Thursday, June 8, 2017

6/8 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era: Williams Streak, 10 For Burleigh, First Modern Draft, HBD Charles, Silent Roy & Caveman, More...

  • 1859 - All-around baseball guy and unsung pioneer Charles Powers was born in Johnstown. He went from sore-armed minor league pitcher to umpire, joining the NL staff in 1988. He moved on from that gig to become the sports editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch in 1893. Later, he was the president of three different Western PA minor leagues before passing away in Pittsburgh in 1913.
Charles Powers (image via BR Bullpen)
  • 1899 - 3B Jimmy Williams extended his hitting streak to 26 games in an 11-5 loss to Baltimore. It would end the following contest against Louisville’s Deacon Phillippe, who would join Pittsburgh the next season. Williams went on to hit .354 that campaign.
  • 1903 - Sam Leever shut down the Phillies 2-0 at Exposition Park to bring the Pirate shutout streak to six games. The Phils lost the battle the next day, too, 7-3, but snapped the scoreless run.
  • 1911 - RHP “Silent Roy” Partlow was born in Washington, Georgia. He tossed for the Homestead Grays from 1938-44 and again in 1949. Like many Negro League players, Roy pitched everywhere - he was in the minor leagues with the Dodgers as one of the early black pioneers, worked in Mexico, Puerto Rico, & Cuba and for three other Negro league clubs during his career.
  • 1929 - Burleigh Grimes won his tenth straight decision by a 9-2 count against Brooklyn at Forbes Field. Just to kill time, he also picked up a couple of saves during the streak, which began with his first start of the year on April 16th. Grimes scattered nine hits and even had a pair of RBI. George Grantham led the attack with a homer and three runs pushed home.
  • 1944 - At Forbes Field‚ the Cubs plated three runs on a very wild pitch by Art "Cookie" Cuccurullo (there was 75’ between the plate and the railing) to prime an eight-run second inning and eventual 10-6 Chicago win.
  • 1957 - RHP Don “The Caveman” Robinson was born in Ashland, Kentucky. He spent 10 of his 15 years in the show with Pittsburgh, first as a reliever and then as a starter, going 65-69-43 with a 3.85 ERA. A three-time Silver Slugger awardee, his batting line was .265/6/45 as a Buc. As for the Caveman moniker, no one is really sure; he wasn't particularly hirsute for the era. He already had it as a 21 year old rookie; we’re guessing his 6’4”, 230 pound build had something to do with it.
  • 1965 - The Pirates won in one of the oddest ways, a walkoff balk, at Forbes Field. Down by a run in the bottom of the ninth, Roberto Clemente tied the game with a two-out single off Houston’s Jim Owens after the Astros had gained the lead with a four run top half. In the bottom of the 11th, Bill Virdon singled, eventually moved to third and scored the winner on Hal Woodeshick’s two out balk for a 7-6 victory. Willie Stargell went 3-for-4 with a homer.
Bob Moose 1970 Topps
  • 1965 - In the first college/high school draft ever held, the Pirates picked prep OF’er Wayne Dickerson first (#10) in the draft; he was out of baseball by 1970. Their first 17 selections never made the show, but they had some luck in the later rounds. RHP Bob Moose (18th round) from Export in Westmoreland County, RHP Gene Garber (20th round) and SS Freddie “The Cricket” Patek (22nd round) all carved out solid careers. They also signed undrafted Don Money, an infielder who played 16 seasons for the Phils and Brewers, hitting .261 lifetime and making four All-Star teams. For the curious, the Oakland A’s selected Arizona State OF’er Rick Monday, making him MLB’s first amateur draft pick.

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