Sunday, December 28, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - December 28-January 3

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

December 28
1958 Topps

1957      In a trade of first basemen, the Reds swap Ted Kluszewski to the Pirates for Dee Fondy.

December 30

1943      In a trade of the Babes in Pennsylvania, the Phillies send first baseman Babe Dahlgren to the Pirates for catcher Babe Phelps and cash. Dahlgren will be best remembered for being the player who replaced Lou Gehrig after the 'Iron Horse' had played in major-league record 2,130 consecutive games.

1973 Topps Robert Clemente - last card
December 31

1972      Pirate outfielder Roberto Clemente is tragically killed when a cargo plane crashes during a relief effort to bring much needed supplies to the victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake.  He was 38 years old.

January 1

1911      Hall of Fame first baseman Hank Greenberg, who played for the Pirates in 1947, was born. 

January 2

1918      In a deal which includes two future Hall of Famers, the Dodgers trade outfielder Casey Stengel and infielder George Cutshaw to the Pirates for pitchers Burleigh Grimes, Al Mamaux and infielder Chuck Ward. Grimes, known as Ol' Stubblebeard, and Stengel, dubbed The Old Perfessor, will both be enshrined in Cooperstown.          

1951      All-star third baseman Bill Madlock was born. 

1933 Goudey Gus Suhr
January 3

1974      The Yankees sign Bill Virdon as the team's manager. Although the former Pirate skipper will manage for two years in New York, he will never win a game at Yankee Stadium because the Bronx Bombers will play their home games at Shea due to renovations at the stadium.

1906      Gus Suhr, considered by some as the best first baseman in team history, was born.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

1909 E92 Dockman and Sons Gum

1909 E92 Dockman and Sons Gum Pittsburgh Pirates

Once cataloged as a part of the E92 compendium, the John Dockman and Sons Gum card issue differs from the Croft's Candy/Cocoa sets in that it has 10 fewer cards. Otherwise the format (1-1/2" x 2-3/4") and color litho player pictures are identical. Beneath the player picture on the front is his last name, position and team. Backs, which describe the set is having 50 cards, are an ad for the gum company.

See the 1909 E92 Dockman and Sons Gum Pittsburgh Pirates

Baseball Reference

Baseball Almanac

Card Values

Team Set Checklist

1909 Dockman & Sons E92 - Pirates 
Dots Miller Batting 
George Gibson 
Honus Wagner Batting
Honus Wagner Throwing 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Steelers Earn Playoff Berth

By Matt Hall, Student Reporter

Here is the breakdown of the Steelers game on Sunday vs. the Chiefs.

In the first quarter with13:24 left Ben Roethlisberger threw a 40 yard pass to Martavis Bryant.  It was an awesome play!  A little later Shaun Suisham kicked a field goal for Pittsburgh.  With 2:06 left Cairo Santos kicked a field goal for KC.  That drive was 7:09 for KC.  At the end of the first the score was tied 3-3.

In the 2nd quarter with 14:54 left there was offsetting penalties.  KC was called for roughing on the play and Pittsburgh was called for a late hit.  Later KC faked a field goal and instead got a 1st down.  Santos then kicked another field goal.  Ben passed to Le'Veon Bell and the Steelers scored a touchdown with 4:18 left in the 2nd quarter.  At the half the score was 10 (Pittsburgh) to 6 (KC). 

In the 3rd quarter with 6:26 left KC fumbled the ball and the Steelers scored a touchdown.  Ben threw the ball to Antonio Brown.  Ben’s knee got clipped, but he was OK.  At the end of the 3rd it was 17-6 Pittsburgh. 

In the 4th quarter with 10:19 left Santos got another field goal and again with 1:37 left.  The Steelers won 20-12 though.

The Steelers have guaranteed their spot in the post season.  The last time they made the playoffs was in 2011.  The Steelers will play the final game of the season Sunday against the Bengals.  See you there!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - December 21-27

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

December 21

1959 Topps Dick Groat
1959      After Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh rejects the A's offer to deal Roger Maris for shortstop Dick Groat, Pittsburgh obtains Gino Cimoli along with Tom Cheney from the Cardinals for right-hander Ron Kline. Maris, who is dealt to the Yankees, will enjoy the first of his two consecutive MVP years in New York, but Groat will play a key role for the World Champion Bucs next season, and he also will be named the most valuable player of his league.

December 22

1982      Lee Mazzilli is traded for the third time this season. The Yankees, who obtained the Brooklyn native from the Rangers in August for Bucky Dent, deal the first baseman/outfielder to the Pirates for Tim Burke and three minor leaguers.

December 26

1964      Jeff King, an infielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates was born.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - December 14-20

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

December 16

1938      The Braves trade catcher Ray Mueller to the Pirates for Al Todd, who will be dealt to Brooklyn in March, and Johnny Dickshot, who will be shipped to the Giants in April. Mueller will play in only 90 games over two seasons for Pittsburgh.

