Monday, May 9, 2016

5/9: Cutch Signs, Kiner Has a Day, HBD Culley & Tony, Plunking Pink, Deals, Duels & More

  • 1896 - RHP Emerson "Pink" Hawley plunked three Washington batters in the seventh inning at Exposition Park, tying a mark he set two years earlier. Eight batters were hit in the contest‚ a NL-record five by Hawley, during the Pirates 14-9 loss. The five Senator batters hit by pitches tied the mark that wasn’t matched again until 1969. Hawley retired in 1900 after nine seasons with a still-standing NL record of 201 hit batters; he also walked 933 hitters. For all of that, he was a capable hurler, winning 31 games in 1895 and 167 over his career.
  • 1914 - OF Culley Rikard was born in Oxford, Mississippi. Rikard played for the Bucs from 1941-42, took a three-year break to serve during the war and returned for the 1947 campaign, hitting .270 over his three years with the Buccos. In 1949, as a Pittsburgh farmhand, he was traded to the San Francisco Seals for Dino Restelli.
  • 1932 - Tony Bartirome was born in Pittsburgh. The slick fielding 1B played one year for the Bucs in 1952, hitting .220. The Hill District native did have a long career with Pittsburgh as their trainer, lasting from 1967-85. One Bartirome tale involves an RBI he earned, not as a player but as a sawbones. As related in John McCollister’s Tales From The Pirate Dugout, Bartirome went out to check on Bill Robinson, who had just been knocked down by a pitch in the seventh game of the 1979 World Series. The bases were loaded in the ninth with two down when he was brushed back. Robinson told Bartirome that he was OK; the pitcher (Dennis Martinez) didn’t hit him. “The hell he didn’t” replied Bartirome, who dug his nail into Robinson’s thumb until it bled. The ump, Jerry Neudecker, saw the crimson trickle and waved him to first to bring home the Bucs’ final run in the 4-1 win.
Tony Bartirome 1952 Topps
  • 1947 - The Pirates sold lefty Ken Heintzelman‚ 33‚ to the Phillies. Heintzelman worked 7-1/2 years (1937-46) for the Bucs, interrupted by the war, and had a 37-43 record with a 4.14 ERA. The swingman wasn’t done; he pitched 5-1/2 more seasons for the Phils, winning 40 games. His son, Tom went on to play major league baseball with the Cardinals and Giants as an infielder between 1973 and 1978.
  • 1948 - In the second game of a Sunday doubleheader at Forbes Field between the Pirates and the Dodgers‚ umpire Jocko Conlan let the game play through a 7 PM curfew because he thought Pittsburgh manager Billy Meyer was stalling while sitting on a 5-4 lead. Brooklyn went ahead 7-5‚ but Ralph Kiner hit a three run HR to give Pittsburgh the 10-8 victory. The Bucs were fined $100 by the City for violating the curfew. Brooklyn romped in the opener, 14-2, and all those runs were the reason the nightcap pushed the curfew limits.
  • 1950 - Ralph Kiner hit a grand slam, the eighth of his career, and added a three run homer during a 3-for-4, seven RBI outing as the Bucs beat Brooklyn 10-5 at Forbes Field. Bill Werle tossed 6-⅔ frames of scoreless relief for the win.
  • 1958 - Ted Kluszewski broke up a scoreless tie between starters Robin Roberts and Ron Kline - both hurlers went the distance - by belting a lead-off, first pitch homer in the 12th to give the Bucs a 1-0 win over the Phils at Forbes Field. It was only the fourth Pirates hit off Roberts while Kline scattered eight knocks.
Big Klu 1958 (photo Jay Publishing)
  • 1963 - The Bucs beat Dick Ellsworth’s slider into the dirt all day as Ernie Banks became the first NL first baseman to garner 22 putouts in a game (with an assist). The Cubs whipped Pittsburgh 3-1 at Wrigley Field as Ellsworth allowed Pittsburgh just two singles.
  • 1979 - Four bench-clearing brawls, four beaned batters and two grand slams were the highlights of a 17-9 Bucco victory over the Braves at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Substitute umps ejected five players‚ both managers and a coach. As for the game itself, the Pirates headed into the ninth inning with a slim 10-9 lead before exploding for seven runs. John Milner’s grand slam off Gene Garber highlighted the big frame. Earlier, Bill Robinson had hit two home runs off Phil Niekro to give the Pirates the lead. Tim Foli added four more RBI.
  • 1997 - Prior to the game with Atlanta‚ Pirate players had an impromptu meet-and-greet inside the TRS gates to shake hands and pose for pictures. The up close and personal vibes worked as they proceeded to beat the Braves 9-0 behind Francisco Cordova. Jose Guillen homered and drove in three runs while Al Martin added three knocks.
Jose Guillen 1997 Fleer Ultra
  • 1999 - Two of Pittsburgh’s bigger disappointments showed what coulda been. The Pirates beat the Cards‚ 12-9 behind SS Pat Meares’ five hits and OF Brant Brown’s three run, inside the park homer at Busch Stadium.
  • 2012 - Andrew McCutchen agreed to terms on a six-year contract worth $51.5M with a club option for 2018 worth $14.75M. The deal bought out Cutch's remaining arbitration seasons and at least two years of free agency.

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