- 1865 – IF Frank Scheibeck was born in Detroit. He spent parts of eight seasons in the show and sported the Bucco colors for 23 games in 1894, batting .353. Frank played pro ball through 1906 and after his playing days, he went on to umpire. He later held hometown day jobs as a real estate salesman and as an auto plant assembler.
- 1880 – P Mike Lynch was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The righty pitched four seasons (1904-07) for the Pirates, picking up 32 wins and working over 400 innings in his first two years. He was still effective in his final two years with the team, but the Bucs had juiced up their staff and he became the odd man out, going to the Giants during the second half of ‘07 and then retiring to go into business. His career Pittsburgh line was 40-26/3.01.
|Mike Lynch – 1904 photo Pgh Press|
- 1914 – Honus Wagner became the first 20th century ballplayer to collect 3,000 hits when he singled off of Cincinnati’s rookie Pete Schneider in the second game of a twinbill at Redland Field. While a good day for Hans, it wasn’t such a good one for the Pirates. They lost both ends of the doubleheader to the Reds by 7-6 and 1-0 scores. The first loss was especially gruesome as the Bucs blew a 6-2 lead in the ninth triggered by a missed call. Up by a run with two outs and two aboard, a 3-2 foul tip was gloved by catcher Bob Coleman. The Reds on base started to run to the dugout, but the batter, Bert Niehoff, jogged innocently to first and the ump bought his act, calling it a check swing and ball four. A protest, made en masse by the Pirate infield and battery, was to no avail and a following single gave Cincy the game. The second was a pitching duel with Schneider’s three-hitter bettering the four-hit work of Marty O’Toole and Erv Kantlehner. In the long run, it made little difference as the Pirates finished seventh and the Reds last in the NL that season. (There have been a slew of June dates tossed around for Hans’ 3,000th hit. June 9th was the consensus, but Bucco historian John Dreker of Pirates Prospects says that this date is the newly accepted one following research of old-timey box scores, which are generally kinda sketchy, so we use both in the blog.)
- 1916 - Cubs catcher Bill Fischer set a MLB record by catching all 27 innings of a doubleheader loss to the Bucs at brand new Wrigley Field. Pittsburgh won both games 3-2, with the second game going 18 innings. The winning pitchers were Mike Prendergast and Tom Seaton with Prendergast pulling double duty, coming on to get the save in the nitecap. Impressed with Fischer’s stamina, the Pirates traded for him at the end of July, and he played his last two seasons in the show for Pittsburgh.
- 1938 – C Orlando McFarlane was born in Oriente, Cuba. Signed by the Bucs as an infielder in 1958, he was converted to catcher and got a cup of coffee with the Pirates in 1962, playing a bit more in 1964 and hitting .208 in his 45-game Bucco career. He was lost in the Rule 5 draft and played three more years with Detroit and the California Angels, but he battled nagging injuries while his impressive minor league bat never carried over to the show. Orlando played 10 years in the bushes with more stops in the Cuban, Mexican, Dominican and Puerto Rican leagues.
- 1970 – SS Kevin Polcovich was born in Auburn, New York. He spent his MLB career of two years (1997-98) with the Pirates, hitting .234. The University of Florida player was drafted in the 30th round by the Bucs in 1992, getting his call when Kevin Elster was injured, and would become a key member of the 1997 “Freak Show” that against all odds stayed in the divisional race until late September despite a $9M payroll. After he left the game, Kevin did some scouting and established the Icrush Bat Company, a manufacturer of maple bats.
|Pgh Press – 6/28/1970|
- 1970 – The Pirates swept a twinbill from the Chicago Cubs, 3-2 and 4-1, in the last games played at 61-year-old Forbes Field in front of 40,918, the second largest crowd to gather at the ballyard. Al Oliver hit the last home run in FF history. Jim Nelson got the final W iced by a Dave Giusti save. It was a fitting finale; the Cubs were the first team the Pirates played at Forbes Field in 1909. Bill Mazeroski had the last Pirate hit there, a seventh inning double, and recorded the last put-out on a force play at second. It was the Pirates seventh straight victory and the Cubs 10th straight loss. The Bucs went on the road afterwards and opened TRS on July 16th, after the All-Star streak.
- 1973 – Willie Stargell hit his 300th career home run as the Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6–0 at TRS. Al Oliver had a huge day, going 4-for-5 with a triple, two doubles and three RBI while Rennie Stennett added three hits to back Dock Ellis’ five hitter.
- 1979 - The Pirates traded pitchers Ed Whitson, Al Holland and Fred Breining to the Giants for P Dave Roberts plus infielders Bill Madlock & Lenny Randle. Mad Dog solidified the Bucco infield at third and spent six seasons with Pittsburgh, winning batting titles in 1981 (.341) and 1983 (.323). Roberts was workmanlike for the Bucs in ‘79-80, though at 35 he was near the end of his journey; 1981 was his last season. Randle wasn’t here long enough to find his way to the North Shore before he was sold to the Yankees. Whitson pitched through 1991, winning 126 games and saving eight more while Holland worked out of various bullpens for 11 more seasons. Breining had a shorter career, lasting five years as a multi-role hurler.
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