Tuesday, July 19, 2016

7/19 Expo Park/Forbes Field Era: HBD Bill, Jasper, Earl & Vincente, Arky Cycle, Giant Wins, Hans Debut & more...

  • 1865 - RHP Bill Hart was born in Louisville. He played for Pittsburgh in 1895 and again in 1898, going 19-26/4.77. He also played some OF during his eight year career, but was strictly a hurler for the Bucs. Bill hit .237, marking him as journeyman both on the rubber and at the dish. Hart was twice traded by the Pirates and landed a pair of very good players, IF Bones Ely in 1896 and then OF Ginger Beaumont after the ‘98 campaign, making him the tap root of a solid trade tree.
  • 1873 - OF/1B Harry “Jasper” Davis was born in Philadelphia. Jasper played early in his 22 year MLB stint for the Bucs, from 1896-98, and hit .278. He went on to a long career, mainly with his hometown Philadelphia A’s. Fun fact: Jasper had a four year string of leading MLB in long balls from 1904-07, yet hit just 75 homers between 1895-1917. He never had more than 12 in a single season, and in fact finished with double-figure dingers only twice.
  • 1887 - Honus Wagner made his NL debut with the Louisville Colonels, owned by Barney Dreyfuss. He got a hit and stole a base in a 12-2 win over the Brooklyn Grays. In 1900, Dreyfuss bought the Pittsburgh franchise and maneuvered most of his Louisville club onto the roster, including the Flying Dutchman.
Hans from Pittsburgh Baseball Hero Decks
  • 1891 - LHP Earl Hamilton was born in Gibson, Illinois. The little southpaw spent six of his 14 big league seasons (1918-23) as a Pirate, putting up a line of 55-55/3.35. He won 115 MLB games overall, tossing for four clubs.
  • 1893 - From Charlton’s Baseball Chronology: “Pittsburgh usesd 19 hits – all singles – to win in Cleveland 10-6. Pittsburgh was further aided by the defense of LF Elmer Smith, whose use of green glasses to fend off the sun greatly helped him in his fielding.” It was a noteworthy win in that the game may be the first time that an outfielder donned shades.
  • 1904 - The Pirates rallied for a pair of runs in the ninth off Giants ace Christy Mathewson to take a 2-1 victory at the Polo Grounds. Shut out on five hits going into the final frame, Honus Wagner tripled to left, and an out later Jimmy Sebring banged out another three-bagger, rapping a shot off the first base bag that rolled into the corner. Pinch hitter Claude Ritchey followed with a RBI knock, and Mike Lynch made it stand up in the bottom half, tossing a complete game four hitter against NY. After the game, manager John “Mugsy” McGraw and Mathewson got into a jawing match with the crowd, a verbal (and profane) sparring session that lasted until they got back to their hotel. The Pittsburg Press had a couple of juicy lines regarding the affair: “McGraw is not liked here...Some day he will carry things too far, and some husky Pittsburger will thump him” and took this shot at Christy: “ Matty... has to buy a cap a size larger after every victory…”
Jimmy Sebring 2003 Fleer Fall Classics
  • 1905 - Pittsburgh pulled to within five games of New York by overcoming a 5-2 deficit at the Polo Grounds and rallying past the Giants, 8-5. It was Pittsburgh’s third straight win against the defending champions. Umpire Bill Klem was the target of a barrage of tossed garbage from the New York fans after tossing Dan McGann and Mike Donlin out of the game. The Pittsburg Press game story explained “Umpire baiting was plentiful, with Taylor (the pitcher), McGann and Donlin the chief offenders of this style of play.” Sam Lever got the win, coming in as a second-inning reliever, while the offense was led by Otis Clymer’s three hits. The Bucs pounded out 15 knocks; five Pirates had multi-hit outings.
  • 1939 - Arky Vaughan hit for his second career cycle against the Giants at the Polo Grounds, scoring four times and driving home a pair of runs. Fern Bell added three RBI in the 10-3 Pirate win. Mace Brown went the distance for the victory.
  • 1950 - Frank E. McKinney resigned as president of the Pirates. He sold his interests in the club to partners John Galbreath and Tom Johnson‚ with Galbreath assuming the presidency. Vice President Bing Crosby retained his minority interest. McKinney and the group had bought the Bucs in 1946 from Barney Dreyfuss’ family.
  • 1950 - The Pirates purchased 3B Bob Dillinger from the KC Athletics for $35,000. The 31 year old played 70 games from 1950-51, hitting .279. He had won the AL stolen base crown from 1947-49, but his wheels were feeling their age and he only swiped six sacks as a Bucco.
Bob Dillinger 1951 Bowman
  • 1955 - Vern Law pitched 18 innings against the Milwaukee Braves in front of 10,000 Forbes Field fans. And he didn’t even get the win; Bob Friend worked the 19th frame of the 4-3 victory. Law left giving up two runs - one was unearned - on nine hits with two walks and 12 whiffs. Friend came in and gave up a run, but the Bucs came back with a pair of tallies on Gene Freese’s single, Dale Long’s double to plate the first run and the game winning knock by Frank Thomas. Law took the hill on just two days rest; he got the start when the scheduled hurler, Joe Gibbon, became ill.
  • 1963 - RHP Vincente Palacios was born in Manlio Fabio Altamirano, Mexico. He tossed five years (1987-88, 1990-92) for the Bucs as a spot starter and long man. and was a member of the powerhouse 1990-92 teams of Jimmy Leyland. Palacios went 12-8-6/4.03 during his time in Pittsburgh. His career was hampered by a pair of shoulder surgeries, and after his Pirate career he yo-yo’ed between MLB and primarily the Mexican League.

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