1978 Topps Chuck Tanner

December 18

1975      Chuck Tanner signs a three-year deal to manage the A's. After compiling an 87-74 (.540) record to finish in second place, Oakland will release the New Castle, PA native from his contract allowing him to manage the Pirates in exchange for catcher Manny Sanguillen and $100,000 from Pittsburgh.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Navy Outlasts Army, 17-10

Army jumped out to an early 7-0 lead over Navy in the 115th edition of the Army-Navy game.  The Black Knights forced Navy to punt on its first drive and Josh Jenkins blocked Pablo Beltran's first kick of the day. Xavier Moss picked up the loose ball and returned it seven yards for the Army touchdown.  Unfortunately, Army wouldn't score again until just 1:51 remained in the game.

Navy was unable to move the ball for most of the first half as they fought to cut into the Army lead. Navy's rushing offense that leads the nation (357.8 yards/game) was held to just 12 yards in the first quarter.

The Mids were unable to sustain many drives in the first half until quarterback Keenan Reynolds found an open Jamir Tillman for 39 yards on Navy's last drive of the half.  Five plays later Reynolds hit Tillman in the end zone and Navy shifted the momentum in their favor.

Navy took the lead on their opening drive of the second half.  After a 41 yard kickoff return from Ryan Williams-Jenkins the Midshipmen were able to move into field goal range.  Austin Grebe hit a 45-yarder, the longest of his career, to give Navy the 10-7 lead.

The Midshipmen extended that lead to 17-7 when Keenan Reynolds found the end zone on a 1-yard scamper.  The touchdown was Reynolds' 62nd rushing touchdown run of his career moving him to within one touchdown of tying Ron Dayne from Wisconsin at number six all-time.

Army made the game exciting when Daniel Grochowski booted a 52-yard field goal to cut Navy's lead to seven with less than two minutes left in the contest.

Thomas Wilson recovered Army's attempted onside kick and the Mids were able to run out the clock giving Navy their 13th consecutive win over Army dating back to 2002.

With the win, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo became Navy's all-time winningest coach with a 56-35 record passing George Welsh.

Niumatalolo was humble when discussing the record. "I'm blessed; I coach great with great coaches."

Navy faces San Diego State on December 23 in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - December 7-13

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

December 7

2011      In separate deals with free-agents, the Pirates sign left-handed starter Erik Bedard and outfielder Nate McLouth, who played with the franchise from 2005 to 2009. The Bucs' new southpaw compiled a 5-9 record last season with Seattle and Boston, and the 30-year old Gold Glove flycatcher returns to the Steel City three years after being traded to Atlanta where he hit .229 in 250 games.

December 8

1947      Brooklyn acquires infielder Billy Cox and southpaw Preacher Roe from the Pirates, both will play vital roles in the success of the Dodgers during the next decade. The trade, which also includes utility player Gene Mauch, sends hurlers Vic Lombardi and Al Gregg as well as Dixie Walker, a former batting champ who asked to be traded in the spring because he didn't want to play with Jackie Robinson, to Pittsburgh.

1991 Topps Barry Bonds
1992      Former Pirates outfielder Barry Bonds signs the richest contract in major league history when he agrees to a $43-million, six year deal to play for the Giants. The free agent will not disappoint in San Francisco winning the National League Most Valuable Player award, his third in four years, hitting a career-high .336 batting average to go along with 46 homers and 123 RBIs.

2005      The Pirates send southpaw Dave Williams (10-11, 4.41) to the Reds for Pittsburgh area native Sean Casey. The popular first baseman, who is dubbed ‘The Mayor’ because of his outgoing personality, becomes expendable as Cincinnati seeks pitching to complement its heavy-hitting lineup.

December 9

1965      Eleven days shy of his 84th birthday, former Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates executive Wesley Branch Rickey, named by ESPN in 1999 as the most influential sports figure of the twentieth century, suffers a heart attack, falling over the podium while beginning his remarks to an audience during his induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Rickey, who is responsible for breaking the color barrier in 1947 with the signing of Jackie Robinson and implementing the concept of farm systems for the major leagues, will die three weeks later while in intensive care at Boone County Memorial Hospital.

1992      Carl Barger, former baseball president of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Florida Marlins, dies at age 62.

December 10

1919      The National League, spearheaded by the leadership of Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss, approves the banning of the spitball, allowing just the current spitballers presently throwing the pitch to use it under a "grandfather" clause. A year later the American League will adopt the same rule.

2009      The Pirates sign Bobby Crosby (.231, 22, 64), the 2004 American League Rookie of the Year, to a $1 million, one-year contract. Last season, the 29-year-old versatile infielder played multiple games for the A's at all four infield positions.

1992 Topps Jay Bell
December 11

1952      Fred Haney is named as the Pirates manager replacing Billy Meyer. The Bucs will finish in last place each season, compiling a dismal 163-299 (.353) record during the new skipper's three-year tenure in Pittsburgh.

1965      Jay Bell, infielder for the Pirates, is born.

1975      In a busy day of trading, the Yankees acquire pitchers Dock Ellis and Ken Brett, and second baseman Willie Randolph from the Pirates for hurler Doc Medich. In a separate deal with the Angels, the club trades Bobby Bonds for outfielder Mickey Rivers and pitcher Ed Figueroa.

