- 1890 - The Pittsburgh Alleghenys beat the Cleveland Spiders 20-12 at Recreation Park in front of a crowd of 17 (with six paid) in a yard that held 17,000. Smart fans - the team finished last in the NL with a record of 23–113, 66-1/2 games behind the first place Brooklyn Bridegrooms. According to Wikipedia, Recreation Park was also known as Union Park and later, the Allegheny Athletic Association Grounds. It was tucked between Allegheny Ave, Pennsylvania Ave, Galveston Ave and Behan St in Allegheny West. No pictures of it as a baseball field are known to exist, though there are a couple of newspaper shots of Pitt playing football there. The baseball team left for Exposition Park in 1891 and Pitt followed suit in 1904.
|Recreation Park in the 1880s during a carnival (photo via the Post Gazette)|
- 1902 - St. Louis Cardinals owner Frank Robison put up a $10‚000 challenge that the Pirates wouldn’t repeat as NL champions. Pittsburgh players pooled their money to meet the bet, and then collected easily as they won the pennant by 27-1/2 games. St Louis finished sixth, 44-1/2 games off the Pirates’ pace.
- 1917 - RHP Gene “Genie” Smith was born in Ashley, Louisiana. He pitched for the the Homestead Grays between 1946–1947. During his career, he threw three no-hitters, played in the East-West All Star game and in the Negro World Series, although not with Homestead. He joined them after spending three years in the service and never had another big season afterward, retiring after the 1951 campaign.
- 1922 - Second baseman Cotton Tierney collected a career-high five hits, doubled three times and knocked in a game-high four runs in Pittsburgh’s 14-3 rout of the Cubs in Chicago. The Bucs broke the game open with an eight run second inning and then added two more runs an inning later to make it 10-0. It was Pittsburgh’s sixth straight win after beginning the season with losses in each of the first three games. Hal Carlson took the win at Wrigley.
|Cotton Tierney 1921 (photo Bob Dorman)|
- 1946 - RHP “Happy Jack” Chesbro was elected to the Hall of Fame. A spitballer who won 41 games in 1904 for the NY Highlanders, he tossed for the Pirates at the beginning of his career from 1899-1902, with a line of 70-38/2.89. Also selected was Rube Waddell, a colorful hurler who began his career with Pittsburgh in 1900-01. They were inducted on June 12th.
- 1946 - The Bucs sold 1B Ellsworth “Babe” Dahlgren to the St. Louis Browns. Dahlgren hit .271 with 176 RBI in his two year stint with the Bucs, but faded badly with the Browns as a 34-year old, and ‘46 was his last season in the show. He’s famous as the man who replaced Lou Gehrig in 1939 while with the Yankees.
- 1947 - The Bucs were out of the gate in a hurry, winning their sixth of the first seven games of the season by an 8-5 count over the Cards at Sportsman’s Park. Billy Cox and Eddie Basinski each homered and combined for seven RBI. Ed Bahr tossed 6-1/3 shutout innings, giving up just three hits, to win in relief.
|Billy Cox 1947 (photo Associated Press)|
- 1962 - The Bucs record setting ten game, season-opening winning streak was derailed by the Mets and Jay Hook at Forbes Field. It was the first regular season victory ever for NY as they won 9-1, and it started the Pirates on a spiral of losing 13-of-17 games.
- 1966 - The Pirates scored three times in the ninth inning to pull out a 5-4 win against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Pittsburgh trailed 4-2 heading into the ninth before Bob Bailey, Jim Pagliaroni and Jose Pagan each hit solo homers off Dennis Aust and Hal Woodeshick to power the Bucs past the Cards.