Saturday, August 5, 2017

8/5 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era: Ump Act, Old Pete, Christy & Don Go Down, Pops Bomb, Game Stories

  • 1902 - The first-place Pirates defeated the New York Giants 3-0 behind Jesse Tannehill's two-hitter. Tanny retired the first 19 Giants to face him before John McGraw managed a knock. Christy Mathewson made it a fight and struck out 11 Bucs, but had no answer for Honus Wagner, who doubled and scored twice. 
Jesse Tannehill (photo/The Sporting News)
  • 1905 - In front of a record crowd of 18,383 fans at Exposition Park, the NY Giants forfeited to the Pirates over a call at third. In a 5-5 game, Claude Ritchey opened the ninth with a double, his third hit of the day, and beat the throw to third on a bunt. At least that’s what ump George Bausewine called. The Giants disagreed and tried to get the first base ump to overrule the call; lotsa luck with that. The ensuing hubbub by the New York nine continued, and when they wouldn’t return to their positions after several warnings, Bausewine called the game. It was front page news in Pittsburgh, and manager Fred Clarke was incensed, telling Ralph Davis of the Pittsburg Press that “the New York players realized that only a miracle could prevent us from winning a clean and creditable victory, and rather than give us that satisfaction they allowed the game to break up...If we had disgraced ourselves in front of a record breaking crowd as the Giants did, we would have been mobbed.” The Giants protested the forfeiture; the league upheld it. 
  • 1915 - The Pirates beat the Phillies and ace Grover Cleveland Alexander 1-0 at Forbes Field when Quaker catcher Bill Killefer threw wildly past third base in the ninth. Babe Adams claimed the win over Old Pete. 
  •  1916 - The Pirates picked up RHP Burleigh Grimes from Birmingham of the Southern Association for 1B Doc Johnston, who spent five years in the junior circuit, P Larry Douglas, who appeared in two games for the Baltimore Terrapins and IF BW Cleveland, a lifetime minor leaguer. Old Stubblebeard would work five years and notch 48 wins as a Pirate in three Steel City stops, but overall he won 270 games and a place in the Hall of Fame over his 19-year career. 
  • 1950 - Leadoff hitter Bob Dillinger singled off Jim Hearns to open the game, but that would be the Bucs’ only knock in a 5-0 loss to the NY Giants at the Polo Grounds. Hearns was effectively wild that day, issuing five walks and uncorking a wild pitch. Mel Queen, who gave up a four spot in 4-⅓ IP, took the loss. 
Bill Virdon 1960 Leaf
  • 1960 - As posted by BR Bullpen: In a game described by Dick Groat as "the greatest I ever played in," the World Series-bound Bucs buttressed their first place margin over Milwaukee by pulling out a 1-0 win over the Giants. The game's only run came in the eighth inning, when Bill Virdon scored from first on an errant throw by pitcher Sam Jones on Groat’s bunt. But it's the fielding plays that were most spectacular: for the Giants, Willie Mays nipped a seventh inning Bucs uprising in the bud with a brilliant throw to cut down Don Hoak going first to third. But the Pirates' Vinegar Bend Mizell was the chief beneficiary of this game's defensive prowess: the "Say Hey Kid" was robbed of a sure extra-base hit by Roberto Clemente in a terrifying catch and crash that knocked the right fielder out of the lineup for a week as he smashed face first into the concrete base of the right-centerfield stands at the 395-foot mark, and collapsed on the dirt warning track. Five stitches were required to close the cut on his chin, and his left knee was banged up. An inning before that, Virdon made a tremendous running grab of Felipe Alou's bomb to the left center light tower, and, in the eighth, Virdon made what Pittsburgh Press writer Les Biederman described as "the play of the season," just missing a leaping grab of Andre Rodgers' drive to the 406’ mark in left center, then recovering almost instantly to make a strong, accurate throw to third. Out by a mile was Rodgers, who made an ill-advised, two-out try for a triple. The classic was witnessed by 33,301 fans. 
  • 1964 - The Pirates scored once in the eighth and twice in the ninth to rally past Don Drysdale and the Dodgers 4-3 at Forbes Field. In the eighth, Bill Virdon scored after a Roberto Clemente double and a wild pitch by reliever Ron Perranoski to cut the lead to 3-2. Jim Pagliaroni led off the last frame with a homer, and with two out, Clemente lined a 2-2 pitch into center, his third hit of the game, to bring home Gene Alley with the game winner. Al McBean pitched the last two innings to get the win. 
Roberto Clemente 1964 Topps Giant
  • 1969 - Willie Stargell launched a bomb off LA’s Alan Foster that officially was measured at 507’, the longest - and first - home run ever hit out of Dodger Stadium (other estimates ranged from 512’-480’). The Bucs won 11-3, with Manny Sanguillen and Bill Mazeroski also going yard. Steve Blass cruised to the win over Don Drysdale.
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