December 12

1941      The Dodgers obtain Arky Vaughn from the Pirates for right-hander Luke Hamlin, 1B/OF Jimmy Wasdell and catcher Babe Phelps. The future Hall of Fame infielder, who will have his stint in Brooklyn interrupted by WWII, plays four seasons for the club compiling a .291 batting average.

2008      The Pirates sign Ramon Vazquez, the only player with major league experience added to the
1985 Topps Dale Berra
club during the winter meetings, to a two-year deal worth $4 million. The versatile infielder played all four infield positions last season while compiling a career-high .290 batting average with the Rangers.

December 13

1956      Dale Berra, son of Yogi Berra and an infielder for the Pirates and Yankees, is born.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - November 30-December 6

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -


1891      The Pittsburgh Alleghenies are renamed the Pirates after signing second baseman Louis Bierbauer away from the Philadelphia Athletics. 

1967 Topps Matty Alou
December 1

1965      The Pirates trade catcher Ozzie Virgil and pitcher Joe Gibbon to the Giants for outfielder Matty Alou. The outfielder, who hit just .231 with San Francisco last year, will capture the National League batting crown next season with a .342 batting average.

December 2

1976      Danny Murtaugh, Pirates manager dies at the age 59 from a stroke just two months after his retirement.

1991      The Mets sign Pirates' free-agent Bobby Bonilla to a $29 million, five-year deal. The 28-year old outfielder will hit only .249 during the first year of his contract for an under-achieving New York club.

1910 Tip Top Bread Barney Dreyfuss
December 3

2007      Barney Dreyfuss, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900 until his death in 1932, is elected by Veterans Committee to the Hall of Fame. A German immigrant, who built Forbes Field, helped to establish the structure for the first modern World Series in 1903 and played a pivotal role in defusing the animosity which existed between the American and National Leagues.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - November 23-29

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

1972 Topps Bill Virdon
November 23

1971      Bill Virdon is named to take over for the retiring Danny Murtaugh as the manager of the world champion Pirates. Murtaugh, however will return to the Pittsburgh dugout during the 1973 season to replace his replacement.

November 24

1967      Al Martin, Pirates outfielder, was born.

2008      As a result of being among the top finishers in an Indian reality TV show called the “Million Dollar Arm”, which drew approximately 30,000 contestants, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel sign free-agent deals to pitch for the Pirates. The two 20-year-old cricket players, who never had thrown a baseball until earlier this year, are the first two players from India to sign a contracts with a major league organization.

2010      After designating him for assignment last week, the Pirates trade left-hander Zach Duke to the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later who will be right-hander Cesar Valdez. The 27-year old southpaw, who burst onto the scene with an 8-2 record along with a 1.81 ERA, has compiled a 37-68 record since his impressive debut with the Bucs in 2005.
1987 Topps Doug Drabek

November 26

1986      The Yankees trade prospects including Doug Drabek to the Pirates for veterans Rick Rhoden, Cecilio Guante and Pat Clements. Drabek will win the Cy Young Award after posting a 22-6 record for the Bucs in 1990.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - November 16-22

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

1966 East Hills Roberto Clemente
November 16

1966      Edging out Dodger hurler Sandy Koufax (27-9, 1.73, 317 strikeouts), Roberto Clemente is named the National League MVP. The Pirates right fielder hit .317 with 29 home runs and drove in 119 runs.

November 17

1960      After leading the the league with a .325 average, 30-year old Pirates shortstop Dick Groat is selected as the National League's Most Valuable Player, with Don Hoak, his partner on the left side of the Bucs' infield, being the runner-up to the award. Another teammate, right-fielder Roberto Clemente, is very disappointed being named eighth on the ballot.

2000      Pittsburgh catcher Jason Kendall signs the richest deal in Pirates' history. The $60 million, six-year contract extension, which includes a $4 million signing bonus, starts with a base salary of $6 million in 2002 and peaks at $13 million in 2007.

1887 Jake Beckley Old Judge
November 18

1886      The Pittsburgh Alleghenys leave the American Association to join the National League. After a few name changes, including the Innocents, the team will become known as the Pirates in 1891.

November 19

1962      The Cardinals trade pitcher Don Cardwell and infielder Julio Gotay to the Pirates for shortstop Dick Groat and pitcher Diomedes Olivio. The Redbirds' new infielder will become a central cog in the team's World championship in 1964.

1990      Being named first on 23 of 24 ballots cast by the writers with the other first-place vote being garnered by teammate Bobby Bonilla, Pirates' outfielder Barry Bonds (.301, 23, 114) easily wins the National League Most Valuable Player Award. The future all-time home run king will win an unprecedented seven MVPs, five while playing with the Giants.

2001      In a landslide vote (30 of 32 first-place votes) by the BBWAA, Giants' left fielder Barry Bonds (.328, 137, 73) wins the Most Valuable Player Award for an unprecedented fourth time (1990, 92-93 with the Pirates). Three-time MVPs include Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial and Mike Schmidt.

November 20

1985      Jim Leyland, who will become a mainstay in the Bucs' dugout for 11 seasons, replaces Chuck Tanner as the manager of the Pirates. Pittsburgh finished in last place this season, compiling a woeful record of 57-104.

November 21

1991      After raising his batting average over 80 points from last season, Terry Pendleton (.319, 22, 86) wins the National League's Most Valuable Player Award. The Braves' third baseman surprisingly out-distances runner-up Pirate outfielder Barry Bonds (.292, 25, 116).

1936 Jim Weaver with the Waner brothers
November 22

1934      The Cubs trade Guy Bush, Jim Weaver, and Babe Herman to the Pirates for Larry French and Fred Lindstrom.

1954      The Pirates purchase the contract of Roberto Clemente from Montreal, the Dodgers’ AAA farm club.

1977      The Yankees sign free-agent Rich 'Goose' Gossage to a six-year 2.75 million dollar contract. The future Hall of Famer closer had 26 saves and a 1.26 ERA for the Pirates last season.

1977      Terry Forster, the American League saves leader in 1974 with the White Sox, signs a big contract with the Dodgers becoming the team's first free agent. Last season, the southpaw compiled a 6-4 record with a 4.43 ERA pitching for the Pirates and will post an 11-13 record during his 5 years in Los Angeles.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Navy Outruns Georgia Southern on Senior Day

Navy QB Keenan Reynolds
Navy junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds showed why he's one of the most prolific rushing quarterbacks in NCAA history as he rushed for 277 yards and six touchdowns against Georgia Southern.

His six TDs give him 58 rushing touchdowns for his career which is 9th all-time in NCAA history. They also led Navy to a 52-19 win over the Eagles on a day that the Midshipmen recognized 26 seniors that would be playing their final game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Navy needed every one of his rushing yards to match the nations' top rushing football team. Georgia Southern came into the game averaging 386.5 yards rushing per game, 36 more per game than the Mids.

Georgia Southern took the opening kickoff and pounded out a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a two yard touchdown run by L.A. Ramsby.

Navy countered with a 10-play, 62-yard drive of their own that was capped off by Keenan Reynolds' first of his six rushing touchdowns in the game.

For fans of smash-mouth football, this game seemed like an early Christmas present.

The prolific Georgia Southern rushing attack was stymied by Navy's swarming defense and the Eagles wouldn't get back on the scoreboard until just 1:27 remained in the third quarter. Navy defensive coordinator, Buddy Green's troops forced three turnovers in the game and the Navy offense capitalized on each one scoring 17 points off those miscues.

Meanwhile the Midshipmen offense would continue to roll behind Reynolds. Navy put points on the scoreboard on seven of their next 11 series. The end of each half and two punts were all that kept the Mids from scoring every time they had possession of the football.

Austin Grebe booted a 36-yard field goal in the second quarter to give Navy a 17-7 lead. Since becoming the starting kicker on October 11, Grebe has been a perfect 23-23 on PATs and 4-4 on field goals.

For the game, Reynolds had a hand in all seven of the Navy touchdowns - six rushing and one passing. Reynolds hit sophomore wide receiver Jamir Tillman on a 14-yard scoring strike in the second quarter. Reynolds was able to find the end zone with his legs on carries of 1, 22, 1, 27, 15, and 39 yards.

Although they weren't able to put many points on the board, Georgia Southern ran with the Mids yard-for-yard gaining 375 yards on the ground against 394 for Navy. The Eagles were led by sophomore running back Matt Breida.  Breida gained 211 yards on 17 carries including an 88-yard TD run in the third quarter.

With Breida and Reynolds both rushing for over 200 yards, it became just the 7th time in NCAA history that two players rushed for over 200 yards in the same game. The last time was in 2005 when Northern Illinois and Northwestern accomplished the feat.

Keenan Reynolds, with 58 career rushing touchdowns, trails just Eric Crouch (Nebraska) and Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), who each have 59 TDs on the all-time career rushing touchdowns for quarterbacks.

Navy travels to South Alabama on November 28 and then will play Army on December 13.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Previewing the Navy - Georgia Southern Game

Navy and Georgia Southern will meet for just the second when they square off on Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM. Georgia Southern and Navy last met on September 11, 2010 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Midshipmen, behind a touchdown from Heisman Trophy candidate Ricky Dobbs and two field goals, took a 13-7 win.

The March-On of the Brigade of Midshipmen will take place at 3:07 pm as 4,400 midshipmen will march on to the field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium by company.  It is one of the great traditions in college athletics. 

Navy's 26 seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony starting at 3:22 pm.

Scouting the Eagles

Georgia Southern's beginning into FBS play has been a huge success as the Eagles enter Saturday's game with an 8-2 record and are winners of seven straight contests. 

The Eagles are tied with Ohio State for the fifth-longest winning streak in the country and received one vote in this week's Associated Press Top 25 Poll. 

Georgia Southern's only two losses on the year were at NC State, 24-23, when the Wolfpack scored with 1:37 left and at Georgia Tech, 42-38, when the Yellow Jackets scored with 23 seconds remaining after a Georgia Southern fumble.

Because Georgia Southern is still in a transitional year from the FCS to the FBS, its statistics do not count in the NCAA national rankings. If they did, the Eagles, not Navy, would be leading the nation in rushing as Georgia Southern is averaging an incredible 386.5 yards per game.  That is the best rushing yards per game average in the FBS since Nebraska averaged 392.6 yards per game in 1997.

