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Tuesday July 22 2014
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BUCTOBER

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After 20 years, the Pirates finally played a few meaningful games in October. The Bucs finished their postseason with a 3-3 record, falling to the Cardinals in the NLDS. The month has historically been pretty good to the Bucs.

Oct. 1, 1903: The Pirates capture the first World Series game ever played, beating Cy Young and the Boston Red Sox 7-3.

Oct. 1, 2013: One hundred and ten years after winning the first World Series game every played, the Bucs won the first playoff game in the history of PNC Park, routing the Reds 6-2 behind Francisco Liriano's dominating pitching performance and two homeruns by Russell Martin.

Oct. 2, 1920: Pittsburgh drops the first two of three games to Cincinnati in what is baseball’s only triple-header of the century. The third game, which lasts only six innings, is called for darkness.

Oct. 5, 1979: En route to capping a sweep of the Reds in the NLCS, Willie Stargell clubs a homerun and is named series MVP.

Oct. 6, 1971: The Pirates win the N.L. pennant after defeating the Giants 9-5. Steve Blass squares off against the Giants’ Gaylord Perry, though both pitchers poor outings do not factor into the final.

Oct. 8, 1917: Danny Murtaugh, who finished with a .540 winning percentage in 2,068 games as Pirates manager, is born. Murtaugh played with Pittsburgh from 1948-1951, batting .264, before becoming the team’s manager in 1957 and winning the World Series title in 1960 and 1971.

Oct. 9, 1947: Former Pirates pitcher Bob Moose is born. Moose spent his entire 10-year career with Pittsburgh, winning 76 games with a 3.50 ERA. In September 1969, the Pirate hurler tossed a no-hitter against the Mets at Shea Stadium. His career ended abruptly when he died in a car crash, on his 29th birthday, after the 1976 season.

Oct. 10, 1986: Current Pirates center fielder and three-time All-Star Andrew McCutchen is born. The former first round pick has led Pittsburgh in Wins Above Replacement in each season since his first full year in 2010, and is the focal point of the first Pirates team to record a winning record since 1992.

Oct. 11, 1979: With the scored at 2-2 entering the ninth inning of the World Series, Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen pinch hits with two outs and drives in Ed Ott for the winning run. Kent Tekulve retires the Orioles in order in the bottom-half to tie the Series at one game apiece.

Oct. 13, 1903: The Pirates lose the eighth game of the first ever World Series to the Boston Americans, 3-0. Deacon Phillippe sPiratestarted his fifth contest of the nine-game series, hurling eight innings and yielding three runs – two earned – on eight hits and no walks.

Oct. 13, 1960: Bill Mazeroski’s ninth-inning, walk-off homerun against the Yankees wins Pittsburgh its third World Series title. The Game 7 series-clinching homer is still the only such of its kind in World Series history.

Oct. 13, 1971: The World Series is played as a night game for the first time in league history. The Pirates take this one, the fourth game of the series, by a 4-3 score over the Orioles at Three Rivers Stadium. Milt May’s pinch-hit single in the seventh scores Bob Robertson and Pittsburgh ties the series at 2-2.

Oct. 14, 1971: Pittsburgh takes a 3-2 World Series lead over Baltimore, due in large part to pitcher Nellie Briles. Then 28, Briles tossed a two-hit shutout while striking out two Orioles in a game at Three Rivers Stadium that lasted just 2:16.

Oct. 14, 1979: Pittsburgh’s Jim Rooker, at 36, staves off a Baltimore World Series victory by pitching five innings and allowing just one run. Bert Blyleven followed Rooker by going four innings and surrendering no runs on three hits and a walk as the Pirates win 7-1.

Oct. 15, 1925: The Pirates are victorious in Game 7 of the World Series, defeating Walter Johnson and the Washington Senators, 9-7. Pittsburgh trailed 3-1 in the series before storming back to capture the franchise’s second championship.

Oct. 16, 1909: Babe Adams, a 27-year-old rookie, leads Pittsburgh to its first World Series title by throwing a complete game shutout against the Detroit Tigers in Game 7. In a matchup of Pittsburgh’s Honus Wagner and Detroit’s Ty Cobb, the Pirates star drove in two runs and recorded a triple; Cobb finished the game 0-for-4.

Oct. 16, 1971: Pittsburgh wins the World Series over Baltimore in seven games. Steve Blass goes the distance, allowing just one run, while Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell both homer in the 4-1 victory.

Oct. 18, 1973: The Pirates trade second baseman Dave Cash to the Phillies for pitcher Ken Brett. Cash, then 25, was coming off a season in which he hit .271; Brett, also 25 at the time, had just posted a 3.44 ERA in 211 2/3 innings with Philadelphia.

Oct. 21, 1969: Pittsburgh acquires pitcher Dave Giusti and catcher Dave Ricketts for catcher Carl Taylor and outfielder Frank Vanzin. Giusti went on to pitch Pirates618 innings with the Pirates, saving 133 games – the fourth most in franchise history – with a 2.94 ERA.

Oct. 25, 1955: Branch Rickey leaves his general manager position to Joe L. Brown.

Oct. 27, 1922: Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, second in Pirates history with 301 homeruns, is born.

I was in a minor league press box in Charlotte, NC, last month, taking in one of Gregory Polanco’s final triple-A games. A colleague, upon learning I was from Pittsburgh, approached me with a question.
Editor's DeskFeature One
The season is nearing the halfway point and the Pirates are still treading water. After falling a season-high eight games under .500 in early May, the team has actually posted the best record in the National League since May 6.
Feature TwoNorth Shore Notes
Steve Blass was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1960 and made his major league debut in 1964. From 1968 through 1972, Blass was one of the National League’s best pitchers.
Feature ThreeNorth Shore NotesTop Story
It’s an odd thought for Sterling Jenkins. It’s still a year away, but after he finishes his senior year at Baldwin High School, he’ll be playing college football at Penn State.
Feature FourHigh SchoolPenn State
PSR VIDEO
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Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... COGOS Feature MatchupMisc YouTube Player 3High School TV Channel
In Dr. Pat Farabaugh’s book “An Unbreakable Bond,” he tells the unedited story of Pittsburgh native and St. Francis (PA) grad Maurice Stokes and his NBA teammate, fellow Pittsburgher Jack Twyman.
Custom 1Small Colleges
When Pittsburgh canine officer Rocco died in the line of duty in January, Chris Benson of Benstonium.com created a design to pay tribute to the fallen officer. When The Black N Gold Girls shared his design on Facebook, their followers decided to help.
Custom 2Sports Bites
The NHL handed out their annual awards at the end of June, and the Penguins' Sidney Crosby captured a hat trick, securing the Hart Trophy (MVP), Art Ross Trophy (scoring champ) and the Ted Lindsay Award (MVP as voted by the players).
Blue LineCustom 3
Pittsburgh is city full of sports heroes and legendary figures. The list of Pittsburgh sports legends is long, but it begins with the following four men.
Custom 4Sports Bites