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9/1 From 1965: Grant Gone; 1st A-A Lineup; Woodie's 15K; Cam Inked; OF'er Teke; Aces Trumped; Umps Out; Bureau Born; Catapult; Gems & Game Tales

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  • 1965 – The Bucs laid losses on aces Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale on the same day during a Forbes Field twinbill with last at-bat rallies. The Pirates defeated Koufax, 3-2, in 11 innings in the opener and then beat Drysdale, 2-1, in the nitecap. Joe Gibbon and Vern Law picked up the victories. Jim Pagliaroni doubled home Willie Stargell to walk off the opener while Bill Virdon scored on a two-out error in the eighth to take the nitecap. The day wasn’t a complete wash for da Bums as Sandy Koufax set a record for K’s by a lefty with 307 when he fanned Willie Stargell in the fourth inning of the lidlifter. It was the Bucs 12th win in 14 games, moving them within 2-1/2 games of LA in a tight, five-team NL flag chase. Alas, though they won 90 games, the Pirates finished third in the NL race, seven games behind LA, the eventual World Series champs. 
  • 1967 – Woodie Fryman had missed a good chunk of his second campaign and at 2-7 was a bit underwhelming when healthy, but the lefty showed his promise by fanning 15 Phils in a complete game three-hitter, winning, 3-0, at Forbes Field. He fell one short of the team single-game record of 16 K held by Bob Veale, who had just set the standard a year earlier. Woodie added a hit to the cause and scored the Pirates second run; an error led to the first tally for Pittsburgh, with Maury Wills and Bill Mazeroski later chasing home the insurance markers. 
PNC Park marker – image AT&T SportsNet
  • 1971 – The Pirates fielded baseball’s first non-Negro League, all-black lineup 24 years after Jackie Robinson broke the NL/AL color line in a 10-7 win over the Phillies at TRS. The card read: Rennie Stennett (2B), Gene Clines (CF), Roberto Clemente (RF), Willie Stargell (LF), Manny Sanguillen (C), Dave Cash (3B), Al Oliver (1B), Jackie Hernández (SS) and Dock Ellis (P). Richie Hebner (3B) and Gene Alley (SS) were both injured, with Stennett (Cash moved from 2B to 3B) and Hernandez filling in. The usual 1B, Bob Robertson, got a rest day, so Scoops moved to the infield and Clines took center. They played pretty well; six starters had two hits and every position player reached base during the game. The historic lineup went almost unnoticed in Pittsburgh as both newspapers were on strike. Bob Prince and Nellie King, the radio announcers, mentioned it in passing, and Bill Guilfoile, the Pirate PR man, said he would have to check the records after the game to see if it really was the first all-black lineup (in 1967, Harry Walker had a lineup with eight black position players, but Dennis Ribant was on the hill). Even Al Oliver said “When we took the field we didn’t give it any thought. It was probably about the third inning when I finally looked at Cash and said, ‘We’ve got all brothers out here, man.’” It took the PA Historical Commission a little longer for the light to dawn; they didn’t OK a commemorative marker of the event until 2022. 
  • 1973 – Bruce Kison and some timely glovework put the Pirates into a virtual first-place tie (actually, they were .0001 percentage points ahead of St. Louis) with a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs at TRS. Kison went eight innings, giving up four hits & four walks, while Dave Giusti worked the final frame for the win. Chi-town’s Burt Hooton was equally tough, having surrendered just three hits going into the ninth before the Bucs struck. With an out, Richie Hebner singled and Al Oliver doubled. An intentional walk loaded the bases for Richie Zisk, who got ahead 2-0 before banging the next pitch over a shallow outfield for the walkoff win. The mittmen bailed out their hurlers, as they turned three DP’s (one via strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out) and cut down another Bruin trying to go from first-to-third. 
  • 1974 – The Major League Scouting Bureau, the offspring of the 60’s Central Scouting Bureau, was founded to cut costs and centralize scouting, with Pirates GM Joe Brown being one of its early movers. Membership wasn’t mandatory until 1984 when the bureau was made a part of the Commissioner’s Office, and it now supplements the individual teams’ scouting operations. 
