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5/4 From 1960: Horton Signed, Kirk Released; JT - POW; BB Double Feature; Mesa Mark; Bombs Away; 7-In-7; Game Tales; HBD Jason

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  • 1963 – Another Bucco winner: Chateaugay, owned by Pirates owner John W. Galbreath and bred on his Darby Dan racing farm, won the Kentucky Derby. 
  • 1965 – For Willie Stargell and Jerry Lynch, it was homer or no count. Lynch banged a pair of early solo shots and Willie added a game-tying long ball in the sixth that was followed by a three-run bomb in the ninth as the duo powered the Pirates to a 6-3 victory against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The dynamic duo had five of the Bucs 10 hits. Al McBean got the win in relief of Joe Gibbon, although he left the bases filled with Cubbies in a nail-biting ninth. 
Captain Willie – 1965 Sports Service photo
  • 1967 – The Bucs ran away from the Dodgers by scoring seven runs in the seventh to take a 9-3 victory over LA at Forbes Field. They literally pounded Dodger ace Don Drysdale; Roberto Clemente drilled a liner off his hand and Donn Clendenon smacked one so hard off his ankle that it bounced to first for the putout. He had to leave, battered and bruised, after six, and the Bucs rallied for the win the next inning against a trio of LA relievers. Bill Mazeroski had three RBI while Clemente and Maury Wills collected three hits each to help Bob Veale earn the W. 
  • 1973 – The Pirates had their best two-day offensive output of the year when they bashed the Padres 12-6 the day after blasting the Giants 14-5 while on a west coast swing. Today’s hero was Rennie Stennett, who belted two homers and plated six runs; Bob Robertson and Richie Hebner, batting ahead of him, set the table with three hits apiece while Dave Cash added a three-run big fly. A day earlier, Al Oliver was the man of the hour at the Bay, bashing a pair of dingers and also chasing home six runs with four hits. Manny Sanguillen and Milt May added three knocks. Nellie Briles and Steve Blass were the recipients of the outbursts. 
  • 1976 – OF Jason Michaels was born in Tampa, Florida. The outfielder spent 11 seasons and over 1,000 games in the show, playing in Pittsburgh in 2008 and batting .228 while getting into 102 games after the Bucs had claimed him from the Indians in May. Houston picked him up in the off season and he spent his final three MLB years as an Astro. He coached briefly in Washington and now runs a consulting business in Tampa. 
  • 1980 – The Pirates bats did the talking as they ran roughshod over the Atlanta Braves, 13-4, at TRS. Willie Stargell led the onslaught with three hits, including a home run, double, and three RBI, while Phil Garner, who homered, and Ed Ott, who scored three times, also added three knocks. Dave Parker chased home three runs, Bill Madlock went long and Omar Moreno swiped three sacks to keep the parade moving. Jim Bibby wasn’t at his best, giving up eight hits and walking three, but coasted behind the booming bats to go the distance and run his slate to 4-0. 
Jim Bibby – 1981 Fleer
  • 1981 – The Pirates signed 38-year-old free agent Willie Horton after Texas had released him at the end of camp. Over an 18-year MLB career, Horton hit 325 homers and plated 1,163 runs. He spent two seasons in AAA Portland for the Bucs, hitting .302 and .275 with 39 homers, but never got a call up to Pittsburgh with Mike Easler and Lee Lacy blocking him. Willie then played briefly in the Mexican League in 1983 and retired, seven hits shy of 2,000. 
  • 1982 – 1B Jason Thompson was named the NL Player of the Week. He was 11-for-27 with five homers and 12 RBI in seven games, with a 11-game hitting streak going on. JT would take the award again the following week. 
  • 1992 – The Bucs scored 11 runs in the sixth inning after falling behind 5-1 to whip the Reds 12-5 at TRS. Don Slaught, Jose Lind and Cecil Espy all had a pair of raps in the frame. Andy Van Slyke led the hit parade with four knocks; Jeff King added three. It was the first time since 1942 when they victimed the Cards that the Pirates had scored 11 runs in an inning. Zane Smith gave up five runs in five innings; Dennis Lamp, who got the win, Bob Patterson and Stan Belinda had to finish up. The Pirates started the season at 14-3 and the win launched a 5-wins-in-6-games streak on their way to a 96-win, division-title campaign. 
  • 1992 – Pittsburgh released OF Kirk Gibson, who was batting .196. Gibson took it like a pro, telling Jim Leyland he wished he had played for him during his prime and had no hard feelings by adding that “My job is to control my destiny.” The emotional Leyland admitted that releasing the vet “…hit me hard.” 
  • 1992 – Barry Bonds hit the daily double, being featured on the cover of both The Sporting News (“You Thought What?”) and Sports Illustrated (“Bonds Away.”). BB was a fitting selection – Bonds slashed .311/34/103 and won the MVP in his last Pirate campaign. He would be the last Pirate on SI’s cover until 2013, when Jason Grilli won the honor. 
Jose Mesa – 2005 Fleer Tradition
  • 2005 – Jose Mesa set a record by earning his 10th save in a 6-4 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park; it was the longest streak of saving every team win (the Pirates were 10-16 after the victory) to start a season. Pittsburgh fell behind 3-0 and it took them the whole game to get the lead back; they scored three times in the ninth thanks to Jason Bay and Daryl Ward homers to take a 6-3 lead. Jose was tapped for a run on a double that eventually came around, but it was a good enough performance to close out a win for Salomon Torres, who came on to spell Mark Redman. Rob Mackowiak had three hits while Bay and David Ross each added a pair. The streak ended the next day when the Pirates beat Arizona 6-2 without any Mesa intervention. 
  • 2011 – Ryan Doumit blasted a third-inning grand slam as the Bucs put up six runs in the frame (all unearned; the Friars booted back-to-back balls to start the inning) on the way to a 7-4 win against San Diego at Petco Park. The other run was manufactured via two walks and a stolen base, with Neil Walker scoring when SD couldn’t turn a DP. Kevin Correia got the W with help from Chris Resop, Daniel McCutchen and Jose Veras.


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