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8/22 From 1970: Bream Big; Josh Jam; Nellie 1-Hitter; Buc 6-Pack; Gregory Gone; Gems & Game Tales; RIP Alfredo; HBD Chris & Drew

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  • 1970 – The Pirates beat Los Angeles, 2-1, in 16 innings at Dodger Stadium. Roberto Clemente went 5-for-7 and scored the winning run when he led off the 16th with a single, stole second and came in on Jerry May’s two-out knock to left. Four Pirate pitchers scattered seven hits, with Bruce Dal Canton getting the win, but they kept it interesting by issuing 11 walks; they even allowed LA pitcher Don Sutton to steal the only base of his career. The Dodgers refused the visitor’s generosity, though – LA went 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position. 
  • 1972 – Nellie Briles tossed a one-hitter, giving up just a two-out, seventh-inning single to Ken Henderson, a high liner off of Willie Stargell’s mitt, to beat Juan Marichal and the SF Giants, 1-0, at Candlestick Park. The game’s only score came in the first when Roberto Clemente reached on a two-out, two-base throwing error by 2B Tito Fuentes and came home on Pops’ double. Henderson was the only Giant baserunner; Briles didn’t walk anyone and whiffed six during his gem. 
  • 1974 – A sad day in Pirates history. The Salem Pirates of the Carolina League were playing the Rocky Mount Phillies at Salem’s Municipal Stadium. Right fielder Alfredo Edmead charged in on a Texas League bloop, while 2B Pablo Cruz drifted back for the play. Edmead collided with Cruz – who, coincidentally, had signed Edmead to his first pro contract moonlighting as a part-time scout for the Pirates – striking his head on Cruz’s knee, knocking Edmead unconscious. Phillies pitcher Jim Meerpohl related the incident to The Sporting News: “Cruz was seated on the ground, rolling up his pant leg, still very much in pain, but then we saw he had a knee brace, the old-fashioned kind with steel braces on each side. That damned steel had been like an axe to Edmead’s head, with his left side of his skull from the frontal lobe across the top to the back of his skull sliced open about three-quarters of an inch and the bleeding was horrific.” Edmead died an hour later from massive brain trauma and loss of blood at Lewis-Gale Hospital in Salem. At the age of 17, Edmead remains the youngest death of any professional baseball player in history, per Wiki. Still haunted, Cruz told Peter Gammons of Sports Illustrated in 2018 that “I have prayed for Alfredo every day since that night. I didn’t know that night how it happened. But it happened, and every day I think about Alfredo, I say a prayer for him, I grieve for him.” 
Richie Zisk – 1975 Kelloggs
  • 1975 – Pittsburgh swept the Reds in a doubleheader at TRS by 7-2 and 4-2 tallies. In the opener, Richie Zisk homered twice and Rennie Stennett had three hits to support Larry Demery. John Candelaria spun a four-hitter in the second game, backed by homers smoked off the bats of Dave Parker and Richie Hebner. Both teams would go on to win their divisions, with the 108-win Reds sweeping the NLCS against the Bucs and then winning the World Series against the BoSox. 
  • 1979 – The Pirates scored twice in the seventh and added two more in the eighth to rally past the SF Giants 8-6 at TRS. Tim Foli had four RBI, and his two-out, two-run single up the middle drove in the winning runs in the eighth. Dave Parker also collected his 1,000th hit. Kent Tekulve, the last of four Pirate pitchers, got the win after tossing two scoreless innings of relief. 
  • 1982 – Charley Feeney of the Post Gazette wrote “Two bloops by the Pirates and one blooper by the Dodgers in the 14th inning capped a 4-3 win for the Bucs at Three Rivers Stadium.” The bloops were by Mike Easler and Dale Berra and the blooper made by LA’s Pedro Guerrero, who after a long run let Berra’s dink to get past him, allowing The Hit Man to score the winning run. Easler had three hits while Berra and Jason Thompson had two apiece. Don Robinson, who worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the 14th (LA stranded 13 runners), got the win. He followed Rick Rhoden, Enrique Romo, Rod Scurry and Kent Tekulve in the four-hour game. Richie Hebner started in right field, the first time he played an MLB game in the pasture. Chuck Tanner used The Gravedigger there 20 more times during the season to get his bat in the lineup. 
  • 1986 – The Pirates “Salute to the City” promo night at TRS looked more like a salute to Atlanta as the Braves jumped off to a 4-0 lead after seeing just 15 first-inning pitches from starter Larry McWilliams. But Jim Winn (who won) and Barry Jones combined to toss 8-2/3 frames of one-run ball (Pat Clements got the other out) and the bats came alive. Pittsburgh tied the game quickly, also plating four runs in the first, and then iced it when they tallied eight times in the sixth inning to surge a 16-5 romp. Sid Bream led the charge, going 5-for-5 with a homer, five RBI and four runs scored, getting a curtain call from the faithful (their love would later change). Johnny Ray had three knocks and scored four times, Jim Morrison went deep with three hits/three runs driven home, and RJ Reynolds also chased home three runs. 27,517 fans were in the house and got to see old Bucco skipper/current Brave manager Chuck Tanner get the thumb after starting a losing rhubarb with plate ump Tom Hallion during the Pirates sixth inning explosion. 
