Bob Moose Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher

Bob Moose Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher
Bob Moose, 1967-1976

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


1972 NLCS: Moose, but no Squirrels Robert Tufts MLB Examiner Both of the 2011 League Championship Series have been relatively entertaining so far. In the NLCS, the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals are down to a best of three to advance to the World Series. In the ALCS, the Detroit Tigers fought off elimination in Game Five and head back to Texas with at least a slim hope of coming back from a three games to one deficit to move on to the Fall Classic. Newsday’s Ken Davidoff took a look at past ALCS and NLCS to come up with some memorable names and moments by asking the question "Who is most identified by his place in LCS history?" His list of the top five: Steve Bartman, Aaron Boone, Donnie Moore, Eric Gregg and Carlos Beltran. I can immediately hear the clamors by some Yankees and Mets baseball fans for Jeffrey Maier, Chris Chambliss and Mike Scott. However, my choice is Bob Moose of the 1972 Pittsburgh Pirates. In the decisive Game Five of the 1972 NLCS versus the Cincinnati Reds, Moose threw a wild pitch that brought in the series winning run in a 4-3 Reds victory. According to baseball’s fantastic site, in the bottom of the ninth, Pirate reliever Dave Giusti gave up a leadoff home run to Johnny Bench that tied the game at 3-3. Tony Perez and Dennis Menke followed Bench’s home run with singles. George Foster came in as a pinch runner for Perez. Moose replaced Giusti with runners on first and second and gave up a flyball to right by Cesar Geronimo that moved Foster to third base. Moose induced Darrel Chaney to pop out to shortstop and was only one batter away from getting the game to go into extra innings, but he threw a wild pitch to McRae (who was pinch hitting for Clay Carroll) and the ballgame and series were over. The Reds would go on to lose the 1972 World Series to the A’s in seven games – only Game Six was not decided by one run. Meanwhile, the 1972 American League Championship series was also a five game affair. The Detroit Tigers won the American League East by ½ game over the Boston Red Sox. Yes, that’s correct – ½ game. Why? Well, the first ever strike by the nascent Major League Baseball Players Association happened at the start of the season, and teams played an uneven amount of games. The Tigers finished 86-70, while the Red Sox finished 85-70 and went home early. What did the players win in that strike? Additional pension contributions by the owners due to higher television contracts and the right to salary arbitration. Little did they know that arbitration would be the death knell to the reserve clause thanks to the Messersmith-McNally case in 1975. And many diehard fans may remember that in Game Two of the ALCS, A’s shortstop Bert Campaneris was hit in the leg by Tigers pitcher Lerrin LeGrow. Campaneris’s response? He hurled the bat at LeGrow, precipitating a “hold me back” bench clearing shoving match prominently featuring Tigers manager Billy Martin. Campaneris was suspended for the rest of the ALCS but returned to play in the World Series. And there are two sad postscripts to the walk off wild pitch story. This game was the last game ever played by the legendary Pirate rightfielder Roberto Clemente. Clemente died in the off season in a plane crash while assisting an airlift of supplies to Nicaragua, which had been devasted by an earthquake on December 23rd. And Moose, like Donnie Moore, tragically left this world far too soon – but not by his own hand as in the case of Moore. Moose died at age 29 on his birthday in a car accident two weeks after the 1976 season. He was driving to Bill Mazeroski’s golf course in Martins Ferry, Ohio for a party at the time of the head-on crash. Robert Tufts, MLB Examiner Bob Tufts is a former major league pitcher with the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals. He holds a degree in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA from Columbia University. One Sweet Moose A Pennsylvania native, Bob Moose grew up with the dream of one day pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates. For Moose it was a dream come true, as he eventually found success both as a starter and reliever for the Pirates, the only team he played for in a 10-year major league career. Moose was sandlot legend, a strikeout specialist from little League through high school, when he was signed by the Pirates in 1965. He made his major league debut at the