Thursday, August 4, 2016

8/4 Happenings: HBD Jake, Paddy, Hicks, Luke; Ump Arrested, Neil's Dad Does Good...

  • 1867 - 1B Jake Beckley was born in Hannibal, Missouri. “Eagle Eye” played eight seasons (1888-96) for Pittsburgh, with a year off in 1890 when he suited up for the Pittsburgh Burghers of the outlaw Player’s League. He hit 113 triples as a Buc and had four 100+ RBI years. Jake could glove it, too. He’s the all-time leader for putouts and top 20 in assists for MLB 1B’men. After his 20-year career was done, he was eventually selected in 1971 to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee with a lifetime .308 BA. Jake got his nickname because of his batting eye; he was a contact hitter who finished his career with more walks than whiffs.
  • 1879 - C Patrick “Paddy” O’Connor was born in Kerry, Ireland. A little-used catcher for the Pirates from 1908-10, he hit .250. He played one more season in Pittsburgh, albeit with the Rebels of the Federal League, batting .228.
Paddy O'Connor 1910 Tip Top Bread
  • 1883 - RHP Lew “Hicks” Moren was born in Pittsburgh and attended Duquesne University. He pitched exactly two games for the Pirates between 1903-04, but was more successful with the Phillies, picking up 48 wins and 10 shutouts while pitching to a 2.88 ERA from 1907-10 before arm problems ended his career. He was one of the first to feature a knuckle ball, after its original practitioner, Eddie Cicotte. Hicks (no clue as to how he got that moniker) lived to the ripe old age of 86 when he took his own life, and is buried in Homewood Cemetery.
  • 1897 - In the second inning of the second game of a doubleheader between the Pirates and Reds at League Park II, fans threw an empty beer bottle at umpire Tim Hurst. Hurst picked it up and tossed it right back in the crowd (he had a long and combative career in blue). He was arrested and fined $100 for assault and battery after the bottle hit a spectator and caused a gash over his eye, per BR Bullpen. The Bucs dropped the opener 14-3 and got out of town with a 4-4 draw in the nitecap.
  • 1915 - 1B Luke Easter was born in Jonestown, Mississippi. The slugger played for the Homestead Grays from 1947-48. He hit .363 and led the Grays to a win over the Birmingham Black Barons in the 1948 Negro League World Series, the last one held. He went on to play for the Cleveland Indians, but age and injury limited him to just a couple of productive seasons.
Luke Easter 1948 (Photo Richard Merkin Collection)
  • 1971 - OK, this is stretching Pittsburgh baseball history a bit, but... Tom Walker of Dallas-Fort Worth in the Texas League pitched a 15-inning no-hitter in a 1-0 win over Albuquerque. Tom is Neil Walker’s dad, and after spending six campaigns in the show, his last pro season was with Pittsburgh’s AAA Columbus club in 1978. He retired, moved to the City, and you know the rest.


WilliamJPellas said...

Hey, Ron, it's not stretching Pittsburgh's baseball history at all to mention Tom Walker. After all, he was a close friend of Roberto Clemente, and would have died along with Roberto had Clemente not refused Walker's offer to go along with him on that ill-fated flight. Walker of course never pitched for the Pirates, but was in their organization, as you mentioned, and he's Neil's dad, so.... :-D

Ron Ieraci said...

That Clemente-Walker story is a good one, Will. It really shows the empathy the guy had for the people around him. Thx for the link; I'm not sure how well known that true tale is.