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This week in Pittsburgh Sports History

A look back at events that you’ve either forgotten about or never heard of in the first place

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Forbes Field
  • Forbes Field

A look back at events that you’ve either forgotten about or never heard of in the first place.

July 27, 1986

Joe Tucker, the “voice” of the Pittsburgh Steelers, passes away at age 76. Tucker, who also did play-by-play for baseball, basketball and hockey, was a friend of Steelers founder Art Rooney and the team’s announcer from 1936 through 1967.

July 27, 2011

MLB umpire Jerry Meals becomes the most hated man in Pittsburgh sports history when he blows a call at 2 a.m. to end a 19-inning game at PNC Park between Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Pirates catcher Michael “Fort” McKenry took a throw from third baseman Pedro Alvarez and tagged Atlanta’s Julio Lugo several feet in front of the plate. Meals apologized later. The team, a playoff contender at the time, collapsed, thus sealing the team’s 19th-straight losing season.

July 28, 1971

Forbes Field in Oakland is demolished — only home plate and the left-field wall are left.

July 28, 2001

Down by seven, with two outs and the bases clear in the bottom of the ninth, the Pirates become the first team in MLB history to win a game in that scenario. Brian Giles finishes Houston off with a walk-off grand slam and a final score of 9-8.

July 29, 1941

Boxing legend Fritzie “The Croat Comet” Zivic, of Lawrenceville, loses his World Welterweight Title to Red Cochrane in the latter’s home state of New Jersey.

July 30, 1975

The Pirates host “Babushka Night” at Three Rivers Stadium. The team started a ladies’ night promotion earlier in the month to help draw fans to the park. Pirates announcer Bob Prince nicknamed those women the “Babushka Brigade.” It worked. More than 43,000  fans showed up (nearly 13,000 were women) and received a black-and-gold head scarf.


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