Tuesday, April 17, 2018

4/17 From the 50s Forward: Roberto, Gibbon Debuts; Opening Shea; Cover Boy Wills; AJ's Big Day; Game Stories

  • 1951 - 25,894 hardy souls braved the snow to watch the Bucs win their home opener 5-4 over the Cards at Forbes Field. Murry Dickson pitched six innings and homered in the win. Wally Westlake also went long while Bill Wuerle tossed three shutout innings for the save. It also marked the first shooting of live footage for the movie tentatively titled “Angels And The Pirates” (released as “Angels In the Outfield” in October), starring Paul Douglas and Janet Leigh. 
Forbes Field hosted "Angels in the Outfield" (photo via Avax)
  • 1955 - Roberto Clemente, a 20-year-old rookie from Carolina, Puerto Rico, made his MLB debut in right field at Forbes Field during a double header. In his first at bat, Clemente singled off the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Johnny Podres, the first step on his journey to 3000 career hits. Roberto collected two more hits in the nightcap, but the Bucs lost both ends of the twinbill, 10-3 and 3-2. It was step one, with guys like Roberto, Dick Groat, Bob Friend, Vern Law and ElRoy Face on the roster, to be joined the following season by Bill Mazeroski, Bill Virdon and Bob Skinner as the 1960 core began to form. 
  • 1960 - LHP Joe Gibbon made his MLB debut in the second game of a twinbill against the Reds at Forbes Field, coming in to mop up with the Pirates down 5-0 in the eighth. He tossed a pair of scoreless innings and the Bucs scored six times in the ninth to give him the 6-5 win. Bill Mazeroski had an RBI knock, Hal Smith banged a three-run pinch hit homer and Bob Skinner walked it off with a game-winning, two-run, two-out blast off Ted Wieand after Dick Groat kept it alive with a single. The Bucs won the opener 5-0 behind Bob Friend's four hitter. Skinner, Groat, Roberto Clemente (homer & three-bagger) and Dick Hoak had two hits apiece while Dick Stuart tripleded and chased three runs home. 
  • 1964 - Before 48‚736 fans, the Pirates defeated the Mets 4-3 in the first game played at Shea Stadium. Bob Friend was the winner over Cuban righty Ed Bauta. Willie Stargell smacked the first home run ever at Shea Stadium off Jack Fisher and had four hits. Roberto Clemente and Donn Clendenon added three raps apiece as the Bucs banged out 16 hits but managed to strand 13 runners. 
  • 1967 - Maury Wills was the cover boy for Sports Illustrated’s “Baseball 1967” issue. In his first year as a Buc, he hit .302 with 92 runs and 29 swiped sacks. 
  • 2011 - Andrew McCutchen (3-for-3 w/two walks) and Jose Tabata led off the game with back-to-back home runs off Edinson Volquez, the third time that had been done in club history. The Pirates scored four times in the opening inning and outlasted the Cincinnati Reds, 7-6, at Great American Ball Park. Garrett Jones also homered and had two knocks. The Bucs went through six pitchers in a game Jeff Karstens started with Chris Resop getting the win and Joel Hanrahan closing out for the save. 
  • 2013 - AJ Burnett had a no-hitter going against the Cards at PNC Park, carrying the no-no into the seventh before Carlos Beltran banged a double. It was a big day for AJ; he also went over the 2,000 mark in career strikeouts. The last two innings were closed out by Mark Melancon, Tony Watson and Jason Grilli as the Bucs won 5-0 behind a balanced attack - nine different Buccos had hits. 
  • 2014 - The Pirates scored nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings to blow past the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park 11-7. The offense was primed by four long balls off the bats of Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison, Gaby Sanchez and Pedro Alvarez. Edinson Volquez went seven innings to claim his first victory as a Bucco.
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