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5/14 From 1970: Roberto Award; Benny Catches On; Cutch, GI Bangin'; Big Bats, Arms & Game Stories

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  • 1973 – President Richard Nixon presented the Presidential Citizens Medal to Vera Clemente, accompanied by Willie Stargell and Manny Sanguillen, for her husband Roberto in the Oval Office; he was the first honoree. The bill was sponsored by Western Pennsylvania House member William Moorhead and co-sponsored by a rep from North Carolina, Wilmer “Vinegar Bend” Mizell, a teammate of Clemente’s on the 1960 World Series squad and through 1962. The Great One’s citation read in part “He stands with that handful of men whose brilliance has transformed the game of baseball into a showcase of skill and spirit, giving universal delight and inspiration. More than that, his selfless dedication to helping those with two strikes against them in life blessed thousands and set an example for millions.” 
Vera Receives Roberto’s Presidential Medal – 5/15/1973 Pgh Press
  • 1978 – Don Robinson struck out seven batters in a four-hit shutout during Pittsburgh’s 1-0 win at San Diego. Frank Taveras drew a leadoff walk in the sixth inning and eventually came around on a Dave Parker bouncer to score the only run (and it was unearned) of the game. For Robinson, it was the first of six shutouts he would record in his career. Randy Jones and Mark Lee of the Friars were both sharp, too, allowing the Bucs just five hits. 
  • 1982 – Lee Lacy banged a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the eighth but got carried away with happy feet when he passed Omar Moreno between 1B and 2B. Lacy was called out and credited just a single and three RBI‚ leaving the Bucs just enough runs to top the Reds 8-7 at TRS. 
  • 1989 – OF Benny Distefano became the first left-handed catcher in a major league game since White Sox 1B Mike Squires in 1980 when he caught the ninth inning of a 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves at TRS. He came in after Jimmy Leyland burned starter Tom Prince and sub Junior Ortiz for pinch hitters. Distefano missed the first pitch Bill Landrum tossed on a cross-up over signs and then did a bang-up job for the rest of the frame. 1B Dale Long, then with the Cubs, is thought to be the only other LH catcher in the modern era; he caught two games in 1958.
  • 1997 – Kevin Young’s two-run pinch double gave Pittsburgh the lead and Al Martin finished off a nine-run eighth inning with a grand slam as the “Freak Show” Pirates beat Colorado‚ 15-10, at TRS. Every Pirate starter except the pitcher had a knock. Rox pitchers surrendered 13 hits, a dozen walks and blew leads of 6-3‚ 7-5 and 9-6 to the first-place Buccos. 
  • 2003 – Jeff D’Amico helped end a 10-game Pirates losing streak by going seven shutout innings against the Astros at PNC Park, giving up four hits and fanning 10 in a 3-2 win. The Bucs had jumped ahead 3-0 on the strength of Kenny Lofton’s two-run homer (D’Amico scored ahead of him after leading off with a walk) and Jack Wilson’s RBI knock that plated Randall Simon The game tightened when Brain Boehringer gave up a two-run blast to Jeff Kent in the eighth, but Mike Williams shut the gate in the ninth to save the win. 
Jeff D’Amico – 2003 Upper Deck 40-Man
  • 2005 – Lefty Mark Redman tossed his first shutout and his second straight complete game in a 2-0 win against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park. Redman faced three batters over the minimum and threw 113 pitches while allowing just one runner to reach second base. The vet didn’t finish out the campaign so well, going 5-15/4.90 in 30 starts. Jose Castillo had two hits in the match, the key blow being a game-deciding two-run double off Victor Santos in the fifth inning. 
  • 2010 – Andrew McCutchen went 5-for-5 with two RBI and five runs scored in a 10-6 win against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Garrett Jones also banged out five hits, making Cutch and Jones the first Pirate pair since Willie Stargell and Bob Robertson in 1970 to have five hits in a game. The dynamic duo also added a homer each. 
  • 2013 – The Bucs snapped a five-game home losing streak to the Brewers at PNC Park, thanks to six innings of shutout work from the bullpen and Andrew McCutchen’s walk off homer off Mike Fiers in the twelfth frame to take a 4-3 victory over Milwaukee. Cutch ended a frustrating night that saw two of his balls caught at the fence with the breeze from the river blowing in. That wasn’t nearly as frustrating as the Pirate hitters, who went 0-for-15 with RISP. Vin Mazzaro picked up the W with two innings of scoreless ball.


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