Sunday, July 2, 2017

7/2 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era: HBD Ed, Fred & Tony; Happy Feet; in A Pinch; No Zeroes; Game Stories

  • 1859 - OF Ed Beecher was born in Guilford, Connecticut. Ed began his short but active MLB career with the Alleghenys in 1887, batting .210. He played for four years with four teams - Pittsburg, the Washington Statesmen (twice), Buffalo Bisons and Philadelphia Athletics - in three different leagues, the American Association, National League and Players Association. He got into 283 games as a career reserve with a lifetime .269 BA.
Ed Beecher 1887 N284 Buchner Gold Coin
  • 1864 - C and utilityman Fred Carroll was born in Sacramento, California. In his seven years (1885-91) with Pittsburgh teams, he played for the Alleghenys, the outlaw Burghers and the Pirates, hitting .284 over his career. A bit quirky, at the beginning of the 1887 season Carroll buried his pet monkey, which had served as an unofficial team mascot for the squad, under home plate at Recreation Park in a pre-game ceremony.
  • 1889 - The Pittsburg Press front page headline read “Poor Phillies” as Pittsburgh took their fifth straight win from their cross-state rivals by a 10-5 score. The Alleghenys scored nine times in the last two innings on six hits (five singles and a double), abetted by two walks, two “muffs” and two “wild throws,” per the Press. Fred Carroll and Jocko Fields had three hits each and Harry Staley got the win in front of 1,500 fans at Exposition Park.
  • 1925 - The Bucs edged the Cards 2-1 at Forbes Field as Tom Sheehan outpitched Dolf Luque. Kiki Cuyler tripled home Max Carey and was brought home by Clyde Barnhart in the sixth for the Pirate scores. It marked the last stand of a NL-record 150 game scoring streak that began on July 4th, 1924, as the Reds Pete Donahue shut them out the next day 8-0.
Kiki Cuyler 1925 W461 Exhibits
  • 1927 - Pittsburgh scored twice in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings to beat the Reds 7-6 at Forbes Field after trailing 6-1. The clinching blow was Clyde Barnhart’s two-run homer to left in the ninth off Art Nehf. Mike Cvengros tossed six shutout innings of relief for the win.
  • 1949 - The Cubs and particularly Andy Pafko had a bad day at Wrigley Field, losing 8-3. Pafko hit into a bases loaded triple play in the third inning. He was called out in the dugout after Pete Castiglione at third knocked down his liner (actually, it popped out of his mitt), tagged the runner at third, then stepped on the base for the force. In the confusion, he then threw the ball home, and the catcher went to first for the force on Pafko, who thought his drive had been caught cleanly and was wandering his way to the bench. Even the umps had to step back to review the whole thing, but it stood. Ralph Kiner hit his 20th homer as Tiny Bonham picked up the win.
  • 1953 - OF Tony Armas was born in Puerto Piritu, Venezuela. The Pirates signed Armas in 1971 just before his eighteenth birthday and he spent six seasons in the minors before he got a September call-up in 1976, appearing in four games and going 2-for-6. He was traded in the off-season as part of the huge Phil Garner deal and developed into one of the AL’s top sluggers, leading the league in HRs twice and RBIs once playing for Oakland, Boston and California. He played for 13 seasons in the junior circuit, hitting 22+ dingers for six straight years and earning two All-Star slots. After Tony retired, he continued his career in Venezuela and continued to rake; he now coaches in the Venezuelan League. Tony is a member of the Venezuelan and Caribbean Baseball Halls of Fame. His son, Tony Armas Jr., pitched for 10 years in the majors, making a stop at Pittsburgh in 2007.
Tony Armas 1977 Topps Rookie
  • 1960 - The Pirates fell behind the Dodgers 3-2 in the 10th at Forbes Field, but used the blazing feet of Joe Christopher and Roberto Clemente to pull out a 4-3 win. With two down in the extra frame and Christopher on second, Clemente barely beat out a ball hit to Maury Wills as Christopher sped home from second on the infield hit, just getting under Gil Hodge’s throw home (Johnny Roseboro got into it with plate ump Al Barlick after the bang-bang call). Dick Stuart followed with a bloop to right, and The Great One covered three bases on the short hit, scoring easily as Frank Howard’s toss home went way wide. Gino Cimoli had a two-run single to take the game into extras and Fred Green got the win. The victory gave the Bucs a 7-0 record in extra inning games to date during the season and 26-2 in the past two years.
  • 1961 - In the eighth inning, pinch hitters Johnny Logan, Rocky Nelson and Smoky Burgess banged out consecutive hits, a Pirate record, to prime a four-run rally that led to a 7-6 win over the Giants at Forbes Field in the opener of a twin bill. Hal Smith added three RBI. The Bucs swept easily, rolling 9-0 in the nitecap behind Bobby Schantz’s five-hitter and three RBI each from Roberto Clemente and Don Hoak.

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