Sunday, June 11, 2017

6/11 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era: Rain Day; Shutout Streak, 16 Inning Duel, HBD Lenny, Frank & Dave; Game Stories

  • 1901 - The Pirate faithful saved the day for the Bucs in a 4-0 win at Exposition Park over Christy Mathewson and the NY Giants. Thunderstorms were predicted for the area, and by the start of the fifth a deluge began, with the Giants pleading for a rain-out. But umpire Hank O’Day, following a league directive that games not be called until the fans in the uncovered parts of the park deserted their seats (the NL figured if the paying customers could brave the elements, so could the players), pointed to the mass of Pirate rooters packing the bleachers (they drew 7,000, a huge showing, for the highly anticipated Matty/Schoolmaster Sam Leever match, of which 4,000 were in the open) and said play on - and no stalling shenanigans either, he warned. The G-Men went down in order, and with the game safely in hand the soggy crowd headed for shelter as the game was called, ending in the Buccos favor. Wee Tommy Leach had all four Pirate RBIs while Leever gave up two hits in his short outing.
Wee Tommy (1903) and a crowd that wouldn't quit were too much for the Giants.
(photo Carl Horner)
  • 1903 - Deacon Phillippe tossed his third straight whitewash, a three-hitter, to defeat Brooklyn 9-0 at Exposition Park for the Pirates ninth consecutive win. The Pittsburg Press wrote “Deacon Phillippe was the artist and he has never been in finer form.” Phillippe won 25 games that season, but only ended up with one more shutout. Eddie Phelps spanked three hits and Claude Ritchey added a pair.
  • 1909 - Player/Manager Fred Clarke banged out five hits to lead the Pirates to an 8-1 win over the Brooklyn Superbas at Forbes Field. Clarke had a double, triple, a pair of stolen bases and three runs scored. Lefty Leifield claimed the win.
  • 1913 - Len Levy was born in Squirrel Hill. The Allderdice grad did about everything you could do for the Pirates without playing. He was a batboy, a Forbes Field ticket-taker, a minor league player, bullpen catcher, PR man, scout and coach in both the Pirate system and for the Bucs; he’s the guy that you saw in the first base box as Maz galloped by after his Series-winning homer in 1960. Older yinzers will remember him from his later days when he ran an Oakland car lot, Forbes Field Auto, that was popular with the players.
Len Levy (photo via SABR)
  • 1918 - Pittsburgh’s Roy Sanders and Boston's Bunny Hearn battled for each other for 16 innings before the Bucs won 3-2 on a bases-loaded squeeze play by Howdy Caton. Sanders allowed just one hit over the last eight innings at Braves Field after Boston had taken an early 2-0 lead in the second, tossing 14 consecutive goose eggs. The Braves had chances early on, with 11 hits and 13 stranded runners during the contest.
  • 1925 - Emil Yde did it all. The multi-tasking lefty scattered nine hits and went 3-for-4 with a double and triple, three runs and three RBI to carry the Pirates to an 11-3 win over the Boston Braves at Forbes Field.
  • 1927 - The Brooklyn Robins crashed Big Poison’s party to take an 11-10 win at Forbes Field by scoring four runs in the ninth. Waner had just been married the day before, and the Pirates held a “Paul Waner Day” for him. He was gifted with a car and celebrated with three hits. He was joined in the hit parade by LF Clyde Barnhart, who also collected three knocks to run his multi-hit streak to 10 games. That string ended the next day when he could only manage a single against Brooklyn.
Paul Waner 1927 Spaulding promo
  • 1929 - OF/3B Frank Thomas was born in Pittsburgh. The local kid spent half of his 16 year career as a Pirate (1951-58) before being traded to the Reds. While a Buc, his line was .275/.363/.562 and he was a three time All-Star. Frank was as noted for his contract fights as he was for his 286 career homers.
  • 1948 - Dave Cash was born in Utica, New York. Drafted in 1966, he played his first five seasons in Pittsburgh (1969-73) and replaced Bill Mazeroski at second base in 1970; he in turn was bumped off the position by Rennie Stennett. Cash hit .285 as a Bucco and was in the league for a dozen campaigns, having three All-Star seasons with Philadelphia.
  • 1958 - Birthday boy Frank Thomas hit two homers‚ one a grand slam‚ and drove in seven runs as the Pirates pounded the Giants 14-6 at Seals Stadium.
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