Sunday, October 7, 2018

10/7: Tanner Axed; Hans Finishes; All-Star Exhibit; Chad Chaser; HBD Brickyard, Chuck, Adam & Moonlight Ace

  • 1867 - P Bill “Brickyard” Kennedy was born in Bellaire, Ohio. He tossed his final MLB season, 1903, for the Pirates, going 9-6/3.45 and worked one game in the WS, losing badly to the Boston nine, 11-2, although six runs were unearned. Brickyard was noted for a lively fastball that he unfortunately had sporadic control over, walking over 1,200 batters in his 12-year career. He got his Brickyard nickname because he worked for a brick-making company before his days as a pro ballplayer. Kennedy was also known as “Roaring Bill” because of his loud voice, which he used to barber just about anyone within ear range on the field.
Brickyard 1904 Allegheny Card Company
  • 1892 - IF Adam DeBus was born in Chicago. The son of German immigrants, he played minor league ball in the Midwest before the Cards signed him in 1917. He didn’t play for them but caught the eye of the Pirates, who signed him in July. Adam hit .229 in 131 ABs and that three month audition ended up being the sum of his MLB career. At the end of the 1917 season, DeBus joined the 86th Infantry Division, and played with the division's baseball team. He spent his post-baseball days working as an electrician.
  • 1895 - LHP Fred “Moonlight Ace” Fussel was born in Sheridan, Missouri. Fred tossed his first two years with the Cubs, spent the next three years in the minors and finished his career as a Pirate in 1928-29, going 10-11, 4.61. He was a baseball lifer, tho, and toiled on the farm for the next 11 years before calling it a day at age 43. He was dubbed with his moniker in the minors after his MLB stint when he threw a no-hitter in a 1933 night game to become a "Moonlight Ace."
  • 1901 - It ain’t easy being The Flying Dutchman. Per the season-ending Pittsburgh Press Bucco recap, “Hans Wagner leads the Pirates in batting with a good percentage. His batting this year, however, has not come up to his own or expectations of friends.” Honus’ disappointing campaign consisted of hitting .353, the fourth best average in the National League, and also finishing fourth in total bases with 271. Tough crowd...
  • 1902 - Sam Leever and the NL champ Pirates beat a team of AL all-stars in an exhibition at Exposition Park by a 4-3 score, with the AL pushing across three runs in the ninth to give the Bucs a scare. Ginger Beaumont led the Pirates with three hits. Cy Young took the loss, giving up eight hits and striking out seven. There was no post-season or World Series yet; the NL and AL were still merrily raiding one another’s rosters in a bid for baseball supremacy.
Chuck Klein 1939 ( photo Rogers Gallery/Getty)
  • 1904 - OF Chuck Klein was born in Indianapolis. The HoF’er played one year (1939) in Pittsburgh, hitting .300 with 11 homers. He was signed after being released by the Phillies and fittingly returned to Philadelphia in 1940 to end his career, giving him 15 years in the City of Brotherly Love, running a Philly bar after his playing days. The Phils retired his number, but as he wore eight of them during his years with the club (two of them twice), they just put a Philadelphia “P” up where the number should be on the Veterans Stadium Wall of Fame.
  • 1907 - The Bucs split a twinbill with the Reds to finish with 91 wins, 17 behind the front-running Cubs. But it was a championship season for Honus Wagner. Hans led the league with a .350 BA, .408 OBP, .513 slugging %, 38 doubles, 264 total bases and 61 stolen bases. He tied teammate Ed Abbaticchio for second in RBI with 82 and came in third in runs scored with 98.
  • 1985 - Chuck Tanner was fired by the Pirates, but wasn’t out of work long. He was hired to manage the Braves three days later. Chuck’s teams had spent five years around .500 after the ‘79 championship and suffered a black eye during the coke Trials. Jim Leyland would later be named the new skipper while Tanner went on to spend three years with the Bravos. He then served as a baseball operations assistant of the Milwaukee Brewers (1992-2002) before scouting for five years for the Cleveland Indians. Chuck closed out as a senior advisor to Pirates GM Neal Huntington beginning in 2007, a position he held until he passed away in 2011.
  • 2001 - Pirate prospect Chad Hermanson showed a brief flash when his three-run homer in the eighth inning off Carlos Zambrano scored the Wilson boys, Craig and Jack, and gave Pittsburgh a season-closing 4-3 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Joe Beimel got the win with a save from Mike Fetters.

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