- 1887 - The League of Colored Baseball Clubs, a precursor to the Negro Leagues, opened its schedule with a game at Recreation Park. The NY Gorhams beat the Pittsburgh Keystones 11-8 and a pitcher named Grosa before a crowd of 1‚200. One of the Keystone stars was King Solomon "Sol" White, an infielder, manager, executive, sportswriter and one of the pioneers of the Negro leagues. He was named to the Hall of Fame in 2006. Game day was celebrated by a parade starting at Grant and Second in town that snaked to the North Side park, then considered part of Allegheny City, behind a band that performed a concert before the ballgame. Because of rainouts and small crowds, the poorly financed NCL (formed in large part due to the efforts of Keystones owner Walter Brown)‚ which was recognized by the National Agreement as a legitimate minor league‚ folded quickly on May 23rd (the Keystones finished 3-4). Though the league failed, the Keystones formed again professionally in 1921-22 as a National Negro League club before disbanding for good in 1923.
|Clever man, that Fred Clarke (image 1901 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)|
- 1906 - The Pirates became the first team to use a canvas tarp to cover the infield when it stormed at North Side’s Exposition Park during a damp 5-1 loss to the Cubs. Bucco skipper Fred Clarke was granted a patent for the tarp he designed, calling it a “diamond cover.”
- 1914 - OF Ed Lennox of the Pittsburgh Rebels recorded the only cycle ever hit during the Federal League’s existence against the KC Packers in a 10-4 win, hitting two homers. A cycle with two long balls wouldn’t be duplicated again until 1937 when it was accomplished by The Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio.
- 1951 - Cliff Chambers pitched the second no-hitter in Pirates' history, a 3-0 victory in the nitecap of a doubleheader at Boston’s Braves Field. He wasn’t exactly on top of his game, walking eight and uncorking a wild pitch, but was untouchable when he was in the strike zone. Warren Spahn won the opener handily for the Braves by a 6-0 tally. It was Chambers’ last W as a Bucco; he was traded to the Cards a month later with 3-6/5.58 line.
|Chico da man - 1992 Studio|
- 1992 - Jose Lind’s 16th-inning single over a drawn-in infield drove in Don Slaught, who had tripled ahead of him, with the winning run as the Pirates bested the Braves 4-3 at TRS. Bob Patterson claimed the win, being the last in a chain of five relievers who worked 11-⅔ innings of near zippo ball, giving up just one unearned run. The Pirates twice rallied with two down, getting hits from Cecil Espy in the ninth and Jay Bell in the 13th to erase Brave leads.
- 1994 - The Bucs proved to be a good luck charm to Chicago, ending a couple of Chi-Town losing streaks. The Cubs' 10-1 victory over the Pirates ended pitcher Anthony Young's personal 27-game losing streak and also snapped Chicago’s record 14-game winless string at Wrigley.
- 2000 - The Pirates put up six runs in the ninth inning to rally past the Cubs at Wrigley Field by an 11-9 count. With two down in the final frame and still down a run after scoring three times, Wil Cordero tripled on a 1-2 pitch to tie it, Pat Meares doubled in the go-ahead run and Mike Benjamin’s single added an insurance tally. Brian Giles and Luis Sojo homered earlier in the contest and had five RBI between them to help counter three Cub homers.
|Starling Marte: I knew I was safe - 2015 Topps Opening Day|
- 2014 - The Pirates won the first-ever MLB walk-off victory by review against the SF Giants at PNC Park. A taut pitching duel duel between Tim Hudson and Charlie Morton went to the wire. After reliever Tony Watson left G-Men on the corners in the ninth, Starling Marte batted against Hudson with two gone and banged a ball high off the Clemente Wall. He went into third and steamed home when the throw skipped by the base. In a bang-bang play at the dish, ump Quinn Wolcott called Marte out. Clint Hurdle challenged the decision, and the replay showed that C Buster Posey had missed the tag, giving the Bucs a 2-1 win.
- 2016 - The Pirates held on to beat the St Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium 4-2. Frankie Liriano’s 10 strikeout effort and the return of Jung Ho Kang led the charge to victory. Liriano’s dominating outing was marred only by a two-base wild pitch, which brought home the first run and set up the other. Kang had missed almost eight months to a gruesome leg/knee injury and was making his first MLB appearance since the prior September. He started inauspiciously, hitting into a DP and then popping out. But he found his seas legs quickly, hitting homers in back-to-back at bats and driving in three runs in a triumphal return.