Monday, November 13, 2017

11/13: New Yard or Else; Pops MVP; Beat 'Em Bucs; HBD Gene, Cork, Jack, Ray & Steady Pete

  • 1862 - P “Steady” Pete Meegan (he batted lefty, but his throwing arm is unknown) was born in San Francisco. He closed out his brief two-year MLB run in 1885 when he joined the Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He posted a 7-8/3.39 line in 18 games (16 starts, 14 CGs) and was said to possess a feared curve. Pete was the child of Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine, and he’s part of Patriot QB Tom Brady’s family tree (his aunt and uncle were Brady’s great-great grands, making him a cousin). He passed away in 1905 at the age of 42, felled by Bright’s Disease (nephritis). We’re guessing the nickname came about thanks to his dependability, finishing 36-of-38 big league games that he started. 
Steady Pete - the sitting on the floor dude with the mustache (1885 Alleghenys via the Pirates)
  • 1894 - RHP Ray Steineder was born in Salem, New Jersey. He worked two years in the show, mainly for the Pirates. He tossed 20 outings (two starts) with a 2-1, 5.15 line from 1923-24 before being sold to the Phils in May and finishing out his big league days there. Ray also knew his way around a batter’s box, going 10-for-25 (.400) in MLB. He did have a yo-yo history - after the Pirates brought him up after a 37-win campaign in the minors in 1920, he was a late cut and signed with an outlaw team in Oil City. That got him suspended and pushed back his debut season to 1923 when the suspension was lifted (and he got a late start to that year, holding out for $6K). When the Phils released him in 1924, he again signed with an outlaw club and again was suspended. He was reinstated the following year but never caught on in the majors again. 
  • 1914 - RHP Jack Hallett was born in Toledo, Ohio. He tossed for the Bucs from 1942-43, and then after wartime service returned in 1946. Working mostly from the pen, Hallett went 6-10 with a 3.06 ERA for Pittsburgh. He was also a solid stick, hitting .238 with one home run in 80 lifetime at-bats, and a perfect fielder, handling all 60 of his career chances flawlessly. 
  • 1915 - RHP Ted “Cork” Wilks was born in Fulton, New York. Ted tossed for the Bucs in parts of 1951-52, going 8-10-16, 3.19, in 92 outings. He arrived in June of ‘51 as part of the Chambers/Westlake deal with the Cards and 14 months later the 37-year-old was flipped to the Tribe as a piece of the Johnny Berardino trade. Converting to a reliever from starter after encountering arm woes early in his MLB career, his Cardinal teammates (he spent almost eight years with St. Louis) began calling Wilks “The Cork” because of the opponents’ rallies he stopped. 
Ted Wilks 1952 Topps
  • 1947 - RHP Gene Garber was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He began his 19-year career with the Bucs as a 20th round pick in the 1965 draft, pitching sparingly from 1969-72 with an 0-3, 5.61 line in just 20 visits to the rubber. Garber would go on to make 931 appearances with 1,510 IP, win 96 games and save 218 more with a career 3.34 ERA before he hit the tape. The sidewinder retired after the 1988 season and went back home as a farmer and poultry producer. 
  • 1956 - The Pirates announced that they would consider moving out of town if a new stadium wasn’t built to replace Forbes Field, the second oldest yard in baseball after Shibe Park in Philly. Buc VP & co-owner Tom Johnson said in the Pittsburgh Press that “What we need is a municipal stadium in Pittsburgh we both (Pirates & Steelers) can use. If we don’t get one, there’s a chance the Pirates will have to leave this city.” They got their wish, though it took some time. The political football was kicked around for years until Three Rivers Stadium opened in July of 1970. 
  • 1979 - For the first time in MLB history, two players shared the MVP. The NL co-winners were Willie Stargell, who hit .281 with 32 HRs, and the Cards 1B Keith Hernandez, who led the NL in runs scored (116), doubles (48), and batting average (.344). With the win, the Pirates had taken (or shared) all four "MVP" awards for the season (All-Star Game, NLCS, World Series, and NL regular season) for the first award sweep in MLB history. Stargell took the honors for the NLCS, World Series, and NL regular season, while Dave Parker won the All-Star Game MVP. 
Willie Stargell 2017 Topps 65
  • 2010 - Beat ‘Em, Bucs! The Byham Theater hosted a sneak preview of a 50-year-old B&W movie, copied from TV for owner Bing Crosby, of NBC's telecast of the seventh game of the 1960 World Series. Dick Groat and Bob Costas were the event hosts of The MLB Network production, later aired on TV and then made available on DVD. The Post Gazette’s Bob Hoover wrote “Fans hailed the eight members of the '60 team invited for the showing, clapped rhythmically to start rallies, reacted loudly every time Roberto Clemente appeared on the screen and leapt to their feet for the two clutch home runs in the eighth (Hal Smith) and ninth (you know who) innings.”
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