Thursday, August 10, 2017

8/10 Happenings: Maz Way; The Bucket; HBD Elmer, John, Bob & SABR; Miller Deal; Sportsmanship; Veale Deals

  • 1892 - RHP Elmer Jacobs was born in Salem, Missouri. He pitched well for the Bucs from 1916-18 with a 3.03 ERA, but went just 12-30 before he was traded after one start in 1918 to the Phils for Erskine Mayer. Jacobs and his signature curveball worked six more seasons in MLB, with minor league stops, and he ended up with 50 lifetime wins. He spent much of his minor league time in the Pacific Coast League, playing for four teams over nine seasons and was selected into the PCL Hall of Fame in 2005. 
John Galbreath 1967 (photo Columbus Business Times)
  • 1897 - Pirate owner John Galbreath was born in Derby, Ohio. A building contractor with an interest in horse racing who ran the Darby Dan Farm in Ohio, he was the Bucco owner for 40 years. In 1946, Galbreath, along with Bing Crosby, Tom Johnson, and Frank McKinney, bought the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team won three World Series during his ownership: 1960, 1971, and 1979. He passed the presidency on to his son, Dan Galbreath, in 1970. It was said that Galbreath hung on as owner (1946-85) until new one who would keep the franchise in Pittsburgh could be found. 
  • 1923 - RHP Bob Porterfield was born in Newport, Virginia. He finished his 12-year career in Pittsburgh, tossing from 1958-59 and going 5-8-6, 3.63. He was a starter-turned-reliever for the Bucs, making 73 appearances with all but six coming from the bullpen. In his pre-Pirates days (he spent 12 years in the show), he was The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year (1953) and an All-Star (1954) with the Washington Senators. When Bob retired, he became a welder and he was later chosen to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. 
  • 1952 - In a doubleheader at Forbes Field that was swept by the Cubs, Chicago manager Phil Cavarretta made a couple of friends in Pittsburgh. Les Beiderman of the Pittsburgh Press noted “Cavarretta, who was tossed out of the first game, authored the most magnificent gesture of the season. Catchers Ed Fitz Gerald and Joe Garagiola had already pinch hit when (catcher) Clyde McCullough broke the nail on his middle finger. McCollough had the finger hastily taped and was ready to return when Cavarretta told the Pirates to let Fitz Gerald catch.” 
Fitz in and out 1952 Bowman
  • 1962 - Big Bob Veale gave a glimpse of the future when he set the still-existent International League standard for whiffs in nine innings by fanning 22 hitters while tossing for AAA Columbus at the Buffalo War Memorial. Bob struck out the Bison side in the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth innings, and led the IL with 208 K that season. He was called up to the big team in September for good. 
  • 1964 - Coaches drill “don’t step into the bucket” into batters minds at an early age, yet one of baseball’s greatest hitters, Roberto Clemente, incorporated the move during every at bat. He explained why he used the bucket step in an AP story written by Ed Schuyler, Jr. ("Clemente Unorthodox?" Well, He Gets Results") and released on this day. It had been an early flaw corrected by Puerto Rican League Santurce manager Buster Clarkson ("He put a bat behind my left foot and made sure I didn’t drag my foot") but Clemente later resurrected it as a work-around for back injuries he later suffered. “In 1956 I was doing good until I hurt my back. Since then I step to the side with my left foot faster so I don't have to twist my body so much.” The Great Ones adapt. 
  • 1971 - The Pirates traded prospects P Ed Acosta and OF Johnny Jeter to the San Diego Padres for P Bob Miller to bolster their stretch run/playoff bullpen. Miller pitched well for the Bucs in 1971-72, compiling a 6-4-6 slate and 2.19 ERA. Jeter ended up a journeyman outfielder whose career ended after the 1974 season while Acosta pitched three years for the Padres. 
Bob Miller 1972 Topps
  • 1971 - This is a big day for Pirates fans who can’t satisfy themselves with counting numbers like wins, ERA, batting average and RBI. SABR - The Society for American Baseball Research - was born in Cooperstown, New York. It was the brainchild of L. Robert Davids, who gathered together 15 other baseball researchers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame to form the organization. 
  • 2001 - The Avenue of the Pirates was renamed Mazeroski Way. The cul-de-sac runs from General Robinson to the RF gate and was dedicated by Mayor Tom Murphy and owner Kevin McClatchy. Apparently the dedication ceremony didn’t inspire the Pirates very much as the club dropped a 3-2 decision to the San Diego Padres in front of 36,588 fans.

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