Wednesday, May 16, 2018

5/16: Leyland Returns; Racous Rally; Kramer One-Hitter; Grimm Reaper; Game Stories; HBD to the Two Ricks; Mitch & Bob

  • 1904 - The Pirates rallied from a 5-0 deficit against Christy Mathewson by scoring a run in the fifth and five more in the sixth for a 6-5 win over the NY Giants. The big blow was Claude Ritchey’s three-run, bases loaded double. Starter Sam Leever hung on for the win at Exposition Park. The crowd of 6,360 seemed to ignite the rally, per the Pittsburgh Press: “...every mother’s son of them (the crowd) became a howling, raving rooter...They yelled like maniacs in one continuous roar...Women threw their hankerchiefs (sic) in the air, men tossed their hats...and all cheered with all the power of their vocal organs.” After the game, the fans rushed the field to mingle with the hometown heroes and taunt the Giants “with cries of derision.” 
Pittsburgh Press 5-17-1904
  • 1906 - Vic Willis started a three game shutout streak with an 11-0 win over the NY Giants at Exposition Park. Willis led the staff with 23 wins, tossed six shutouts and posted a 1.73 ERA for the Pirates, winners of 93 games and third-place finishers in the NL. The Pirates collected 15 hits, many bunts that they used to torture lumbering NY 1B Frank Bowerman by dropping the ball to him (he was usually a catcher); they got to first faster than he could get to the ball.
  • 1923 - Charlie Grimm extended his hitting streak to 25 games, the NL record for starting off a season, against the NY Giants’ Jack Scott in a 6-2 loss at the Polo Grounds. Grimm hit .416 during the span, which ended the next day against the Boston Braves’ Dick Rudolph. 
  • 1937 - The Pirates drew MLB’s largest crowd of the day, 39,571, to Forbes Field on a Sunday afternoon to watch Joe Bowman pick up a 2-1 win over the Cards. Gus Suhr and Arky Vaughan drove home Paul Waner and Johnny Dickshot while Bowman ran his record to 5-0. 
  • 1949 - RHP Rick Reuschel was born in Quincy, Illinois. Reuschel pitched for the Pirates from 1985-87, going 31-30/3.04 and representing the club in the 1987 All-Star game. He was a reclamation project who won The Sporting News’ 1985 NL Comeback Player of the Year award, going 14-8 for the last place Bucs after being left off the Cubs postseason roster the season before. “Big Daddy” (he was on the roundish side physically) had a 19-year big-league career with the Cubs, Giants, Yankees and Bucs, making 519 starts, working 3,548 innings and winning 214 games. 
Big Daddy 1995 Topps Traded
  • 1953 - Rick Rhoden was born in Boynton Beach, Florida. The righty spent eight seasons (1979-86) with the Pirates, going 97-93/3.51 during that span. He was an All-Star in 1986 (15-12, 2.84) and won three Silver Slugger awards (1984–1986). A talented golfer, Rhoden also starred on the Celebrity Players Tour, becoming its all-time leading money winner. 
  • 1957 - The Pirates beat the Braves 2-1 at County Stadium behind Bob Friend’s pitching and a Roberto Clemente homer. The Braves got the tying run aboard via an error in the ninth, but future Bucco skipper and then Brave Chuck Tanner missed a bunt sign and bounced into a 4-6-3 DP. The next pair of Bravos singled, but Del Crandall flew out to close out the contest. 
  • 1959 - RHP Bob Patterson was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He pitched from 1986-92 for the Bucs in many roles, putting up a record of 25-21-17/3.97 in Pittsburgh. The righty appeared in five NLCS games, with a save and 1.93 ERA. He tossed for 13 MLB seasons, and started up a cottage industry while hanging out in the bullpen; Patterson became the “Glove Doctor.” Players from his team and around the league would ask Patterson to repair their mangled mitts, and Bob would spend his time in the bullpen patching leather. 
Bob Patterson 1992 Ultra (back)
  • 1959 - OF Mitch “The Natural” Webster was born in Larned, Kansas. Webster spent 13 seasons in the show as a good glove guy; in 1991, he played for three teams, with the middle one being the Pirates, hitting just .175 after 97 at-bats. Mitch became a Bucco when Mike York was sent to Cleveland for his services, then he was later flipped to the Dodgers for Jose Gonzalez. He coached and scouted for the Dodgers for nearly two decades before joining the Royals as a regional supervisor in 2009. He got his nickname after homering in four straight games for the Expos in 1986. 
  • 1970 - Bill Mazeroski's ninth inning single led to a 4-3 Pirate win over the Expos at Forbes Field. It was Maz's first ever pinch-hit knock in a big league career that began in 1956. Bob Robertson had a big day at the dish, falling a single short of hitting for the cycle. Luke Walker, the Pirates third pitcher, earned the win. 
  • 1989 - Randy Kramer shut out the Reds 5-0 at Riverfront Stadium. The rookie righty tossed one of the gems of Bucco history; the only hit he surrendered was to Ron Oester, who doubled with two outs in the eighth. Rey Quinones led the attack, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. 
Randy Kramer 1989 Donruss
  • 1995 - Denny Neagle, Jim Gott and Dan Maceli combined to shut out LA 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Dave Clark drove in both runs with a homer and single. The game was one of four scoreless contests in the NL, the first time there had been that many goose eggs posted in a single day in the past five years. 
  • 1997 - Jim Leyland returned to TRS for the first time wearing a uniform other than that of the Pirates. Leyland, who spent 11 seasons as skipper in Pittsburgh before leaving in 1996, and his Marlins beat the Pirates 3-1 on the way to a three game sweep, the Fish’s first ever at Pittsburgh. The Bucs weren’t the only team he beat on that year; Florida won the World Series, a feat Leyland couldn’t pull off in the Steel City.
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