Wednesday, August 3, 2016

8/3 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era Games: Old Timey Wins, Goose Eggs, Record Romp & More

  • 1895 - Pittsburgh took over first place with a rousing 5-4 win over the Cleveland Spiders at Exposition Park in front of 6,000 fans. The Pirates were down 4-2 in the eighth when Elmer Smith banged a two strike, two run triple off the wall in right to tie the score. The Bucs took it in the ninth on Jake Starzel’s double, a bunt, and Monte Cross’ walk-off single. Pink Hawley, making his third start of the week, got the win. Alas, it would be the last day Pittsburgh was in first; the Pirates finished the year in the middle of the pack at 71-61.
  • 1905 - Pittsburgh ended the NY Giants 13 game winning streak with a 10-4 victory at a rockin’ Exposition Park. The Pittsburg Press reported that “...after little rooting in the first five innings,” when the Pirates took the lead in the sixth “The crowd went wild with delight (and) was on its feet for five minutes cheering with might and main and waving hats, canes and handkerchiefs.” In fact, one fan had a fatal heart attack during the action, and a Giant supporter had to be removed by the police after assaulting Pirate owner Barney Dreyfuss in his box; of all things, the attacker was a seminary student decked out in his clerical garb. 3B Dave Brain had three hits and four other Buccos had a pair of knocks apiece. Sam Leever, with help from Pat Flaherty, got the win over Iron Man McGinnity and reliever Sam Wiltse.
Dave Brain 1909-11 American Caramel
  • 1914 - The Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federation League took their second straight 1-0 win from first-place Chicago at Exposition Park. The Pittsburg Press noted that “The winning...was due to the great pitching and timely hit of Walter Dickson.” Dickson wasn’t much of a hitter, but the paper reported that “He was twirling such fine ball that (manager Rebel) Oakes didn’t want to take a chance on a pinch hitter.” Walt rewarded Rebel by banging the game-winning hit. No box score was available, but Dickson faced just 33 batters in 10 innings and none reached third. The Rebels had to lend the Chi-Feds a catcher, Skipper Roberts, to continue their road trip, as the two Windy City receivers were laid up with appendicitis and a broken finger. He played four games for them before returning to the Pittsburgh fold.
  • 1930 - The Pirates won their seventh game in eight outings when they whipped the Chicago Cubs 12-8 at Wrigley Field. Gus Suhr and Adam Comorosky had three RBI while Dick Bartell scored three times. All nine Pirates in the lineup had hits for the second day in a row. Erv Brame went the distance for the win.
  • 1941 - Ken Heintzelman started both ends of a doubleheader against the Giants at Forbes Field. The Bucs took both games, 5-4 and 10-5. Heintzelman didn’t get the decision in either contest though; he lasted two innings total and gave up seven runs. The victories went to relievers Dutch Dietz and Bob Klinger.
Ken Heintzelman (photo George Burke)
  • 1952 - The last-place Pirates knocked the Giants 6-1/2 games behind the Dodgers by sweeping a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds‚ 7-0 and 10-8. The two wins matched the hapless Buccos’ longest win streak of the year. Murry Dickson came in for Paul La Palme in the third inning with the bases loaded and an out. He got a DP ball from Bobby Thompson and then cruised 6-2/3 IP with three hits and no runs. Gus Bell was a homer shy of the cycle and drove in two runs. The Pirates jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the closer‚ scoring four times in the sixth before the Giants answered with seven scores of their own. The Bucs managed to hang on to the win when the game was called because of darkness.
  • 1954 - At Forbes Field‚ Reds manager Birdie Tebbetts started RHP Bud Podbielan‚ and Bucco skipper Fred Haney countered with an all-lefty Pirate lineup. Birdie then lifted Podbielan after one batter and brought in southpaw Joe Nuxhall. The ploy worked as the Reds won‚ 7-2. Haney was fooled by an old gambit first pulled by manager Bucky Harris in Game 7 of the 1924 World Series. (S/O to John Thorn’s “Old News in Baseball”).
  • 1958 - The Cards finally scored against Pittsburgh in a 2-1 loss in the second game of a twin bill at Forbes Field as Red Witt beat Vinegar Bend Mizell. Bob Skinner had both RBI. The Bucs took the opener 2-0 as Bob Friend outdueled Sal Maglie, supported by a Bill Virdon homer and run producing knock from Frank Thomas. St. Louis had nine hits in each game, but found home plate a difficult destination to reach. The day before, Vern Law beat Sam Jones 1-0 on a three-hitter, making a lone first inning run stand. In the series opener, Ronnie Kline beat Bob Mabe 2-0, tossing a four-hitter in a game that was scoreless until Pittsburgh tallied in the eighth. The Bucs whitewashed the Cards for 33 straight innings in the four-game set, and gave up one run on 25 hits.
Bob Skinner 1958 Topps
  • 1961 - The Pirates ran away with a 19-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium for the largest shutout score in an NL night game. The Bucs banged out 24 hits against Al Cicotte, Bob Miller and Lindy McDaniel while Harvey Haddix tossed a four-hitter for Pittsburgh. It was the most lopsided shutout in modern NL history at the time, tying a record first set in 1906. Smoky Burgess had six RBI with a pair of homers and Dick Stuart drove in five more, adding a long ball. Bob Skinner and Roberto Clemente scored four times. Clemente had five hits and Bill Mazeroski four.

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