Sunday, April 3, 2016

4/3: HBD Guy, Larry, Alex & Dewey; Reds Sweep, Walk Signed, More...

  • 1856 - Manager and 1B Guy Hecker was born in Youngsville, in Warren County. He was the Alleghenys player-manager in 1890, and it wasn’t a great year for Guy’s resume - he hit .226 as the first baseman and the team finished 23-113, decimated by Player League roster raids. Guy was quite a player, though. During his career he played for Louisville Eclipse prior to the Alleghenys and is considered by some baseball historians to be the best combination pitcher and hitter to play in the 19th century. Hecker remains as one of the only two pitchers in MLB history to hit three home runs in one game, along with Jim Tobin, and the only pitcher to win a batting title (in 1886). In addition, he is the only pitcher in baseball history to get six hits in a nine-inning game. He could toss it, too - Hecker was the second pitcher ever in the American Association to pitch a no hitter and led that league in Ks in 1884.
Guy Hecker (image via John Thorn's "Our Game")
  • 1919 - Manager Larry Shepherd was born in Lakeland Ohio. He managed in the Pirate system from 1953 to 1966, spanning the Sally to the International Leagues, and won three pennants along the road. He returned to the Bucs after a year off in 1968 to replace Harry the Hat Walker at the helm, and in almost two seasons put together a 164-155 record. Shepherd was replaced by Alex Grammas with a week to go in the '69 season despite an 84-73 slate.
  • 1926 - Coach Alex Grammas was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Grammas served as a coach for the Pirates from 1965-69 and was the Bucs’ interim manager for five games in 1969 after Larry Shepard was fired. When Danny Murtaugh took over for 1970, Grammas caught on with Sparky Anderson at Cincinnati, and would eventually end up with a gig as the Milwaukee Brewers’ head man.
  • 1978 - 2B Bobby Hill was born in San Jose. Part of the return from the A-Ram salary dump, he played in Pittsburgh from 2003-05. He hit .262 over that span and lost the second base job to Jose Castillo in 2005 after being the starter the year before.
  • 1981 - C Ryan Doumit was born in Moses Lake, Washington. Dewey caught ‘n’ stuff for the Pirates from 2005-11, with Bucco career numbers of .271, 67 HR and 266 RBI. Unfortunately, in those seven years he never stayed healthy long enough to get into 125+ games during any single season, and he only got into 100+ games twice for Pittsburgh.
Ryan Doumit 2009 Bowman
  • 1984 - After being released by the Braves, the Pirates signed RHP Bob Walk. Walk ended up spending 10 seasons as a Bucco back-ender, going 82-61 with a 3.83 ERA and putting up a 2-1 record during the Bucs three NLCS series from 1990-92.
  • 1986 - The Pirates sent OF Marvell Wynne to the San Diego Padres for RHP Bob Patterson. It was a win-win. Patterson eventually was effective as a reliever for the Bucs (he came to the club as a starter) over six seasons, and Wynne played fairly regularly for SD for the next four seasons.
  • 1990 - The Bucs traded OF’er Billy Hatcher, whom they had picked up at the 1989 deadline for Glenn Wilson, to the Reds for a pair of minor leaguers. Hatcher helped the Reds sink the Bucs in the 1990 NLCS, hitting .333, and played six more MLB seasons as mainly a platoon outfielder.
Billy Hatcher 1990 Upper Deck
  • 2003 - The Pirates completed a season opening three game sweep of Cincinnati at The Great American Ballpark with a 7-5 win. Former Red Reggie Sanders went deep twice for Pittsburgh, going 4-for-5 and adding five RBI. Sanders went 7-for-10 in the series as the Pirates jumped out to their first 3-0 start to a season since 1993.
  • 2011 - The Pirates plated a pair of runs in the ninth to down the Cubs at Wrigley Field 5-4. A walk to Garrett Jones, a single by Neil Walker and a Lyle Overbay bunt against Carlos Marmol left runners at second and third in the ninth for Pedro Alvarez, who rolled a ball softly to the left side hole. He beat it out for a hit as both Bucs scored, giving El Toro three RBI on the day. Jeff Karstens got the win in relief of Ross Ohlendorf, with Joel Hanrahan picking up the save.

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