10/16 From 1900 Through the 1950’s: Bucs Take '09 WS, 2nd in '29, Tele Series; Berardino Deal; Bootball; HBD Lenny, Brian, Boom Boom & Ed
- 1900 – The Bucs committed six errors against the Brooklyn Superbas at Exposition Park during the Chronicle-Telegraph Challenge series and lost 4-2 as Fred Kitson got the better of Sam Leever. Pittsburgh was held to four hits, with Honus Wagner’s double leading to one run and Jack O’Connor driving in Tom O’Brien for the other tally.
- 1904 – RHP Walter “Boom-Boom” Beck was born in Decatur, Illinois. He tossed for 12 years in the show, closing out his career in Pittsburgh in 1945 with a line of 6-1, 2.14 in a strong final bow at the end of the war years. He only won 38 games during his big league career, but to the best of our knowledge is the only “Boom Boom” to play for the Pirates. The story begins with him pitching for Casey Stengel’s Brooklyn Dodgers against the Phillies at the Baker Bowl, which had a tin outfield fence. Philadelphia had been drilling balls off that wall all afternoon, wearing out Hack Wilson and bringing on the Ol’ Perfessor to yank Beck. Beck didn’t like the hook and instead of handing the ball to the manager, he fired it off the fence. Wilson, who had been daydreaming while the mound switch was going on, was startled and thought another ball had been lined over his head and off the wall, chased down the carom and threw the ball to second. The “boom-boom” sound of the ball hitting the wall that day gave Beck a nickname he never shook.
|1909 World Series – Fleer|
- 1909 – In a World Series showdown between two of baseball’s premier players, Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb, the Pirates downed the hometown Detroit Tigers, 8-0, in game seven to become World Champions for the first time. The real star of the Series, though, was rookie pitcher Babe Adams, who notched three victories, including the decisive seventh game six-hit shutout. The Pirates were helped by Tiger wildness; the Bucs banged out just seven hits, but the 10 walks were the killers for Motown (Fred Clarke got zero official at bats; he walked four times and scored twice). Honus Wagner and Dots Miller had a pair of RBI, while Clarke and Tommy Leach scored twice. It was the first World Series to go seven games. The Flying Dutchman, battling injuries in his first World Series in 1903, bounced back this time around. Hans hit .333, with seven RBIs and six stolen bases to outshine Ty Cobb, who hit .231 with six runs driven home and two steals.
- 1919 – RHP Ed Bahr was born in Rouleau, Saskatchewan. In a career that lasted from 1946-47, Bahr went 11–11, 3.73 with 69 strikeouts in 46 appearances, (25 starts, eight complete games) and 219 IP. But ominously, his ERA went up by two runs per game from his rookie year to his sophomore season and he failed to make the team in 1948. He was traded to Brooklyn in 1949 and never returned to the show.
- 1928 – P and scout Lenny Yochim was born in New Orleans. He had a brief career with the Pirates (1951, 1954, 1-2, 7.62 ERA), but a long and fairly shiny one in the minors, where he once tossed a no-hitter. After his playing days, Yochim rejoined the Pirates in 1966 as part of their baseball operations department. He served in various scouting positions before moving into the front office in 1994, where he worked as a senior adviser for player personnel through 2004.
- 1929 – The Bucs finished in second after the season, 10-½ games behind the Philadelphia Athletics, but were still awarded $29,106.50 to divvy up as runner-ups, with a full share worth $995.05. The players were pretty generous, giving out various-sized slices of the pie to coaches, trainers, groundskeepers, clubhouse attendants and guys who spent partial time with Pittsburgh during the year.
|Brian Harper – 1984 Donruss|
- 1959 – C/OF Brian Harper was born in Los Angeles. Brain was a utilityman for the Bucs from 1982-84 before being traded to St. Louis; he didn’t really blossom until the 1988 season with Twins, who played him full time and kept him behind the dish. He started there for five seasons through the age of 33 before he slowed down. Harper retired in 1996 and did some high school coaching before returning to the majors to ride the minor-league coaching carousel for several clubs.
- 1952 – Pittsburgh sent IF George Strickland and RHP Ted Wilks to the Cleveland Indians for IF Johnny Berardino, a PTBNL (RHP Charles Sipple) and $50,000. Strickland played eight years for the Tribe, but the light-hitting infielder batted just .233 over that time. Wilks was at the end of his playing days and made 11 Indian appearances before retiring. Berardino was staging a return to Pittsburgh, but his .143 BA and a bum leg turned him into a full-time actor after 56 at bats. Sipple never made it past the minors.
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