On this date in 1903 the Pittsburgh Pirates lost game five of the World Series to the Boston Americans by an 11-2 score. The pitcher for the Pirates that game was William “Brickyard” Kennedy, who was celebrating his 36th birthday that same day. Kennedy had spent just one season in a Pirates uniform, signing in January 1903 as a free agent. He had compiled a 178-153 record up to that point over 11 seasons, ten of them with Brooklyn. He had four 20 win seasons to his credit, including a career high 25 wins in 1893. While with the Pirates, he made 15 starts and three relief appearances with a 9-6 3.45 record. His appearance in game five was his only game in the World Series in 1903 and he took the loss. That was also his last major league appearance. He pitched five more seasons in the minor leagues going 38-31.
Hall of Fame outfielder Chuck Klein, who played for the 1939 Pirates, was born on this date in 1904. He lasted just one season with the Bucs but batted .300 with 11 homers and 47 RBI’s in 85 games. He was signed as a free agent in early June of that year, just one day after being released by the Phillies. The Pirates released him just prior to the 1940 season and he resigned with the Phillies where he finished his career. He hit 300 homers with a .320 career average and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980.
Also on this date in 1972 the Pirates won game one of the NLCS over the Cincinnati Reds in front of 50,476 fans at Three Rivers Stadium. Steve Blass got the start for the Pirates and went 8.1 IP allowing just a first inning run on a Joe Morgan solo homer on his way to a 5-1 victory. Ramon Hernandez came into the game in the 9th with two men on and retired Morgan on a flyball to CF and Bobby Tolan on a strikeout to preserve the victory. Al Oliver went 2-4 with three RBI’s and a 2-run homer in the 5th inning off Reds starter, Don Gullett. Willie Stargell also drove in a run with a first inning double while Rennie Stennett scored two runs. The Pirates ended up losing the series in five games.