Teke also saw some pasture duty – 1979 Topps
  • 1979 – Chuck Tanner sent reliever Kent Tekulve from the mound to left field and brought in southpaw Grant Jackson to face lefty Darrell Evans against the Giants with two down in the ninth. (He wanted Tekulve available in case Evans got aboard.) Evans hit a fly to Teke, who waved his arms to call off a distant but closing Omar Moreno and made the catch to finish the game, a 5-3 Bucco win in the opener of a DH at Candlestick Park. It was Teke’s only showing in the field other than the hill during his entire 16-year MLB career. Willie Stargell had two homers and Dale Berra added another in support of the Bruce Kison win. Jim Bibby pitched the Bucs to a 7-2 sweep in the nitecap, backed by Lee Lacy’s three hits, including a homer, two runs scored and three RBI. 
  • 1981 – Pittsburgh sold 38-year-old LHP Grant Jackson to the Montreal Expos for $50,000. He had been with the Bucs since 1977 and posted a line of 29-19-36/3.23 in 278 outings during that span. Buck was at his best in the 1979 post season, giving up no runs and a hit in six outings against the Reds and Orioles. 1982 was his last campaign; he finished out his 18-year career with a final appearance with Pittsburgh before becoming a Pirates coach from 1983-85. 
  • 1998 – GM Cam Bonifay, who had been rumored to be in line for the Dodgers job, squelched that speculation by signing a three-year contract extension with the Bucs, carrying him through the 2003 season. It was a big deal; after the 1997 campaign, The Sporting News had named Bonifay as the MLB Executive of the Year. Cam had been Pittsburgh’s GM since 1993, when he replaced Ted Simmons, who had left for health reasons. 
  • 1999 – A federal judge worked out a settlement that cost 22 umpires their jobs. They were among the 57 who resigned in mid-July in an effort to get negotiations between Richie Phillips’ ump union and MLB on a fast track; it backfired, and the gung-ho 22 who had quit (the others had rescinded their resignations when MLB hired permanent replacements for the missing boys in blue) found themselves without a job. The league said they’d pay their salary to the end of the season and they could grieve to get their jobs back, with the proviso that the costs of arbitrating the judges decision would be deducted from their final settlement. That was the final nail in Phillips’ coffin; his Major League Umpires Association was replaced by the World Umpires Association. As for the 22 umps, half returned to the field; the other half were permanently retired with a severance bonus. 
  • 2000 – The Pirates had a textbook Jekyll and Hyde performance in September. They began the month with a 3-2 win at San Diego, starting a six-game winning streak while on the West Coast and running the skein up to eight straight victories before returning home and falling to the Reds after taking the first pair of a four-game set, which triggered a nine-game losing funk. They closed out the month hot again, winning eight-of-twelve. It was apropos of nothing, though – they finished the year with just 69 wins and then lost 100 games in 2001. 
  • 2004 – The sputtering Bucco offense was rescued at the last minute by Craig Wilson, who drilled a last-gasp, two-out homer in the ninth inning off closer Dan Kolb to tie the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-2, at Miller Field. The Pirate attack woke up in the 10th when Ty Wigginton’s two-out, bases-loaded infield knock plated a run and Jose Castillo provided the insurance with a two-run two-bagger. Ryan Vogelsong started for Pittsburgh, with the 5-2 win going to Salomon Torres and the save to Jose Mesa. The Pirates’ first run was scored by Jack Wilson, who was chased home by Daryle Ward’s double. 
Craig Wilson – 2004 Fleer Tradition
  • 2013 – The opening pitch was tossed out not by a human celebrity, but by a trebuchet (a catapult), designed by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The first machine to ever toss a ceremonial ball at PNC Park (it was named “Rookie of the Gear”), it delivered a strike to the Pirate Parrot 10 minutes before the game against the St. Louis Cards was to begin. The Bucs might have been better off keeping the contraption on the hill, as they lost to the Redbirds, 7-2. 
  • 2019 – Steven Brault had a day to remember against the Rox at Coors Field. He got a 6-2 win, lasting 6-2/3 IP and starting the game off with 69 consecutive fastballs (77 of his 82 pitches would be heaters) to help counter a rough second half of the season. To add the cherry on top, he belted a 441’ homer, his first big league long fly, to cap off a year that saw Steven bat .333 (he was used a pinch hitter eight times during the campaign). 
  • 2021 – The Pirates were on the road, so the 50th anniversary of MLB’s first all-black lineup (non-Negro League) instead was celebrated locally at a round table event held at the Heinz History Center’s Sports Museum. The speakers, all who played that day, were Dave Cash, Al Oliver, Manny Sanguillen and Gene Clines, along with Roberto Clemente Jr. Mayor Bill Peduto stopped by to speechify and presented the Pirates with a proclamation commemorating the event.


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