Friday, May 20, 2016

5/20: HBD Horace, Joe, George, Tony; Big Bangs, Small Ball; Cap'n Willie and Chuck Booed & More

  • 1856 - Horace Phillips was born in Salem, Ohio. He was an early manager of the Alleghenys from 1884-89, and led them to their first winning season ever in 1885. His best finish was second the following year, when his team went 80-57. He shepherded the club from the American Association into the NL in 1887. Phillips was yellow rag fodder during the era for various financial peccadilloes, and after he quit managing spent the rest of his years in various insane asylums.
  • 1891 - 1B Joe Harris was born in Coulter, 10 miles up the Youghiogheny from McKeesport. Harris was a war hero, and recovered from serious injury to play MLB ball for six teams, including the Pirates in 1927-28. He hit .329 in 145 games as a Buc and was part of the 1927 WS club.
Joe Harris (photo via Out of the Park Development)
  • 1896 - Per John Dreker of Pirates Prospects “This Date In Pirate History,” Pittsburgh played Brooklyn at Expo Park. The Bucs fell behind 6-0 after three innings when it began to rain and manager Connie Mack told his team to go easy in the field, hoping that the game would drag on and be called. Pirate pitchers started lobbing the ball over the plate, tho Brooklyn caught on quickly enough and tried to make outs to make sure the game reached five innings. It was never called as the weather cleared up, leaving the Pirates in a 17-0 hole after five innings. When they realized the game was going to be official they began to play hard again. The Bridesgrooms’ pitcher, Bert Abbey, was told not to strain his arm and began lobbing the ball too, allowing the Pirates to score six runs in the last two innings for a 25-6 final.
  • 1900 - 1B George Grantham was born in Galena, Kansas. He played seven years (1925-31) for the Bucs, hitting .315 with a .410 OBP. Grantham played for the 1925 and 1927 World Series clubs, hitting .364 against the Yankees in the 1927 match-up. His biggest season was 1930, when he hit .324 with 18 homers, 99 RBI and 120 runs.
  • 1932 - Paul Waner tied the MLB record with four doubles in five at bats during the Pirates 5-0 win over the Cards at Sportsman’s Park. Big Poison set an NL record that season with 62 two-baggers. Larry French fired a two-hitter for the win.
Paul Waner Goudey 1933
  • 1947 - Talk about your small ball! The Bucs beat Milwaukee 4-3 at Forbes Field as the teams combined for 22 hits, and every one was a single. Hank Greenberg knocked home the winning run in the tenth, making Tiny Bonham a winner. The teams added nine walks, too, and stranded 20 runners between them.
  • 1948 - The Bucs bombed Boston 13-0 behind a big eight run fourth frame primed by a Ralph Kiner homer and double, while Elmer Riddle tossed a four hitter at Braves Stadium. Six Bucs had multiple hits, five had multiple RBI (led by Kiner’s three), and eight different players scored.
  • 1950 - An ugly brooming: The Bucs were no-hit for 9-2/3 frames by the Dodgers’ Ralph Branca‚ Jack Banta‚ and Dan Bankhead at Ebbets Field to lose the back end of a twin bill 4-3 in eleven innings. They dropped the opener to Brooklyn 3-2 when Gil Hodges pounded a two out, two run double in the eighth of Mel Queen; both runs were unearned.
  • 1956 - The Pirates drew their biggest crowd in five years (32‚326) and celebrated with a DH sweep over the Milwaukee Braves‚ 6-5 and 5-0, at Forbes Field. Dale Long homered in each game and drove in seven runs. Bob Friend won the opener and Ron Kline tossed a six hitter for the victory in the nitecap.
Dale Long 1957 Topps
  • 1960 - The Pirates stretched their NL lead to 1-1/2 games by edging the Giants‚ 5-4‚ on Roberto Clemente's single in the 12th inning. Clemente had three hits to raise his average to .378. Willie McCovey's homer in the ninth tied it for San Francisco‚ and a score in the 12th put them ahead. Don Hoak's single and a run-scoring double by Dick Groat set the stage for Clemente’s game winner at Forbes Field.
  • 1962 - The seven and eight hitters for Pittsburgh, Don Hoak and Bill Mazeroski, went 4-for-7 with a walk, double, triple and homer, four runs scored and five RBI to carry the Bucs and Vern Law past the Reds 8-2 at Forbes Field.
  • 1978 - Batting against Wayne Twitchell of the Montreal Expos, Willie Stargell hit the only fair ball ever to reach the upper deck of Olympic Stadium. The red seat where the ball landed, 535’ away, was painted yellow to mark the spot. The Bucs won 6-0 as Bert Blyleven tossed a three hitter with eight strikeouts, amply supported by Pops’ five RBI.
  • 1988 - Former skipper Chuck Tanner and MVP Willie Stargell were booed at TRS for coaching rival Atlanta. The Bucs won rather handily despite facing their old legends by a 10-3 score as Junior Ortiz and Mike Diaz teamed up to drive home six runs. Mike Dunne got the win in a game finished by Jim Gott.
  • 1988 - C John Anthony “Tony” Sanchez was born in Miami. He was drafted in the first round (4th pick) of the 2009 draft out of Boston College and first appeared as a Bucco in 2013. he hit .259 from 2013-15, serving as a call-up third catcher. He was DFA’ed after the 2015 season and now plays in the Toronto organization.
Tony Sanchez 2014 Bowman
  • 2000 - C Keith Osik made the second mop-up relief appearance of his career, allowing five runs on five hits‚ two hit batters‚ a wild pitch and a home run in the ninth inning of a 19-4 loss to the Cards at TRS. Osik became just the second position player since 1900 to both give up and hit home run in the same game when he took Pat Hentgen deep in the eighth inning before surrendering a long ball to Thomas Howard.
  • 2004 - The Bucs were down 7-1 after two, but Daryle Ward and Jason Bay each had a pair of homers and three RBI to lead the Bucs to a 9-7 comeback win over the San Diego Padres at PNC Park. Mike Gonzalez got the win and Jose Mesa the save. Despite the homers and nine runs scored, the Bucs went 0-for-7 with RISP.
  • 2005 - Matt Lawton hit the longest Pirate homer to date at PNC Park, blasting a 463’ rocket off Colorado’s Jamey Wright in a 9-4 Bucco victory. Lawton and Rob Mackowiak had three RBI each and Tike Redman went 4-for-4.
  • 2011 - Neil Walker hit a homer and double, driving in five runs, to lead Pittsburgh to a 10-1 win against Detroit at PNC Park. Jeff Karstens earned the win, sealed by a trio of relievers.

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