Monday, July 25, 2016

7/25 Expo/Forbes Field Era: '60 Bucs In First, Roberto's Inside the Park Granny, Busy Max & More......

  • 1894 - The Chicago Colts pounded out 26 hits, 12 for extra bases, and laid a 24-6 beating on Pittsburgh at the West Side Grounds. Every Colt had at least a hit and a run, and Chicago batted around in four innings. It could have been worse; the game was called after seven innings so the Pirates could catch a train back home. The Pittsburg Press noted that the game “...resulted in the most disastrous whipping recorded in the annals of the national league of baseball,” adding that “...the Pittsburg fielders were kept busy chasing savage drives...Pittsburg’s weakness in the box was apparent,” as it was in the 18-11 loss suffered the day before. Still, the club did finish the year at 65-65, albeit with a 5.62 team ERA.

  • 1908 - Before an overflow crowd of 30,000 at the Polo Grounds, the Pirates' Lefty Leifield topped the NY Giants and Christy Mathewson, 7-2. Two errors in the seventh opened the gates for five Pirate runs. Pittsburgh was led by Honus Wagner, who went 5-for-5 to take over the batting lead from a hitless Mike Donlin of the Giants. After each hit, Wagner held up a finger to show the number of safeties he had to RF Donlin, according to the BR Bullpen entry.
  • 1912 - The Pirates blew an early lead against Brooklyn, but rallied to tie the score in the eighth and then rode Howie Camnitz’s arm to a 14 inning, 8-7 win over the Superbas at Forbes Field. Camnitz gave up just two hits in six innings and got the win when Dots Miller’s sac fly brought home Chief Wilson, who had singled and moved to third on a Honus Wagner double.
  • 1913 - Max Carey scored five runs against the Phils without a hit‚ reaching first via an error and four walks‚ as the Bucs won 12-2 at Forbes Field. He also stole four bases and advanced twice on wild pitches to help Claude Hendrix to the win. The Pittsburg Press griped that “The battle was a long, drawn out affair that required two hours and 10 minutes.”
Max Carey (Pgh Baseball Heroes Deck)
  • 1921 - CF Max Carey corralled 11 flies during the Pirates' 6-3 win over New York at Forbes Field. He also scored three times, going 3-for-4 with two doubles. Rabbit Maranville, batting behind him, drove home three to support Babe Adams, who went the distance for the win.
  • 1931 - Larry French went the distance at Forbes Field during a 14-inning, 3-2 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the longest NL contest of the season. It wasn’t exactly a gem, as he gave up 15 hits, but enough of an effort to outlast Fred Heimach, who also went gate-to-gate. Pie Traynor had three hits (two 3B & 2B), two runs and a RBI. It was the second game of a twin bill; the Bucs took the opener 5-2. Spades Wood not only tossed a three-hitter but drove in a pair of runs. Traynor had two hits in that match, including a double, and scored twice.
  • 1944 - Max Butcher tossed a six-hit goose egg at the Polo Grounds as the Bucs blasted the NY Giants‚ 15-0. Pittsburgh banged out 20 hits and posted a nine run second inning. Bob Elliott had six RBI and a homer while Pete Coscarart and Jim Russell each added four knocks.
Max Butcher 1942 Play Ball
  • 1951 - The Pirates overcame a 4-0 deficit by scoring four times in the seventh and once again in the eighth to storm past the NY Giants 5-4 at Forbes Field. Joe Garagiola’s homer in the seventh was the big blow. The game winner was a bases loaded sac fly by George Strickland delivered an inning later. Ted Wilks got the win after two innings of clean relief work with three whiffs.
  • 1956 - The Bucs blew a four run lead by giving up eight tallies to the Cubs in the last two innings. But Chicago wasn’t the only comeback club at Forbes Field. Roberto Clemente ripped an inside the park, ninth inning grand slam to bring the Bucs back for a 9-8 win. He banged the pitch off Jim Brosnan, and it ricocheted off the base of the left field light standard and ran along the track into center. Clemente ran through 3B coach Bobby Bragan’s stop sign (there were no outs) and as Ernie Bank’s relay headed home "He slid, missed the plate, then reached back to rest his hand on the rubber... as the crowd of 12,431 went goofy with excitement" wrote Jack Herndon of the Post-Gazette. It was the first walk-off, inside-the-park grand slam in MLB history. In the same game, Dale Long hit his 20th homer, then a club record for lefties, breaking Arky Vaughan’s 1935 mark.
  • 1960 - The Bucs regained first place when Bob Friend defeated the Cardinals 4-2 at Busch Stadium behind homers from Bill Virdon, Bob Skinner and Roberto Clemente. Pittsburgh wouldn’t relinquish the top spot for the remainder of the season.
Bob Skinner 1960 (photo via Wikipedia)
  • 1963 - Tommie Sisk pitched five innings of near-perfect relief (he walked two) and rode Roberto Clemente’s three-run homer to a 6-2 win over league-leading Los Angeles and ace Sandy Koufax at Dodger Stadium. Smoky Burgess chipped in with a pair of RBI. Koufax had entered the game with just three losses and a 1.75 ERA.
  • 1965 - The Bucs took the opener of a twin bill at Forbes Field from the Cubs 3-2 when backup catcher Del Crandall, 35, was called into duty in the sixth. He banged a two-out, 3-1 pitch barely into the left-center seats for the win. Bill Mazeroski also homered, and Vern Law won his second game in 24 hours as the seventh Pirate pitcher, working the final 1-⅓ IP. The Cubs took the nightcap easily 5-0 in 1:37; the Pirates had just three hits and a Roberto Clemente line-out triple play to show for their efforts.

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