- 1890 - Boston defeated the Alleghenys by a 4-3 score in Pittsburgh in front of 23 fans, the lowest attendance in NL history. The team was gutted before the season when most of their better players defected to the Pittsburgh Burghers of the Players League. John “Phenomenal” Smith took the tough loss (Beaneaters' manager Frank Seelye called the win “a fluke” in the Pittsburg Press, thanks to an ump’s ninth-inning call.) Poor attendance (they played in three yards - Exposition Park, Island Grounds & Mahaffey Park, drawing just over 16,000 fans during the year) led to the squad playing 97 of their 136 games away. They finished with a road record of 9-88, and their .093 road winning percentage is the worst in MLB history. The 1906 New Castle News wrote, probably tongue-in-cheek, that the term 23 Skidoo came about because of the team’s 23 fans and 23 wins during the campaign.
- 1901 - The Flying Dutchman drove in six runs against Christy Mathewson at Exposition Park with a double and triple as the Pirates defeated the NY Giants for the 12th straight time during the season by a 10-5 score. The top three men in the lineup - Lefty Davis, Fred Clarke and Ginger Beaumont - banged six hits, walked four times and scored seven runs. Jesse Tannehill was touched for 13 hits but was never really threatened; Pittsburgh scored three runs in the opening frame and was up 10-1 after six.
|Hans in the 1905 Police Gazette|
- 1920 - Jimmy Zinn went the distance in the Pirates 12 inning, 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Forbes Field. Zinn gave up six hits in just his second MLB start; before the game, he had 10 big-league innings under his belt. Zinn’s only full season came the following year, when he went 7-6 for the Pirates. He was the epitome of a AAAA player and spent 25 years hurling in the minors. Elmer Riddle wasn’t as sharp in the second game as the Cards came back to take a 3-1 win and a split.
- 1923 - The Pirates turned the Phillies every which way but loose in an 18-5 romp at Forbes Field. SS Eddie Moore made his MLB debut at the leadoff spot, and had three hits, drew two walks, and scored five times. Pie Traynor had chased home four runs and Johnny Rawlings went 4-for-5. Ray Steineder got the win, and chipped in with two hits, two runs, two RBI and a sac bunt.
- 1941 - Max Butcher and Elbie Fletcher eliminated the St. Louis Cards from the NL race with a 3-1 win at Forbes Field. Butcher tossed a five hitter, and the only run he was allowed was when he surrendered a bases-loaded walk in the seventh; he came back to strike out the next two Redbirds to limit the damage. Fletcher drilled a two run, inside the park homer to straight center, with Billy Cox scoring the other tally after a triple followed by Arky Vaughan’s sac fly.
|Elbie Fletcher 1941 Goudey Big League|
- 1974 - Trying to sweep the Cards and hang on to their slim ½ game lead, the Bucs instead squandered a wild one at Busch Stadium by a 13-12 count. The Pirates scored five times in the first, keyed by a three-run shot by Manny Sanguillen. The Cards came back with a six run third; starter Ken Brett yelled at manager Danny Murtaugh when he was yanked during the frame, and again after the game. The game settled down, and went into the 11th inning tied at 10. The Pirates scored twice; the Cards rallied for three runs to take the game, scored off September AAA call-ups Juan Jimenez and Jim Minshall. The fielders didn’t help much; Rennie Stennett’s error allowed the tying run to score, and the infield played Bake McBride’s bunt into a hit. The loss stung, but Pittsburgh would eventually take the pennant, although losing the NLCS to the LA Dodgers.