Tuesday, May 30, 2017

5/30 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era: HBD Turkey Mike & Al, Triples Galore, Twin Killing for Fido, Leach Deal, Game Stories

  • 1878 - OF Mike “Turkey” Donlin was born in Peoria, Illinois. Mike played one of his 12 big league campaigns in Pittsburgh, hitting .316 as a 34-year-old in 1912. Known as "Turkey Mike" because of his strut, Donlin’s baseball career was compromised by his bid for stage stardom. While a player, he spent three off seasons touring in a play called “Stealing Home” and after his retirement moved to Hollywood, where he appeared in 50+ films but as a bit player.
  • 1892 - Mark “Fido” Baldwin, a native Pittsburgher alleged to have the best fastball in the league, tossed both ends of a Pirates doubleheader sweep of the Baltimore Orioles at Exposition Park, winning 11-1 and 4-3. Baldwin went 26-27/3.47 with 45 complete games and 440 IP in ’92.
The devious Jake Beckley 1994 Origins of Baseball
  • 1893 - From Baseball Chronology: "Jake Beckley successfully pulls the 'ancient’ hidden-ball trick on Baltimore Oriole Joe Kelley as Pittsburgh wins 9-1.” The Bucs swept a doubleheader from the Birds (they were managed by former Pittsburgh field general Ned Hanlon, who in a three-year span skippered the Alleghenys, Burghers and Pirates) at Exposition Park, also claiming a 10-3 victory. It was a pretty good Pirates club; the team finished 81-48, five games behind the NL Champs, the Boston Beaneaters.
  • 1894 - RHP Al Mamaux was born in Pittsburgh. He went to Duquesne University and pitched for the Pirates from 1913-17. Mamaux was 49-36/2.61 during that time, and had strong seasons in 1915-16, going 42-23 with back-to-back 21 win campaigns. He spent the off-season as a crowd pleaser of another sort, touring as a vaudeville singer touted as "The Golden Voice Tenor.”
  • 1912 - In a not-so-hot deal, the Pirates sent veteran 3B/OF Tommy Leach and P Lefty Leifield to Chicago for UT Solly Hofman and P King Cole. Leach, 34, started the next two years for the Cubs and came back to retire as a Pirate in 1918. Lefty pitched five more seasons, going 57-25. Cole lasted one year in Pittsburgh, going 2-2/6.43 while Hoffman played two years for the Pirates, getting into 45 games and hitting .246.
Jimmy Zinn 1920 (photo via tnfoto/OOTP)
  • 1921 - There were four NL doubleheaders on this date, and all four resulted in a sweep. The Pirates did their part by taking two from the Chicago Cubs at Forbes Field, 13-0 and 6-3. Jimmy Zinn tossed a five hitter in the opener, backed by four RBI from George Cutshaw and Possum Whitted, with Max Carey scoring four times. The nitecap was led by Whitted and Walter Schmidt who both went 3-for-4, with Possum scoring three times and Schmidt driving in a pair. Chief Yellow Horse, the third Pirate pitcher, went 7-⅔ shutout innings for the win and recorded the only strikeout of the day by Pittsburgh’s moundsmen.
  • 1925 - The Pirates set a MLB record by hitting eight triples against the St. Louis Cardinals in spacious Forbes Field during the nitecap of a twinbill. Max Carey and Clyde Barnhart each banged out a pair of three-baggers while Kiki Cuyler, Pie Traynor (who added two doubles), Glenn Wright and Eddie Moore each had one. Barnhart had four hits, four runs and five RBI in the game as the Bucs ran their win streak to seven with a 15-5 romp. The Bucs took the opener 4-1 behind Emil Yde. Max Carey had a pair of RBI and George Grantham had three hits, including two doubles, in that match.
  • 1927 - The Bucs lost the opener of a Forbes Field Memorial Day doubleheader to the Cubs 7-6 in 10 innings, ending the Pirates 11 game win streak. The big play was made by Cubs’ SS Jimmy Cooney, who snared Paul Waner's liner, stepped on second to double up Little Poison, and then tagged Clyde Barnhart coming from first for an unassisted triple play. Pittsburgh came back to win the nitecap‚ 6-5‚ also in 10 innings. Lloyd Waner collected seven hits during the twin bill.
Johnny Rizzo 1939 Play Ball
  • 1939 - Johnny Rizzo set a club record that still hasn’t been matched by driving in nine runs against the St. Louis Browns in a 14-8 win at Sportsman's Park, gaining a doubleheader split for the Bucs. He banged a pair of homers and two doubles.
  • 1958 - The Milwaukee Braves beat the Bucs and ElRoy Face 7-4 at Forbes Field. The Baron of the Bullpen gave up four runs, two unearned, but came back strong; he wouldn’t lose again until September 1959, claiming 22 straight wins.

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