Tuesday, May 17, 2016

5/17: HBD Hal, Cool Papa & Jose; Rallies, Long Balls & Tales...

  • 1889 - Per John Dreker of Pirates Prospects “After issuing 10 BB in his debut (on this date), Pittsburgh P Al Krumm offered to buy a hat for any batter than drew a BB off him next game.” The Alleghenys lost that match to the NY Giants 11-7, though Krumm went the distance. He never did get a chance to back up his bet - it was the only MLB game he ever pitched.
  • 1892 - RHP Harold “Hal” Carlson was born in Rockford, Illinois. He worked for the Pirates from 1917-23, with a 42-55/3.64 line. Hal was pretty handy with a stick, too, hitting .224. Carlson died while still a player with the Cubs at the age of 38, victim of a stomach hemorrhage.
Hal Carlson 1921 (photo Bain News Service via Library of Congress)
  • 1903 - James “Cool Papa” Bell was born in Starkville, Mississippi. He played for both the Homestead Grays (1932, 1943–1946) and Pittsburgh Crawfords (1933–1938), and compiled a .337 BA in the Negro Leagues. His speed was legendary. One Satch Paige story goes that when facing Bell, the outfielder hit a liner up that went zipping past Paige's ear and hit Bell in the butt as he was sliding into second base. He also claimed that when he roomed with Bell, Cool Papa hit the light switch one night and was in bed before the light went out. The first Mexican League Triple Crown winner (he played there for three years), Bell was selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. Per “Mississippi History Now,” Bell told baseball writer John Holway, “They said that ‘he’s so cool he don’t get excited.’” St. Louis Stars Manager Bill Gatewood said, “We’ve got to add something to it. We’ll call him Cool Papa.” Thus was born the legendary name.
  • 1906 - “The Goshen Schoolmaster” Sam Leever tossed a three hit shutout against Iron Man Joe McGinnity as the Bucs defeated the Giants 2-0. Leever faced just 27 NY batters at the Polo Grounds. Two runners were erased on DPs and the other was caught stealing.
  • 1920 - The Pirates scored three runs in the bottom of the 15th to edge the Giants‚ 7-6 at Forbes Field. NY plated a pair in the 15th when C Walter Schmidt refused to chase a wild pitch by P Elmer Ponder, allowing not one but two Giants to score. Pittsburgh rallied and won the contest in their half when Charlie Grimm singled in Possum Whitted with two down for the game winner. With all that, the game took just 2:43 to complete.
Walter Schmidt got a little lazy, but the Bucs survived. (photo via Conlon Collection/Baseball Magazine)
  • 1947 - Hank Greenberg, who had heard an anti-semitic slur or three during his career, made Jackie Robinson’s transition a little easier when he asked if he was OK after a collision at first, then advised Jackie to “hang in there” during a 4-0 Bucco win at Forbes Field over the Brooklyn Dodgers. Da Bums outhit Pittsburgh 12-4, but one of the Pirate knocks was a two-run homer by Greenberg.
  • 1956 - The Pirates traded with St. Louis for CF Bill Virdon, sending LHP Dick Littlefield and OF Bobby Del Greco to the Redbirds. The Quail, who was Rookie of the Year in 1955 for the Cards, played 11 seasons for the Pirates, roaming the spacious center field pasture of Forbes Field for a decade while hitting .266.
  • 1959 - The Cubs and Pirates traded long balls in a doubleheader split at Wrigley Field, with the clubs banging out 10 homers. Bill Mazeroski hit a pair and drove in three runs as the Bucs took the opener 5-4 behind Vern Law and ElRoy Face. The Cubs came back in the nightcap, claiming a 7-6 win thx to Pittsburgh’s “messing up of a pop fly” per Post Gazette writer Jack Herndon, giving Bennie Daniels the loss. Beside Maz’s two long flies, Roberto Clemente added a pair (one flew just to the left of the scoreboard, one of the longest blows ever hit at Wrigley) while Dick Hoak and Bob Skinner also homered.
Roberto crushed one at Wrigley (photo Associated Press)
  • 1971 - Roberto Clemente's two-out, two-run, walk-off triple off Mike Marshall carried the Bucs to a 6-5 win over the Expos at TRS. Clemente had three hits, including a homer, and three RBI. His home run and Bob Robertson’s in the eighth had pulled Pittsburgh within a run to set up Clemente’s ninth inning heroics. Montreal had jumped to a 5-0 lead in the third off Luke Walker, but the bullpen work of Jim Nelson, Nellie Briles and Mudcat Grant shut them down the remainder of the game.
  • 1976 - OF Jose Guillen was born in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. Signed by the Bucs in 1992, he made the Opening Day roster in 1997 after tearing up the High A Carolina League with Lynchburg. The RF’er was traded after the 1999 season after hitting .267 in his three-year Bucco span. In 2003, he found his power stroke and was a solid MLB player for 14 seasons.
  • 1984 - The Bucs took a break from the schedule and played against their Class AA minor league club at Nashua. Pittsburgh beat the farmhands 3-2, and in front of their biggest crowd of the week, 6,089. In the three-game set with Houston at TRS just before the exhibition, the Bucs drew 3,395, 2,978 & 4,523.
  • 1985 - While waiting out a 2-1/2 hour rain delay before a Pirates-Cincinnati Reds game at TRS (the Reds won 6-3), Pirate announcer Bob Prince was admitted to the hospital for dehydration and pneumonia. Three days later, with his wife Betty at his side, he passed away at Presbyterian University Hospital, ending an era in Pittsburgh Pirate baseball.
The Gunner 1952 Topps
  • 1995 - Hideo Nomo tossed seven innings of two hit shutout ball‚ fanning 14 batters, but the Bucs scored three times in the last two frames off four LA relievers to take home a 3-2 win at Dodger Stadium. Orlando Merced was intentionally walked in the ninth to get to Jacob Brumfield, who lined a single to center off Antonio Osuna to score Angel Encarcion with the winning run.
  • 2013 - The Bucs overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Astros 5-4 at PNC Park when two Astro fielders ran into each other with two down in ninth, allowing Russ Martin’s pop to drop and Andrew McCutchen to score the walk-off run. There were some legit efforts by Pittsburgh. Tony Watson, Vin Mazzaro and Justin Wilson tossed 4-1/3 frames of scoreless ball and Pedro Alvarez cranked a 462’ shot into the Allegheny on one hop off the Riverwalk. The eighth inning, game tying two run shot fell a foot short of Matt Lawton’s 2005 drive against Jamey Wright of Colorado of becoming the longest homer ever hit at PNC Park.

No comments: