- 1990 - Bobby Bonilla was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the story “Down To the Wire.” It didn’t end up that close; the Bucs won the division by four games, though losing the NLCS to the Reds. Bobby Bo had an All Star season, hitting .280 with 32 HR and 120 RBI, finishing second in the MVP voting to teammate Barry Bonds.
- 1992 - 3B Colin Moran was born in Port Chester, New York. The sixth overall selection of the 2013 draft by Miami, he was traded to the Astros, where he was blocked by Alex Bregman, and came to Pittsburgh in 2018 as part of the Gerrit Cole trade. He won the hot corner job, and made Pittsburgh friends in a hurry when he hit a grand slam during his first at bat in PNC Park, joining Roberto Clemente (1962) and Ralph Kiner (1949) on the Bucco Home Opener grand salami list. Colin comes from good bloodlines; his uncle is BJ Surhoff.
- 2000 - A crowd of 55,351, the largest gathering to ever to see a regular season baseball game in Pittsburgh, watched the Pirates fall to the Chicago Cubs, 10-9, in the final game at Three Rivers Stadium. Sister Sledge was on hand to sing the National Anthem after Gene Lamont, Jim Leyland, Chuck Tanner and Bill Virdon presented the final lineup card to the ump and Dock Ellis tossed the first pitch. Brian Giles had three hits and became the first Pirate to hit .300 with 30+ home runs and 100+ RBIs in back-to-back seasons. The Bucs ran through seven pitchers, with Scott Sauerbeck taking the loss after surrendering three eighth inning runs. The Pirates had second and third occupied with two outs in the ninth, but John Wehner bounced out. He did, however, have the honor of hitting the last homer in the yard in the fifth inning. After the game, a video stadium tribute was shown, home plate was dug up to be transported to PNC Park (it was flown away by “Rocketman,” who was strapped to a jet pack), and Willie Stargell came out to toss the ceremonial last pitch to Jason Kendall that closed TRS.
- 2006 - Freddy Sanchez went 2-for-4 against the Reds to finish with a .344 BA, the tops in the NL. The Bucs won 1-0 in front of 25,004 at PNC Park behind the pitching of Shane Youman, John Grabow, Matt Capps and Salomon Torres, who combined on a four-hitter. Pittsburgh scored in the eighth by rapping four straight two-out singles; Xavier Nady drove in Jason Bay with the winner.
- 2012 - It took ten starts, but Jeff Locke got his first MLB win by beating the Braves 2-1 at PNC Park. He gave up two hits (and five walks) in six frames while three relievers tossed hitless ball behind him. Starling Marte provided the offense; he homered and tripled, coming in on Chase d’Arnaud’s ground out, to account for the Bucco runs.
- 2013 - A record PNC Park crowd of 40,487 saw the Pirates win the NL Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Reds by a 6-2 score. Francisco Liriano gave up one run on four hits over seven innings for the win. He was supported by Russell Martin, who had a pair of homers, and Marlon Byrd, who also went long. Martin became the first catcher to homer for three different teams in the postseason, going yard with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008 and the New York Yankees in 2012. Martin's first blast was legendary. While the crowd was chanting "Cueto" after Byrd's dinger, Johnny dropped the horsehide and then served up another long ball to Russ, lifting the roof off PNC Park. Byrd’s homer was during his first post-season at-bat after playing 1,250 MLB games before reaching the promised land. It was the first playoff game ever held at PNC and the first Pirate playoff win in Pittsburgh since defeating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on October 11th, 1992 in the NLCS at TRS. The victory cost the Reds more than a playoff run; it also cost them a manager when Dusty Baker was fired three days later after suffering his seventh straight playoff loss as Cincinnati skipper.
- 2014 - The Pirates laid a playoff egg in front of a record crowd of 40,629 at PNC Park, falling to Madison Bumgarner and the SF Giants 8-0 in the winner-take-all NL Wild Card elimination game. Bumgarner tossed a complete game whitewash with 10 K and Brandon Crawford’s grand slam in the fourth inning off Edinson Volquez would provide Mad Bum with more than enough runs; for good measure, Brandon Belt drove in three more Giants. Josh Harrison was the Bucs lone bright spot at the dish, collecting two of the four Pirates’ hits. Much of the embarrassment wore off as the Giants, sparked by Bumgarner’s brilliant postseason pitching run, beat Washington, St. Louis and KC to claim the 2014 World Series crown.
- 2017 - In a game that epitomized September baseball, the Bucs jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held off Washington at Nationals Park by an 11-8 count. The contest was the longest nine-inning game in both clubs’ history at four hours and 22 minutes. The Pirates used 23 players, including nine pitchers. The Bucs stranded 10 runners, the Nats 15; each club issued seven free passes to go along with 30 hits. Angel Sanchez got the win and George Kontos the save, the first for both pitchers. Jacob Stallings had three hits & a walk while Max Moroff had a knock and two walks; together they drove in seven runs and scored three. Chris Bostick & Josh Bell had two knocks and a walk, and Starling Marte had two raps to end the year on a 12-game hitting streak. The marathon ended the 2017 season for the Pirates with just 75 wins, earning them the 10th spot in the upcoming draft.
|HBD Colin (image via Positively Pittsburgh)|
|Russ Martin 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter|