Tuesday, September 20, 2016

9/20 Happenings: HBD Vic & Jay, Coke Trial, Burleigh's Last Appearance, Crawfords Crown, Tripped Up

  • 1922 - LHP Vic Lombardi was born in Reedley, California. He put in three good years with the Dodgers and a workmanlike season with the Bucs in 1948 (10-9/3.70) but went downhill over the next two years to put up a slash line of 15-19/4.56 in Pittsburgh. Branch Rickey offered him a 1951 contract with a 25% cut; Lombardi didn’t take it and that was the end of his MLB career as took his services to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League.
Vic Lombardi 1951 Bowman
  • 1934 - In a 2-1 loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbet’s Field, Burleigh Grimes made his last appearance, working a 1-2-3 ninth inning with a whiff. Not only did it mark the end of a 19 year career that led to the Hall of Fame, but also the end of an era. Grimes was the last legal spitballer standing after the pitch had been outlawed starting in 1921. 17 practitioners, including Grimes, were grandfathered into the ruling and allowed to serve a wet one at will.
  • 1935 - The Pittsburgh Crawfords beat the New York Cubans to win the Negro NL Championship 3-0. Left-handed curveballer Leroy Matlock, who went 18-0 during the regular season, tossed a three hitter. He was backed by Josh Gibson‚ Cool Papa Bell, Judy Johnson and Oscar Charleston, all future Hall of Famers. The Crawfords won in a hard fought seven game series after falling behind three-games-to-one to the Cubans. It was the only undisputed Negro League title won by the Crawfords.
  • 1978 - Jason Bay was born in Trail, British Columbia. In his six years as a Pirate, his line was .268/219/715 and he was an All-Star twice. In 2004, he set the Pirate record for rookie home runs with 26 and was selected the NL Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News, the second Pirate player to win the award after second baseman Johnny Ray in 1982. Bay was the first Canadian player to win the ROY.
Jay Bay 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter
  • 1985 - A federal jury in Pittsburgh convicted Curtis Strong of 11 counts of cocaine distribution after hearing evidence in the “Pittsburgh Coke Trial.” Prominent players who were granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony included Dave Parker‚ Lonnie Smith‚ Keith Hernandez and Tim Raines. Peter Ueberroth, the commissioner, pushed through the beginnings of MLB drug testing because of the trial and its stain on MLB.
  • 1992 - 2B Mickey Morandini of the Phillies executed an unassisted triple play, the first NL player to pull one off in 65 years. He snagged a line drive off of the bat of Jeff King, touched second to force Andy Van Slyke, and tagged out Barry Bonds, who was on the move from first base. The Phillies still lost to the Pirates, 3-2, in 13 innings at TRS.

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