Wednesday, July 13, 2016

7/13: HBD Jeep, Double-O, Hans All-Century, Todd's Gem, Hit Man Hop & More

  • 1888 - Harry Staley and Pud Galvin of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys became the first pitchers to toss a doubleheader shutout by blanking the Boston Beaneaters 4-0 and 6-0 at Recreation Park in front of 3,000 fans. It was the fifth shutout in six games for the Alleghenys as Staley fired a three hitter and Galvin gave up just an eighth inning knock. The Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette wrote the “If the Hubbys (Boston) came up on a goose egg hunt, they were eminently successful.” The paper also reported a pair of occurrences not usually seen in today’s game. Before the matches, the Boston mascot (who doubled as batboy) was found outside the park by Pittsburgh's Galvin and Mike Donlin, who tossed him over the fence into the field. In the closer “The only mishap was reported by umpire Daniels who says some gentleman, or something else, stole his mask, thus leaving him exposed to the cold charity of the pitchers.”
Harry Staley 1889 (photo Police Gazette)
  • 1913 - IF Lee “Jeep” Handley was born in Clarion, Iowa. He was signed to a $20,000 bonus contract by the Pirates and played eight years (1937-46, with 1942-43 off for war duty) for the team. A slick fielder, he mostly played third, but also some middle infield, and hit .269 for Pittsburgh. A tough guy, Jeep survived a serious beaning and a car accident during his career. As for his nickname, the Uniontown Morning Herald in 1938 noted that “Lee (Jeep) Handley came to the National League in 1936, the year of (Eugene the) Jeep's appearance in Thimble Theatre (the original name of the Popeye cartoon strip).” Coincidence? We think not.
  • 1930 - Brooklyn’s Jumbo Elliot tossed a four hitter against the Bucs, but Larry French scattered nine knocks to earn a 1-0 win over the Robins at Ebbets Field. Charlie Engel opened the seventh with a single, went to third on a hit-and-run and scored on Paul Waner’s bouncer to second for the game’s only run. Brooklyn stranded 12 runners and two more thrown out on the bases.
  • 1983 - The Bucs raced ahead of the Giants 5-0, but frittered away the lead by the ninth to fall behind 6-5 at Candlestick Park. With two down and Greg Minton on the hill, Johnny Ray bombed a tying homer to right, then the baseball gods smiled. Mike Easler hit a drive the opposite way that would have hit off the wall, but as LF Jeffrey Leonard tried for a leaping catch, the ball ticked off his glove and cleared the fence to give The Hit Man a game-winning four bagger. Kent Tekulve pitched a clean ninth to save the game for Manny Sarmiento. It gave the Pirates a three game sweep of San Francisco on their way to a 9-1 West Coast swing.
Mike Easler 1983 O-Pee-Chee
  • 2001 - Todd Ritchie lost a no hitter against the Royals when Luis Alicea bounced a one-out ninth inning single through the infield. In the bottom half of the frame, Aramis Ramirez singled through a drawn-in infield to score Brian Giles for a 1-0 win at PNC Park. It was the Bucs second consecutive shutout win. Jimmy Anderson and Mike Williams had combined for a 2-0 sparkler over KC the day before, with Kevin Young’s two-run homer being the difference maker.
  • 1999 - Honus Wagner was named a member of the All-Century team selected by fan vote and introduced at the All-Star game. Wagner came in fourth in the vote, but was included as a legend. Local players included on the ballot of the Greatest 100 Players were area Negro League standouts Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell and Josh Gibson, along with Buccos Wagner, Hank Greenberg, Pie Traynor, Barry Bonds, Roberto Clemente, Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell and Paul Waner.
  • 2001 - Dave Littlefield began his term as GM, replacing Cam Bonifay. He was noted for a stretch of losing seasons and the erosion of both the farm system and the Latino player market, although he did have some successes. He drafted Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker and hired Rene Gayo to scout the Latino baseball world. Littlefield was fired in 2007 and eventually replaced by Neal Huntington.

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