- 1888 - S/O to John Dreker of Pirates Prospects “This Date In Pirate History.” The Alleghenys forfeited a game to the New York Giants when they failed to show up at the Polo Grounds while it was raining. The Pittsburg Press wrote “ Manager Phillips claimed that he had word that there would be no game and that it rained from 3:30 to 4 (the game’s starting time). President Nimick will protest the game.”
- 1915 - The Pirates swept the first place Cubs by identical 1-0 scores at Forbes Field as Wilbur Cooper and Al Mamaux hurled complete game shutouts. The Pirates won the first game on a bases-loaded beaned batter and the second on a wild pitch.
|Wilbur Cooper circa 1917 (The Sporting News Archives)|
- 1927 - The Pirates overcame a 6-1, sixth inning deficit by scoring nine times in the final four frames to nip the Cubs 10-9 at Forbes Field. 1B Joe Harris was on fire, going 5-for-5 with two triples, a double, four RBI and two runs scored.
- 1937 - The Reds beat the Pirate 8-3 in the opener of a DH at Crosley Field. It was the only game Cincinnati won against the Pirates in 1937. Starting with a 7-5 loss in the nightcap - Pep Young’s three run homer was the big blow - Cincy lost the next 17 straight to the Buccos, and dropped 21 of 22 games‚ tying the MLB record set by the Cubs over the Braves in 1909 and the Yankees over the Browns in 1927. In fact, the Reds would drop the first three to open 1938 for a 20 game losing streak against Pittsburgh, another MLB record.
- 1942 - Satchel Page rejoined his old Grays teammates as they played against the Dizzy Dean All-Stars in an exhibition game at Washington’s Griffin park. It drew 22,000 fans (the Senators averaged just 5-6,000 per game) and beat the Deans 8-1. Clark Griffin, the Sens’ owner, told Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard after the game that he was going to “break up your league” and sign black ballplayers, but he never made good on the promise.
|1942 - Josh never got his shot at MLB (photo: Teenie Harris)|
- 1948 - At Wrigley Field‚ the Cubs set a paid attendance record when 46‚965 fans passed through the turnstiles during a doubleheader split with the Pirates on Memorial Day. The Bucs lost the opener 4-3 after Chicago scored in the ninth off Kirby Higbe. Pittsburgh rallied in the nightcap behind Elmer Riddle to win 4-2. Danny Murtaugh chased home a pair of runs and scored once to provide Riddle with some working space.
- 1953 - Vic Janowicz became the first Heisman Trophy winner to play MLB when he appeared as a pinch runner for the Pirates in the first game of a doubleheader loss to the Dodgers.
- 1961 - Pittsburgh bashed out nine doubles (two by Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski, with one each from Joe Gibbon, Dick Groat, Hal Smith, Gino Cimoli and Dick Stuart) in a 9-1 laugher at Forbes Field against the Milwaukee Braves. Joe Gibbon tossed a six hitter with 10 strikeouts to earn the win over Warren Spahn.
- 1962 - Joe Orsulak was born in Glen Ridge, NJ. A sixth round pick of the Pirates in the 2008 draft, he was seen as the Bucs future lead-off man and CF’er. In his four years in Pittsburgh (1983-86) he never managed to secure the job, though he did hit .272. He lasted 14 years in the show, hitting .273 lifetime as primarily a platoon outfielder.
|Joe Orsulak 1986 Donruss|
- 1964 - Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers beat the Pirates 6-4 at Forbes Field, but had to survive a towering blast by Roberto Clemente to do it. The Great One hit a ball halfway up the light tower 450’ away in center field. It was estimated to be potentially a 500’ drive had the pole not gotten in the way.
- 1973 - The Bucs topped the Atlanta Braves 3-1, backing up Nellie Briles three hitter with Willie Stargell’s three-run blast in the eighth at TRS. Stargell’s ball went 468’ and landed in the upper deck. Of the 12 shots that carried into the cheap seats in TRS history, Pops launched the most; this was his fourth and final second-tier homer. It broke up a gem by Gary Gentry; he had a shutout going into the eighth when with one out, an infield single and 3-2 walk that raised the hackles of Bravo manager Eddie Matthews was followed by Willie’s blast. Briles went the distance for the win, sending Atlanta to their seventh straight loss.
- 1985 - A Federal grand jury indicted seven for cocaine distribution and sales in baseball, none of which were Pirates (the players that testified were granted immunity). GM Joe Brown hoped the indictments would “...remove the shadow that has existed over the Pirates…” but his hope was in vain; the coke trials tainted the team’s clubhouse culture and several Bucs, notably Dave Parker and Rod Scurry, in the eyes of the fans.
- 1986 - Barry Bonds collected his first MLB hit, a first-inning double off Rick Honeycutt, as the Bucs beat the LA Dodgers 4-0 at PNC Park. Bonds must have been excited; he was picked off a batter later. It was BB's second MLB game after debuting with an 0-fer the day before. Bill Almon’s two-run homer and Bob Kipper’s eight shutout innings were plenty enough for Pittsburgh to prevail.
|Barry Bonds 1986 Fleer|
- 1994 - It wasn’t a good day to be a Pirate pitcher. San Diego scored 13 runs in the second inning on the way to a 15-5 whipping of the Bucs at Jack Murphy Stadium. Steve Cooke and John Hope were the hapless hurlers in that unlucky frame.
- 2006 - Jose Castillo homered in his fifth straight game as the Pirates defeated Milwaukee 6-1 at PNC Park. Castillo hit a two run shot off Chris Capuano in the second inning to continue a streak that began on the 26th against Houston’s Taylor Bucholtz, the third longest in franchise history behind Dale Long’s eight game streak and Jason Bay’s six-gamer. Ian Snell and three relievers combined on a three hitter against the Brew Crew.
- 2008 - SS Luis Rivas had four RBI, two runs scored, a homer and double as the Bucs pounded St. Louis 14-4 at Busch Stadium. Ronny Paulino added three RBI with three hits and a homer of his own while Jose Bautista chipped in with four knocks. Xavier Nady and Freddie Sanchez had three hits each as the Pirates pounded out 19 knocks.