- 1865 - 2B Lou Bierbauer was born in Erie (some sources claim he was born in Philly, que sera, sera). The Pirates signed him in 1891, as he wasn’t on the reserved roster of his American Association club, the Philadelphia Athletics (he had skipped to the outlaw Players League in 1890). His rights were decided by an arbitrator, and though the AA thought the Alleghenys’ act was “piratical,” Pittsburgh was awarded Bierbauer and a new nickname, the Pirates. From 1891-96, Bierbauer was a defensive master and hit .260 for the Pirates.
- 1902 - RHP Leon Chagnon was born in Pittsfield, New Hampshire. He worked for the Bucs from 1929-30, then again from 1932-34 after spending 1931 in the minors. Mostly called to action from the bullpen, he went 19-14-2 with a 4.61 ERA during his Pirate career.
- 1909 - Player/manager Fred Clarke was honored at Forbes Field before the game, when, according to Ralph Davis of the Pittsburg Press, “...Mayor WA (William) Magee presented him with a bag of gold coin ($600). Just as the money was being handed to Clarke, James Geary placed a wreath of evergreen on his brow and showered dozens of rosebuds all over him while the fans shouted themselves hoarse at the scene.” After all that, the Pirates went out and lost to the NY Giants 13-9, but even that was good. The Pirates clinched the pennant when the Chicago Cubs lost to the Phils 3-2 and went on to beat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.
|Fred Clarke Day Pittsburgh Press 9-30-1909|
- 1938 - The Bucs lost the “Homer in the Gloaming” game to the Cubs at Wrigley Field, considered one of the greatest pennant race finishes in baseball. The teams were tied for first and tied in the bottom of the ninth. The umpires ruled that the ninth inning would be the last to be played because of darkness; if it was still tied, it would become a no-contest and would be replayed the next day in its entirety. Player manager Gabby Hartnett came to bat with two out, fell behind 0-2, and then connected off Mace Brown, launching the ball into the left-center field bleachers for the walk off win and sending 34‚465 fans home in ecstasy, many of whom circled the bases with him. The Cubs won the next day (their 10th straight), the Pirates faded, and Chicago became the NL champs. The loss was so painful to manager Pie Traynor that it’s said to have contributed to his retirement after the 1939 season.
|Mace Brown 1938 (photo Original News Service)|
- 1942 - LHP Grant Jackson was born in Fostoria, Ohio. Buck tossed for the Pirates from 1977-81 and made his last MLB outing as a Buc in 1982. His line here was 29-19-36/3.23, and he tossed scoreless ball in his six appearances during the 1971 NLCS/World Series campaign. Following his playing career, Jackson was a Pirates coach in 1983-85 and had a later stint with the Reds.
- 1947 - Tiny Bonham tossed a two hit whitewash as the Bucs defeated the Reds 7-0 at Forbes Field to end a dismal season in Bill Burwell’s only game as a manager (he replaced Billy Herman, who resigned). Pittsburgh finished 62-92, 32 games out of first. Dixie Howell and Frank Gustine homered in front of 33,794 fans. The Bucs had won just 64 games the year before, but would take 83 the following season under new skipper Billy Meyer.
- 1952 - Ralph Kiner slugged his 37th homer to win the NL crown easily over Gil Hodges (32) and take a record seventh straight home run title. The Bucs whipped Cincinnati 9-6 at Crosley Field as Gus Bell and Joe Garagiola also went long to help Bob Friend to the win.