- 1867 - OF Jake Stenzel was born in Cincinnati. He patrolled center field for five years (1892-96) for Pittsburgh. Stenzel was a strong guy with the stick, putting up a line of .360/.429/.528 in his Allegheny years, adding 188 stolen bases. He was a monster in 1894, hitting .352 with 150 runs and 121 RBI, banging 13 HR, 20 triples, and 39 doubles while swiping 61 sacks. Stenzel scored 100+ runs in his final three seasons with Pittsburgh. Per John Dreker of Pirates Prospects, Stenzel is the only player in baseball history to produce a .350 BA, 80 RBI, 100 runs & 50 SB line in a season four times (Honus Wagner did it twice) and is the franchise leader in batting average and on base percentage.
|Jake Stenzel (photo via Find-A-Grave)|
- 1896 - RHP Kirtley Baker was born in Covington, Kentucky. He started a decade-long baseball odyssey with the Alleghenys in 1890, going 3-19/5.60. Over the course of the next 10 years, he would pitch for Orioles and Senators between stops of a nine-team trip through the minors, hanging up the spikes after the 1900 campaign.
- 1902 - The Bucs whipped the Orphans 7-2 at the West Side Grounds in a game that was highlighted by a brawl between Chicago’s Joe Tinker and the Pirates Wid Conroy. Steamed that Conroy had held him (literally) at second in the previous game, Tinker launched a punch at Conroy, who promptly retaliated before ump Hank O’Day could restore order. Conroy ended up with a 20 day suspension while instigator Tinkers was given a three day slap on the wrist. Pure baseball was at a minimum as the Pittsburgh Press described the game action as providing “an oversupply of bungling” and added that “neither team did sufficient good playing to deserve a victory.” Chicago, btw, picked up the nickname of Cubs during this season because of the youthfulness of their roster. They had gone as the Orphans since 1898, when their long time manager Pop (aka Cap) Anson was fired; the media called them the "Orphans" because they had lost their Pop.
- 1907 - C Ralston “Rollie” Hemsley was born in Syracuse, Ohio. Rollie spent the first four years (1928-31) of his 19-year, eight club MLB stay with Pittsburgh, starting the last two and putting up a .264 BA. After being traded, he went on to have five All-Star years with three different clubs. After retiring, he was a coach for the Philadelphia Athletics and Washington Senators, also managing in the minors. He was selected Minor League Manager of the Year by The Sporting News in 1950 while serving as pilot of the Columbus Red Birds.
|Rollie Hemsley (photo via Retro Images Archive)|
- 1908 - Per the Pittsburg Press: “The bright...star of the game was ‘Honus’ Wagner who clouted the bulb for a home run, a double, a single, scored two runs...and made a bold steal of home...” as the Pirates beat the Reds 5-3 at Exposition Park. The Bucs scored three times in the eighth to turn the game their way with Hans driving in the lead run and stealing home for an insurance marker, getting the jump when the Cincinnati catcher tried to catch the runner at first, Ed Abbaticchio, napping with a snap throw behind him. Abby was wide awake, tho, and got back safely as the Flying Dutchman took advantage to sneak home. Victor Willis got the win with Nick Maddux tossing the ninth for the save.
- 1917 - Pitcher Al “Lefty” Gerheauser was born in St. Louis. Lefty tossed during 1945-46 for the Bucs as a swingman, going 7-12 with a 3.93 ERA. He came to the Pirates from the Phils in exchange for Vince DiMaggio. Lefty spent six years in the show with another 13 seasons in the minors before hanging ‘em up. He got on with his life in Joplin, Missouri, and sated his baseball jones by coaching at the Mickey Owen Baseball School.
- 1924 - Cincinnati’s Eppa Rixey retired the first 23 Bucco batters that he faced and had a 1-0 lead in a duel with Ray Kremer. But the Pirates scratched out a run in eighth and added three more in the ninth, with the big blow a two-run single by Kiki Cuyler, to take a 4-3 win at Redlands Field. The Reds almost came all the way back, scoring twice in their half of the ninth, with Edd Rousch, representing the tying run, cut down at the plate on a strong relay by SS Glenn Wright. Pittsburgh was outhit 13-6 in the contest.
|Ray Kremer 1924 (photo Conlon Collection/Getty)|
- 1933 - Arky Vaughan hit for the cycle against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. He went 5-for-5 with five RBI and three runs scored in a 15-3 Bucco victory. He was (and still is) the youngest MLB player to hit for the cycle, at 21 years, 3 months of age. He had lots of help on this day as Pie Traynor had four hits, Gus Suhr three, and Adam Comorosky added a homer and double. Bill Swift cruised on his way to a complete game, six-hit victory.
- 1934 - The battle between Philadelphia’s Dick Bartell and Bucco Arky Vaughan, who replaced him at shortstop, went on at Forbes Field. Bartell held a grudge from the prior series when he was “beaned” by a Vaughan DP relay. After he popped out (both Dick and Arky had 0-fer days) he “exchanged pleasantries” with Vaughan, ending in a fist shaking demonstration. As a reward for his antics, Bartell was low bridged the next time up by reliever and eventual game winner Waite Hoyt. Not only were the Pirates riled at “Sir Richard,” but so were the fans. After the game, Bartell went into the seats after a heckler. Volney Walsh, Pittsburgh Press beat writer, wrote “He was stopped in this effort by the club trainer, who grabbed little Dick by the belt and hauled him away…” The Pirates won the day easily 11-5 behind Gus Suhr’s three hits and a Paul Waner homer.
- 1963 - The baron of the Bullpen, ElRoy Face, was featured as the cover story of Sports Illustrated in an article titled “Baseball’s Best Reliever.” It might of jinxed the baron of the Bullpen - he went 3-9-16/3.23 that season after a strong 1962 campaign.
- 1965 - Willie Stargell’s first career three homer game (the Bucs hit five dingers during the match, with Bob Bailey and Jim Pagliaroni also going yard) sparked the Bucs to a 13-3 romp over first-place Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. Pops also lined a shot off the outfield railing for a double, just missing his fourth long fly of the day. Don Cardwell tossed a four hitter to earn the win over Don Drysdale.
- 2008 - For the first time since Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, the New York Yankees visited Pittsburgh. Bill Mazeroski threw out the first pitch at PNC Park, and it was deju vu all over again as the Bucs broke out the bats to win 12-5. Freddy Sanchez had three hits and three runs scored while Ryan Doumit and Adam LaRoche also had three knocks with a pair of RBI each. The Bucs were the last MLB team to earn a regular season win against the Yankees. Also true to form, they were clobbered 10-0 by the Bronx Bombers the following day.