Sunday, May 7, 2017

5/7 From the 40s Forward: Starg's 20 Years, Little Poison Traded, Good Day for HRs, HBD Mark, Skid Stops & More

  • 1941 - Lloyd “Little Poison” Waner was traded to the Boston Braves for pitcher Nick Strincevich, where he rejoined his brother Paul who had been released in the off-season. Afterward, he bumped around the NL, playing for four teams over four years before re-signing with Pittsburgh as an insurance policy in 1944. He retired after 1945, with 17 years and .319 BA as a Bucco on his way to the Hall of Fame.
Big & Little Poison were reunited as Braves in 1941
(photo 1935 Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
  • 1944 - The Bucs beat the Cubs at Wrigley 3-2‚ Chicago's 12th loss in a row‚ to spoil Charlie Grimm's return as Cubs manager. The Pirates scored twice in the ninth to tie it off Hank Wyse and won it in the 11th frame for Xavier Rescigno, who relieved Preacher Roe. Pittsburgh also took the opener 6-5, and that one took 14 frames after the Cubs put up a pair to tie the game in the ninth.
  • 1958 - Bob Skinner‚ Ted Kluszewski (who hit another in the seventh) and Frank Thomas hit HRs in the fifth inning (Thomas also had a pair during the game) against the Giants at Seals Stadium‚ but it wasn’t enough firepower as SF won 8-6.
  • 1965 - The Pirates scored three times in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Reds, 5-4, at Forbes Field. Manny Mota delivered a two-out, walkoff single that brought home Gene Freese to complete the comeback. Tommie Sisk picked up the win in relief of starter Bob Friend.
Manny Mota 1965 (photo Jay Publishing Co.)
  • 1970 - OF/1B Mark Smith was born in Pasadena, California. He only played for the Bucs for two seasons (1997-98) with a .249 BA and 11 HR in 366 PA, but delivered one of the franchise’s clutch blows - his pinch hit home run in the bottom of the 10th won the combined no hitter of Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon of July 12th, 1997 at TRS against Houston.
  • 1973 - For the first time in baseball history, one team scored its five runs on five solo homers in a 5-4 Pirates win over LA at Dodger Stadium. The long balls were launched by Willie Stargell, Dave Cash, Richie Hebner, Manny Sanguillen, and Al Oliver.
  • 1977 - In a start-to-finish slugfest, the Pirates beat the Reds, 12-10 at TRS to improve their record to 16-7. Trailing 4-0 after a half-inning of play, Willie Stargell hit his first of two home runs in the bottom of the first, a three-run shot, and the game was afoot. Dave Parker extended his hitting streak to 18 games and Al Oliver went 2-for-4 with a home run. The two clubs combined for 26 hits of which 14 went for extra-bases, half of them homers. Terry Forster got the win with help from Grant Jackson and a save by Kent Tekulve.
Willie Stargell 1979 Topps
  • 1981 - Still gimpy with a balky knee, 41-year-old Willie Stargell made his first appearance of the season playing 1B against the Reds at Riverfront Stadium in the second game of a twin bill. It was a big outing in that Pops became just the fourth player in MLB history to play 20 years for the same team he began with (the others were Cap Anson of the Cubs, Mel Ott of the Giants, and Stan Musial of the Cardinals), a streak that began in 1962. The bad wheel limited him to 38 games that season and 1982 would be his big league swan song.
  • 2015 - The Pirates ended a five game skid (part of a 7-of-8 games losing string) as their bats came alive in a 7-2 win against Cincinnati. Pittsburgh had scored just five runs during their slide, dropping three walk-off losses to St. Louis and a shutout the day before. AJ Burnett got the win; the club had scored just five runs behind him in his first five starts. To add the cherry on top, AJ picked up strikeout #2,401, putting him among the top 40 whiff artists in baseball history. Andrew McCutchen broke out of a season-long slump with three hits to lead a balanced Bucco attack at PNC Park.

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