Friday, May 12, 2017

5/12: HBD EA, Alex, Johnny & Evan; Hans, Kiki & Gus Heroes; No-Hit and Ducks on the Pond

  • 1860 - Umpire EA (Evan Arthur) Griffith was born in Canoe Township, northern Indiana County. EA was one of several local connections to the old American Association, where the Alleghenys got their start, umping for half a season (46 games, all behind the plate) in 1884. Apparently EA liked the profession but switched sports; he later became a college football ref.
  • 1889 - Light hitting (.229 career) and slick fielding reserve infielder Alex McCarthy was born in Chicago. The Notre Dame product played for the Bucs from 1910-1917, with a brief stop in Chicago where the Pirates sold him in September of 1915 and then brought him back the following July. He was originally a shortstop, but couldn’t beat out a guy named Honus Wagner.
Alex McCarthy 1912 T207
  • 1908 - The Bucs defeated the NY Giants 5-3 at Exposition Park as Sam Leever outlasted Iron Man McGinnity. The G-Men overcame a 2-0 deficit in the eighth to take the lead; Pittsburgh answered with a three-spot of its own. Hans Wagner was the hero. He tripled home the tying and winning run, then swiped home on the back end of a double steal for the insurance tally. The Dutchman had three of the Pirates five hits to go with a walk.
  • 1922 - RHP Johnny Hetki was born in Leavenworth, Kansas. He spent the final two campaigns (1952-53) of his eight year career with the Pirates, posting a 7-10/4.38 slash in that time, mostly as a reliever. Johnny tossed in the Venezuelan Winter League where he had a couple of spotlight moments. Hetki hurled an 18-inning game for his club, Magallanes, setting a record that still stands (and for a tie game, yet!) He later pitched two complete games for Magallanes in the 1952 Caribbean Series, including an 11-inning, 2–1 victory against Panamanian champions, the Carta Vieja Yankees.
  • 1925 - Kiki Cuyler went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, four RBI, and five runs scored in a 13-9 win over the Phillies at the Baker Bowl. Glenn Wright added three more knocks and drove in three runs. It was enough to give Pittsburgh a split of a twin bill as they lost the opener 8-5.
Kiki Cuyler 1925 (photo Bain News Service/Library of Congress)
  • 1930 - Gus Suhr had a homer, double, and three RBI while Adam Comorosky went 3-for-3 with a pair of two baggers as the Pirates broke out of a 7-out-of-8 game losing streak with a 6-2 win over the Brooklyn Robins at Forbes Field. Erv Brame tossed a complete game six-hitter.
  • 1955 - Rookie RHP Sam "Toothpick" Jones of the Cubs no-hit the Pirates 4-0‚ fanning Dick Groat, Roberto Clemente and Frank Thomas in the ninth after walking the bases loaded. It was the first no-hitter in Wrigley Field since 1917‚ and the first MLB no-hitter tossed by an African-American pitcher. Sadly for Jones and posterity, only 2,918 fans showed up.
  • 1983 - RHP Evan Meek was born in Bellevue, Washington. The Rule 5 pick up spent five years (2008-12) as a Pirate and at one point looked like the closer of the future after an All-Star season in 2010, tossing to a 2.14 ERA in 70 appearances. But various arm injuries took their toll on his promising career. He only made one more MLB stop after his Bucco days, in 2014 with Baltimore. He’s now pitching indy league after splitting 2015 between the minors and a stint in Korea.
Evan Meek 2012 Topps
  • 1994 - The Pirates lost to the Phillies 6-4 and stranded 17 runners‚ one shy of the NL record for a nine inning game, at Veteran’s Stadium. The Bucs wasted 14 hits, nine walks, and a Philly error by going 1-for-15 with RISP against four Philadelphia pitchers.

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