Results tagged ‘ world series ’
Former Pirates’ manager Chuck Tanner passed away on Friday at the age of 82.
Tanner managed the Pirates from 1977-85, and led the “We are family” Bucs to a World Series title in 1979 by defeating the Baltimore Orioles. The Pirates rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to win the title in seven games.
Tanner also managed the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and Atlanta Braves. He retired with a managerial record of 1352-1381.
A native of the Pittsburgh suburb of New Castle, Tanner’s playing career lasted eight years. He played the outfield for the Braves, Angeles, Indians and Cubs.
Tanner most recently served as a senior adviser to Pirates general manager Neal Huntington.
“The news of Chuck’s passing at the age of 81 was met today with heavy hearts by everyone within the Pirates organization,” team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement. “Chuck was much more than a highly successful major league manager who guided the Pirates to the World Series championship in 1979, he was an integral and loved member of the Pirates family.”
“Chuck was a class act who always carried himself with grace, humility and integrity. While no one had a sharper baseball mind, Chuck was loved by his players and the city of Pittsburgh because he was always positive, enthusiastic and optimistic about his Bucs and life in general,” said Pirates president Frank Coonelly.
“My early memories of the Pirates organization are of Chuck’s teams, the way they played the game and the genuine affection they seemed to have for each other,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “This made an impression on me and never did I imagine that I would have a chance to work with Chuck himself.”
Tommy Lasorda tweeted upon hearing the news of Tanner’s death: “Rest in Peace Chuck Tanner. I loved you like a brother. You taught me a lot about managing, and I always appreciated it.”
“The Tanner family would like to express their sincere thanks to friends, fans, and the entire baseball community for their thoughts and prayers during Chuck’s recent illness,” Bruce Tanner said. “He will forever be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather to his family, and a good friend to every life he touched. In baseball we will remember his eternal optimism and his passion for the game.”
First baseman Lyle Overbay’s decision to come to Pittsburgh this season had a lot to do with Manager Clint Hurdle.
“I’ve got three boys,” Overbay said of his sons who are 7, 6 and 2. “And Clint Hurdle is a man who is, in a sense, raising boys here in this clubhouse. He is an inspirational person and I’d like to coach someday and that is the kind of man I want to surround myself with.”
“Things are changing here and I want to be part of something special,” Overbay said.
Overbay made his major league debut in 2001 with Arizona and spent three years with the Diamondbacks. He then spent two seasons with the Brewers and the last five with the Blue Jays.
“I was with Milwaukee when we lost just as much and my second year there [in 2005], we turned it around. It was like we had won the World Series [finishing 81-81]. That same kind of stepping stone can be done here, things are changing, confidence is here, people here are not accepting losing. It doesn’t take long around these guys to realize it.”
Overbay attended the Bucs mini camp held this week where one of the things that was discussed was trust.
“I want to know where I am and be part of the solution and help,” Overbay said. “One of the questions Clint asked me, and he asked everyone was, ‘Do you trust me?’
“You have to trust him because he’s honest. He tells you where you stand with him. I’m a grown man and if he says something that I might not like, he’s not out there to hurt me, he’s out there to make me better. I understand that and that’s a big part of what is going to be the atmosphere around here — you have to trust Clint.”
Fans were not happy that the Pirates didn’t sign a bigger name free-agent first baseman (like Derek Lee) but instead signed Overbay. Hurdle addressed which players the Pirates acquire:
“At this point in time, people need to realize something,” he said. “We need to identify players who are out there, but who also want to come here, and then we have to go recruit those guys.
“There are a lot of people who say, ‘Well, you should have gone out and tried to get this guy or that guy.’ Well, you know what, maybe that guy never even wanted to come to Pittsburgh. And it is not about another million dollars or another 3 million dollars, there are some guys who are never coming to Pittsburgh. That’s the reality of where we are right now. And the reality is we aren’t going to get them until we start winning.”
Former pitcher and current Minnesota Twins television analyst, Bert Blyleven, finally made it into Cooperstown on his 14th year on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Blyleven’s career spanned 22-years (1970-92) with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians and Angels.
