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6/9 Through 1950: Hans 3,000; Jack For Bud; Law Day, Phun W/Phils; Game Tales; HBD Cobra, Quail, Roy, Julio & Charles

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  • 1860 – Charles Power was born in Johnstown. He was a minor league pitcher who developed a bum arm and turned briefly to umpiring. He became the sports editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch in 1893, then was a boss for area minor leagues. He ran the Steel and Oil League in 1895, a local collection of eight teams that Hans Wagner passed through on his way to the show, and then stayed on when it became the Interstate League the following year until 1900. His last executive hurrah was in 1907 when he presided over the short-lived Class D Western Pennsylvania League.
Charles Power – image via BR Bullpen
  • 1902 – GM Roy Hamey was born in Havana, Illinois. Hamey replaced Ray Kennedy as Bucco GM following the 1946 campaign after serving as Business Manager of the Yankees. He hired Billy Meyer (a Yankee farm manager) as the Bucs’ skipper and dealt for veterans like Tiny Bonham, Bob Chesnes and Hank Greenberg, but the team was a second-division club for most of his tenure, and he was swapped out for Branch Rickey after the 1950 season. Hamey ran the Phillies for five years after that without much more success, and then returned to New York after the 1960 World Series, and in his three years there, the Bronx Bombers averaged 103 wins. His last shot at the top was as interim Chief Executive of the Seattle Pilots in 1969, running operations until Bud Selig bought the team in 1970. 
  • 1905 – It was a wild first inning, as attested by the Pittsburgh Press headline “Pirates Win Slugging Bee: Two Twirlers Driven Off the Rubber After One Inning.” The Giants scored five runs in the top of the first off Sam Leever and the Pirates came back with six runs off Iron Man Joe McGinnity in the bottom of the frame. Deacon Phillippe of the Pirates and Christy Mathewson of NY replaced the twirlers in the second inning. It was all Pittsburgh after that, with the Bucs rolling over New York 12-6 at Exposition Park. Fred Clarke, Ginger Beaumont, Honus Wagner, Del Howard and Tommy Leach each collected a pair of hits, while Phillippe pitched “cleverly” per the Press. And to add insult to injury, the Giants were pelted with fruit as they rode along Market Street after getting into a name-calling contest with some Pittsburgh fans after the game. 
  • 1906 – The Phillies had a 1-0, eighth inning lead over the Pirates at the Baker Bowl. As a storm approached, the Pirates rallied in the ninth to forge ahead, and the Phils decided to give away outs‚ bean batters, toss wild pitches (the Pirates caught on and swung at them, trying to strike out on purpose) and argue almost every call in the hope of umpire Bill Klem calling the game because of the weather. He did, all right: after seven runs crossed the plate, Klem declared a forfeit because of Philadelphia’s antics. The ploy almost worked, though – it rained shortly after the game was called. 
  • 1914 – Honus Wagner got his 3,000th hit off Philadelphia’s Erskine Mayer in a 3-1 loss to the Phillies at the Baker Bowl. Wagner’s hit, a double, came in the ninth. Wagner joined Cap Anson as the only members of the 3000-hit club. Hans told the Pittsburgh Press “Well, I’m glad that’s over. Sometimes I think too much newspaper talk hurts a fellow, that it acts as sort of a jinx.” 
Pgh Press 6/10/1914
  • 1931 – Bill Virdon was born in Hazel Park, Michigan. The Quail came over from the Cards in 1956 and patrolled center field for 11 years (1956-66) in Pittsburgh, including the 1960 World Series season. Virdon won Rookie of the Year in 1952, the World Series in 1960 and a Gold Glove in 1962. He later coached and managed the Bucs and still lends a hand at spring training. 
  • 1935 – The Pirates traded 21-year-old RHP Jack Salveson to the Chicago White Sox for 22-year-old OF Bud Hafey. In this case, youth was not all that well served. Hafey played in 97 games over two years for the Bucs, batting .222, and spent one final campaign (1939) in the show with 12 more seasons served in the minors. Salveson only appeared five times as a Buc; overall, he slashed 9-9-4/3.99 after five seasons/87 MLB outings. 
  • 1939 – IF Julio Gotay was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. He spent two seasons with the Pirates in 1963-64 and barely got a taste of the show with just seven games under his belt (though he did hit .500) with most of his days spent in AAA Columbus. Julio did have parts of 10 seasons in the majors, mainly with the Astros and Cards, but only once collected more than 250 at-bats. 
  • 1940 – The Pirates won for the fifth time in six games when they took the back end of a twin bill from Philadelphia by an 11-5 score at Forbes Field after losing the lidlifter 6-1. Elbie Fletcher went 3-for-4 with a double and five RBI while Paul Waner matched him, also going 3-for-4 with a double, with two RBI and three runs. Mace Brown got the win. The good times didn’t last; the Bucs lost 6-of-8 after the victory. 
Elbie Fletcher – 1940 Play Ball
  • 1946 – The boys in blue really got under the skin of Giants manager Mel Ott. He was ejected from both games of a doubleheader at Forbes Field for arguing calls (two different umpires tossed him), an MLB first. Ott should have read the riot act to his hitters instead, who were shut down by 2-1 and 5-1 scores by Bucco hurlers Fritz Ostermueller and Johnny Lanning. 
  • 1949 – Peas in a pod: The Phillies beat the Pirates at Shibe Park, 4-3, in 18 innings. The intrastate rivals both had 16 hits in 68 at bats and committed three errors along with 21 assists. On the same day, The Press published a letter and sidebar from Sheriff Walter Monaghan urging a Pirates “Confidence Night” for the fans to rally in support of the team. He wrote “…as badly as most of us feel everytime we look at the standings, we should remember that the entire Pirates roster…must feel a whole lot worse.” The Pirates were 17-31 at the time and in last place; they finished 71-83, in sixth place and 26 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers. 
  • 1951 – Dave Parker was born in Calhoun City, Mississippi. The Cobra manned right field for 11 years (1973-83) for the Bucs with a line of .305/166/758, earning four All-Star appearances and three Golden Glove awards. He was the 1978 National League MVP and the first professional athlete to earn one million dollars per year (including deferred payments) after signing a five-year, $5 million contract in January 1979. Fun fact: Parker wore a gold necklace with a Star of David pendant although he wasn’t Jewish. When asked why, he explained “My name is David, and I’m a star.” 
  • 1953 – The refusal of the NL owners to allow the Pirates to take down Forbes Field’s Kiner Korner after the trade of Ralph Kiner played into the Pirates’ hands in their 7-4 win over the Cards. Eddie Pellagrini belted a three-run pinch HR over the short porch in the eighth, after Dick Hall had earlier lofted a solo shot in the fourth into the same spot. 
  • 1958 – The Pirates stopped in Boise, Idaho while on a west coast trip and became the first MLB club to play a game in the state. The Bucs paid the visit as a nod to Vern Law, who was born in Meridian and honored during “Vern Law Day.” The Pirates were greeted by a crowd at the airport and driven to their hotel in a motorcade. The Boise Braves were a Class C club out of the Pioneer League and played to that level, losing 17-6 to the big boys.


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