Wednesday, September 14, 2016

9/14 TRS-PNC Era: Triple Play, Mudcat Arrives, Richie & Mad Dog Slams, HBD El Coffee & More...

  • 1970 - The Pirates traded with Oakland for Jim “Mudcat “Grant, sending them a PTBNL (Angel Mangual). Mudcat made 50 appearances for Pittsburgh with a 7-4-7, 3.41 line. He worked as a broadcaster and executive for the Indians and as a broadcaster for the Athletics after he retired. Grant also became a black baseball historian and wrote the 2006 book “The Black Aces.” Angel played six seasons for the A’s as a reserve outfielder.
Mudcat Grant 1971 Topps
  • 1974 - Richie Zisk was featured on the cover of The Sporting News for the story “Menacing Bat.” It certainly was; Zisk hit .313 with 17 HR and 100 RBI in his first full-time season.
  • 1982 - Richie Hebner and Bill Madlock stroked grand slams to lead the Pirates to a 15-5 win over the Cubs at TRS. Mad Dog drove six runs home while Johnny Ray went 3-for-3 and scored three times with a RBI. The last pair of Bucs to hit grand salamis in the same game were Arky Vaughan and Earl Grace for the 1933 Bucs in a 10-0 romp over the Phils.
  • 1991 - OF Gregory Polanco was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He made his debut on June 10th, 2014, against the Cubs. In that game, he recorded his first MLB hit against Travis Wood. His first career home run, a two-run shot, against the Miami Marlins in the 13th inning was the game winner in an 8–6 victory. On June 18th, he became the first Pirate with a hit in each of his first eight games and has matured into a cleanup hitter today.
Gregory Polanco 2016 Topps Heritage
  • 2007 - The Bucs scored three times in the eighth to defeat the Astros 4-3 at Minute Maid Park as Jose Bautista bombed a two run homer and Ronnie Paulino’s two out single brought in Steve Pearce with the eventual game winner. But the play of the game was made by CF Nyjer Morgan, who took a circle route to run down Ty Wigginton’s two out, bases loaded blast in the third, kissing the wall as he made the grab and prevented Houston from running away and hiding early in the contest.
  • 2011 - With a 3-2 loss to St. Louis, the Pirates extended their record streak of consecutive losing seasons to 19 straight years, adding to the longest in American professional sports history. And this was after leading the NL Central on July 20th! The streak would go on one more season until the playoff team of 2013 won 94 games.
Josh's toss started some history (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • 2014 - The Pirates were sleepwalking against the Cubs, losing 3-0 in the fourth with Chicago runners at first and second with no outs and ready to run away. Matt Szczur hit a hot shot to third; Josh Harrison gloved it, stepped on the bag and fired a bullet to second, where Neil Walker made a strong turn and got the ball to Andrew Lambo at first for a triple play. Two innings later, the Pirates were out of their stupor and ahead 6-3 on the way to a 7-3 victory at PNC Park. Neil Walker hit his 20th homer, breaking the Pirate single season mark for 2B held by Bill Mazeroski (19), set in 1958. Triple play trivia: it was first triple play turned by the Pirates since April 12th, 2009 at Cincy and the first ever turned by anyone at PNC Park. The last one in Pittsburgh was August 10th, 1993, vs. the Cardinals at TRS. There hadn't been a 5-4-3 around-the-horn triple play by the Bucs since July 23rd, 1979 (also at TRS), scored Bill Madlock to Phil Garner to Willie Stargell. It was the first TP that the Cubs hit into since May 14th, 2000, at Montreal. Walker, btw, would be involved in another triple play against St. Louis the following season.

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