Thursday, May 18, 2017

5/18 Through the 40s: Hopp No-Go; HBD Babe, Cy & Ken; Fast Start; Streakin', Christy Dropped

  • 1882 - Charles Benjamin “Babe” Adams was born in Tipton, Indiana. The righty worked 18 seasons for Pittsburgh (1907-26) with a 194-140/2.74 line. He almost single handedly won the Pirates first World Series title, going 3-0 in 1909 against the Tigers & Ty Cobb, tossing three complete game six-hitters while allowing just four runs in 27 IP. Brian Adams of SABR explains his nickname: “According to one story, his Denver teammates pinned it on him in 1907 after a woman asking for his autograph told him he had a nice round face like a baby's. But James Skipper, Jr., in his book Baseball Nicknames, states that Adams earned the sobriquet during his 1908 Louisville stint because female fans hollered ‘Oh, you babe!’ whenever he took the mound. Either way, the dark-featured Adams apparently was popular with the ladies…”
  • 1885 - Eros Bolivar “Cy” (presumably for Cyclone) Barger was born in Jamestown, New York. Cy could do a little bit of everything. He was primarily a RH starting pitcher and LH batter who played the OF as needed for the New York Highlanders, Brooklyn Superbas, Brooklyn Dodgers and the Federal League Pittsburgh Rebels (1914–15), slashing 19-24-7/3.52 while hitting .234 at his last big-league stop. He went to college at Transylvania University in Lexington and is their only major league alum.
Cy Barger 1915 Cracker Jacks
  • 1906 - Christy Mathewson lost to the Pirates and Lefty Leifield 7-6 at Exposition Park. Honus Wagner had three hits and the defensive play of the game. He erased Bill Dahlen from second base in the ninth inning with the ol’ hidden ball trick, sneaking in from behind with the tag as Dahlen focused on the action in front of him. NY Giant’s manager John McGraw was so furious with his veteran SS for napping on the bases that he hit him with a $100 fine‚ which was later rescinded.
  • 1910 - The Pirates beat the Doves (also known as the Beaneaters and later to become the Braves) 8-5 at Forbes Field for their 25th straight victory over Boston. The Doves proved less peaceful the next day, finally snapping the streak by a 6-3 tally by scoring five ninth-inning runs off Big Bill Powell and Sam Leever.
  • 1921 - The Pirates improved to 21-6 on the season with an 11-2 win over the Brooklyn Robins at Ebbets Field in New York. Wilbur Cooper, who would finish the season with 22 wins, tossed a complete game while winning his sixth straight decision to start the year. All nine starters had at least one hit, including Cooper, who brought home two runs with a triple in the fifth inning.
Wilbur Cooper 1922 Exhbits
  • 1935 - Ken Hamlin was born in Detroit. He was signed by the Pirates as a free agent in 1957, and made his big league debut two weeks later with another shot in 1959, going 1-for-9. Ken was traded to KC as part of the Hal Smith deal in the 1959 off season, spending the next five years with the Athletics, Angels, and Senators as a good-glove bench guy, hitting .241 in 463 games for his AL teams. He had the sport in his blood and when his career ended, he opened a baseball camp in Michigan.
  • 1949 - The Pirates dealt 1B Johnny Hopp to the Dodgers for OF Marv Rackley. Hopp went 0-for-14 and Rackley 11-for-35 before the trade was canceled on June 7th; it ended up Rackley had a bum arm that Brooklyn forgot (ooops!) to mention before he was traded. Rackley was done in 1950, while Hopp gave the Bucs a couple more .300+ years before he was sold to the Yankees in September of the following season. The best deals are often those not made…

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