Sunday, July 9, 2017

7/9 Happenings: For A Good Cause, Simple Simon, Hanny, Dovy, Candy, RIP Bill

  • 1942 - The Bucs drew 29,488 fans to Forbes Field on Army-Navy Relief Fund Night, raising over $36,000 in donations with an extra $10,000+ from the gate and rewarded the patriotic crowd with a 9-0 win over the Phils. It was 1-0 after seven innings, but Philadelphia starter Frank Melton was lifted for a pinch hitter and Pittsburgh then rattled the Philly pen for eight runs. Rip Sewell tossed a five-hitter for the win.
Rip Sewell 1989 Pacific Trading
  • 1951 - The Pirates played an exhibition against their alumni as a fundraiser for Hazelwood native Moose Solters, who played in the AL for nine seasons before being blinded when he was hit with a ball during warmups. Organized by Lee Handley & Frankie Gustine, the game featured players like Bullet Bob Feller, Wally Westlake, Stan Rojek, Cliff Chambers, Dixie Howell, Preacher Roe, Billy Cox, Red Ruffing, Johnny Hopp, Bob Elliott, Gene Woodling and others. The Bucs beat the alumni 1-0 in front of 9,553 at Forbes Field and raised around $17,500 for Moose, who left baseball before there was a pension and ran a bar to make ends meet. The prelim was a three inning match between the Greenfield Cubs and Highland Little Leaguers. 
  • 1982 - John Candelaria, closing in on free agency, told the Pirates that he would not sign a new contract, saying “I’m not happy here. I don’t want to stay here.” He lied, signing for four years at close to $700,000/season after the campaign. However, he soon beefed about that deal (he wanted it renegotiated after Kent Tekulve got more than Candy Man did in his 1983 FA season contract), and was dealt to the California Angels in early August of 1985. 
  • 2003 - Inexplicably during a 2-1 Pirate loss, 1B Randall Simon swatted a racing sausage with his bat from the dugout at Miller Park in Milwaukee as it waltzed around the stadium, causing a collision that left the mascots looking like a heaping plate of schnitzel. Simon was questioned by police and later fined $432.10 for disorderly conduct. MLB suspended him for three games and fined him $2,000; the Bucs traded him away a few weeks later. He issued an apology and an autographed bat to Mandy Block, the college student stuffed into the sausage costume. She ended up with a scraped knee, but it concluded well for her. Mandy received a free trip to Curaçao, (Simon's home island) for two from the Curaçao Tourism Board. When Simon returned to Miller Park later that year as a member of the Chicago Cubs, he purchased Italian Sausages for an entire section, and during the race, his teammates playfully held him back until all the sausages raced past the dugout. 
Shame on Simon (photo set Dan Friedman)
  • 2009 - Joel Hanrahan won his first game of the year while sitting in a hotel room in Philadelphia. He was credited with a W when Washington won a game suspended on May 5th by defeating the Astros, 11-10. Hanrahan, since traded to Pittsburgh, was the pitcher of record when the game was postponed. The winning Nat run was scored by Nyjer Morgan, who was one of the Pirates sent to Washington in the Hanny deal. 
  • 2009 - RHP Dovydas Neverauskas was signed by the Bucs and international scout Tom Randolph as a 16-year-old. On April 24th, 2017, he became the first Lithuanian-born player to appear in an MLB game. For the record, at least three other Lithuanians have played in the show - Joe Zapustas, who was born in Latvia and raised in Boston, reached the majors in the 1933 for two games, pitcher Joe Krakauskas (1937-42, 1946) was born in Quebec and 1B Eddie Waitkus (1941, 1946–1955) was born of immigrant parents in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
  • 2016 - Former Pirates public relations director Bill Guilfoile passed away at the age of 84. After a stint with the NY Yankees starting in 1960, Guilfoile worked for the Pirates from 1970-78 before leaving for greener pastures as the head of the National Baseball Hall of Fame's public relations office from 1979 to 1996. Bill was part of many memorable moments, from World Series to the 1961 Mantle/Maris home run chase, Roberto Clemente’s 3,000th hit and the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary.

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