Blyleven received 79.7 percent of the ballots (463 votes). He received 74.2 percent of the vote in 2010 –just five votes shy.
“Last year, I was surprised that I went from 62 percent to five votes short,” Blyleven said in a recent interview from his home in Fort Myers, Fla. “That was very nice. It just means that hopefully this year there will be enough votes to get me inducted into the Hall of Fame. If that does happen, it will be like icing on the cake for me. I had a pretty big cake throughout my career, but this would be the ultimate.”
Blyleven will join general manager Pat Gillick and Sandy Alomar (the other 2011 Hall of Fame inductee) for the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 24.
“It’s been 14 years of praying and waiting,” Blyleven said. “I’d like to thank the Baseball Writers for finally getting it right.”
It’s still undecided which cap he will be wearing on his plaque in the Hall of Fame, although, the Twins is most likely. Blyleven spent 10 of his 22 seasons in Minnesota.
“The Hall of Fame decides what hat I wear,” said Blyleven. “I’m just very fortunate to now be one of the elite members of the Hall of Fame. It’s their decision, but hopefully it’ll be the Minnesota Twins.”
Blyleven spent three seasons (1978-80) with the Pittsburgh Pirates, even winning a World Series Championship title with the 1979 “We Are Family” team.
He has 287 wins –27th on the all-time list, fifth in career strikeouts (3,701). Blyleven’s 60 shutouts are ninth all-time and also ranks 13th all-time in innings pitched (4,970).
Incase you missed Hot Stove from Wednesday night, or perhaps you don’t get the channel, here is what the analysts from MLB Network had to say about the Pirates 2011 season (P.S. It’s not pretty).
Matt Yallof: “The Pirates. Every single year. It seems to get worse. 57 wins last year. That seems difficult to do.”
Bill Ripken: “You wonder what direction they’re heading in. Our friend Clint Hurdle is taking over this club. I think he’s going to bring an attitude and a positive mentality to this club. But for me, I look at the pitching staff. In all these years that they’ve finished down to the bottom of baseball, I’m wanting to know where that number one is. We mentioned [Steven] Strasburg when we talk about the Nationals. Now, he blew out his elbow and he got hurt. But when you draft, you draft a number one. You draft some cheddar. When I look at the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation, I’m kind of wondering, ‘where’s the heat’? I’m not saying heats everything because you can pitch to spots and you can locate. When everybody on your staff is throwing 91, 92, then you drop down below 90, throwing 86, 88. There’s not that one guy that actually wows me. [Charlie] Morton throws the hardest. When you’re looking at 93 topping out, I’m wanting to know, ‘where the heat is?’ If you didn’t draft it, and you go out and you pick out other guys that are kind of throwing the same, ‘where’s the heat?’ I want somebody in that rotation that’s going to make somebody swing and miss at a fastball and maybe get yourself out of a jam instead of giving up big innings.”
Pirates projected rotation (according to MLB Network)
James McDonald (4-6, 4.02 ERA in 2010)
Paul Maholm (9-15, 5.10 ERA in 2010)
Kevin Correia (10-10 5.40 ERA in 2010)
Scott Olsen (4-8, 5.56 ERA in 2010)
Ross Ohlendorf (1-11, 4.07 ERA in 2010)
Mitch Williams: “There has to be a guy on every staff that at some point in the game, can reach back and throw the ball 95, 96. If you’ve got two outs and the bases loaded, two strikes on a hitter, you have got to have that guy that can blow that hitter up. Pittsburgh does not have that guy. They have guys that throw hitting speed.”
Matt Yallof: “You know what, they’ve had their chances to draft guys of note and guys that do what you’re taking about but they’ve missed. They’ve had high draft picks over and over. That hurts. Look at the guys they’ve passed on. They’ve missed those type of guys.”
