Monday, August 22, 2016

8/22 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era: HBD Ned & Howie, Hans Had A Day, Swatfest, Kiner Threat, Whiff City

  • 1857 - CF and manager Ned Hanlon was born in Montville, Connecticut. He played in 1889 and 1891 for the Pirates, hitting .252, with a year in between spent as a Pittsburg Burgher in the Players League where he hit .278. He was a player/manager all three years, and “Foxy Ned” was credited with coming up with the "hit and run" and the Baltimore chop. Hanlon was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1996.
  • 1881 - RHP Howie Camnitz was born in Covington, Kentucky. He pitched nine seasons for Pittsburgh (1904-13), going 116-84 with a 2.63 ERA and posting three 20 win seasons. Camnitz was a member of the 1909 World Series club. He finished his career by pitching a couple of years in the upstart Federal League for the aptly named Pittsburgh Rebels. 
Howie Camnitx 1909 (photo Bain News Service/Library of Congress)
  • 1903 - The Pirates beat the last-place Phillies 7-4 in the second game of a doubleheader sweep at Philadelphia. With that win, the Pirates had 1,409 wins and 1,409 losses since playing MLB in 1882, originally as the Alleghenys of the major league American Association. Even with some rough decades of losing ball, the franchise hasn’t dipped below .500 since then, per Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times.
  • 1906 - Vic Willis edged the NY Giant’s Christy Mathewson 2-1 at Exposition Park. After falling behind in the first inning, the Pirates evened the score in the fifth on two errors followed by two walks, then won in the ninth when Claude Ritchey walked, was bunted to second, and scored with two down on Fred Clarke’s double to right center.
  • 1907 - As the Pittsburg Press reported “It was a regular swatfest from start to finish, the Buccaneers having no mercy...but hammering the ball to all corners of the lot” in a 20-5 win over the NY Giants at the Polo Grounds. George Gibson, Ed Abbaticchio, and Alan Storke had four hits each while Tommy Leach and Fred Clarke had three. Lefty Leifield cruised to the win.
Alan Storke 1909 American Caramel
  • 1910 - Honus Wagner led the Bucs to a 6-2, 8-4, doubleheader sweep against the Philadelphia Phillies at Forbes Field, going 7-for-7 with two homers, three doubles, and a sac fly. The Bucs set a record in the second game by hitting three homers in an inning for the first time when Howie Camnitz, Vin Campbell, and Hans connected. It was Camnitz’s only MLB home run.
  • 1912 - Honus Wagner hit for the cycle in an 8-6 loss to the NY Giants at Forbes Field. At the time, Hans was the oldest player in the league at age 40.
  • 1917 - The Pirates lost the longest game (by innings) that they ever played, 6-5, in 22 frames to the Brooklyn Robins at Ebbets Field despite Carson Bigbee’s six hits (Bigbee set the MLB record with 11 at-bats in a single game). The game was the longest in NL history to that point. Poor Elmer Jacobs tossed 16-2/3 innings, giving up one run - and lost. The match was, as fate would have it, the opener of a double header; the second game went two innings before being called for darkness. It was the fourth straight extra-inning game for Pittsburgh, and third against Brooklyn.
Carson Bigbee 1924 (photo Bain News Service/Library of Congress)
  • 1925 - The Pirates swept a doubleheader from the second place NY Giants by 8-1 and 2-1 scores at the Polo Grounds behind the pitching of Lee Meadows and Vic Aldridge to take a five-game lead in the NL race. Kiki Cuyler had three hits, including a homer, three RBI and two runs scored in the opener, while Glenn Wright’s two-run homer in the seventh was the difference in the nitecap. The Pirates pulled away from the Giants and won the pennant by 8-1/2 games.
  • 1928 - The Bucs big three of Paul Waner, Lloyd Waner, and Pie Traynor led Pittsburgh to a 10-3 win over the Boston Braves at Forbes Field. Big Poison and Pie had three hits and three RBI apiece while the Waner brothers each scored three runs. Erv Brame tossed a six-hitter for the win.
  • 1952 - Ralph Kiner found a letter threatening his life if $6,200 wasn’t hidden in cab the next evening. Ralph fetched the police and then went out and hit his 27th homer of the year. He was under police guard for a while, and though the police suspected and questioned a taxi driver who they believed cooked up the plot, no one was ever charged and the situation faded.
  • 1962 - Tom Sturdivant’s knuckler fluttered its way past the Colt .45 bats for eight whiffs as he tossed a three-hit, complete game whitewash against Houston at Forbes Field, winning 3-0. Bob Skinner’s two-run triple followed by Roberto Clemente’s sac fly in the third provided all the Bucco runs. Clemente preserved the shutout by making a wall-crashing grab of Jim Pendleton’s ninth inning drive with a runner on second. 
Tom Sturdivant 1962 Topps
  • 1969 - Dock Ellis capped three Bucco starters striking out 10+ hitters in consecutive games for the first time in club history when he K’ed 10 in a 8-2 win over Cincinnati at Forbes Field. Roberto Clemente tripled and had four RBI while Al Oliver added a homer. The streak started when Luke Walker whiffed 11 in a 5-1 win against Houston on the 19th, followed by Bob Veale winning a 1-0 decision with 10 punch outs the next day against Denny Lemaster and the Astros, with both performances also tossed at Forbes Field.

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