- 1873 - Middle infielder Claude Ritchey was born in Emlenton along the Allegheny River. He played for the Pirates for seven years, from 1900-06, batting .273 with 709 runs scored and 675 RBI, and was the starting 2B for the 1901 pennant winners and first World Series team in 1903. The combination of his size (5’6”) and his ability to drive in clutch runs gained him the nickname of "Little All Right."
|Claude Ritchey (photo via Harwell Collection/Detroit Public Library)|
- 1887 - IF Felix Chouinard was born in Chicago. He played infield and outfield for four big league years covering 88 games. He was with the Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federal League for nine of those games in 1914, hitting .300. It was one of three clubs he played for that campaign; he got into four games next season with Brooklyn before joining the Navy.
- 1888 - Pud Galvin won his 300th big league game against the Washington Nationals at Swampoodle Grounds, throwing a four-hitter in the 5-1 Allegheny win. He was the first player in MLB history to reach the 300 win total, finishing his career with 361 victories, with 138 of them earned with Pittsburgh clubs.
- 1889 - RHP Jim Bagby Sr. was born in Marietta Georgia. He joined the Pirates in 1923 at age 34 during his last MLB campaign, going 3-2, 5.24 in 21 outings (six starts). He had a stellar career at Cleveland, as he was the first pitcher to hit a homer in a modern World Series, and was a 30-game winner (31–12) in 1920. Jim also provided the Bucs with a legacy - his son, Jim Bagby Jr., also tossed for the Pirates, oddly enough also during his final big league season, 1947. The pair were the first father - son tandem to pitch in the World Series as Sr. appeared for the Indians (1920) and Jr. for the Red Sox (1946). Jim Sr. was known as “Sarge,” named after "Sergeant Jimmy Bagby,” a character in the 1919 Broadway play “Boys Will Be Boys” that inspired his nickname after his teammates had seen the show.
- 1905 - The Pirates took their show on the road, playing an exhibition at Charleroi that drew 2,500 paying Mon Valley fans along with “...spectators in trees, houses and every available nook…” per the Pittsburgh Press. After a fairly sloppy first inning that saw each team score four runs, the Bucs took control and rolled to a 10-4 victory, helped by five errors and four walks by the hosts.
|The Pirates didn't want the 1905 season to end... (Pittsburgh Press 1905)|
- 1927 - Pittsburgh’s Ray Kremer and the Yankees’ Waite Hoyt opened the World Series at Forbes Field. The Bucco wheels came off in the third when a pair of walks coupled with two errors and a muffed DP gave the Bronx Bombers three runs on one hit and a 4-1 lead. The Pirates kept chipping away - they had nine hits, led by Paul Waner’s 3-for-4 day - but dropped the game 5-4.
- 1948 - The Homestead Grays won their third Negro League World Series four games to one by defeating the Birmingham Black Barons and their 17-year-old rookie outfielder Willie Mays, 10-6 in Birmingham, scoring four runs in the 10th inning. The Grays were led by player/manager Sammy Bankhead and had Luke Easter, Buck Leonard and Wilmer Fields as their stars. It was the last WS for the Negro Leagues as their NL and AL divisions merged during the integration era.
- 1954 - OF/manager Oscar Charleston died in Philadelphia after suffering a stroke. Oscar was one of the elite black ballplayers with a career that stretched from 1915-41. He spent seven years with the Pittsburgh Crawfords, his longest stint with one club, after owner Gus Greenlee lured him from the Homestead Grays. He played in three Negro league All-Star games and the team won a World Series during his time (1932-38) with the Crawfords. The “Black Ty Cobb” entered the Hall of Fame in 1976.
|Player/Manager of the Grays (1990 Eclipse Stars of the Negro League)|
- 1957 - IF Onix Concepcion was born in Dorado, Puerto Rico. After six years with KC, he closed out his career with a pinch hit at bat for the Bucs in 1987. He was Jose Lind’s cousin, and the Pirates signed him as a free agent in ‘87, but he spent most of his time either injured or at Class AA Harrisburg. He retired afterward and is now an instructor at JROD Sports Academy.
- 1960 - Roger Maris became the seventh player to homer in his first World Series at-bat. His round-tripper off Vern Law got the Yankees off to a quick 1-0 lead, but the Pirates won Game One of the Fall Classic at Forbes Field, 6-4. Pittsburgh scored three times in the first, and a two-run homer by Bill Mazeroski in the fourth was the early game winner. The score wasn’t quite as close as it looked; the Yankees’ Elston Howard hit a two-run, ninth inning homer off ElRoy Face to narrow the gap. The game was highlighted by a great grab by Bill Virdon and even featured some pre-game action. An unauthorized parachutist tried to drop into the ballyard, but missed by a couple of blocks and landed on the roof of the Board of Education building across from Heinz Chapel, where he was rescued by police and then arrested. The Bucco victory ended a 15-game Yankee winning streak and was Pittsburgh’s first WS win since 1925.