Pitchers drafted in first round by Pirates since 2002:
Drafted – Right hand pitcher Brad Lincoln
Missed on – Left hand pitcher Clayton Kershaw, right hand pitcher Tim Lincecum, Right hand pitcher Matt Scherzer
Drafted – Left hand pitcher Paul Maholm
Missed on – Left hand pitcher John Danks, Right hand pitcher Chad Billingsley
Drafted – right hand pitcher Brian Bullington
Missed on – Right hand pitcher Zach Greinke, left hand pitcher Cole Hamels
(*As a note: Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield were the General Managers during this time. Since Neal Huntington took over as GM in September of 2007, the drafting and minor league system has done a complete 180. Huntington really hasn’t gotten enough credit for what he has done so far and how much better the organization is heading.)
Harold Reynolds: “That’s the easy stuff they’ve missed on. Those are the number one picks. It’s the guys in the fifth round, six round, that your scouting is suggesting and going after. They’ve done a nice job with some players that have come up as of late (Williams: “position players”). But they’ve really missed it on the pitching.”
Ripken: “That term that comes into baseball now: Sign ability. Some of that might be their hands are tied a little bit but boy when you see that list and some of those players they’ve passed up on, wow! They’d look a lot different.”
Reynolds: “If you look back at the ‘we are family pirates’ they were international. They were: Puerto Rico, Dominican, they may not have had the funds back then but they went in those countries and developed players. I still think they had the market cornered. That’s when everybody wanted to be a pirate.”
Williams: “They won the World Series with the ugliest hats in the history of baseball.”
Yallof: “Last winning season: 1992. It’s really hard to believe.”
Notable Transactions (by MLB Network)
First baseman – Lyle Overbay
Outfielder – Matt Diaz
Right hand pitcher – Kevin Correia
Left hand pitcher – Scott Olsen
Left hand pitcher – Zach Duke
Right hand pitcher – Chan Ho Park
Outfielder – Lastings Milledge
The Pirates officially announce a two-year deal with outfielder Matt Diaz. The news of the agreement came a week ago, during the winter meetings. The contract is reported to be worth $4.2 million ($2M in 2010 and 2012 plus a $250,000 signing bonus). Diaz has a career .335 batting average and .533 slugging percentage against left-handers over eight major league seasons.
Diaz will platoon in right with Garrett Jones (.282 hitter against right-handers). Ryan Doumit and John Bowker are also back-up options for the Bucs.
Diaz says he is excited to join the Pirates:
On why the Pirates were the right choice:
“Really Clint Hurdle. Met with him at the winter meetings. I talked to him once on the phone before that. He and Neal Huntington came In and gave a great presentation on where the organization is heading. So that was very important for me to go back and ask them for a second year to be a part of it. I think we are going to surprise some people. I really think by 2012, you’re really going to see this young core of players really mesh together and really make a run at this thing.”
Diaz, who has known Andrew McCutchen since he was in 8th grade, said, “He is the most underrated superstar in baseball.”
On what he thinks about playing at PNC Park: “I like hitting the ball to right center and I like the way the ball carries here. Hopefully it will be a friendly park for me to hit in, a friendly park for me to play defense in and hopefully produce some runs so we can win some games.”
On his dream of playing in a world series: “I know people in Pittsburgh nation will laugh, but, hopefully in the next couple of years we can do that.”
Other News and Notes:
- The Pirates two-year deal with pitcher Kevin Correia should be finalized later this week. In order for him to be put on the 40-man roster, the Bucs must remove someone, as it is full.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reports: The Pirates are stepping up efforts to trade Ryan Doumit, who’s bumped down now to a $5.1 M bench player, backup catcher.
- According to Jesse Behr of Baseball Prospectus, he is “Hearing whispers of a Ryan Doumit-for-Marco Scutaro deal”. Scutaro in 2010 with the Red Sox hit 11 home runs, 56 RBI with a .275 average.
Second baseman Freddy Sanchez had arthroscopic surgery on his non-throwing shoulder Tuesday in Scottsdale, Arizona. The problems began occurring near the end of the regular season and into the post season.
