Sunday, May 11, 2014

This Week in Pittsburgh Pirates History - May 11-17

This week in Pittsburgh Pirates history - 

Danny Kravitz
May 11

1956      In the bottom of the ninth inning at Forbes Field, Danny Kravitz's walk-off grand slam off Jack Meyer erases a three-run deficit giving the Pirates a dramatic 6-5 victory over the Phillies. It is the first career round-tripper hit by the 25-year old rookie back-up backstop.

1993      In the top of the seventh of a tied game at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium, Jay Bell leads off the inning by grounding out to Phillies' shortstop Juan Bell. The Pirate infielder is rung up by, none other than, first base umpire Wally Bell.

May 12

1955      After walking the bases full in the bottom of the ninth, Cubs right-hander Sam 'Toothpick' Jones whiffs Dick Groat, Roberto Clemente and Frank Thomas to preserve his 4-0 no-hitter against the Pirates. Unfortunately only 2,918 fans are on hand at Wrigley Field to witness the first no-hitter ever thrown by a black player and the ninth rookie to throw a hitless game.

May 14

Johnny Hopp
1950      Pirates' first baseman Johnny Hopp helps his team crush the Cubs, 16-9, when the Nebraska native goes 6-for-6 including a pair of homers. The All-star infielder is called 'Hippity' by his teammate.

2010      Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones both collect five hits, including a home run for each, in the Pirates’ 10-6 victory over Chicago. The last time two Bucs enjoyed a five-hit game on the same day happened when Willie Stargell and Bob Robertson accomplished the feat against Atlanta in 1970.

May 16

1983      In an 11-4 rout of the Pirates, rookie right fielder Darryl Strawberry hit his first major league home run, a two-run round-tripper off Pittsburgh's Lee Tunnell at Three Rivers Stadium. 

May 17

1947      At Forbes Field, Hank Greenberg asks Jackie Robinson if the Dodger infielder was hurt in a collision with him at first base earlier in the game and then tells the embattled Brooklyn rookie, "Stick in there. You’re doing fine. Keep your chin up." Jackie will remark to the writers a few days later that his "diamond hero" is Hank Greenberg knowing that the Pirates' first baseman, who due to the bigotry endured as a Jew, can appreciate his difficulty of facing racial injustice everyday as the first black player in the major leagues this century.
Bill Virdon

1956      Due to his slow start in his sophomore season, the Cardinals trade Bill Virdon, last year's Rookie of the Year, to the Pirates in exchange for Bobby Del Greco and Dick Littlefield. The 25-year old outfielder will finish the season hitting .334 in 133 games for the Bucs and will play a key role in the team's World Championship in 1960.

1978      Pinch hitting for Davey Lopes in the Los Angeles 10-1 rout of the Pirates, Lee Lacy goes deep in the bottom of the eighth inning off Will McEnaney at Dodger Stadium. The utility player becomes the first player in major league history to homer in three consecutive at bats as a pinch hitter.  Lacy became a Pirate the next year and played six seasons for the Pittsburgh club.

No comments: