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5/17 From 1980: Off on the Right Foot; Cervy Deal; Lyles Lit; Gunner's Last Game; Game Stories; RIP Joe;

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  • 1981 – Mt. Washington’s Joe Fabrizi passed away at the age of 82. You may never have heard of Joe, but he was a key member of the Pirates broadcast team: he was the last local Western Union telegrapher dedicated to sports. He was the man in the middle during the early days of radio when local broadcasters like Rosey Rowswell and Bob Prince didn’t go on road trips with the teams. Instead, they recreated the game from the blow-by-blow telegraph reports sent to Fabrizi from the out-of-town ballyard staffers, who would organize them and send them along to the announcers to pass on to the fans. 
Pgh Press snip 5-18-1984
  • 1984 – The Bucs took a break from the schedule and played against their Class AA minor league club at Nashua (NH). Pittsburgh beat the farmhands 3-2 in front of their biggest crowd of the week, 6,089. In the three-game set with Houston at TRS just before the exhibition, the Bucs drew 3,395, 2,978 & 4,523 faithful to the home ballyard. 
  • 1985 – After waiting out a 2-1/2 hour rain delay before a Pirates-Cincinnati Reds game at TRS (the Reds won 6-3), Pirate announcer Bob Prince was admitted to the hospital for dehydration and pneumonia and never left. On June 10th, with his wife Betty at his side, he passed away at Presbyterian University Hospital, ending an era in Pittsburgh Pirate baseball. 
  • 1995 – Hideo Nomo tossed seven innings of two-hit shutout ball, fanning 14 batters, but the Bucs scored three times in the last two frames off four LA relievers to take home a 3-2 win at Dodger Stadium. Orlando Merced was intentionally walked in the ninth to get to Jacob Brumfield, who lined a single to center off Antonio Osuna to score Angel Encarnacion with the winning run. Four Pirate relievers tossed five innings of scoreless ball with Dan Plesac getting the win and Dan Miceli earning the save. 
  • 2009 – The Pirates erupted for 10 runs in the seventh inning to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 11-4 laugher against the Colorado Rockies at PNC Park. The Bucs’ first 11 batters reached safely in the frame; the first out was recorded on the bases when Eric Hinske was thrown out trying to reach third after a Delwyn Young single. Pittsburgh used nine hits (three were doubles), two walks and a couple of Colorado errors to cobble the frame together against four Rox twirlers. Zach Duke left the game trailing 4-1, but still got the win. The Pirates wouldn’t have an inning that big again until 2017 when they put up a first-inning 10 spot against Jon Lester at Wrigley Field. 
  • 2013 – The Bucs overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Astros 5-4 at PNC Park when two Astro fielders ran into each other with two down in ninth, allowing Russ Martin’s pop to drop and Andrew McCutchen to score the walk-off run. There were also some legit efforts by Pittsburgh. Tony Watson, Vin Mazzaro and Justin Wilson tossed 4-1/3 frames of scoreless ball and Pedro Alvarez cranked a 462’ shot into the Allegheny on the hop off the Riverwalk. The eighth-inning, game-tying two-run shot fell a foot short of Matt Lawton’s 2005 drive against Jamey Wright of Colorado from becoming the longest homer ever hit at PNC Park. 
This day in 2016 was a good one for Cervy – 2016 Topps Heritage
  • 2016 – The Bucs sent 11 batters to the plate during a seven-run first inning – five reached with two outs to chase home five of the runs, with a throwout at home ending the frame – and then held on to beat the Braves, 12-9, at PNC Park. Pittsburgh punched out 21 hits as seven Pirates recorded multiple hits, including Fran Cervelli, Gregory Polanco, John Jaso and Andrew McCutchen banging out three raps each. Juan Nicasio earned the win, but it took five relievers to close the book before Mark Melancon got the save. 
  • 2016 – The Pirates extended C Fran Cervelli’s contract for three years (2017-2019) and $31M ($9M – ‘17, $10.5M – ‘18, $11.5M – ‘19). With the extension, the Pirates had their starting eight players under contract for the next season and seven of the eight (Cervelli, Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Josh Harrison, Jung Ho Kang and Jordy Mercer) under team control through 2018. Cervelli had been due to hit free agency at the end of the season. 
  • 2019 – Jordan Lyles became the first Bucco righty since Gerrit Cole in 2014 to fan a dozen batters as he went seven innings, giving up five hits with a walk and a run via a solo shot, on the way to a 5-3 Bucco win against San Diego at Petco Park. The key blow for the Pirates was a two-run blast by rookie Bryan Reynolds to give Pittsburgh a lead it would never relinquish. Lyles was an offseason free agent pickup who was off to a sizzling start; the victory gave him a slash of 4-1/1.97.


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