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8/17 Through the 1960s: 3-For-1; Waiver War; Gems & Game Tales; HBD Alex, Bill, Arch & Red

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  • 1891 – 3B Arch Reilly was born in Alton, Illinois. Arch never got to bat in his MLB career, though he was used as a defensive sub during a blowout once by the 1917 Bucs, handling his only chance at the hot corner flawlessly. The Ohio State man played in the minors from 1913-17, then left to coach three different sports at Marshall College (now a University). 
  • 1892 - IF John “Red” Rawlings was born in Bloomfield, Iowa. He spent the final seasons (1923-26) of his 12-year career as a Bucco, hitting .272 mainly as a bench guy. Rawlings later managed for eight years in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League for the Grand Rapids Chicks (1946-50), Peoria Redwings (1951) and Rockford Peaches (1953-54). He led his teams to six playoff appearances, including a championship with the 1947 Chicks. 
Hans took a seat against Mugsy – 2020 Topps Series 1
  • 1904 – The Pirates whacked 13 hits and six runs off Christy Mathewson, but it wasn’t enough as the New York Giants scored nine times against Charlie Case to win a slugfest at Exposition Park. Giants manager John “Mugsy” McGraw was at the center of a small riot. He was coaching third, and for some reason left the box and stood on the sack as a Giant runner was coming in; Hans Wagner saw the movement and thought it was 3B Tommy Leach, not McGraw, on the hot corner, zipped the ball to the bag and the overthrow plated a run for NY. Afterward, as described by the Pittsburgh Press, “Wagner made a kick and was put out of the game” by ump Johnstone. The Pirates protested to the league to no avail. Leach, the wayward third baseman, had three hits and Moose McCormick homered for the Pirates. 
  • 1907 – Pittsburgh defeated the Boston Doves at the South End Grounds by a 5-1 score. The Pittsburgh Press wrote that CF Tommy Leach “…broke the hearts of the (Boston) locals with a great spear in the third inning of (Ginger) Beaumont’s rap with the bases full. He gathered the ball in his mitt with his arm extended while going at full speed…it seemed impossible to get the ball, and it cost the Bostons four runs.” Leach made several nice plays on the day, and even stole home. It was the Doves’ 16th straight loss, but they got over their broken heart to take the next three games of the series, scoring 26 runs to the Bucs’ 15. 
  • 1915 – Rube Benton pitched the Bucs to a 3-2 win over Chicago, but both the Cubs and Giants protested the win. According to the SABR Biography Project “Cincinnati placed him (Benton) on waivers in early August. The New York Giants verbally claimed him for the $3,000 waiver price, but shortly thereafter the Pittsburgh Pirates offered $4,000. The Reds accepted the Pirates’ offer, prompting the Giants to file a grievance. Benton, meanwhile, reported to the Pirates and tossed a six-hitter to defeat the Cubs. One week later, the NL’s Board of Directors awarded Benton to the Giants. It ruled, however, that the Pirates had acted in good faith; rather than forfeiting the August 17th game, the Board ordered that it be stricken from the record books and replayed in September. The day after the decision, Rube pitched his first game for the Giants – against the Pirates, of course! – and gave up 12 hits in four innings of a 9-7 loss.” 
George Grantham – undated photo TSN Collection
  • 1929 – The Bucs scored three times in the first inning when Paul Waner doubled in Dick Bartell and Lloyd Waner, then came home on a two-out knock by Adam Comorosky, providing just enough firepower to hold off Boston at Braves Field 3-2. Larry French got the win and Steve Swetonic earned the save, but 2B George Grantham actually made the key save. With Braves on first and second and nobody out, he snared a liner and flipped it to SS Bartell, who stepped on second for out #2 and tagged the Braves’ runner from first (Boston had the hit-and-run on) for a triple play. 
  • 1943 – Pittsburgh won a twin bill from Boston‚ 8-0 and 4-3. Elbie Fletcher and Maurice Van Robays each had five hits on the day and drove in seven runs while banging out a homer, triple and four doubles in tandem. Hank Gornicki was the winner in both games at Braves Field. He tossed a six-hit complete game in the opener and shut Boston down again for 1-2/3 frames in the nitecap. But what goes around…a few days later, on August 22nd, the Brooklyn Dodgers beat Gornicki twice in the same day. 
  • 1948 – The Pirates beat the Reds 4-3 at Forbes Field when Ralph Kiner took Ewell Blackwell deep with two outs in the ninth inning for the walk-off win, finishing off a 3-for-5 day at the dish. Vic Lombardi tossed a complete game for the Bucs while also going 3-for-4 with an RBI to help his own cause. 
  • 1957 – RHP Bill Landrum was born in Columbia, South Carolina. Landrum closed for the Bucs from 1989-91, saving 56 games and putting up a 13-10/2.32 line. His big year was 1989, when he saved 26 games and had a 1.67 ERA. Bill retired when he was 36 and since has been in the real estate business back home in South Carolina. 
Bill Landrum – 1990 Topps Big
  • 1960 – Clem Labine, picked up the day before after being released by Detroit, tossed 3-2/3 innings of hitless ball with six K to save a 5-3 win for Harvey Haddix over the Phils at Forbes Field. Don Hoak’s three RBI paced the Bucco batters. Clem stuck with Pirates for another season and his last campaign was as a Met in 1962. 
  • 1962 – Per the Pittsburgh Press, “Harvey Haddix agrees that it makes a great difference when your curveball and slider finally do what a curve and slider are supposed to do” as he notched his first win since July 3rd, 9-1, over the Phillies at Forbes Field. Harvey went the distance, scattering nine hits, behind a balanced attack that saw all nine Bucs reach base against Philadelphia with eight scoring and seven chasing home runs. The game was played in front of a disappointing Friday night crowd of 13,713 despite a pre-game show by Jackie Gleason and the Glea Girls (which was panned in the papers). 
  • 1965 – OF Alex Cole was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Cole put in seven years in the show, spending most of 1992 with Pittsburgh and batting .278, reaching base five times in 13 PAs in the NLCS v Atlanta. He came to the Pirates in a July trade for Tony Mitchell and the speedster was lost the following season when he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies. 
  • 1968 – Bob Moose spun a four-hitter over 7-2/3 IP and Ron Kline came on to get the final four outs as the Pirates dropped the Dodgers at Forbes Field 3-0. The big blow for the Bucs was Chris Cannizzaro’s first MLB homer, a two-run shot, with the other score coming on a Freddy Patek triple and slow grounder. For Cannizzaro, it had taken seven seasons and 602 MLB at-bats before he finally launched a ball out of the yard (he would hit 17 more before retiring in 1974). He was behind the dish after being called up to replace the injured Jerry May. For Moose, it was his first start in 11 days; he had been out of baseball action while drilling with the Marine Corps Reserve.
Gene Alley – 1969 Topps
  • 1969 – The Pirates opened with five runs in the first inning, capped by a three-run Gene Alley blast. The Reds answered with four tallies of their own as Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan, the first two Cincy batters, homered off Steve Blass with Johnny Bench adding another long ball an out later. The game at Crosley Field settled down after that, with the Pirates taking an 8-5 decision behind Al Oliver and Willie Stargell dingers. Steverino gave up another home run (to Tony Perez) in the third, but lasted until the eighth to claim the win with a Chuck Hartenstein save.



Source: https://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2021/08/817-through-1960s-3-for-1-waiver-war.html



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