- 1899 - OF Jack McCarthy hit a ball that went through an open gate in the Exposition Park outfield wall, and a hometown fan shut it before Louisville’s fielder could get there to give McCarthy an uncontested three run, walk-off homer in Pittsburgh’s 7-6 win against the Louisville Colonels. The league frowned on the helping hand and ordered a replay of the game.
|Der Bingle 1948 (photo Loomis Dean/Life)|
- 1903 - Longtime Pirate co-owner and well-known crooner Harry “Bing” Crosby was born in Tacoma, Washington. He became a minority owner during the John Galbreath era; he and Galbreath knew one another from the horse circuit. Crosby, who held his stake from 1946-77, taped the Pirates 1960 Game Seven win against the Yankees off TV for the only nine inning video of the classic (he was too nervous to watch in person) and also helped in the signing of Bucco great Vern Law out of high school. Bing had a long-time love of baseball, playing in high school and for a year at Gonzaga University before becoming an entertainer of a different sort.
- 1909 - The Bucs whipped Chicago‚ 9-2, at the West Side Grounds. Honus Wagner went 5-for-6 during the game, scoring three times and stealing three bases to help earn Vic Willis the victory. He was repeating what he did the day before, also going 5-for-6 in a 6-0 victory over the Cubs. The Pittsburg Press wrote “Hans Wagner was the shining star of the game. The other Pirates followed and the slaughtery of the Cubs is something awful to record.” Chicago was Pittsburgh’s hottest competitor and finished second to them in the NL, 6-1/2 games off the Pirate pace.
- 1927 - Paul Waner went 3-for-4 with a triple, walk, three runs scored and four RBI as the Pirates outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals 11-10 at Forbes Field. Earl Smith had three hits, including two homers, to add three RBI to the pot and Glenn Wright also had three knocks and plated three times to give Ray Kremer, the Pirates fourth pitcher, the win.
|Ray Kremer 1991 Conlin/TSN|
- 1928 - Ray Kremer lost his first home start of the season to the Boston Braves at Forbes Field 5-4 in 11 innings, ending a MLB record streak of 22 straight home victories by Kremer dating back to 1926.
- 1947 - The Pirates traded OF Al Gionfriddo and $100,000 to Dodgers for P Kirby Higbe, P Cal McLish, IF Gene Mauch, P Hank Behrman, and P Dixie Howell. Gionfriddo was remembered for his 1947 World Series grab of a Joe DiMaggio blast for Brooklyn and Red Barber’s call that he was going “back back back back back” for the catch, which Chris Berman of ESPN later adopted as his home run call. Some analysts believe that Branch Rickey made the deal to send a message to the Dodger players about his support for Jackie Robinson by sending some gripers to Pittsburgh, though he may have just been housecleaning; none but Higbe had any impact with the Pirates.
- 1953 - Johnny Lindell, a pitcher turned outfielder turned pitcher‚ earned the Pirates their fifth straight win‚ beating the Cards‚ 6-2. Lindell notched his first W since 1942 when he was a Yankee reliever, his last MLB season on the mound (he converted to the OF in 1943). In 1950, he became a bush league knuckleballer and returned to the majors in 1953 at the age of 36 as a pitcher. His knuckler was a wild child, and he led the NL in walks and wild pitches that season. Although used mainly by the Bucs as a pitcher (Lindell worked 175 IP), he batted .286 and pinch hit 34 times, once tying a game with a three run, ninth inning homer.