Monday, May 29, 2017

5/29: Big Bill Visits, Stuffy & Rollie Deals, HBD Charlie, Cannonball's Intro, Court Rules, Game Stories

  • 1884 - The Pittsburgh Alleghenys were no-hit by Columbus Buckeyes hurler Ed “Cannonball” Morris at Recreation Park during a 5-0 whitewash. Morris walked just one in a near perfect performance. The Alleghenys had been no hit just five days earlier by Al Atkinson of the Philadelphia Athletics, who hit the first batter and was perfect the rest of the way. Cannonball joined the Alleghenys the following year and won 129 games over the next five seasons. He played a final year with the Pittsburgh Burghers of the Players League in 1890 before retiring to run his North Side bar.
  • 1895 - Jake Beckley blasted a three run homer in the ninth to give the Pirates an 8-6 win over the Washington Senators at Boundary Park. The 1B ended the year with five homers, second on the team to Jake Stenzel’s seven, with a club-leading 111 RBI.
Pittsburgh Press clipping
  • 1909 - President William “Big Bill” Taft visited Exposition Park (Forbes Field would open a month later) to catch a Bucs-Cubs match, and made himself at home in the cheap seats, delighting the 14,091 fans. The Pirates weren’t so delightful, tho, as they went down to Three Finger Brown in 11 innings, 8-3, with Lefty Leifield taking the loss. The Prez must have made the Buccos nervous as the loss was the only time the team was defeated in a 19 game stretch.
  • 1922 - In a decision that was pretty big for the Pirates as well as MLB, the US Supreme Court ruled that organized baseball was a sport, not a business, and exempted it from antitrust and interstate commerce laws.
  • 1925 - 1B Jack “Stuffy” McInnis was signed as a free agent. The veteran was a reserve, getting into 106 games over two seasons, starting 64 of them. But his bat still held up; in 1925-26, he hit .337 for Pittsburgh, and .286 in the 1925 World Series against the Washington Senators. He played one more game after leaving Pittsburgh for his original club, Philadelphia, in 1927 before hanging ‘em up.
Steve Swetonic 1994 Conlon Collection/TSN
  • 1929 - The Pirates leapfrogged the Cubs into a first place tie with the Cards after a 7-2 win at Forbes Field, their eighth victory in a row. Paul Waner had a triple, two runs scored, and two RBI. Pie Traynor added a pair of knocks with a three-bagger and three runs chased home; Dick Bartell also had a two hits. Rookie Steve Swetonic held the Cubs scoreless for seven frames before fading and got the W with help from Carmen Hill. Though the Bucs would jockey for first throughout July, they finished the campaign with just 88 wins, 10-½ games behind the Cubs. A blah August (13-16) dropped them out of contention.
  • 1931 - C Earl Grace was traded by the Cubs with cash to the Pirates for C Rollie Hemsley. Grace caught five years for the Bucs and hit .275 over that span, retiring after 1937. Hemsley ended up playing 15 more years for five teams, hitting .262 and playing on five All-Star teams.
  • 1955 - At the age of 20 years and 284 days, Roberto Clemente became the second youngest player to hit three doubles in a game in MLB history, behind the Braves’ Eddie Mathews (ironically against the Pirates in 1952). The Bucs beat the Phillies 11-5 at Forbes Field; the young Clemente was the leadoff hitter, and banged his two-baggers off three different pitchers.
Roberto Clemente 1965 Topps
  • 1965 - Despite allowing three runs in the first inning, the Pirates rallied to defeat the New York Mets 7-4 at Shea Stadium. The Buccos were led by Roberto Clemente, who went 4-for-5, collected two RBI, scored three runs, and finished a home run shy of the cycle. The Pirates put the game away in the seventh when a two-out walk followed by four singles plated three runs. Don Schwall took the win and Al McBean got the save.
  • 1965 - 3B Charlie Hayes was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Charlie manned the hot corner and played a little first base for 14 big league seasons for seven teams (and three of them he played for twice), spending most of 1996 with the Pirates. He hit .248 as a Bucco starter before being sent to the NYY for a minor-league guy. The deadline deal worked out great for Charlie; he ended up a member of the Yankees ‘96 World Championship club after leaving the Buccos, a Central Division bottom feeder that campaign. Hayes now runs the Big League Baseball Academy in Texas, and his son Ke'Bryan was selected 32nd overall by the Pirates in the 2015 draft and is one of their hot prospects at his dad’s old spot, 3B.
  • 1991 - The Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0 at Busch Stadium as Zane Smith threw the second one-hitter of his career, striking out five to earn his seventh win on the season. Orlando Merced led the attack with two hits and two RBI for the Bucs.
Barry Bonds 1992 Topps All Star
  • 1992 - Pittsburgh rocked the San Francisco Giants 13-3 at TRS. Barry Bonds went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, Jose Lind chipped in with three runs driven in and Andy Van Slyke had three hits to give Vincente Palacios the win and Bob Patterson a save for tossing the final three frames. The Pirates used a 13 hit, 10 walk attack and an eight run seventh inning to pull away.

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