Saturday, October 1, 2016

10/1 Happenings: HBD Specs, Jim & Vance; Carey's 51st; Danny Retires; Bobby Bo on SI

  • 1895 - RHP Carmen “Specs” Hill was born in Royalton, Minnesota. Carmen pitched eight years in Pittsburgh (1915-16, 1918-19, 1926-29) and went 47-31-8 with a 3.26 ERA. He won 22 games for the NL Champion Pittsburgh Pirates in 1927. As for his nickname, Carmen was the second pitcher in major league history to wear glasses, and the other players wouldn’t let him forget it.
Carmen Hill 1915
  • 1918 - OF Jim Russell was born in Fayette City, between Belle Vernon and Stockdale on the Mon. He played for the Pirates from 1942-47, starting all but his rookie campaign, and put up a .277 BA during that time. In his final season, he had Hall-of-Famers Hank Greenberg and Ralph Kiner as bookends in the outfield. As a youth, he contracted rheumatic fever twice; his baseball career was cut short because of rheumatic heart disease which sapped him in his later years.
  • 1922 - Max Carey swiped his 51st base against the Reds in a 5-1 loss at Redland Field. Not only did he lead the league in larceny, but his 51 steals in 53 attempts was the highest success rate ever achieved by a stolen base leader. His record of 31 straight steals without being caught stood until 1975, when Davey Lopes put together a 38 swipe streak.
  • 1956 - SS Vance Law was born in Boise, Idaho. Drafted out of high school by Pittsburgh, the son of Bucco great Vern Law spent his first two years as a Pirate (1980-81) and hit .184 as a seldom used reserve. After being traded to the White Sox, he carved out an 11 year MLB career, including an All-Star season. Law was also quite the fireman. He was called on seven times to pitch in blowout games, and finished each one while compiling a career ERA of 3.38 in eight innings.
Vance Law 1982 Fleer
  • 1964 - Danny Murtaugh retired as Buc skipper, citing health reasons. Danny joined the Pirate front office, evaluating players for GM Joe L. Brown. Harry “the Hat” Walker was later named as his replacement. Danny became the Bucs go-to manager; he was the Pittsburgh skipper for all or parts of 15 seasons over four different periods (1957–64, 1967, 1970–71, 1973–76).
  • 1990 - Bobby Bonilla was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the story “Down To the Wire.” It didn’t end up that close; the Bucs won the division by four games, though losing the NLCS to the Reds. Bobby Bo had an All Star season, hitting .280 with 32 HR and 120 RBI, finishing second in the MVP voting to teammate Barry Bonds.

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