- 1894 - Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 7-6 in 10 innings when George "Germany" Smith‚ homered with two outs. Pirate OF Elmer Smith was prevented from retrieving the game-winning hit in the LF bleachers‚ as permitted per Cincinnati’s League Park ground rules‚ by zealous Reds fans. One of them pulled a revolver on Smith after he fought with several other spectators in an attempt to reach the ball, per Charlton’s Baseball Chronology. The Pittsburg Press wrote diplomatically that he "drove one into the seats." Quite a finish to the NL’s first extra-inning game of the year.
|Heinie Manush 1940 Play Ball|
- 1901 - Hall of Fame LF Heinie Manush was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Manush spent the last two years of his career (1938-39) in Pittsburgh as a pinch hitter, getting just 28 PA (four hits, three walks) before being released, ironically enough for another future HoF’er, Chuck Klein. He was a .330 hitter during his 17 year career with 1183 RBI and 1287 runs scored.
- 1905 - Club baseball was serious biz (especially for the man in blue) back in the day, like the big rivalry game between the local nines of the Western Union and the Postal Telegragh Co, played at Bedford Park in the Hill District. The Pittsburg Press description: “The rival managers had bowed gravely to each other as befitted the leaders on baseball gladiators. The umpire had made his will and left it with his wife...it was time to play. There was some terrible slugging (and) thus the battle went on until the 11th inning…” Then a couple of spectators got into a brawl, the ballplayers intervened, and a riot ensued as bricks flew (“The women screamed and fled”) until police calmed things down. The game was called a draw, and the Press reported that “...the umpire has sent word to the managers of the two clubs that if there is another game to be played, he wants time to take out an accident insurance policy and get it mentioned in his will.”
- 1946 - RHP John Lamb was born in Sharon, Connecticut. John came from a Northeast prep powerhouse, Housatonic Valley HS, which produced several players including the Pirates Steve Blass (John was his brother-in-law) and Tom Parsons; Pittsburgh had a bit of an edge as their coach, Ed Kirby, was also a part-time Buc scout. He was signed out of high school in 1964 and debuted in 1970, working parts of three seasons (1970-71, 1973) with a slash of 0-2-5/4.07. It’s hard to tell where his career may have gone if he hadn’t suffered a brutal camp accident - in 1971, he broke his skull when a Dave Cash liner found him during spring training.
|John Lamb (photo Pirate promo)|
- 1950 - The Philadelphia Phillies banged out a double, triple, and three homers on their way to eight runs; the Bucs answered with six two-baggers and a long ball of their own to outlast the Brotherly Love gang by a 10-8 score at Forbes Field. Six Pirates had multi-hit games, with three collecting a trio of knocks (Ted Beard, Gus Bell and Danny O’Connell) while Ralph Kiner went long and doubled with Stan Rojek and Johnny Hopp joining the two-hit parade. Murry Dickson, who followed Cliff Chambers and Vern Law, tossed the final 2-⅔ frames scorelessly to get the win while the Phils used five hurlers, with the Buccos scoring off four of them.
- 1955 - The bench to the rescue: the Bucs were down 3-0 in the seventh when pinch hitter Preston Ward smacked a three run dinger off the Milwaukee Brave’s Ray Crone at Forbes Field. Another PH, Jack Shepard, singled off Dave Jolly with the bases loaded in the ninth to earn the Pirates and Dick Littlefield a 4-3 comeback win.
- 1961 - Joe Gibbon tossed a four-hitter with nine whiffs as the Bucs beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 at Forbes Field. The big blow was Bill Mazeroski’s two run single in the fourth. The Bucs had lost three games prior to the win, and would drop six more afterward.