- 1941 - The Pirates drafted Fayette City’s Jim Russell from Memphis of the Southern Association in the minor league draft. He hit .277 from 1942-47 for the Bucs before spending his next four MLB campaigns playing for the Braves and Dodgers. Jim’s career was cut short by heart problems he had contracted as a child. He stayed on in the sport, though, scouting for the Dodgers and Senators for two decades after his playing days had ended.
|Bob Bailey – 1964 Topps|
- 1942 – 3B Bob Bailey was born in Long Beach. He was inked to the largest signing bonus ever paid up to that time, a reported $135,000, and began his 17 year pro career in Pittsburgh (1962-66) where he hit .257 with occasional power. Bailey had his best years with Montreal in the early seventies, with three 20+ HR seasons and three more with 80+ RBI. When he retired, he spent a decade managing in the Montreal system with side gigs as a hitting instructor. He passed away at age 75.
- 1960 - Game Seven of the World Series at Forbes Field ended with this call by NBC’s Mel Allen “There’s a drive into deep left field, look out now… that ball is going, going, gone! And the World Series is over! Mazeroski… hits it over the left field fence…” Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth with the most dramatic home run in Series history, a blast off Ralph Terry, breaking a 9-9 tie with the Yankees and bringing Pittsburgh its third World Championship. It’s still the only homer to win a seventh game in the ninth inning. Hal Smith hit a key two-out, three-run blast in the eighth to give Pittsburgh a short-lived lead before Maz stole his thunder. Harvey Haddix, the fourth Pirate hurler, recovered from a blown save in the ninth to get the win. Maz’s blast also cost Casey Stengel his job; the Ol’ Perfessor “retired” as NY manager five days after the loss, telling the media “I wasn’t retired – they fired me.” Other factoids: Bobby Richardson of the Yankees was named MVP of the Series, the only time that someone from the defeated team has been so honored, and it was the only World Series game ever played without a strikeout recorded by either club. And since 1985, the event has been celebrated on its anniversary outside the remaining wall.
- 1967 – Larry Shepard was named manager, replacing Danny Murtaugh, who in turn had replaced Harry Walker earlier in the year. He lasted two seasons (replaced by Murtaugh), then became the pitching coach of Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine under Sparky Anderson from 1970 through 1978. He finished his coaching career with the San Francisco Giants in 1979.
|Larry Shepard – 1968 Topps|
- 1971 – Roberto Clemente had three hits while Milt May drove in the winning run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth as the Pirates rallied to defeat the Baltimore Orioles, 4-3, at TRS in Game Four of the Fall Classic. Luke Walker gave up three runs in the first frame before heading to the showers with two outs, but Bruce Kison came to the rescue, tossing 6-1/3 one-hit innings, then Dave Giusti saved it by pitching perfect ball over the last two frames. It was the first scheduled night World Series game in baseball history (in 1949, the lights were turned on in the ninth inning at Ebbets Field because of darkness in a WS game between Brooklyn & the Yankees) and set two attendance records: 61M TV viewers and 51,378 fans in the park. It was a successful experiment; by 1987, all World Series games would be scheduled under the lights. The win evened the Series at two games. It also got foul poles added to TRS the following season after a rhubarb over a Clemente drive (the Bucs claimed homer; the ump called foul) led the Pirate brass to discovered that TRS’ painted yellow foul line had a 20” recess between the fence on the field and the back wall, leaving enough room for a curving ball that would otherwise kiss the foul line to slip foul.
- 1979 – The Bucs took a 6-3 lead into the eighth against the Orioles in the fourth game of the World Series, but they and 50,883 fans were stunned by a six-run eighth by the O’s and a 9-6 loss snatched from the jaws of victory at TRS. Kent Tekulve, inheriting a mess from Don Robinson, gave up a pair of two-run doubles to Terry Crowley and John Lowenstein to take the defeat. The Pirates banged out 17 hits, but stranded 10 with two DP, a caught stealing and a throw-out at home. Willie Stargell had three knocks, including a homer and double, but Pittsburgh fell into a three games to one hole against Baltimore.
- 1984 - RHP Hayden Penn was born in La Jolla, California. Penn appeared in 33 games over four years in the majors. His last three outings were with the Pirates in 2010, when he gave up eight runs in 2-1/3 IP after being claimed off waivers from the Marlins during training camp. Penn was sent to AAA Indianapolis, then his contract was sold and he threw in Japan for three seasons afterward, winning a Japan Series game (their WS) in 2010. He made his last hurrah with the indie Bridgeport Bluefish in 2013.
- 1985 – Saul Finkelstein sat at the base of the flagpole by the Forbes Field wall outside Schenley Plaza and listened to a taped NBC radio broadcast of Chuck Thompson and Jack Quinlan calling the seventh game of the 1960 World Series on his boombox. After that day, it soon evolved into an annual party & ceremony open to all under the auspices of the Game Seven Gang, often drawing an assortment of politicos and members of the championship team to mingle with the fans.
- 1991 – Pittsburgh evened the NLCS at two games with a 10-inning, 3-2 win at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium over the Braves. Mike LaValliere’s two-out, pinch hit single off Mark Wohlers scored Andy Van Slyke, and Stan Belinda tossed two scoreless frames for the win. Steve Buechele’s three hits gave him five straight over two games to tie an NLCS record that would stand until 2003.
- 1992 - The Pirates pounded the Braves, 13-4, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium to even the NLCS series at three games each. Tim Wakefield won his second game while Jay Bell, Barry Bonds and Lloyd McClendon homered. The Bucs ran away with the game after an eight-run second inning, featuring a pair of hits by Bonds and McClendon during the frame.
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