Sunday, April 20, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - April 20-26

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history - 

April 20

1973      Four months after his death, Roberto Clemente, in a special election, is inducted into the Hall of Fame. On New Year's Eve, the Pirates outfielder was tragically killed when a cargo plane crashes during a relief effort to bring supplies to victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake.

April 22

1891      Exposition Park, which opened last year as the home of the Pittsburgh Burghers of the short-lived Players' League, hosts its first Pirates game, a National League contest that the Bucs lose to Chicago, 7-6. The ballpark located on north side of the Allegheny River, across from downtown Pittsburgh, not far from the current site of PNC Park, will be the team's home until they move to Forbes Field in 1909.

2010      With a 20-0 rout of Pittsburgh at PNC Park, the Brewers hand the Pirates their most-lopsided loss in the 124-year history of the franchise. The victory completes a three-game sweep of the Bucs in which the Brew Crew outscored their opponents, 36-1.

April 23

1962      In the team's tenth attempt, the Mets win their first game in franchise history defeating the Pirates at Forbes Field, 9-1. Jay Hook's five-hit complete game snaps Pittsburgh's record-tying winning streak of 10 games from the start of the season without a loss.

April 24

2010      Pirates starter Chris Jakubauskas, after just a dozen pitches into his first appearance of the year, is struck in the head by a vicious line drive off the bat of Houston's Lance Berkman. The 31-year old right-hander, who leaves the field on a stretcher in obvious distress, will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a concussion and head contusion after being hospitalized overnight.

April 25

1968      Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for Three Rivers Stadium, the new home of the Pirates (and Steelers) to be constructed on Pittsburgh's North Side. Among the featured speakers is former track star and Olympic Champion Jesse Owens.

April 26

1905     Jack McCarthy becomes the first and only major league outfielder to throw out three runners trying to score in one game. All of the 36-year old flychaser's assists result in a double play and help the Cubs to beat Pittsburgh at Exposition Park, 2-1.

1948      Legendary announcer Bob Prince broadcasts his first Pirates game, joining another Pittsburgh favorite, Rosey Rowswell on the air. "The Gunner", as Prince was known, goes on to describe Pirates action for 28 years.

2008      On Ralph Kiner Day, Alhambra dedicates a bronze statue in honor of its native son for his "accomplishments and contributions to the game of professional baseball and sports broadcasting". The former Pirates slugger, a member of the Hall of Fame, spent his youth in the California city and graduated from its local high school in 1940.