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7/7 From 1960: AVS-AS; Jerry Signs; Smiley-in', Sluggo & Milt Fivers, Roberto Whack, Game Tales; Blow Me Down, Maz's Corner, ASGs; HBD Vinny & John

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  • 1964 – The National League defeated the Junior Circuit at Shea Stadium in the All-Star game by a 7-4 score, best remembered because of Johnny Callison’s dramatic three-run ninth-inning homer. Roberto Clemente batted 1-for-3 with a run scored, Willie Stargell went 0-for-1, and Bill Mazeroski and Smoky Burgess were bench players for the Senior Circuit. 
  • 1970 – Roberto Clemente’s blast to the roof of Connie Mack Stadium’s double-decker left field seats was his fifth long ball in five days, breaking a tie score and leading the Bucs to a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Bob Veale got the win with help from Dave Giusti. 
  • 1972 – In the Pirates’ 10-2 win over the Braves at Atlanta Stadium, C Milt May went 5-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Gene Alley homered and had four RBI while Al Oliver, Gene Clines and Dave Cash added three knocks each to pace a 20-hit attack. May added two more hits in the nitecap of the twin bill, but the team’s bats cooled off and Pirates lost, 3-2. Luke Walker won the opener while Bruce Kison took the second game loss. Both pitchers went the distance. 
  • 1980 – C John Buck was born in Kemmerer, Wyoming. The 10-year vet was part of the Marlon Byrd/Dilson Herrera deal with the Mets in 2013. He was tabbed to provide some depth behind Russ Martin and did get five starts with a .333 BA in his six-week Bucco stint. He left as a free agent after the season, played for two teams (Seattle & the Angels), and then the 33-year-old retired before the 2015 campaign when he failed to make Atlanta’s roster as an NRI. 
  • 1988 – John Smiley struck out nine in 6-1/3 innings for his sixth straight win on the hill, then Jeff Robinson and Jim Gott brought it home as the Bucs defeated San Diego, 2-0, at Jack Murphy Stadium. Andy Van Slyke singled home the first run; the insurance marker came on a bases-loaded walk to Spanky LaValliere. AVS was named to the All-Star game, joining starter Bobby Bonilla, while hopefuls John Smiley, Bob Walk and Barry Bonds were left in the cold. Walkie did get the AS call later as a replacement player for the injured SF Giant Robby Thompson. 
John Smiley – 1988 Fleer
  • 1990 – LHP Jerry Reuss was signed as a free agent after Houston had cut him loose. The 41-year-old was sent to Buffalo to knock off the rust – he had a two month layoff between the Bucco signing and ‘Stro release – and came back in September for four outings lasting 7-2/3 IP with a 3.52 ERA; the Pirates saw him out with class by giving him the final start of the season (and also his last start in the majors) on October 3rd against the Mets, a 6-3 loss. 
  • 1992 – Andy Van Slyke became the first outfielder in nearly 18 years to record an unassisted double play in the Pirates’ 5-3 win over the Astros at TRS. Van Slyke charged in from center field to catch a looper and kept on trucking to double up Ken Caminiti off first. AVS also had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, but the batting hero was Steve Buechele, who went 3-for-4 with three runs driven home. Bob Walk got the win in relief of Jeff Robinson. 
  • 1993 – Starter Tim Wakefield didn’t factor in the decision, but he connected off Houston’s Mark Portugal at The Astrodome for a 420’ home run in the 5-2 Bucco win to help the cause. The blast was his only career homer during 19 years in the show; of course, 17 of those seasons were with Boston, and he got just 40 ABs/50 PAs with them. Paul Wagner was credited with the victory, Jeff King had four hits and Orlando Merced drove in three runs to lead the club. 
  • 1993 – OF Andy Van Slyke was voted onto the All-Star roster, but didn’t play as his collar bone was broken, though he did bat .310 in 83 games for the year. SS Jay Bell made his first of two AS appearances when he was later named as a reserve. He was hitting .302 at the time to become the first Bucco SS since Gene Alley in 1968 to play in the Summer Classic, and in the offseason, he snapped Ozzie Smith’s 13-year run as the NL Gold Glove shortstop. Disappointed was OF Orlando Merced, who was batting .359/.455 OBP with 48 RBI but left in the cold. 
  • 1994 – C Don Slaught went 5-for-5 with two runs and a pair of doubles, but the Bucs lost to the Reds at Riverfront Stadium, 8-7. Jay Bell added three hits, three RBI and a pair of runs scored. The Bucs scored twice in the top of the 10th, but Blas Minor couldn’t hold the lead, giving up a two-run homer. Then in the 11th, he walked two and gave up a single to absorb the loss. 
Vinny Capra – 2023 photo Getty Images
  • 1996 – Utilityman Vinny Capra was born in Melbourne, Florida. The Pirates picked up Vinny in an April, 2023 trade with Toronto in exchange for C Ty Heineman. He hit .350 at Indy and was called up on August 1st after some deadline deals created roster openings on the big club. 
  • 1998 – Coors Field lived up to its hitter-friendly rep as the AL outslugged the NL, 13-8, in the All-Star game. C Jason Kendall was the sole Pirates All Star and singled in his only at bat. There were a couple of nice local touches, though – Vera Clemente was named the National League’s honorary captain, the first woman to receive that honor, while Jim Leyland, now the Florida bossman, was the skipper and named Gene Lamont as a bench coach on his All-Star staff. 
  • 2006 – A state historic marker was dedicated during All-Star week at the remaining bit of Forbes Field, the left field wall in Schenley Park. It was the outcome of a decades-old mud match that the City, Pitt and the Oakland community had fought since 1972 over that corner parcel of land, with the final result being that the left center field wall, flagpole and home plate (sited in nearby Posvar Hall) were saved. Now it’s a spot best known as the annual gathering place for the Bill Mazeroski 1960 home run celebration, held every October 13th by the Game 7 Gang. 
  • 2015 – During a rain delay that featured 40+ MPH winds, the PNC Park ground crew was pulling a tarp across the infield when a gust sent it flying; it came back to earth on top of an unlucky member of the work gang. But Andrew McCutchen and Sean Rodriguez, watching from the dugout, sprinted out and uncovered him before he became part of the infield dirt. Gregory Polanco joined in the rescue, and a cadre of Bucco players helped the groundskeepers wrestle the tarp into place. The good vibes carried over; the Bucs beat San Diego, 3-2. Afterward, the field gang outlined an infield silhouette of their flattened coworker with the message “RIP.”


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