Wednesday, April 26, 2017

4/26 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era: No Expo Luck, HBD Fire Trucks, HBD Amos, Rallies

  • 1900 - The Bucs drew 11,000 to the newly expanded Exposition Park, the biggest Pittsburgh baseball turnout to date, with a couple of thousand more fans trying to get in. The Pirates were fortified by the recent influx of Louisville players like Honus Wagner, but dropped a 12-11 slugfest to Cincinnati as the Reds lit up Rube Waddell and Jack Chesbro. The Bucs made a game of it by rallying for seven ninth inning runs.
Honus at the bat (Max Stein postcard)
  • 1905 - The Cubs beat Pittsburgh at Exposition Park, 2-1 as Chicago’s Jack McCarthy became the only major league OF’er to throw out three runners trying to score in one game. All three assists were on tag-up tries and resulted in double plays.
  • 1917 - Coach Virgil “Fire” Trucks was born in Birmingham, Alabama. After a long pro career, he became the bullpen coach/batting practice pitcher for Pittsburgh in 1960 and stayed with the Pirates until 1963. Trucks later operated baseball camps for the Bucs. Jack House, sportswriter for the Birmingham News, gave him the apt moniker “Fire,” not because he chased red engines but because of his blazing heater; Trucks tossed two no-hitters for Detroit in 1952.
  • 1940 - After putting up four runs in the eighth the day before and falling just short, the Bucs crossed home seven times in the eighth this day to roll over the St. Louis Cardinals 10-4 at Forbes Field. Debs Garms and Joe Bowman both had homers with three RBI to spark the rally and earn Mace Brown his second relief win in four days.
Joe Bowman 1939 Play Ball
  • 1947 - OF Amos Otis was born in Mobile, Alabama. He played the final year of his 17-season career with the Pirates in 1984, coming over after 14 campaigns with the KC Royals. (He actually had been dealt to the Bucs during the 1976 off season, but as a 5 & 10 year player vetoed the trade of him and Cookie Rojas for Al Oliver.) His TRS season wasn’t much of a swan song for the 37-year-old: in 97 at-bats, he hit .165 and he was released in August. Amos worked briefly for the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies as a hitting instructor after he left the playing field and then retired to Las Vegas.
  • 1958 - With Pittsburgh and Cincinnati knotted 4-4 at Crosley Field heading into the eighth, Bill Mazeroski took over. First, he drilled an eighth frame solo shot to put the Pirates on top, then his three-run bomb in the top of the ninth sealed the deal, 8-4. It was the first of eight multi-homer games in his career, with his next coming less than a month later on May 10th. 1958 was also the year Maz earned his first of seven All-Star spots. Billy’s heroics gave Don Gross the win after he spun four innings of one-hit relief, with Roberto Clemente, Bob Skinner and Ted Kluszewski adding three hits apiece to aid the cause.

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