Wednesday, May 18, 2016

5/18: HBD Babe, Maz's Streak, Josh's Big Day, Bo's Slam, Pitching Gems

  • 1882 - Charles Benjamin “Babe” Adams was born in Tipton, Indiana. The righty worked 18 seasons for Pittsburgh (1907-26) with a 194-140/2.74 line. He almost single handedly won the Pirates first World Series title, going 3-0 in 1909 against the Tigers & Ty Cobb, tossing three complete game six-hitters while allowing just four runs in 27 IP. 
Babe Adams 1913 (photo Bain News Service/Library of Congress)
  • 1906 - Christy Mathewson lost to the Pirates and Lefty Leifield 7-6 at Exposition Park. Honus Wagner had three hits and the defensive play of the game. He erased Bill Dahlen from second base in the ninth inning with the ol’ hidden ball trick, sneaking in from behind with the tag as Dahlen focused on the action in front of him. NY Giant’s manager John McGraw was so furious with his veteran SS for napping on the bases that he hit him with a $100 fine‚ which was later rescinded.
  • 1910 - The Pirates beat the Doves (also known as the Beaneaters and later to become the Braves) 8-5 at Forbes Field for their 25th straight victory over Boston. The Doves proved less peaceful the next day, finally snapping the streak by a 6-3 tally by scoring five ninth inning runs off Big Bill Powell and Sam Leever.
  • 1921 - The Pirates improved to 21-6 on the season with an 11-2 win over the Brooklyn Robins at Ebbets Field in New York. Wilbur Cooper, who would finish the season with 22 wins, tossed a complete game while winning his sixth straight decision to start the year. All nine starters had at least one hit, including Cooper, who brought home two runs with a triple in the fifth inning.
Wilbur Cooper (photo from the Michael Grimm collection)
  • 1949 - The Pirates dealt 1B Johnny Hopp to the Dodgers for OF Marv Rackley. Hopp went 0-for-14 and Rackley 11-for-35 before the trade was canceled on June 7th; it ended up Rackley had a bum arm that Brooklyn failed to mention before he was traded. Rackley was done in 1950, while Hopp gave the Bucs a couple of .300+ years before he was sold to the Yankees in September of the following season. The best deals are often those not made...
  • 1968 - Bill Mazeroski played his 392nd straight game‚ a record for NL 2B‚ in an 8-3 loss to the Reds. He played 163 games that season as the Pirates had a tie game that counted, then was later replayed.
  • 1990 - Bobby Bonilla cracked his first grand slam and Bob Walk cruised on the hill as Pittsburgh defeated the Braves 9-3 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Wally Backman also added a two-run shot to support Walk.
  • 2011 - Charlie Morton tossed a five hit shutout while homers from Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen provided the runs as the Pirates whipped the Reds 5-0 at GABP. It was Morton’s second shutout and third complete game; he hasn’t had pitched either since then.
Josh Harrison 2014 Topps Update
  • 2012 - Josh Harrison broke up Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid with one out in the ninth when he softly lined a curve ball into center. Verlander K’ed 12 Buccos and walked a pair at Comerica Park in leading Detroit to a 6-0 victory.
  • 2014 - The Pirates split a twin bill at Yankee Stadium, dropping the opener 4-3 and taking the nightcap 5-3. Charlie Morton gave up three first-inning runs in the first game and Starling Marte whiffed four times in four at-bats, with eight swings-and-misses. But baseball has a way of reversing fortune, and in the second game, Marte’s two-run homer was key in Gerrit Cole’s win (saved by Mark Melancon). Starling became the first Pirate in 60 years, after Preston Ward in 1954, to wear the golden sombrero in the first game of a double header and homer in the second. Other second game standouts were C Chris Stewart with two RBI & a pick-off at third and OF Josh Harrison, who homered, doubled and made a diving catch late in the game to seal the deal.
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