Sophomore running back Matt Breida has carried the ball 135 times for 1,224 yards and 14 touchdowns and leads the nation with his seven rushes of 50-yards or more.  Sophomore quarterback Kevin Ellison has rushed for 945 yards and 11 touchdowns on 143 carries.  Freshman running back Alfred Ramsby has 10 TDs.

The Eagles have rushed for more than 400 yards in five games in 2014 with a game each above
the 500- and 600-yard mark, including the Sun Belt Conference single-game record of 613 set at Georgia State.

The Eagles have racked up 120 rushing plays of 10 yards or more, most in the nation.

Ellison has completed 56 of his 97 pass attempts for 806 yards with five touchdowns. Ellison's favorite targets are junior wide receiver BJ Johnson (19-279, 3 TDs) and senior wide receiver Zach Walker (16-214).

Georgia Southern's leading tackler is senior linebacker Edwin Jackson, who has recorded 82 stops and has an interception.  Junior linebacker Antwione Williams has recorded 57 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and three sacks.

The Midshipmen    

Navy's senior class, comprised of 26 players, has compiled a 26-21 record (.553), has won two Commander-In-Chief's Trophies, has gone to two bowl games (with a chance for a third this year), has won a bowl game (with a chance to win a second this year), and owns a 3-0 record against Army (with a chance to go 4-0 on December 13).  Last year, the seniors were part of a team that was just the fifth in Navy's 133-year history of playing football to win at least nine games in a season, beat Army and win a bowl game.

Navy's seniors are:  A.J. Barnaby (Deltona, FL), Pablo Beltran (Humble, TX), James Britton (Rogers, AR), Joe Cardona (El Cajon, CA), Noah Copeland (San Antonio, TX), Kyle Cregge (Alpharetta, GA), Aaron Davis(Pearland, TX), Jordan Drake (Douglasville, GA), Brendan Dudeck (Hamilton Square, NJ), Tanner Fleming(Deltona, FL), Parrish Gaines (Smyrna, TN), Bradyn Heap (South Jordan, UT), John Hendrick (Tampa, FL),George Jamison (Cordova, TN), Chris Johnson (Cape Coral, FL), Anthony Lewis (Ogden, UT), Nathaniel Otto (Houston, TX), Maika Polamalu (Pottstown, PA), Paul Quessenberry (Carlsbad, CA), Shakir Robinson (Brunswick, GA), Quinton Singleton (Davis Station, SC), Obi Uzoma (Wake Forest, NC), Geoffrey Whiteside (Columbus, OH), Ryan Williams-Jenkins (Helena, AL), Joe Worth (Valrico, FL) and Jake Zuzek (Brookhaven, PA).

The Midshipmen need two more wins to qualify for the Poinsettia Bowl.

Navy junior nose guard Bernard Sarra has blocked three kicks this year, which is tied for the most in the country. Sarra blocked a field goal against VMI and two field goals against Notre Dame. 

Navy has turned the ball over 14 times in its nine games after losing just 10 turnovers in 13 contests a year ago.

Navy has had 17 different players carry the football in its nine games, while 10 different players have scored touchdowns.

The Navy offense has scored 30 or more points five times this year and the Mids have won four of those contests. The only loss was to No. 6 Notre Dame, 49-39. Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 35-10 (.777) when scoring 30 or more points in a game.

The Navy defense has allowed fewer than 30 points three times this year and the Mids have won each of those games. Under Niumatalolo, the Mids are 47-12 when the Mids hold the opposition to under 30 points.

Senior Noah Copeland leads the team in rushing with 740 yards and three touchdowns on 85 carries and is averaging 8.7 yards per carry.

Senior punter Pablo Beltran is averaging 44.9 yards per punt on 28 punts this year with a long of 62. 


Sunday, November 09, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - November 9-15

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

1993 Topps Barry Bonds - Last Pirate Card
November 11

1992      The Pirates and Barry Bonds agree on a deal which will keep the outfielder in Pittsburgh for another season. The contract is worth $4.7 million which makes it the richest one-year commitment in baseball history.

2002      Barry Bonds becomes the first player in major league history to win the Most Valuable Player Award five times. The 38-year old Giant left fielder, who also won the award with the Pirates in 1990 and '92 and with San Francisco in 1993 and last season, was the National League's batting champion with a .370 average and broke 1941 Ted Williams' on-base percentage record with an amazing .582.OBP.

1979 Topps Willie Stargell
November 13

1979      For the first time in major league history two players are named co-winners of the National League MVP award when Cardinal first baseman Keith Hernandez shares the honor with Pirates outfielder Willie Stargell.

November 14

1956      The Pirates threaten to move the franchise from Pittsburgh unless a new municipal stadium is built to replace Forbes Field. The second division club drew 949,878 fans, the fifth best total of the eight National League teams.

1954 Topps Curt Roberts Rookie Card
1969      Curt Roberts, the Pirates’ first black player, was killed when he was struck by a drunk driver while he was changing a tire on his car.  Roberts was 40 years old at the time of his death. 

