Wednesday, April 13, 2016

4/13: Feds Open, Babe's One Hitter, Roberts Breaks Barrier, B-Days, Games & More...

  • 1883 - C Mike Simon was born in Hayden, Indiana. He was with the Bucs from 1909-13, mainly as a reserve, and hit .244. He jumped to the outlaw Federal League in 1914 and finished his career there, playing two more seasons.
  • 1889 - RHP Claude Hendrix was born in Olathe, Kansas. He pitched for the Bucs from 1911-13, with a 42-30/2.71 slash. In 1914, he jumped to the Federal League, where he won 45 games in two years for the Chicago club. When the Fed folded, he stayed in the Windy City with the Cubs, and won 57 more games with them over five seasons.
  • 1914 - The Bucs lost their opener 2-1 at St. Louis as Babe Adams lost his duel to Dan Griner of the Browns, whose pitching, according to the Pittsburgh Press, was “of the airtight variety.” SL manager Miller Huggins liked Pittsburgh, saying that “Fred Clarke has a sweet baseball club this year.” He was proven wrong as the Pirates finished seventh with a 69-85 record.
  • 1914 - The Pittsburgh Feds and the Brooklyn Tip-Tops played the first game of the short-lived Federal League. The contest was front page news in the papers, a band led a parade from town to Exposition Park, and Mayor William Magee tossed out the first pitch. Tom Seaton of the Tip Tops outdid Carrick native Elmer Knetzer of the Feds, winning 1-0 in ten innings. The game was played in front of an estimated 10,000 fans. The team became the Pittsburgh Rebels after Rebel Oakes took over the managerial reins from Doc Gessler early in the year, and like their NL counterparts came in seventh with a 64-86 finish.
Elmer Knetzel 1914 Cracker Jacks
  • 1916 - Babe Adams tossed a one-hit, 4-0 gem against the Cards. The only hit was a knock that clanged off 2B Joe Schultz's mitt. Adams won only one more game that season and was released in August. The Pirates inked him again in 1918 after he sat out a season, and he stuck through 1926, winning 48 games between 1919-21. He worked 19 years for the Bucs, winning 194 games with a 2.76 ERA and he won three World Series games in 1909.
  • 1925 - 1B Stuffy McInnis was released by the Boston Braves and signed by the Bucs. He hit .368 in 59 games, and played in Pittsburgh’s World Series win over Washington. He was a bench guy the following year, hitting .299 before retiring after 1927. McInnis gained his nickname as a youngster in Boston, where his spectacular fielding brought shouts of "that's the stuff, kid.”
  • 1954 - Seven years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, second baseman Curt Roberts made his major league debut during the season opener at Forbes Field and became the first African American to play for the Pirates. The former Kansas City Monarch tripled off Robin Roberts in the first inning as the Bucs beat the Phillies, 4-2. It was the first time the Pirates had opened the season at home in 61 years. It was also their eleventh straight home opener win, a streak that would end the following year.
  • 1963 - The Pirates were clobbered 12-4 by the Reds at Crosley Field. The league decided to clamp down on balks, and a record seven were called in the game, including four on Bob Friend. Pete Rose collected his first MLB hit during the game.
Balkin' Bob Friend 1960 Topps
  • 1970 - LHP Ricardo Rincon was born in Cuitlahuac, Mexico. Rincon, signed as a veteran of the Mexican leagues, pitched for the Pirates from 1997-98. He went 4-10-50/3.17 with 135 K in 125 IP. Rincon was part of a combined no-hitter on July 12th, 1997 when Francisco Cordova threw nine innings of hitless ball and Rincon pitched a scoreless 10th. He was traded for Brian Giles in 1998.
  • 1976 - The Bucs promised a Lumber Company for the fans, and came through in the home opener at TRS with a 14-4 win over St. Louis, hammering out thirteen hits to go with twelve walks. Dave “The Cobra” Parker homered and collected five RBI, Al “Scoops” Oliver had three hits and three RBI while Manny Sanguillen had the only three-walk game of his career and touched home three times.
  • 1983 - 1B Steve Pearce was born in Lakeland, Florida. An eighth round pick in the 2005 draft, he spent bits and pieces of five seasons (2007-11) in Pittsburgh, hitting .232, and was a magnet for nagging injuries.
Steve Pearce 2008 Topps
  • 1986 - Root Sports first hit the air as the Pirates Cable Network, operated by TCI. Its first telecast was on that date, featuring a game between the Pirates and Chicago Cubs from Three Rivers Stadium, an 8-0 Bucco win announced by Mike Lange. It didn’t remain so for long. The network rebranded on April 24th as the KBL Entertainment Network, to reflect that other sports besides baseball (mainly the Penguins) was to be included on the network. KBL’s first regular broadcast was against the New York Mets in early June. In 1994, it became Prime Sports KBL, then two years later Fox Sports Pittsburgh, followed by Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh and once more as FSN Pittsburgh. That whole Fox thing lasted until 2011, when it took its present name of Root Sports.
  • 1987 - Barry Bonds was featured on the cover of The Sporting News for the story “Blossoming Buc.” Although he was still a couple of seasons away from breaking out, he went on to hit .261 with 25 homers, 99 runs, 59 RBI and 32 stolen sacks in the 1987 campaign.
  • 1996 - Carlos Garcia took Montreal lefty Jeff Fassero deep for the 8,000th home run in Pirate history during a 9-3 Buc win at TRS. His fourth inning blast opened the floodgates - Jeff King, Jay Bell and Mark Johnson all went yard after him.
  • 2009 - Zach Duke pitched a four hit, complete game shutout at PNC Park as the Pirates defeated Houston 7–0 in the home opener. Both the Bucs and the Astros wore Pittsburgh Police hats in honor of three officers who were shot and killed on April 4th. The pre-game ceremonies honored the trio, as well as former pitcher and current broadcaster Steve Blass for his 50th season with the team, including a flyover by four Apache helicopters. Adam LaRoche had three hits, including a homer, and Freddy Sanchez banged out three doubles.
Zach Duke 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter
  • 2010 - The Pirates flashed some leather to beat the Giants 6-5 at AT&T Park. Paul Maholm hit the ground to snag Aubrey Huff’s ball and in one motion shoveled it with his glove to 1B Jeff Clement to while doing a backflip. The game icer in the bottom of the ninth came when Garrett Jones, at 1B after a double switch, made a diving grab of Pablo Sandoval's liner to end the game after Octavio Dotel had already surrendered two ninth inning runs. Jones had Kung Fu Panda’s number; he also threw him out at the plate from RF earlier in the game. Every win was precious; the Bucs only had 57 of them that campaign, costing John Russell his job.
  • 2012 - James McDonald spoiled Matt Cain’s perfect game bid with a sixth inning, two out solid single to left. He was the only Bucco to reach base in a 5-0 loss as Cain fanned 11 at AT&T Park in San Francisco’s home opener.

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