Jim Winn – 1986 Fleer
  • 1990 – RHP Drew Hutchison was born in Lakeland, Florida. Drew was the return for Francisco Liriano plus minor leaguers Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez in a 2016 contract-dump deadline deal with Toronto. He got into six games that year with no decisions and a 5.56 ERA, spent 2017 at AAA Indianapolis and then was DFA’ed at the end of the year. He’s bounced around since and is now playing for Philly, his eighth organization since leaving. McGuire is currently with the Boston Red Sox while Ramirez plays for the Tampa Bay Rays. 
  • 1990 – RHP Chris Stratton was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. A first round pick of the Giants in 2010, he went 15-14/4.63 for SF from 2016-18, then was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in 2019. He was beat up there, DFA’ed, and purchased by the Pirates who were thin in pitching after a rash of injuries. The converted starter was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals with Jose Quintana in 2022. He’s now pitching for the Texas Rangers after a 2023 deadline deal.
  • 1992 – It was a day of threes and twos for the Buccos in their 9-2 win over the Giants at Candlestick Park. Three Pirates homered, Barry Bonds and Jay Bell had three RBIs, and Bonds and Jeff King had three hits. Doublets registered were two-run homers by Bonds, Bell and Mike LaValliere, Spanky had two RBI, Alex Cole and Andy Van Slyke scored twice and Bell had a pair of knocks. It all added up to Doug Dabek’s tenth win of the campaign. 
  • 1998 – 45,082 fans jammed TRS to see Mark McGwire and weren’t disappointed; he got a big cheer when he stepped to the plate and an ovation when he sent a Francisco Cordoba offering 477’ for his 52nd homer, the first NL player to hit that mark since George Foster in 1977. With that out of the way, the Bucs rolled to their sixth straight win by a 14-4 count. Jason Kendall (three runs, two RBI) and Tony Womack (two runs, one RBI) had three hits while Kevin Young chased home four runners to pace the attack. Cordoba lasted six frames, giving up three long balls, but had plenty enough support to claim credit for the win. 
  • 2007 – The Bucs bashed six homers (Nate McLouth – 2, Freddy Sanchez, Xavier Nady, Jason Bay, Jack Wilson) to bang out an 11-2 decision over the Colorado Rockies and old matey Josh Fogg at Coors Field. Sanchez had four hits and three RBI to plow the road for Tom Gorzelanny’s win with Frankie Osoria and John Grabow finishing up the final three frames. 
Jose Tabata – 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter
  • 2013 – A seven-run fifth inning carried the Pirates to a 10-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Bucs had just four hits in the frame, the key blow being a Jose Tabata two-out double with the bases loaded, but three walks and a bopped batter kept the party going. Garrett Jones and Jordy Mercer each hit solo home runs off the Giants Matt Cain in the second inning. Tabata finished the night 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored while Jeanmar Gomez, the second of four twirlers, earned his third win by pitching three no-hit innings. 
  • 2014 – Josh Harrison had a career high five RBI, all coming with two outs, to lead the Bucs to an 8-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. He had a double and a homer while Andrew McCutchen added another moon shot. Jeff Locke went six innings for the win; he gave up just two hits though the Nibbler walked an unsightly six batters. The Pirate staff gave up eight free passes, while recording just one strikeout, but the Brew Crew stranded nine runners. 
  • 2015 – In front of a sold-out house at PNC Park, the Pirates took a 3-2 decision from the Giants in dramatic fashion. Gerrit Cole gave up a run on a walk, stolen base, error and broken bat single; Joakim Soria gave up the game-tying run in the eighth on a walk that came home on a two-out wild pitch. The Pirates scores came when Jung-Ho Kang homered off starter Mike Leake and then off reliever Hunter Strickland. George Kontos struck out the first two Bucco batters in the ninth, then Starling Marte ripped Pittsburgh’s third homer on a first pitch cutter to walk off with the win, claimed by Mark Melancon, who spun a six-pitch ninth. The Pirates had just four hits, and thanks to a couple of caught stealing tries, left no runners on base. Kang became the third South Korean-born ballplayer with a multi-homer game, joining Hee-Seop Choi and Shin-Soo Choo. 
  • 2021 – The Pirates placed struggling OF Gregory Polanco on waivers; the Pirates were the only organization Polanco had played with since he was signed in 2009. El Coffee was the last remaining player from the 2013-15 Pirates playoff years, but injuries to his knee/shoulder and performance had eroded his value: from 2019-21, he hit just .197 while compiling a WAR of -3.1, and his shoulder made him an outfield liability. He’s now playing in Japan after going unclaimed.


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