“We tried to rehab for 3-4 weeks to avoid this but after several different opinions we decided, especially with the calendar, to go ahead and scope the shoulder,” said Giants trainer Dave Groeschner.
“Basically, they cut his bicep tendon and cleaned up the back of his shoulder,” Groeschner added. “He had no repairs or anything. We’re probably looking at an eight-week recovery. I think he’ll be behind in spring training because he’ll be rehabbing, but I think all the doctors he saw agreed that he should be backing pretty quickly from there and he’ll be able to play baseball games in March, for sure.”
Sanchez finished the regular season with a .291 AVG, seven home runs and 47 RBI.
The Pirates interviewed Clint Hurdle for the vacant managerial job on Thursday afternoon. He was the first to be interviewed in the past three weeks and the eighth to be considered for the job.
Hurdle was unavailable to be interviewed until the Rangers finished their run at the World Series (He is the Rangers Hitting Coach).
Hurdle, 53, was previously the Colorado Rockies manager from 2002 until he was dismissed during the 2009 season. Hurdle lead the Rockies to the World Series in 2007 and finished with a record of 534-625 during the eight seasons as skipper.
Drafted by the Royals in the first round of the 1975 players draft, two years later made his major league debut. Hurdle’s career spanned 12 years and he played five different positions. He spent time in a Royals, Reds, Mets and Cardinals uniform and finished his career with a .259 average.
Hurdle’s managerial career started in 1988 when he managed the Class A St. Lucie Mets. He managed the Double-A and Triple-A teams for a combined four years before being hired by the Rockies’ in 1994 as the organization’s Minor League hitting coordinator. He was then named hitting coach in 1997.
Hurdle is also rumored to be interviewing with the Mets for their open managerial position as well.
The Pirates could make a decision by Friday. Jeff Banister is also still in consideration for the position. He ended the 2010 season as the Pirates bench coach after Gary Varsho was fired. Banister has been in the Pirates organization for the past 25 years.
According to MLB Fanhouse, Barry Bonds would like to be a hitting coach in the future.
Bonds was cheering the Giants on during game one of the World Series on Wednesday night and spoke about it after the game.
“I have a gift and sooner or later I have to give it away,” Bonds said. “I have to share it. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity here.”
“I love being home. I love being here,” he said.
During Wednesday’s tribute to Maz and the 1960 Bucs I had the honor and privilege to hear some amazing stories from fans who were at game seven of the world series. 50 years later they are still celebrating the great feat and sharing where they were when Mazeroski hit that historic home run.
But one story in particular was very special. George Boyle was not only at game seven, he also caught the home run at 3:36 on film.
Boyle was shooting news film for KDKA-TV and a lot of his assignments included Pirates game coverage.
When tickets for the series went on sale, they were on a lottery basis. The general public had to send in a check or money order to the Pirates’ and then they would have a drawing to select who would receive the tickets. Boyle sent in his check and a few days later received two tickets in the mail. The tickets were for game seven.
His friends laughed at the thought the Pirates would ever make it that far against the mighty Yankees. Everyone told him that his tickets were useless. But it sure didn’t dampen his enthusiasm. Boyle told his news directors that, “If the series went to the full seven games, I wasn’t going to work. Instead, I intended to take my wife to the ball game and be a regular spectator.” His news director laughed and said, “Oh sure, you do that,” and dismissed the subject.
Game seven, as you know, did happen, and Boyle reminded his news director on the night before that he intended to take his wife to the ball game. He insisted on giving him a handful of special passes (Locker room, field, press box, etc.). His news director also insisted he take his camera along, “in case the Pirates pulled off a miracle win” in which he was to film it.
It was there, from Section one row A –the from row in right field– that Boyle caught the magic moment all on film.
Without a tripod, he was able to hold the camera steady enough to film. After Yankees shortstop Tony Kubec was hit in the throat after the ball took a unfortunate bounce, Boyle started filming the footage of the emergency activity taking place on the field. He continued filming every pitch.
Everyone knows the outcome of the game. Mazeroski is at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, Pirates and Yankees are tied at nine. The 1-0 pitch sailed over the left-center field scoreboard at 3:36 PM winning the World Series in dramatic fashion.
