Tuesday, July 25, 2017

7/25 Through the 50s: HBD John, Beckley-Davis, Highpockets Claimed, Kiki Swipes 'Em All, Game Stories & Feats

  • 1863 - John Tener was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, and moved to the City as a babe. A pitcher for the Pittsburgh Burghers in 1890, he later served as Governor of Pennsylvania from 1911 to 1914 and President of the National Baseball League from 1915 to 1918. 
John Tener 1889 Police Gazette Cabinet Card
  • 1894 - The Chicago Colts pounded out 26 hits, 12 for extra bases, and laid a 24-6 beating on Pittsburgh at the West Side Grounds. Every Colt had at least a hit and a run, and Chicago batted around in four innings. It could have been worse; the game was called after seven innings so the Pirates could catch a train back home. The Pittsburg Press noted that the game “...resulted in the most disastrous whipping recorded in the annals of the national league of baseball,” adding that “...the Pittsburg fielders were kept busy chasing savage drives...Pittsburg’s weakness in the (pitching) box was apparent,” as it was in the 18-11 loss suffered the day before. Still, the club did finish the year at 65-65, albeit with a 5.62 team ERA. 
  • 1896 - The Pirates traded 1B Jake Beckley to the New York Giants for 1B Harry Davis and cash. Beckley was a local favorite who would eventually enter the Hall of Fame, and the deal didn’t sit very well with the fans. Both teams got a good year, bad year out of the players, who then went on to star for different clubs. Beckley spent seven years with Cincinnati and hit .325 over that span, cementing his HoF path, while Davis spent 16 of his last 17 seasons (he played 22 years) hitting .279 for the Philadelphia Athletics. 
  • 1908 - Before a SRO crowd of 30,000 at the Polo Grounds, the Pirates' Lefty Leifield topped the NY Giants and Christy Mathewson, 7-2. Two errors in the seventh opened the door for five Pirate runs. Pittsburgh was led by Honus Wagner, who went 5-for-5 to take over the batting lead from Mike Donlin of the Giants. After each hit, Wagner held up a finger to show the number of safeties he had to RF Donlin, according to the BR Bullpen entry. 
Howie Camnitz 1912 T207 Brown
  • 1912 - The Pirates blew an early lead against Brooklyn, but rallied to tie the score in the eighth and then rode Howie Camnitz’s arm to a 14 inning, 8-7 win over the Superbas at Forbes Field. Camnitz gave up just two hits in six innings, and got the win when Dots Miller’s sac fly brought home Chief Wilson, who had singled and moved to third on a Honus Wagner double. 
  • 1913 - Max Carey scored five runs against the Phils without a hit‚ reaching first via an error and four walks‚ as the Bucs won 12-2 at Forbes Field. He also stole four bases and advanced twice on wild pitches to help Claude Hendrix to the win. The Pittsburg Press griped that “The battle was a long, drawn out affair that required two hours and 10 minutes.” 
  • 1917 - 1B George “Highpockets” Kelly was claimed by the Bucs in a waiver deal with the NY Giants. He got in eight games, and after the injured player he replaced (43 year old Honus Wagner) came back, he was returned to the Giants in another waiver deal. Kelly became a Hall-of-Fame player for NY, hitting .297 over 16 seasons. 
  • 1921 - CF Max Carey corralled 11 flies during the Pirates' 6-3 win over New York at Forbes Field. He also scored three times, going 3-for-4 with two doubles. Rabbit Maranville, batting behind him, drove home three to support Babe Adams, who went the distance for the win. 
Max Carey 1921 American Caramel
  • 1925 - In a ho-hum 7-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Forbes Field, Kiki Cuyler became the last Bucco to steal second, third and home in a game. 
  • 1931 - Larry French went the distance at Forbes Field during a 14-inning, 3-2 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the longest NL contest of the season. It wasn’t exactly a gem, as he gave up 15 hits, but enough of an effort to outlast Fred Heimach, who also went gate-to-gate. Pie Traynor had three hits (two 3B & 2B), two runs and an RBI. It was the second game of a twin bill; the Bucs took the opener 5-2. Spades Wood not only tossed a three-hitter, but drove in a pair of runs. Traynor had two hits in that match, including a double, and scored twice. 
  • 1944 - Max Butcher tossed a six-hit goose egg at the Polo Grounds as the Bucs blasted the NY Giants‚ 15-0. Pittsburgh banged out 20 hits and posted a nine run second inning. Bob Elliott had six RBI and a homer while Pete Coscarart and Jim Russell each added four knocks. 
  • 1951 - The Pirates overcame a 4-0 deficit by scoring four times in the seventh and once again in the eighth to storm past the NY Giants 5-4 at Forbes Field. Joe Garagiola’s homer in the seventh was the big blow. The game winner was a bases loaded sac fly by George Strickland delivered an inning later. Ted Wilks got the win after two innings of clean relief work with three whiffs.
Joe Garagiola 1952 Bowman
  • 1956 - The Bucs blew a four run lead by giving up eight tallies to the Cubs in the last two innings. But Chicago wasn’t the only comeback club at Forbes Field. Roberto Clemente ripped an inside the park, ninth-inning grand slam to bring the Bucs back for a 9-8 win. He banged the pitch off Jim Brosnan, and it ricocheted off the base of the left field light standard and ran along the track into center. Clemente ran through 3B coach Bobby Bragan’s stop sign (there were no outs) and as Ernie Bank’s relay headed home "He slid, missed the plate, then reached back to rest his hand on the rubber... as the crowd of 12,431 went goofy with excitement" wrote Jack Herndon of the Post Gazette. It was the first walk-off, inside-the-park grand slam in MLB history. In the same game, Dale Long hit his 20th homer, then a club record for lefties, breaking Arky Vaughan’s 1935 mark.

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