- 1930 - After a contract clash and spring holdout, spitballer Burleigh Grimes was sent to the Boston Braves for lefty Percy Jones and “a considerable amount” of cash. Grimes was then flipped to the Cards later in the season. St. Louis made to the Series in ‘30, losing to the Philadelphia Athletics and Lefty Grove. They took it all the following year as Grimes won 17 games for them and another pair in the Series as the Cards dethroned the Athletics in the rematch. Grimes had an oddball relationship with the Pirates; he started, spent the middle, and then ended his career with Pittsburgh, spending five of his 19 MLB seasons with the Bucs.
|Paul "Big Poison" Waner 1936 Goudey|
- 1937 - The 1936 batting champ‚ Paul Waner‚ ended his holdout and signed his 1937 contract. No official announcement was made of the amount, believed to be in the ballpark of $16,000. Big Poison went on to hit .354 and earn his last All-Star berth at age 34.
- 1939 - The Bucco preseason wound down on a sour note when starting 3B Lee “Jeep” Handley was felled by a bean ball and taken to the hospital during a spring training game played three days before the opener. “The beaning caused an uproar in the Pirate camp that hasn’t been equaled in many years…” wrote Pittsburgh Press beatman Les Biederman as the Bucs boiled over the “intentions” of White Sox hurler Johnny Allen, who caught Jeep in the temple with a sidearm fastball. Allen had just given up a homer, and his next pitch nailed Lee. The Pirates believed it was a purpose pitch, although the Chicago catcher defended his guy by saying Jeep was crowding the plate. Handley recovered to hit .285 during the campaign but missed the first 10 games of the season while recurring complications from the incident caused him to sit out 52 games in total during the year. A couple of other events transpired during the day - Pittsburgh pitcher Cy Blanton tossed a complete game no-hitter in the 6-0 win, and Paul Waner, who had again held out during spring training, agreed to a new contract that reportedly cut his previous salary by $5,000. Big Poison was 35 and had his worst year as a Bucco in 1938, hitting .280 w/.331 OBP. He responded well, batting .328, but would be released by the Pirates after the 1940 season.
- 1953 - In an exhibition game at Forbes Field‚ Mickey Mantle crushed a Bill MacDonald curve and launched it over the RF roof‚ joining the Babe and Ted Beard as the only hitters at the time to accomplish that since the upper deck was added in 1925. In all, 18 balls would fly over the roof, seven put in orbit by Willie Stargell. Mantle cleared the stands again during the 1960 World Series.
|Bob Bailey 1963 IDL Drug Store promo photo|
- 1963 - The home season kicked off in grand style as the Benny Benack band provided the music, Jeanne Baxter sang the Anthem and Mayor Joe Barr was present. The game was pretty good too as the Bucs and Braves traded ninth inning runs with the Pirates rallying for a 3-2 walk-off win in front of 29,615 Forbes Field faithful. With two down in the ninth, Pittsburgh got back-to-back-to-back hits from Bill Virdon, Bob Bailey and pinch-hitter Ted Savage to win the game for ElRoy Face, who had worked out a bases-loaded, no out pickle in the Milwaukee ninth. The first two Pittsburgh scores came on solo shots by old dawg Smokey Burgess and frisky pup Bailey.