Once the ball cleared the scoreboard, Boyle’s wife lost all control. During her excitement she began beating him on his back with both fists screaming “We did it, we did it!” With his emotions running wild and the beating on his back, Boyle was trying to follow Maz running around the bases on film.
Boyle said he had “extreme-close ups” from the moment the Yankees’ pitcher began his windup to Mazeroski’s historic run around the bases.
When people first viewed his film, they accused him of being drunk since the film was shaky.
Immediately following the game, Boyle hurried out of the stadium to find a taxi. He gave the driver a $20 tip to give the film to the station so that it could be processed in time for the evening news.
Other footage eventually replaced his film but Boyle’s was the first to hit the air. An incredible story that he says he “still laughs each time I remember that day.”
Here is a photo of Boyle holding the camera he used to film game seven of the 1960 World Series. It used 16 mm movie film, which he said, “It was standard in the industry at the time.”
*A special thanks to George Boyle for the interview and wonderful story I will never forget.
For most, October 13th at 3:36 p.m. may not sound special, but believe me it is. Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of the 1960 World Series in which the Bucs defeated the Yankees in game seven with a walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski –which arguably is one of the greatest World Series moments in major league history.
And yet, 50 years later, the city of Pittsburgh continues to honor this very special day. For the past 15 years, Maz and the members of the 1960 World Series team are honored on the anniversary of this remarkable feat at Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
Several thousand fans gathered at the spot where Forbes Field used to be (The outfield wall, home plate and mark where Maz’s ball left the park are all still there) to celebrate game seven.
Vern Law, Bob Friend, Bill Virdon, Dick Groat, Hal Smith, Joe Gibbon, George Witt, Bob Oldis, and Joe Christopher were all in attendance. President Frank Coonelly and Steve Blass were there as well as Vera, wife of the late Roberto Clemente, and son Luis.
“This is just unbelievable, unbelievable,” Hal Smith told the AP on Wednesday. “We never dreamed of anything like this back then.”
After the 1960 team lineups were announced, fans listened as game seven was played at the exact time the game started and finished. Fans cheered, cried and booed while relieving the wonderful moments that happened 50 years ago. They even sang “take me out to the ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. When it was time for Maz to step up to the plate it was dead silent. The 1-0 pitch…Here’s the swing and it’s a high fly ball going deep to left..did they do it? Back to the wall goes Berra and it is over the fence. The Pirates win!” Once you heard the crack of the bat the thousands of fans were jumping and screaming and celebrating Maz’s game winning home run. Confetti was thrown and signs were held, an incredible moment that I felt I was a part of.
“It was a monumental home run,” reliever Roy Face said.
“I just thought it was a hit to win a ballgame and would be forgotten about next year when we started it all over again,” Mazeroski said. “Here we are 50 years later still talking about it.”
I was honored to meet so many fans who told me great stories of what it was like to be at game seven. For those who say baseball is dead in the steel city, it was very much alive on Wednesday afternoon.
Maz as well as players from the 1960 Bucs.
A fan holding up the 50-year old paper from the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette ”Bucs are the Champs”
I love this. Framed are the rosters of both the Pirates and Yankees from 1960 along with all the signatures of the players and the ticket stubs from the World Series.
The model of Forbes field.
Touching home plate.
The words speak for them self. The plaque marks the spot where Maz’s ball went over the left-center field fence.
One fan had a seat from Forbes field with him. He was a fourth generation Pirates’ family, and the chair made its way to him. It was believed to be from the right field seats in the 28th row. It was re-painted –the original seats were green– and was still in one piece. That’s pretty unbelievable.
MLB Network was at the event and will be airing the full broadcast of game seven on December 15th. The Network will be in Pittsburgh this November for the filming and showing at a local theater. Bob Costas as well as many players will be in attendance for this event. Tickets will be available for fans and as soon as more info is announced I will be sure to let you know.
Until then…Beat em’ Bucs!