- 1951 – Gus Bell hit for the cycle to lead the Pirates to a 12-4 victory over the Phillies at Shibe Park. Bell, Rocky Nelson and Wally Westlake had three RBI apiece; Nelson and Westlake also collected three hits each. Rookie Bob Friend got the win, his first in the majors, going 6-⅓ IP with help from Murry Dickson, who closed out the game after that. Fun fact: In 2004, Gus’ grandson David (then a Phil and future Reds manager) also pulled off the feat; Gus and David are the only grandfather-grandson duo in major league history to hit for the cycle.
- 1953 - General Manager Branch Rickey traded future Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, the only man to lead the league in home runs for seven consecutive seasons, as the salary dump centerpiece of a huge deal with the Cubs. (After several acrimonious contract battles, Rickey reportedly told the slugger “We finished last with you, we can finish last without you.”) At least he didn’t have to travel far. The Cubs were at Forbes Field, and the trade was announced after batting practice. The players involved from Pittsburgh were Kiner, C Joe Garagiola, P Howie Pollet, and OF Catfish Metkovich, who were sent to the Cubs for C Toby Atwell, P Bob Schultz, 1B Preston Ward, 3B George Freese, OF Bob Addis, OF Gene Hermanski, and $150,000.
|Larry Demery – 1975 Topps|
- 1953 – RHP Larry Demery was born in Bakersfield, California, the son of Negro League outfielder/pitcher Artist Demery. He broke into the Pirate rotation a few days after turning 21 in June of 1974. Demery was mostly a long man, going 29-23-7/3.72, though he did start 46 times. An arm injury in 1977 ended his career after a four year run with the Bucs. Demery came from baseball genes. His dad, Artis (aka “Artist”) Demery was a pitcher in the last days of the Negro Leagues and then in the minors.
- 1957 - C Tony Pena was born in Monte Cristi, in the Dominican Republic. Signed in 1975 as an international FA, he spent his first seven years (1980-86) in Pittsburgh, hitting .286 and earning spots on four All-Star teams before he was traded in the 1987 preseason to the St. Louis Cards for P Mike Dunne, C Mike LaValliere and OF Andy Van Slyke. The trade caught Pena, a lifelong Pirate, by surprise; he teared up at the press conference announcing the deal.
- 1967 - Roberto Clemente hit two homers and drove in all four runs in a 4-1 Pirate victory at Dodger Stadium. Both blasts were launched off Don Drysdale, the first long balls that he surrendered this season. The last four-baggers he had given up were against Clemente and Willie Stargell, who went back-to-back on him on September 15th, 1966. Bob Veale threw a five-hitter for the win, saved by ElRoy Face.
- 1968 - The Bucs were on the wrong end of a record or two during a 5-0 loss at LA. Tossing his sixth consecutive shutout, Don Drysdale topped Doc White’s 64-year-old mark of five shutouts, and with 54 scoreless innings, he broke Carl Hubbell’s NL string of 49 goose egg frames. In his next game, Drysdale would set the MLB mark at 58-2/3 scoreless frames. Drysdale was on top of his game, tossing a three-hitter and fanning eight. Jim Bunning took the loss. Gary Kolb was the only Bucco to get past first base with a sixth inning double.
|Jerry Reuss – 1975 Topps|
- 1975 – Jerry Reuss didn’t give up a hit until the seventh frame, and it hurt – not the Pirates, who held on for a 2-1 win against the Reds at TRS, but for Reuss, who took a Dave Conception liner off the leg and had to leave the contest. The Pirates scored on Rennie Stennett’s misplayed fly that eventually led to a run and a Richie Hebner solo shot. Cincy plated off Dave Giusti, who in 2-1/3 IP walked three batters and let one score before Ramon Hernandez came on with an out in the ninth to close the gate, albeit with some drama as he walked the bases loaded with two away before getting the final out. The Pirates had the baseball gods on their side this evening. Reuss served several hard at ‘em balls while Giusti picked a runner off second base and Al Oliver threw out another at home to limit the damage during Dave’s outing.
- 1981 – In his first game as a Cub, Bobby Bonds (Barry’s dad) lasted an inning before breaking his hand after tumbling over a loose seam at TRS. The Tim Foli ball he was chasing fell for a triple and became a big run as Foli scored and the Bucs went on to defeat the Chicago club 5-4 in 10 innings. Lee Lacy tallied the winning run when he tripled and scored on Dale Berra’s bloop to earn a win for Kent Tekulve. Foli had four hits and was a homer shy of a cycle while Dave Parker added three more raps including a home run with two runs scored and three chased home.
- 1986 - Barry Bonds went 4-for-5 and hit his first MLB home run off Craig McMurtry to lead the Bucs to a 12-3 romp over Atlanta at Fulton County Stadium. Bonds scored three times and drove in four runs. RJ Reynolds had two hits including a long ball as Mike Bielecki, with help from Jim Winn, got the win. BB had 761 more of those long balls in his 22-year career, becoming the all-time MLB home run leader.
- 1992 – Bobby Bo returned to TRS for the first time and was not exactly welcome back with open arms. The Associated Press wrote “Bonilla was booed early, he was booed late and he booed often…” Signs in the park were of the “Bucks, Not Bucs” ilk, he was pinged by a golf ball thrown from the crowd (he then played with a batting helmet in the field) and Vince LaSheid even joined in with a rendition of “Take the Money and Run.” While the Pittsburgh fans did nothing to endear themselves, the team ran away with a 7-2 decision, led by Bo’s old running mate and soon-to-be ex-Bucco Barry Bonds, who homered and doubled.
|Bobby Bo – 1992 Topps|
- 2009 - Andrew McCutchen made his first MLB start against the NY Mets. He singled off Mike Pelfrey in his first at bat and went 2-for-4 with an RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base in an 11-6 win at PNC Park. In nine years as a Pirate, Cutch hit .291 with a 136+ OPS, 203 homers and 176 stolen bases. He was MVP in 2013 and was named to five straight All-Star games.
- 2014 - Pirate pitchers gave up one hit, a first-inning bunt single, but still managed to lose to San Diego at Petco Park by a 3-2 count. The Padre runs came on a miscommunicated shallow fly, an error and a bases loaded walk, one of nine that Pirate hurlers issued. Francisco Liriano took the loss, walking six batters with a HBP in his first four frames (he went six innings). The last time the Pirates threw a one-hitter and lost was July 25th, 1992, at Atlanta. That hit was a second inning homer by David Justice, the only tally in a 1-0 Bravo win.
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