phils. Woodie pitched for 18 years and six teams (primarily Philadelphia & Detroit) before hangin’ them up at age 43.
  • 1942 - RHP Tommie Sisk was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The righty tossed seven seasons for Pittsburgh (1962-68) as a swingman after spending just two years in the minors. He went 37-35 with a 3.69 ERA. His best effort was against the Mets on September 20th, 1965 when he tossed a two-hitter.
Tommie Sisk 1968 Topps
  • 1958 - On a recommendation from former GM Branch Rickey’s bud President Dwight D. Eisenhower‚ the Pirates signed RHP Preston Bruce‚ the son of the White House doorkeeper, and assigned him to Salem in the short-season Class D Appalachian League. DDE wasn’t much of a scout; Bruce put up a 15.60 ERA and his pro career ended the following season.
  • 1965 - Bob “Beetles” Bailey hit a walk-off homer to give Bob Veale a 1-0 win in ten innings over the Giants’ Juan Marichal (both guys went the distance) at Forbes Field in the Bucco Opener.
  • 1966 - The first MLB game played in Atlanta featured Braves' hurler Tony Cloninger pitching 13 innings and fanning a dozen in a losing effort to the Pirates, 3-2. Willie Stargell hit a two-run, two out homer in the 13th to provide the winning runs for Don Schwall at Atlanta Stadium.
  • 1976 - LHP Jeff Wallace was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. He tossed for the Bucs in 1997 and 1999-2000 after sitting out a year due to injury. His record with the Bucs was 3-0 with a 4.67 ERA, and control was his issue - as a Pirate, he walked 80 batters in 86-⅔ IP. Wallace worked 90 games with the Pirates without picking up a loss, the most appearances pitched without a defeat in team history.
Jeff Wallace 1998 Bowman
  • 1983 - In the eighth inning of the home opener, Bill Madlock took a long lead off first with 1B Keith Hernandez playing well behind him. Bruce Sutter checked the runner and spun off the mound to chase him back - and beat him to the bag for an unassisted pickoff! The Bucs lost to the Cards 4-3.
  • 1985 - In their first night home opener, the Bucs prevailed over the Cards 6-4. A crowd of 47,335 watched Maz throw out the first pitch and Jason Thompson mash a two-run homer. Starter John Candelaria came on to earn the save of Don Robinson’s win.
  • 2002 - Cubbie Sammy Sosa set the PNC Park long-distance record with a 484’ home run off Dave Williams during a 7-3 Chicago victory.
  • 2009 - With runners on the move from first and second base, the Reds' Edwin Encarnacion's soft liner liner to Pirates' SS Jack Wilson was turned into a triple play (Wilson-Sanchez-LaRoche), the Bucs' first since 1993. Pittsburgh still lost at Great American Ball Park by a 2-0 score on Aaron Harang’s three hitter, the first MLB shutout of the year. The game’s only runs came on a first inning two out, two run homer by Brandon Phillips off Ian Snell.

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