- 1894 - Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 7-6 in 10 innings when George "Germany" Smith‚ homered with two outs. Pirate OF Elmer Smith was prevented from retrieving the game-winning hit in the LF bleachers‚ as permitted per Cincinnati’s League Park ground rules‚ by zealous Reds fans. One of them pulled a revolver on Smith after he fought with several other spectators in an attempt to reach the ball, per Charlton’s Baseball Chronology. Quite a finish to the NL’s first extra-inning game of the year.
|Elmer Smith (photo via Leland Sports Memorabilia)|
- 1901 - Hall of Fame LF Heinie Manush was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Manush spent the last two years of his career (1938-39) in Pittsburgh as a pinch hitter, getting just 28 PA (four hits, three walks) before being released, ironically enough for another future HoF’er, Chuck Klein. He was a .330 hitter during his 17 year career with 1183 RBI and 1287 runs scored.
- 1905 - Club baseball was serious biz (especially for the man in blue) back in the day, like the big rivalry game between the local nines of the Western Union and the Postal Telegragh Co, played at Bedford Park in the Hill District. The Pittsburg Press description: “The rival managers had bowed gravely to each other as befitted the leaders on baseball gladiators. The umpire had made his will and left it with his wife...it was time to play. There was some terrible slugging (and) thus the battle went on until the 11th inning…” Then a couple of spectators got into a brawl, the ballplayers intervened, and a riot ensued as bricks flew (“The women screamed and fled”) until police calmed things down. The game was called a draw, and the Press reported that “...the umpire has sent word to the managers of the two clubs that if there is another game to be played, he wants time to take out an accident insurance policy and get it mentioned in his will.”
- 1955 - The bench to the rescue: the Bucs were down 3-0 in the seventh when pinch hitter Preston Ward smacked a three run dinger off the Milwaukee Brave’s Ray Crone at Forbes Field. Another PH, Jack Shepard, singled off Dave Jolly with the bases loaded in the ninth to earn the Pirates and Dick Littlefield a 4-3 comeback win.
|Preston Ward 1955 Topps|
- 1961 - Joe Gibbon tossed a four hitter with nine whiffs as the Bucs beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 at Forbes Field. The big blow was Bill Mazeroski’s two run single in the fourth. The Bucs had lost three games prior to the win, and would drop six more afterward.
- 1973 - The Bucs tied the first game of a twinbill against San Diego in the eighth and went on to win 5-4 in 10 innings at TRS. Rennie Stennett went 4-for-5 with a walk off homer in the extra frame. The Pirates had an easier time with the Padres in the second game, winning 7-0. Stennett had three more hits, including another homer, and Jim Rooker tossed a six hit complete game whitewash with eight whiffs.
- 1980 - After scoring four times in the first, the Pirates had to plate a pair in the bottom of the ninth to salvage an 8-7 split against the Dodgers at TRS. Lee Lacy was 5-for-5 and a homer away from the cycle, while Bill Robinson homered and Ed Ott had the walk-off, bases loaded single to earn Grant Jackson the win. Pittsburgh lost the opener 4-2 as LA’s Burt Hooton and Steve Howe kept the Bucco bats under control. The double dipper was a big to-do in other ways, too. It was Willie Stargell Day with a ceremony between games, and was also the day that Dave Parker, fresh off the first $1 M/year contract in sports, was pelted with a Duracell battery while in the outfield.
|Lee Lacy 1981 Donruss|
- 1996 - In the opening game at the Olympics in Atlanta, the US team topped Nicaragua 4-1 behind future Pirate pitcher Kris Benson’s seven hitter. Benson was 2-1 during the games as the US finished by winning the bronze medal.
- 2002 - OF Adam Hyzdu had a day to tell his grandkids about at PNC Park. He drove in seven runs on four hits‚ including a pair of HR, in a 15-6 pasting of the first-place St. Louis Cards. Hyzdu became the first Buc since Don Slaught nine years earlier with seven RBI, and the crowd of 35,101 called him out of the dugout after his second blast. The performance came on top of a four-RBI game the day before. It was the Pirates eighth win in ten games, attracting a walkup sale of 7,650, and Kris Benson’s third straight victory.
- 2003 - The Mike Williams era ended in Pittsburgh when he was sent to the Phils for LHP Frank Brooks, who had a cup of coffee in the show. Williams, a righty closer, went from setting the Pirate saves record in 2002 with 46 close-outs and back-to-back All Star appearances to a guy with 25 saves but a 6.27 ERA in 2003, which was his last MLB season. Williams saved 140 games in six seasons for Pittsburgh.
|Mike Williams 2003 Topps Heritage|
- 2009 - The Bucs finally broke a 17-game losing streak to the Brewers with an 8-5 victory at PNC Park. Cutch had three hits and Delwyn Young tacked on three RBI with a homer. Jesse Chavez had the fans on the edge of their seats by giving up three runs in the ninth, but struck out Prince Fielder to ice the win.
- 2010 - The Pirates scored nine runs in the first inning during their 11-9 victory over the Brewers at PNC Park. The scoring in the opening frame was highlighted by Pedro Alvarez’s first career grand slam, one of two Alvarez long balls smacked during the game. El Toro finished with five RBI and Neil Walker went 5-for-5 with a double against Milwaukee. They needed the quick start as the Brewers cut the lead to 10-9 by the sixth, but were blanked on two hits in the final three frames by Evan Meek, Joel Hanrahan and Octavio Dotel.
- 2012 - The US Postal Service issued a set of four commemorative stamps depicting Willie Stargell along with Ted Williams, Larry Doby and Joe DiMaggio. The release was held in Cooperstown, NY as part of the Hall's annual induction week-end.