Friday, May 5, 2017

5/5 From the 50s Forward: Dock Maced, Stairs Moonshot, Viva, Hangin' On, Rallying & Goin' Long

  • 1958 - The Bucs were up by ten runs entering the final frame, but hung on by a gnat’s eyelash to claim an 11-10 win over the Giants. Pinch-hitter Don Taussig popped out with the bases loaded to end the game at San Francisco's Seals Stadium. The Giants sent a record six pinch hitters to the plate in the frame‚ and three scored. Don Gross, the fourth pitcher of the inning, got the save for Vern Law. The Pirate attack was led by RC Stevens and Frank Thomas, who both homered and combined for five RBI.
  • 1960 - Things looked bleak after six innings for the Bucs at Wrigley Field with the score 7-2 Cubbies. But the Buccos put up a five spot in the seventh (Roberto Clemente’s two-run homer was the biggest blow) to tie it and Bill Virdon won the game with a two-out, two-on triple in the ninth as the Pirates rallied for a 9-7 win. The real heroes were pitchers Jim Umbricht, Fred Green and ElRoy Face who combined to hold Chicago to one run over the final seven frames.
Bill Virdon 1960 Leaf
  • 1972 - Dock Ellis and teammates Rennie Stennett and Willie Stargell missed the team bus to Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium. When they arrived late, the security guard asked for identification. None of the trio had any proper papers on them, but they all had their World Series rings engraved with their names and tried to use that as ID. The guard refused to accept that as legit, Dock verbally abused the officer (“I gave him a thousand bleep-bleeps” he told the Pittsburgh Press), had a gun pulled on him (quickly holstered) to quiet him down and then was maced when the guard claimed Ellis cocked his fist at him. The guard also alleged that Ellis was drunk and had a bottle of wine with him; Dock denied that charge. They all eventually got in and Dock was later hauled into Cincinnati Municipal Court for disturbing the peace (the charges were later dropped). To make it a perfect day, the Bucs lost the game 5-4, their eighth defeat in 10 outings.
  • 1987 - Behind four long balls, the Bucs defeated the Padres 10-8 at Jack Murphy Stadium. The four-baggers were smacked by Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke, RJ Reynolds and surprisingly, Rafael Belliard, his first career shot. Belliard had two hits and three RBI, and wouldn’t hit his second and final MLB homer until a decade later in 1997.
  • 1998 - Feliz Cinco de Mayo! The Pirates defeated St. Louis, 5-2, at Three Rivers Stadium as Francisco Cordova became the first Mexican born Pirate pitcher to start a game on Cinco de Mayo for the Bucs since Vicente Padilla (who didn’t factor in the decision) in 1992. Francisco got the win and his Veracruz amigo Ricardo Rincon picked up a hold. Jermaine Allensworth had a pair of hits and two RBI to go with Jose Guillen’s homer in a game the Bucs led from the first inning onward.
Ricardo Rincon 1997 Fleer Rookie
  • 2003 - Matt Stairs homered off Houston’s Wade Miller, launching a blast that was estimated to travel 461’ to become the longest ball hit in the history of Minute Maid Park. It was Pittsburgh’s only bright spot as the ‘Stros mauled Kris Benson on the way to an 8-1 victory. Miller carried a perfect game into the sixth until it was broken up by a one out Pokey Reese single and tossed an eight inning three hitter.

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