Tuesday, May 2, 2017

5/2 Through the 40s: Hans the Thief, Alleghenys Firsts, Prez Visits, Big Bats & Big Arms, HBD George

  • 1877 - The Alleghenys beat the Boston Red Caps, the eventual International Association champs, 1-0 behind do-it-all Pud Galvin. He tossed a one-hitter and bombed a homer thought to be the first ball to clear the fence at Union Park.
  • 1882 - The Pittsburgh Alleghenys of the American Association played their first MLB game (The AA was an alternative major league in the early days; the club would join the NL five years later.) against Cincinnati at the Bank Street Grounds. The Alleghenys whipped the Red Stockings by a 10-9 tally. Charlie Morton and Jim Keenan combined for seven hits. The Alleghenys’ Jack Leary and Reds’ Will White both went the distance. For Leary, who was a jack-of-all-trades (he only pitched three times in his 60 games with the Alleghenys while batting .286), it was his sole Pittsburgh win (1-0, 6.75) before he moved on to Baltimore later in the season. White would end the campaign 40-12 with a 1.86 ERA as Cincinnati ran away with the AA crown.
Pud liked this date - 1887-90 Goodwin Old Judge
  • 1887 - Fred Carroll of the Alleghenys hit the franchise’s first NL homer off Detroit Wolverine pitcher Lady Baldwin as part of his cycle at Recreation Park in an 8-3 win. Motown had won 31 straight exhibition games and three regular season games‚ but met their match in Pud Galvin and Carroll.
  • 1909 - Talk about small ball! Honus Wagner stole second, third and home while his teammates turned three additional stolen bases, two walks, a plunked batter, two errors, and two hits into a five-run first frame in the Bucs' 6-0 victory in the opener of a twin bill. They also won the second game 5-2 against the Cubs at the West Side Grounds. For the Flying Dutchman, the base-stealing feat was the fourth and last time he pulled it off; it’s still the MLB record.
  • 1909 - 1B George Giles was born in Junction City, Kansas. George was a well-traveled Negro League player who was considered an excellent fielder, speedy, and a solid contact hitter. He had a 1932 stint with the Homestead Grays (.301) and a 1938 stop with the Pittsburgh Crawfords (.261). He moved back to Kansas after his baseball days and raised a family. His son George Jr. played in the minors and his grandson, Brian Giles (not the old Bucco) played with the Mets and Mariners.
  • 1910 - President William Taft attended the Pirates 5-2 win over the Cubs. The team set a then-attendance record of 20,265 at Forbes Field due to President’s appearance, but the Pittsburg Press headline was “Taft Was Cheered, But Thunderous Applause Met Honus Wagner.” Hans had just one hit though he did score twice. The win went to Babe Adams, who was relieved by Lefty Leifield in the seventh.
  • 1925 - The Pirates scored seven times in the first frame and plated 14 runs by the third to romp over the Cincinnati Reds 18-3 at Forbes Field. Clyde Barnhart, Pie Traynor, and Earl Smith combined to drive in 10 runs while the top of the order, Max Carey, Kiki Cuyler, and Eddie Moore, scored nine times. Lee Meadows tossed a five-hitter for the victory.
  • 1943 - Behind hurlers Wally Hebert and Bob Klinger‚ the Pirates claimed a twinbill from the Cubs‚ 3-0 and 1-0 at Forbes Field. In the second game‚ Cubs hurlers Dick Barrett and Lon Warneke combined on a one-hit loss: Vince DiMaggio's double in the fourth was the only Bucco knock. The Pirate run was unearned as Elbie Fletcher, who had walked, plated on the two-bagger when the relay to second was thrown away. Klinger answered the bell with a four-hit gem of his own.
Vince DiMaggio 1942 Play Ball

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