November 15

2010      Replacing John Russell, Clint Hurdle becomes the Pirates' sixth manager since 1992, their last winning season. The 53-year-old skipper, who managed the Rockies to the National League pennant in 2007, inherits a team that lost 105 games last season and that has averaged 97 losses over the last six campaigns.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - November 2-8

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history -

November 2

1966      Orlando Merced, Pirates outfielder from Puerto Rico is born.

November 3
1960 Vern Law

1960      Pittsburgh Pirates' Vern Law wins the Cy Young Award.

1971      In front of a crowd gathered on the U.S. Capitol steps, Pennsylvania lawmakers Hugh Scott and Richard South Schweiker collect their World Series wager made with their fellow senators from Maryland, Charles Mathias Junior and J. Glenn Beall, Jr. As winners of a bet made on the 1971 Fall Classics between the Orioles and Pirates, the two Keystone State senators victorously ride elephants as the losers lead and feed the pachyderms peanuts while carrying shovels to clean the street, if necessary.

November 5
1978 Chuck Tanner

1976      The A's release Chuck Tanner from his contract allowing him to manage the Pirates in exchange for catcher Manny Sanguillen and $100,000 from Pittsburgh. During his nine-year tenure with the Bucs, the likable skipper will compile a 711-685 (.509) record and will win a World Championship in 1979.

2007      The Pirates name former third base coach John Russell as their 38th manager in franchise history. The Bucs' new skipper, the 2006 International League Manager of the Year, managed the Red Barons, the triple-A Phillies affiliate located in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, for the past two seasons.
T206 Honus Wagner

2010      One of the approximately 60 rare T206 Honus Wagner baseball cards, auctioned off by the Baltimore-based School Sisters of Notre Dame, is acquired by a sporting card store owner Doug Walton, who pays $262,000 for the treasured piece of memorabilia. The School Sisters of Notre Dame plan to use the windfall from the sale of the valuable card of the Pirates' third baseman to benefit ministries for the poor in 35 countries.

November 6

1950      Branch Rickey signs a five-year deal with the Pirates to be the club's executive vice president and general manager. Rickey's magic doesn't seem to work in Pittsburgh as the Bucs will compile a 269-501 record (.349) during his tenure.

November 8

2004      Jason Bay (.282, 26, 82) becomes the first Pirates player, as well as the first Canadian, to win the National League Rookie of the Year.

Mids Fall Short Against Notre Dame

Navy's Keenan Reynolds looks to pass against Notre Dame at FedEx Field.
The 4-4 Navy Midshipmen came into Saturday's game against sixth ranked Notre Dame looking to steal some of the luck of the Irish. This game marked the 88th time the two schools have met making this the longest continuous intersectional rivalry in the county, however Notre Dame has dominated the series holding a 74-12-1 record against the Mids.

Navy hoped to use some of the magic that's helped them make this a competitive rivalry over the past seven years, three of which have been won by the Midshipmen.

With just 52 seconds gone off the FedEx Field clock in the first quarter, it didn't appear the Mids had any magic or Irish luck when Notre Dame's Everett Golson hit a wide open C.J. Prosise on the second play from scrimmage for a 78-yard touchdown.

Notre Dame's explosive offense led by Golson and running back Tarean Foslton didn't let up.  The Irish scored touchdowns on their first four possessions and jumped out to an early and dominating 28-7 lead. Even more impressive, the four scoring drives accounted for 79, 65, 76, and 84 yards respectively.

Those that thought that the game was over before halftime don't know the history of Navy and Notre Dame. The scrappy Midshipmen battled back and scored 24 unanswered points to take a 31-28 lead with 4:09 remaining in the third quarter.

"I'm just proud of the way our guys battled the whole game," said Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo. "We never quit. We were down, and it's a great testament to the type of young men that we have in our football program. The type of young men that will eventually be serving our country."

After falling behind, Notre Dame refocused and scored touchdowns on their next two possessions retaking the lead 42-31. 

Navy scrapped their way to the end zone and converted a two-point conversion to cut Notre Dame's lead to three with just 4:18 remaining in the game. 

After recovering Austin Grebe's onside kick attempt, Notre Dame answered the Mids score with a 48-yard drive and another TD to set the final at 49-39.

Navy didn't let Notre Dame's early score affect their game plan. On the Mids' ensuing drive, they kept the ball on the ground with eight different players getting carries. On second down and 10 from the Notre Dame 26 yard line, Keenan Reynolds' first pass found Thomas Wilson, Jr. in the end zone for a Navy TD. The catch was Wilson, Jr.'s second collegiate reception and his first career TD. It couldn't have come on a bigger stage.

After Notre Dame scored touchdowns on their next three possessions to take a commanding lead, the Navy offense began their comeback.

Demond Brown was able to find the end zone after taking a pitch from Reynolds and sprinting 26 yards down the sideline.  Brown picked up excellent blocks from Dishan Romine and Brendan Dudek that paved the way for the junior running back.

George Jamison forced one of Golson's few mistakes in the game by picking off the Irish QB in Navy territory with just 24 seconds remaining in the half. That proved to be plenty of time for the Mids to put points on the board.

On first down, Reynolds completed his second pass of the game, this time to Ryan Williams-Jenkins for 42 yards to the Notre Dame 30 yard line.  Three plays later Austin Grebe nailed a 44-yard field goal as time expired to cut Notre Dame's lead, 28-17.

