Saturday, October 13, 2018

10/13 From the 1930’s: Game 7 Gang; Rizzo, Russell Join Up; Shepard Hired; HBD Bob, Dick & Hayden

  • 1932 - IF Dick Barone was born in San Jose. His bio, per BR Bullpen: the 27-year-old Barone was called from Columbus to become the back-up to Dick Schofield in 1960 after Dick Groat was injured. He played in three games (once as a starter) over the final month, and those three contests constituted his entire major league career. He was hitless in six at-bats while flawless in the field, but wasn’t included on the Pirates' 1960 World Series roster as Groat returned and Schofield went back to the bench. Barone's baseball claim to fame is that he once started a game in place of Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski. Afterward, he played in the minors through 1962 and saw his pitcher grandson, Daniel, play in the show in 2007 with Florida. 
Johnny Rizzo 1940 Play Ball
  • 1937 - The Bucs got OF Johnny Rizzo from the Cards for 1B Bernard Cobb, C Tom Padden, OF Bud Hafey and cash. The rookie Rizzo hit 23 homers in 1938, a team record that lasted for nearly a decade (it was broken by Jason Bay and Josh Bell, both who hit 26 dingers), and was traded early in 1940 for Vince DiMaggio. Rizzo went downhill in 1941, and ‘42 was his last MLB season as he enlisted in the Navy the following year. He came back from the service in 1946, spent fours years in the minors and retired to work in the sporting goods field and as an auto salesman. 
  • 1941 - The Pirates drafted Fayette City’s Jim Russell from Memphis of the Southern Association in the minor league draft. He hit .277 from 1942-47 for the Bucs before spending his next four MLB campaigns playing for the Braves and Dodgers. Jim’s career was cut short by heart problems he had contracted as a child. He stayed on in the sport, though, scouting for the Dodgers and Senators for two decades after his playing days had ended. 
  • 1942 - 3B Bob Bailey was born in Long Beach. He was inked to the largest signing bonus ever paid up to that time, a reported $135,000, and began his 17 year pro career in Pittsburgh (1962-66) where he hit .257 with occasional power. Bailey had his best years with Montreal in the early seventies, with three 20+ HR seasons and three more with 80+ RBI. When he retired, he spent a decade managing in the Montreal system with side gigs as a hitting instructor. He passed away at age 75. 
  • 1967 - Larry Shepard was named manager, replacing Danny Murtaugh, who in turn had replaced Harry Walker earlier in the year. He lasted two seasons (replaced by Murtaugh), then became the pitching coach of Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine under Sparky Anderson from 1970 through 1978. He finished his coaching career with the San Francisco Giants in 1979. 
Larry Shepard 1969 (photo via Out of the Ball Park Developments)
  • 1984 - RHP Hayden Penn was born in La Jolla, California. Penn appeared in 33 games over four years in the majors. His last three outings were with the Pirates in 2010, when he gave up eight runs in 2-1/3 IP after being claimed off waivers from the Marlins during training camp. Penn was sent to AAA Indianapolis, then his contract was sold and he threw in Japan for three seasons afterward, winning a Japan Series game (their WS) in 2010. He made his last hurrah with the indie Bridgeport Bluefish in 2013. 
  • 1985 - Saul Finkelstein sat at the base of the flagpole by the Forbes Field wall outside Schenley Plaza and listened to a taped NBC radio broadcast of Chuck Thompson and Jack Quinlan calling the seventh game of the 1960 World Series on his boombox. After that day, it soon evolved into an annual ceremony open to all under the auspices of the Game Seven Gang, often drawing an assortment of politicos and members of the championship team to mingle with the fans.

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