Monday, June 19, 2017

6/19 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era: Big Poison's Streak & #3,000; HBD Frank, Bill, Jerry & Fernando

  • 1856 - UT Frank McLaughlin was born in Lowell, Massachusetts by some sources; others say he was born in Ireland. Frank stopped in Pittsburgh between 1883-84, seeing not a lot of action as an Allegheny and then with the Stogies the next season. He hit .219 with the Alleghenys in ‘83 as a shortstop and went 0-0/13.00 in nine innings of mound work. Frank then went the Union League route, batting .239 as a 2B before joining the KC Unions, with which he finished out his career in 1884.
  • 1908 - RHP Bill Swift was born in Elmira, New York. He tossed eight seasons (1932-39) for the Bucs, with a 91-79/3.57 record. Swift was a staff workhorse, going 200+ innings and picking up double-digit wins in his first five seasons, topping out with 16 W in 1936. He wasn’t a power guy, with just 3.4 K/nine during his Pittsburgh career, but gave up less than two walks per game and a homer just once every 18 frames.
Paul Waner 1927 Spaulding Die Cut
  • 1927 - Paul Waner doubled twice in a 14-7 loss to the Cubs to extend his NL record extra base hit streak (12 doubles‚ 4 triples‚ 4 homers) to 14 straight games. The streak ended the next day but has held up well, being matched only by Chipper Jones in 2006.
  • 1942 - Paul “Big Poison” Waner‚ now 39 and a Boston Brave‚ joined Cap Anson and Honus Wagner as the only NL players with 3‚000 hits with a fifth inning single to center off Rip Sewell, appropriately at Forbes Field. The game was stopped as the ball was presented to him, and both teams gathered round to offer their congratulations. Pittsburgh won the game in 11 innings, 7-6. Waner’s hit should have been 3,001. Two days earlier, he was given a hit on a ball that glanced off a glove; Waner had the scorer change it to an error so his 3,000th would be a clean knock.
  • 1949 - Jerry Reuss was born in St. Louis. The lefty spent six seasons with the Pirates (1974-78, 90) and put up a 61-46/3.52 line as a rotation mainstay. He won 220 games in a 22 year big league career. Jerry spent time as a coach and major/minor league announcer after his playing days ended, also writing his 2014 autobiography “Bring In the Righthander.”
Fernando Gonzalez 1974 Topps
  • 1950 - IF Fernando Gonzalez was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Fernando had a couple of stints with the Bucs, beginning his career with cups of coffee in 1972-73 and contributing as a role player in 1977-78 before being waived to the Padres. He hit .257 as a Pirate and played all the infield spots except first base and manned both corner outfield spots.
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