Williams-Jenkins started the game after missing the last three after shattering his orbital bone against Western Kentucky on a kick return. Grebe's 44-yard field goal was the longest field goal scored by a Navy player since Jon Teague's 44-yarder against Army in 2011. 

Navy took the opening kick of the second half and began a scoring drive that defines the Navy offense.

Reynolds led the Midshipmen offense with precision into Notre Dame territory.  The junior QB called his own number six times that accounted for 26 yards rushing.  He also completed a 12-yard pass to Dudek to the Irish 14 yard line.  Two plays later Geoffrey Whiteside scrambled 13 yards and found himself in the end zone and the Mids found themselves within striking distance of taking the lead.

"We feel that if we execute we can move the ball on anybody," noted Niumatalolo. "But we also know that was a tough offense that we had to stop. I did things in this game I never do because we had to find a way to keep their offense off the field."

The Navy defense stood tall on Notre Dame’s next drive.  They held the Irish to negative four yards on four plays and forced a Notre Dame punt - the first Irish punt against the Mids since 2012 when the two teams played in Ireland.

Navy kept the ball on the ground during their next possession as well.  Noah Copeland found a hole in the Irish defense and sprinted 54 yards to the Notre Dame four yard line. On the next play, fellow fullback Chris Swain barreled four yards into the end zone giving the Mids their first lead of the game, 31-28.

Consecutive Notre Dame touchdown runs by Golson and Folston took the wind out of the Navy sails and gave the lead back to the Irish, 42-31.

Two missed field goals by Notre Dame (wide left, blocked) gave the Mids hope that they could pull off a last minute upset.

Navy, down by 11, got the ball back with 5:43 left in the game and began their march toward the end zone. Copeland came up big again with a 33-yard carry into Notre Dame territory. On the next play, Reynolds hit Jamir Tillman with a 21-yard completion to the 12 yard line. Chris Swain found his way into the end zone on the next play, his first career reception.  The Mids went for two and were successful on another pass - Reynolds to Whiteside.

Navy couldn't muster another score and lost a close game to the Irish for the second consecutive year.

Navy's 336 yards rushing were the most yards allowed on the ground by Notre Dame all season. Navy's 454 yards of total offense were the most the Mids have gained against the Irish since 1972 and their second most all time.

Senior captain, Noah Copeland led the Midshipmen in rushing with a season-high 138 yards, his seventh career 100-yard rushing game.

Navy next hosts Georgia Southern for Senior Day on November 15 at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Navy - Notre Dame Post-game Notes

36,807 fans watched the game from FedExField in Landover, Maryland, the home of the Washington Redskins.

Navy's 39 points are the most points scored against Notre Dame in a regulation game and the second most all-time.

Navy's 454 yards of offense are the most Navy has gained against Notre Dame since 1972.  It's also the second most all-time.

Keenan Reynolds moved into fifth place on Navy's career rushing list with 2,681 yards.

Noah Copeland rushed for 138 yards, his seventh career 100-yard game.

Notre Dame improves to 75-12-1 all-time against Navy.

Notre Dame has scored at least 40 points against Navy three times in the last four years.

Everett Golson became the first player in Notre Dame history to both rush and throw for three touchdowns in the same game.

The Mids 336 rushing yards were the most against Notre Dame this year.

Final - Notre Dame 49 - Navy 39

Notre Dame started the fourth quarter at the Navy 3 yard line after starting at their own 30. Everett Golson was able to find the end zone on a three yard carry capping off a 10-play, 70-yard drive that took 4:14 off the clock.  Notre Dame regained the lead, 35-31.

Noah Copeland passes to Keenan Reynolds
Navy was unable to sustain their drive on their next possession. They key play was an incomplete pass from Navy fullback Noah Copeland to a wide open Keenan Reynolds. Reynolds was unable to catch a perfect pass and forced a Navy punt. Cody Riggs fumbled the Pablo Beltran punt but was able to recover on the Notre Dame 14.

Golson found a wide open Chris Brown on their first play from scrimmage following the punt. Brown sprinted to the Navy 40 yard line where he was brought down by an apparent horse collar tackle. The penalty placed the ball at the Navy 25. On the next play, Tarean Folston ran up the middle to the end zone give Notre Dame a commanding 42-31 lead.

Navy tried to convert another fourth down on their next drive. On fourth-and-three from the Navy 32, The Mids pitched to Noah Copeland who was unable to gain any yards turning the ball over to the Irish at the Navy 32.

The Navy defense stood tall on the next Notre Dame possession,  The Mids held the potent Irish offense to just three yards on three play. Notre Dame attempted a 46-yard field goal and missed wide left giving the ball back to Navy with 8:57 remaining in the game.

Justin Utupo following an INT off of Keenan Reynolds
Keenan Reynolds' tipped pass was picked off by Justin Utupo to end Navy's next drive. The INT was returned to the Navy 30 yard line with 7:09 remaining in the game.

On Notre Dame's drive, Navy nose guard Bernard Sarra blocked Kyle Brindza's 44-yard field goal attempt to give Navy the ball back with 5:43 remaining.

