Saturday, April 1, 2017

4/1 - TRS/PNC Park Era: Thompson & Van Slyke Deals, Players Strike, Parrot Hatched, Neil Slam, RIP Frankie & Jerry

  • 1972 - The first players' strike in baseball history wiped six-to-eight games off the schedule, which were canceled upon settlement. This resulted in teams playing a different number of games during the 1972 season and led to the Detroit Tigers edging the Boston Red Sox by only one-half game to win the AL East Division championship. The strike settlement required the team owners to add salary arbitration to the CBA and increased pension fund payments, per Wikipedia.
From an egg to his own baseball card (2016 Topps)
  • 1979 - The Pirate Parrot was “hatched” at Three Rivers Stadium as a response to the Phillie Phanatic, introduced the year before. The concept of a parrot came from Robert Lewis Stevenson’s pirate tale “Treasure Island.”
  • 1981 - 1B Jason Thompson was traded by the California Angels to the Bucs for LHP Mickey Mahler and C Ed Ott. Thompson took control of a muddled first base situation in Pittsburgh and held the starting job through 1985 (Sid Bream replaced JT in 1986).
  • 1987 - St. Louis sent OF Andy Van Slyke‚ C Mike LaValliere‚ and RHP Mike Dunne to Pittsburgh in exchange for All-Star C Tony Pena. Van Slyke thought it was an April’s Fool joke when first told of the trade, and Pena cried at the press conference when the deal was announced.
  • 1991 - Frankie Gustine died at the age of 71. The versatile infielder was a three-time All-Star who played a decade for the Pirates (1939-48), compiling a .268 BA. After his MLB career, Gustine coached at local Point Park College from 1968-74 and owned a popular Oakland restaurant on Forbes Avenue located just a Texas League bloop away from the ballyard.
Frankie Gustine 1947 W461 Exhibits
  • 2011 - Neil Walker hit his first career grand slam on Opening Day at Wrigley Field off Ryan Dempster. He became the second player in team history to hit a grand salami on Opening Day, joining Roberto Clemente, who drilled one to start the 1962 season. It was the key blow in a 6-3 win over the Cubs behind the pitching of Kevin Correia and four relievers.
  • 2012 - One of the games great pinch-hitters, Jerry Lynch, died at the age of 82. He started and ended his career as a Pirate, spending seven seasons with the Bucs. He came off the bench to collect 116 pinch hits during his career, 18 of which were homers. Lynch lived in Allison Park when he passed away and was part owner of Champion Lakes GC.

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