Friday, June 3, 2016

6/3: Nate the Great Deal, Smiley, Kison 1-Hitters, Rooftop Bombs, Big Poison's 14-Gamer, More

  • 1906 - In a deal that didn’t pan out very well, the Pirates sent rookie LHP Ed “Loose’ Karger to the St Louis Cardinals for veteran RH hurler Chappie McFarland. Karger pitched well for some bad St. Louis teams and lasted in the show through 1911, going 48-67 with a 2.79 ERA while working for four teams. (Some say Loose’s nickname represented his carefree character; others say it described his delivery) Chappie was waived in August by the Pirates and pitched once more in the majors, for Brooklyn in 1906.
  • 1927 - Paul “Big Poison” Waner, along with Glenn Wright and George Grantham, homered off the Phils’ Claude Willoughby in a 11-1 romp at Forbes Field. Waner’s long ball ignited the start of his NL record 14 game streak with an extra base hit (12 doubles‚ 5 triples‚ 3 HR).
Paul Waner 1927 (Spaulding Die Cut)
  • 1932 - Behind 5-2, the Pirates scored three in the bottom of the eighth and then got an inside-the-park homer from Tony Piet in the eleventh to defeat the Cubs 6-5 at Forbes Field. Piet had four knocks and four RBI to prime the attack, with Pie Traynor adding three hits. The Bucs had three triples during the game, two of which got away from Chicago player-manager Rogers Hornsby, who then benched himself. Steve Swetonic went the distance for the win despite giving up 14 hits. It was the first “Knothole Gang” game ever held at Forbes Field, as the team stuffed the right field stands with local youngsters.
  • 1937 - Homestead Gray C Josh Gibson hit perhaps his most storied homer, reported by the Sporting News to have traveled 580’, catching the back rim at Yankee Stadium. If accurate, which is a point of debate, it would be longest home run ever hit; Mickey Mantle’s 565’ blast in 1953 is considered the longest, two feet short of clearing the center field bleachers, against the NY Black Yankees.
  • 1962 - During the nitecap of a double header, Bob Skinner hit a RF roof shot at Forbes Field, the second of his career, off Houston’s Ken Johnson during a 10-3 loss. The Bucs also lost the opener 10-6, giving the Colt .45s their first DH sweep in franchise history.
  • 1964 - IF Nelson Liriano was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The veteran infielder saw a lot of part time action for the Bucs in 1995-96, getting in 219 games and hitting .277 after being claimed off waivers from Colorado. His greatest career footnote may be from the 1989 season when as a Toronto Blue Jay, he broke up two no-hitters in the ninth inning within a six-day span, spoiling bids by first Nolan Ryan and then Kirk McCaskill.
Nelson Liriano 1996 Fleer Ultra (back)
  • 1979 - The Bucs hit five home runs, two from Bill Robinson with four RBI, as the Bucs whipped the Padres 7-0 at TRS. But the big story was Bruce Kison, an emergency starter who got the nod shortly before the game when Don Robinson couldn’t go. In fact, the start time was delayed 10 minutes so he could warm up. He got loose pretty quickly; he carried a no hitter into the eighth, when with two outs, Barry Evans, a .197 hitter, bounced a ball inside the third base line. Phil Garner, who was playing off the bag, took a couple of steps over, went for the backhand grab and had it tick off his mitt into left for a soft two bagger. It was ruled a hit. Kison didn’t agree; he walked off the mound after the inning and shook his fist at the scorer, Dan Donovan, who was in the press box. The controversial (to Kison, anyway) grounder was the only hit he surrendered.
  • 1987 - Bucco second baseman Jim Morrison had a career-high three doubles, drove in two runs and tied his personal best of four hits (4-for-4) in Pittsburgh’s 4-1 win over the Braves in front of just 5,368 fans at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Bob Kipper started and got the win.
  • 1988 - The Pirates put up runs in the eighth and ninth frames to edge the Montreal Expos 2-1 at TRS. John Smiley tossed a one-hit complete game with eight K, but the knock was a two-out triple that RJ Reynolds couldn’t come up with followed by a balk. The Bucs tied it in the eighth on a Jose Lind solo shot. Mike Lavalliere doubled with an out in the ninth; John Cangelosi ran for him and scored after Mike Diaz’s pinch hit knock, making a hard-luck loser out of John Dopson.
John Smiley 1992 Score Impact
  • 1992 - The Bucs took an early 6-2 lead thanks to a four-run third inning and held on to drop the LA Dodgers at TRS by a 6-5 score. Jeff King brought home three runs and Jerry Gleaton claimed his only Pirate victory, saved by Stan Belinda. With the win, the Pirates reclaimed first place in the NL East from the Cardinals and then held the top spot for the rest of the year, spending just eight days without the lead or a share of it.
  • 2009 - The Bucs traded OF Nate McLouth to Atlanta for OF Gorkys Hernandez, LHP Jeff Locke and RHP Charlie Morton, clearing an everyday spot for Andrew McCutchen, who was called up from the minors that day. Hernandez was later flipped (he’s been involved in several moves) for Gaby Sanchez while Morton (who was sent to the Phillies in 2016) and Locke filled rotation spots. McLouth was a flop for the Braves and during a brief return to Pittsburgh but revived his career with Baltimore. He's now a free agent.
  • 2011 - It took Pittsburgh 12 innings, but they squeezed out a 2-1 win over the Phillies at PNC Park. Jose Tabata drove in the first run on a sac fly and the second during a two-out lightning strike. With the bases empty in the 12th and two away, Xavier Paul singled, stole second, and came in on JT’s grounder through the right side. Danny Moskos got the win, his first MLB victory. He was one of five Pirate pitchers that scattered six hits to Philadelphia hitters.

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