Navy made things interesting on their next drive. Noah Copeland had a 33 yard carry followed by a 21 pass from Reynolds to Jamir Tillman to the Notre Dame 12 yard line.  On the next play, Reynolds completed a pass to Chris Swain for a 12-yard TD.  The catch was Tillman's first collegiate reception. Navy went for two and converted when Reynolds completed a pass to Geoffrey Whiteside. Notre Dame's lead was cut to 3, 42-39.

Notre Dame scored a TD on their next drive setting the final score, 49-39.

Navy players during the "Navy Blue and Gold"

End of 3rd Quarter - Navy 31 - Notre Dame 28

Keenan Reynolds
Navy took the opening kickoff of the second half and started on their own 25 yard line. The Mids were able to maintain an extended drive lasting over seven minutes. On the drive, Keenan Reynolds moved into fifth place on the Naval Academy all-time rushing list with 2,668 yards, passing Ricky Dobbs.

Navy capped off the drive with a 13-yard run by Geoffrey Whiteside. The Mids now trail by just four points. The Mids ran 15 plays on the drive. Navy has amassed 207 rushing yards on 39 carries. This is the most that Notre Dame has given up all season.

Navy was able to force Notre Dame to punt on their next drive. The Irish punt was the first against Navy since 2012. Navy was helped on the ND drive by an overturned pass completion and a sack by Obi Uzoma and Bernard Sarra on a third down for a loss of 15 yards.

Navy's next drive started on their own 34 yard line. Navy showed their guts and confidence in their offense on a fourth down call on their own 42 yard line. Navy called timeout and decided to go for it. Noah Copeland took a pitch off the left side and raced down the sideline, forced out of bounds at the Notre Dame four yard line. Chris Swain took the next hand off into the endzone giving Navy the lead 31-28.

End of 2nd Quarter - Notre Dame 28 - Navy 17

Notre Dame capped off their third drive with a 5-yard TD rush by Everett Golson. Golson was able to get in the end zone when he faked a pass and froze the Navy defense. Notre Dame has scored three touchdowns on their first three drives of tonight's game.  Going back to last year, Notre Dame has scored touchdowns on six consecutive drives.

Notre Dame last punted against Navy in the fourth quarter of their game in 2012 that was played in Ireland.

Navy Junior CB Quincy Adams
Notre Dame's defense again played tough forcing another Navy punt. On Navy's first drive they gained 75 yard on 11 drives. On their last two drives they have gained just 14 yards on eight plays.

Once again, the Navy defense can't contain the dynamic Notre Dame offense. The Irish drove 84 yards on 8 carries and scored when Golson hit Will Fuller for a 4-yard TD completion. The score gives the Irish a 28-7 lead with 7:15 remaining in the half.

Navy showed some life on their next drive. Geoffrey Whiteside found some running room when he carried the ball for 24 yards to the Navy 26. On the next play, DeBrandon Sanders rushed for 18 yards into Notre Dame territory. Demond Brown capped off the 10-play, 78-yard drive with an 18-yard TD run off a pitch from Keenan Reynolds. Navy cut into Notre Dame's lead with 2:30 remaining in the half. The Navy scoring drive tied the longest scoring drive that the Irish gave up this year.

George Jamison snapped the Notre Dame scoring drive streak when he picked off a Golson pass at the Navy 14 yard line and returned it to the 28 giving the Mids a spark with 24 seconds left in the half.

On the Mids' next play from scrimmage, Reynolds found Ryan Williams-Jenkins open on the left sideline for 44 yards to the Notre Dame 30 yard line. Three plays later, Austin Grebe split the uprights on a 44-yard field goal and cut the Irish lead to 11, 28-17. Grebe's field goal was the longest for Navy since Jon Teague kicked a 44-yarder against Army in 2011.

End of 1st Quarter - Notre Dame 14 - Navy 7

Navy won the toss and elected to receive in the first half.

ND quarterback Everett Golson
It took Notre Dame only 52 seconds to get points on the board. The Irish started on their own 21-yard line. After a one yard carry, Notre Dame's quarterback, Everett Golson found C.J. Prosise wide open for a 78-yard touchdown.

On Navy's first possession, eight different players carried the ball.  Navy ran the ball 10 consecutive plays before Keenan Reynolds found Thomas Wilson wide open in the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown completion. The catch was Wilson's second career catch and his first career touchdown. Navy's drive took 6:08 off the clock.

Notre Dame started their next possession on the 35 yard line after Navy's kickoff went out of bounds. Three consecutive big plays moved the Irish down the field quickly.

Golson found Corey Robinson for a 19-yard completion. Tarean Folston for an 11-yard carry. Folston got the next carry and rumbled 26 yards to the Navy four yard line. Three plays later, Golson found Ben Koyack in the end zone for a Notre Dame touchdown. This Irish scoring drive took slightly longer than their first, lasting 3:07.

Navy was forced to punt on their ensuing drive after a 3-and-out. Pablo Beltran booted a 51-yard punt to the Notre Dame 24.

The Irish are driving and the quarter ended with Notre Dame first and goal on the Navy 5.

Notre Dame ended the quarter with a 215-75 offensive yardage advantage.