Saturday, April 15, 2017

4/15 From the 50s Forward: Red Letter Wins, Frankie Gem, Longest Day, DP City, Hard Hats, Delwyn, HBD Jeromy & Rambo

  • 1952 - Pittsburgh became the first team required to wear helmets both at bat and in the field. Branch Rickey mandated their use, and though his intentions were no doubt noble, he did happen to have an ownership interest in the company that made the hats. Though first used in 1907, they didn’t begin to appear regularly until the forties and weren't required to be worn by baseball until 1971.
Ron Blackburn 1958 Topps
  • 1958 - The Pirates beat the Braves 4-3 in 14 inning contest, tying the longest opening day game ever played in the NL, a record they would tie again in 1969. Bill Virdon chased home Hank Foiles with the game winner at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Ron Blackburn got the win and Curt Raydon picked up the save.
  • 1960 - OF/1B Mike Diaz was born in San Francisco. He played in Pittsburgh from 1986-88, hitting .250 with 28 HR in 524 AB. Diaz earned the nickname “Rambo” while with the Bucs because of his resemblance to Sly Stallone, and the club even promoted a fairly famous poster of him under that nom de guerre. He went to Japan for four seasons beginning in 1989.
  • 1961 - The Dodgers and Pirates tied a MLB record by turning nine DPs (Los Angeles 5‚ Pittsburgh 4) in a 4-1 Buc win at Memorial Coliseum. It was only the second time (July 3rd‚ 1929, Cubs-Reds) that nine DPs have been turned in a nine-inning NL game. Eight were grounded into while one was a line drive DP. Dick Groat started three of the four Buc twin killings.
Jeromy Burnitz 2006 Topps Allen & Ginters
  • 1969 - RF Jeromy Burnitz was born in Westminster Hills, California. After back-to-back solid seasons, the Pirates signed the 37-year-old, 13-year veteran to a $6M FA deal for 2006. He hit .230 with 16 HR and Pittsburgh bought out the second, team option year of his deal for $700K. Jeromy retired before the 2007 season opened, unable to catch on with anyone else.
  • 1993 - Dennis Moeller won his first MLB game and manager Jim Leyland won his 600th game as the Bucs swept the Padres 5-4 in 13 frames at Jack Murphy Stadium. The unlikely hero was Tom Prince; the catcher was scheduled to be pinch hit for in the ninth, but trotted back from the bullpen when the two Bucs ahead of him reached and he received a reprieve to bunt. He did successfully, setting up the tying run, and then later doubled home Carlos Garcia with the game winner.
  • 2009 - The Pirates acquired IF/OF Delwyn Young from the Dodgers for RHPs Eric Krebs and Harvey Garcia. Young played 234 games for the Pirates during the 2009-10 seasons, hitting .255 with 14 HR and 71 RBI, while neither Krebs nor Garcia made it, although Garcia had a cup of coffee with Florida in 2007, appearing in eight games.
Frankie 2015 Topps Museum Collection
  • 2015 - Francisco Liriano returned from paternity leave and tossed a gem, but the Bucs lost a 1-0 decision to the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park. Frankie struck out seven and gave up four hits in six frames, but one of the knocks was a solo homer by former Bucco Rajai Davis that proved the game winner. Alfredo Simon and Joakim Soria only managed three K between them, but surrendered just two hits without a walk to stifle the Pirates.

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