Wednesday, July 26, 2017

7/26: Jerry Meals Game; HBD Jimmy, Eddie, Tom & Jose; Big Yankee Swap; Starling's Smashing Debut; Game Stories...

  • 1889 - The Alleghenys defeated the Cleveland Spiders 8-4 at Recreation Park despite giving up a two-run infield homer to Jay Faatz, whose grounder to 3B Jim White bounced off his foot and went into the “free seats” - temporary stands - and couldn’t be dug out in time to stop Faatz from circling the bases. Fred Carroll, Ned Hanlon and Doggie Miller each had three knocks to spearhead a 16 hit Buc attack to give Harry Staley the win. Miller homered over the left field wall, and the Pittsburg Press wrote “The crowd went wild as little George trotted over the circuit and lifted his cap at the plate. An enthusiast threw a silver dollar at him, which (Miller) accepted with a smile.” 
Doggie Miller 1888 Allen & Ginter
  • 1917 - 2B Jimmy Bloodworth was born in Tallahassee, Florida. Jimmy played for 11 seasons and was a member of the 1950 NL champ “Whiz Kids” Phillies team. Like many of his era, he spent time in the Army from 1944-46. Bloodworth put in one season with the Pirates in 1947, batting .250, just about his career average, appearing in 88 games. 1951 was Bloodworth’s last season in the major leagues. He played in the minors for the next three years, managed in the bushes for two more years and then served as a deputy sheriff in Florida.
  • 1920 - IF Eddie Bockman was born in Santa Ana, California. He had a brief four-year MLB stay, spending his last two campaigns in 1948-49 with the Pirates, playing second and third while batting .230 in 149 games. He later scouted for the Philadelphia Phillies, where he signed Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Joe Charboneau, Buck Martinez, Ricky Jordan, Randy Lerch, Dick Ruthven, John Vukovich and Bob Walk. In 1992, he became a scout for the expansion Florida Marlins. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 91. 
  • 1921 - OF Tom Saffell was born in Etowah, Tennessee. He played for the Bucs from 1949-51, then after three seasons in the minors, returned in 1955. The speedy OF’er hit .239 for the Bucs. He was a minor celeb, though, as he was the pitcher for the 1960 syndicated TV show “Home Run Derby” that was hosted by Mark Scott. That program was said to inspire the ASG’s home run derby, and is also part of ESPN’s Classic series. 
Tom Saffell 1952 Topps
  • 1927 - The Pirates pushed across two runs in the bottom of the eighth to edge the Brooklyn Dodgers 6-5 at Forbes Field to remain tied with the Cubs for the NL lead. They were almost derailed by a former mate, Max Carey, who had three hits, three runs, and three stolen bases. But the Waner brothers came through in the clutch. Lloyd had three hits and scored twice, both times driven home by Paul. Little Poison took over the league lead in hits with 82 while Lee Meadows went the distance for the win. 
  • 1928 - NY Giant future Hall of Famer Carl “King” Hubbell made his MLB debut against the Pirates at the Polo Grounds. He pitched a scoreless first inning‚ but the Bucs scored five times in the second to knock him out of the game, winning 7-5 behind Burleigh Grimes. Paul Waner had three hits and two RBI to lead a balanced Bucco attack. 
  • 1942 - Utilityman Jose Martinez was born in Carenas, Cuba. Jose was signed by the Bucs in 1960 and spent 1969-70 as a Pirates, his only stop in the show as a player, hitting .245 in 96 games. He put in 14 years on the farm before his MLB career took off as a bench guy and administrator. Jose served as a minor league manager and major league coach for the Kansas City Royals from 1980-88 and then coached with the Chicago Cubs from 1988-94. He joined the Atlanta Braves front office as a special assistant in 1995 and worked for them until his death in 2014.
Jose Martinez 1970 Topps
  • 1950 - Ray Mueller went 2-for-2 with two walks, a homer, two runs and two RBI, Wally Westlake hit a home run and Bob Dillinger collected three hits as the Bucs beat Boston 8-4 at Braves Field. Mel Queen got the win and Murry Dickson tossed three frames for the save. 
  • 2008 - OF Xavier Nady and RHP Damaso Marte were traded to the New York Yankees for RHPs Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen & Ross Ohlendorf along with OF Jose Tabata. During their Bucco careers, Karstens tossed for five years (23-35/4.31), McCutchen made 109 appearances in four seasons (8-11/4.77) and Ohlie tossed for four years (13-27, 4.61). Tabata was the key prospect; the Pirates locked him up to a long term deal guaranteed for five years/$14.5M. Although he hit .275 for Pittsburgh over six years, injuries and lack of power were his undoing and he was shipped to the Dodgers. 
  • 2011 - The black day of the Jerry Meals game in Atlanta, heralding the end of the Bucco's improbable pennant run. The ump blew a call at home in the 19th inning, giving the Braves a 4-3 win and starting a downward spiral of epic proportions for Pittsburgh. At 6 hours and 39 minutes, it was the longest game in club history. The Pirates filed a protest (at 2:30 in the morning) but the judgment call was upheld, even though the League Office admitted it was wrong. To add a little salt to the wound, Meals was born in Butler. 
Jerry Meals says "safe!" (image Root Sports)
  • 2012 - In a rookie-to-rookie match, Starling Marte homered to left center against Houston’s Dallas Keuchel on the first MLB pitch he saw (Keuchel has since rebounded nicely). Pittsburgh won 5-3 at Minute Maid Park as Garrett Jones & Clint Barmes also went long while AJ Burnett took home the victory.

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