Wednesday, October 12, 2016

10/12: B-Day Boys Pop, Frank, Pete, Erv & Joe; Hispanic All-Star Game

  • 1856 - Charles “Pop” Smith was born in Digby, Nova Scotia. He played the infield for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys from 1885-89. Pop wasn’t much with the bat, hitting .220 for the Alleghenys, but could run (117 stolen bases in 557 games) and was a good glove man who could play second or short equally well. Smith was one of the earliest Canadian major league players, joining the show in 1880 as a Red.
Pop Smith 1887-90 Goodwin Old Judge
  • 1860 - 1B/C Frank Ringo was born in Parkville, Missouri. He didn’t make much of a dent in Pittsburgh, getting into just 18 games for the Alleghenys from 1885-86 and batting .209. Ringo was an alcoholic who couldn’t conquer his demons and in 1889 became the first known major league player to take his own life, via a morphine overdose.
  • 1882 - Negro League OF and manager John Preston "Pete" Hill was born in Culpepper County, Virginia, but was raised in Pittsburgh after arriving in town as an infant. He played for 11 teams during his Hall of Fame career, getting his first taste of organized ball as a teen with the Pittsburgh Keystones in 1899.
  • 1901 - RHP Erv Brame was born in Big Rock, Tennessee. He spent his five year MLB career (1928-32) with Pittsburgh, going 52-37-1 with a 4.76 ERA, mostly as a starter who was converted to the pen in his last season. He was 16-11 in 1929 with 19 complete games in 28 starts, then posted a 17-8 record and led the NL with 22 complete games in 29 starts in 1930. Erv had a nice stick, too, as his career batting marks were .306 with 21 doubles, eight homers, 43 runs scored and 75 RBIs.
Erv Brame 1993 Conlon/TSN
  • 1906 - SS Joe Cronin was born in San Francisco. He spent his first two seasons (1926-27, .257 BA) of a 20 year career in Pittsburgh, getting in 50 games before being sold. The Bucs should have exercised a little more patience. During the next 18 seasons, Joe made seven All-Star teams with Washington & Boston, eventually entering the Hall of Fame.
  • 1963 - The final baseball game at the Polo Grounds was the Hispanic American All-Star game, the only one held in MLB history. The roster of Latino stars included Pirates Roberto Clemente, Manny Mota, who delivered a clutch two-run pinch-hit single, and Alvin McBean, who got the W in a 5-2 NL victory.

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