end of the 1967 season, pitching a complete game for his first big league win that season. In 1968, as a starter and reliever for the Pirates, Moose went 8-12 with a 2.74 ERA and 3 shutouts. His best season came in 1969, when he went 14-3 with a 2.91 ERA. His .834 winning percentage was the highest in the major leagues that year. He also pitched a no-hitter against the New York Mets. Moose won 11 games for the Pirates in each of the next 2 seasons, and appeared in 3 games in the 1971 World Series with no decisions. In 1972, as a member of the Pirates' starting rotation, Moose won 13 games with a 2.91 ERA, pitching a career-high 226 innings. He won 12 games in 1973. In 1974 Moose experienced arm problems for the first time in his career. The cause turned out to be a blood clot that required season-ending surgery and considerable rehabilitation to rebuild his arm strength. Moose appeared in only 23 games in 1975, going 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA. He came back in 1976 as the Pirates' closer, appearing in 53 games with 10 saves, and now 29, he appeared ready to take on the closer's role full-time going into the 1977 season. But Moose never had the opportunity. He was killed in an auto accident on the way to participating in a charity golf tournament. Moose finished his career with a 76-71 record and a 3.50 ERA. • Bob Moose was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1965. He pitched in the minors from 1965-1967. Bob started two games late in 1967 and was 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA. • Moose started the 1968 season as a reliever and joined the Pittsburgh starting rotation in early June. Bob pitched in 38 games (22 starts) and was 8-12 with three saves and a 2.74 ERA. In 1969 Bob led the NL with a .824 winning percentage. He was 14-3 with four saves and a 2.91 ERA in 44 games (19 starts). Moose pitched a no-hitter against the New York Mets on September 20, 1969. • Moose was a full-time starter in 1970 and was 11-10 with a 3.99 ERA in 27 starts. Bob started and lost game 3 of the 1970 NLCS (he allowed three runs in 7.2 innings). • Bob returned to a swingman role in 1971. He pitched in 44 games (19 starts) and was 11-7 with one save and a 4.11 ERA. Moose pitched two scoreless innings in the 1971 NLCS and had a 6.52 ERA in 3 games (1 start) in the 1971 World Series. • Moose was back in the rotation in 1972 and was 13-10 with a 2.91 ERA in 30 starts. He started game 2 of the NLCS but didn't get out of the first inning as the Reds scored four runs. In the deciding game 5 Moose entered the game in the ninth inning with the score tied. George Foster made his way to third base and with two out scored on Moose's wild pitch. • In 1973 Bob was 12-13 with a 3.53 ERA in 29 starts. Moose missed most of the 1974 season with an injury. Moose had surgery for a blood clot problem and had to have a rib removed in order to free the vein causing the problem. He started six games (1-5, 7.57 ERA) and then didn't pitch after May 23. • Bob came back in 1975 but had a rough start, a thumb injury, and spent some time in the minors in August. Moose ended up 2-2 with a 3.78 ERA in 23 games (5 starts) for the Pirates. His ERA was 5.88 before he went to the minors. • Moose was mostly a reliever in 1976. He was 3-9 with 10 saves and a 3.68 ERA in 53 games (2 starts). • Bob's career (and life) was cut short by an automobile accident. He was killed on October 9, 1976 (his 29th birthday) while on his way to Bill Mazeroski's golf course near Martin's Ferry, Ohio. • Memories of Moose - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - April 27, 2007 • Liked to face: Mike Jorgensen (.043 in 23 AB); Bill Robinson/Julian Javier (.056 in 18 AB) • Hated to face: Willie McCovey (.545 with 7 HR in 33 AB); Bob Boone (.526 in 19 AB); Garry Maddox (.472 in 36 AB) Bob Moose: #38 Years as a Buc:1967-1976; Pitcher Total ML seasons: 10 seasons, all with the Pirates Career Highlights: Moose is on a short list of Pirate pitchers who have tossed a no-hitter. On September 20, 1969, Bob Moose no-hit the Mets at New York and won the game 4-0. He also started Game 6 of the 1971 World Series and turned in a solid 5 innings of work. Moose also appeared in relief during Games 1 (4 innings) and Game 2. His starting assignment was critical as two of the Pirate pitchers had been ineffective against the Orioles. The assignment was made more difficult because he had to oppose Hall of Fame-bound Oriole oitcher Jim Palmer. Overall, in his ML career, Moose was a 76-71 pitcher with a 3.50 ERA. He had 11 or more wins in 5 straight seasons ('69-'73), and threw over 200 innings twice. Best Year: 1969: in addition to his no-hitter, Moose was 14-3 with a 2.91 ERA. Fan Remembrances: Moose and I are from the same hometown, although Bob starred on the high school baseball team about 13 years before I played on that team. I met him as a kid and had a picture autographed, but I've lost track of where it went. Moose was killed in an auto accident after the 1976 season on his 29th birthday. Moose may be remembered as the pitcher who threw the wild pitch that allowed the Reds to score the winning run in the 1972 playoffs. This is a little unfair to Moose - Dave Giusti allowed the Johnny Bench home run that tied the game in the 9th inning; Moose came on in a jam and recorded 2 outs before uncorking one that allowed the Reds runner at third to scamper home. Bob Moose was well liked by all his team mates. A plaque was dedicated to him after his death which still hangs in the Pirate clubhouse at TRS. THIRTY YEARS AGO... THE FIRST ALL-BLACK LINEUP By Bruce Markusen The events of September 1, 1971 have never received much media attention, paling in comparison to the coverage of Jackie Robinson’s historic entrance into the major leagues. Yet, the happenings in Pittsburgh on that date constitute one of the most significant milestones in the racial history of major league baseball. That afternoon, while sitting in his office at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh Pirates’ manager Danny Murtaugh prepared to oppose the Philadelphia Phillies and left-handed pitcher Woodie Fryman. Murtaugh filled out the following names on his lineup card: Rennie Stennett, 2B Gene Clines, CF Roberto Clemente, RF Willie Stargell, LF Manny Sanguillen, C Dave Cash, 3B Al Oliver, 1B Jackie Hernandez, SS Dock Ellis, P At first glance, Murtaugh’s lineup seemed to represent nothing particularly out of the ordinary. In fact, the lineup appeared typical of ones that he would use against left-handed starters like Fryman, with the exception of the lefty-swinging Al Oliver at first base in place of the right-handed batting Bob Robertson. Upon further review, however, observers in the press box noticed that the lineup consisted exclusively of African-American and dark-skinned Latin American players. Baseball experts surmised that for the first time in the history of baseball, and 24 years after Jackie Robinson had broken the color barrier, a major league team was employing an all-black lineup. Gene Clines, one of the players in the lineup that evening, initially believed that the Pirates had used an all-black lineup several years earlier. Willie Stargell, one of the senior members of the 1971 Pirates, corrected Clines’ speculation. “No, this is the first time,” said Stargell, the Hall of Fame outfielder-first baseman who died earlier this year. “Back in 1967, in Philadelphia, [former Pirate manager] Harry Walker started eight of us, but the pitcher, Denny Ribant, was white.” Although Murtaugh’s decision to write out an all-black lineup drew relatively little attention from the fans and media, it was immediately noticed by some Pirate players in the clubhouse prior to the game. “We saw the lineup on the [clubhouse] wall...Oh yeah, we were aware,” recalls pitcher Steve Blass, the eventual winner in Game Seven of the 1971 World Series. In 1971, the Pirates represented baseball’s most heavily integrated team, with black and Latino players accounting for nearly fifty percent of the club’s roster. The Pirates also featured one of baseball’s most harmonious teams, with friendships and gatherings often crossing racial lines. White players often socialized with black and Latino players, either at bars and restaurants after games, or at barbecues and parties organized by one of the team’s leaders, Willie Stargell. Considering the unity of the team, the players’ reaction to the all-black lineup was not surprising. “We had a loose group, [so] we were all laughing and hollering about it and teasing each other,” says Blass. “I thought that was a great reaction.” Third baseman Richie Hebner, who sat out the game with an injury, says the players’ pre-game reaction to the lineup typified the kind of good-natured racial humor that was prevalent with the Pirates. Hebner says such humor was doled out purely for fun, and not intended to be taken seriously. “Some of the guys joked around the clubhouse, saying, ‘Hey, you white guys, you can take a rest tonight’... Back then, Ellis and Stargell would get on us [white players] and we’d get on them. You could do that,” Hebner recalls. Other players, like Al Oliver, didn’t realize that the Pirates were actually using an all-black lineup until the middle of the game. “I had no clue,” Oliver says, “Because as a rule we had at least five or six [black and Latino players] out there anyway. So, two or three more was no big thing. I didn’t know until about the third or fourth inning. Dave Cash mentioned to me, he says, ‘Hey, Scoop, we got all brothers out here.’” Oliver pauses for a moment and laughs. “You know, I thought about it, and I said, ‘We sure do!’ ” The fact that Oliver even started the game was strange for several reasons. Why was Oliver, primarily a center fielder in 1971, playing at first base instead of usual starter Bob Robertson? Even more strangely, why was Oliver starting against a left-hander, when Murtaugh had benched him against most southpaws that summer? “That’s a good question,” Oliver replies with a laugh. “That’s a good question, because to this day when people ask me who was the toughest pitcher I ever faced, it was Woodie Fryman.” One article indicated that Robertson sat out the game with a minor injury, but didn’t specify what the injury was. According to Oliver, Murtaugh may have been looking to light a fire under a slumping Robertson, who had gone 2-for-14 in his previous four games. “Bob Robertson normally would have played that day, but Dave Cash had told me within the last [few] years, and I never knew this, that Murtaugh was kind of disappointed in Bob for whatever reason. I don’t know what the exact reason was, but he was disappointed in Bob, so he sat him down. He played me that night at first base.” Popular and patriarchal, Murtaugh had become a comforting, father-like figure for almost all of the Pirate players, regardless of skin color or nationality. In the past, he had not hesitated in giving significant amounts of playing time to black and Latino players, and now seemed to be showing pioneering courage in making out the first all-black lineup when he was under no pressure to do so. So why did Murtaugh write out the lineup the way he did on September 1, 1971? Given the decision to start Oliver over Robertson, was it possible that Murtaugh was looking for a way to put an all-black lineup on the field? Oliver doesn’t think so. “In my estimation, I think Danny was just putting the best team on the field, and he probably didn’t notice [the all-black lineup] until later. I didn’t know until the third or fourth inning.” Steve Blass says Murtaugh was concerned with winning games—not with making social statements. “No, this was not a statement, nor a device,” Blass says. “The thing I remember about it, when he was interviewed afterwards, Murtaugh said, ‘I put the nine best athletes out there. The best nine I put out there tonight happened to be black. No big deal. Next question.’ ” Blass says Murtaugh handled the matter with the proper attitude and perspective. “He was aware of the repercussions that might come out of it,” says Blass. “But he didn’t have a problem with it.” So, for the first time since the demise of the Negro Leagues in the early 1960s, a professional major league-caliber baseball team fielded a starting nine consisting exclusively of blacks. The results? The Phillies scored two runs against Dock Ellis in the first, but the Bucs countered with six hits and five runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Phillies added four more runs in the second, knocking out Ellis, who was replaced by long reliever Bob Moose. Down 6-5, the Pirates rallied for three runs in the second. Gene Clines singled and Roberto Clemente walked. After Clines stole third, Willie Stargell produced one run with a sac fly, and Manny Sanguillen added two more on a home run. Bob Veale, also a black player, relieved Bob Moose in the third inning, and struck out the one batter he faced. Ironically, Luke Walker, a white pitcher from Texas, relieved in the fourth and emerged as the Pirate pitching star of the day. Walker held the Phillies to one run over six innings and picked up the win in a 10-7 victory for the Bucs. On offense, Clines, Clemente, Stargell, Sanguillen, Oliver, and Rennie Stennett each collected two base hits, and Clines and Cash each stole a base. The all-black lineup had produced a win in its very first major league go-round. Unfortunately, only 11,278 fans were on hand at Three Rivers Stadium to witness this intriguing piece of baseball history. At the time, most of the Pirates’ players and fans didn’t grasp the historical relevance of the first all-black lineup, but they have grown to appreciate its importance. “[In 1971], I didn’t even think anything about it,” Oliver says. “Nothing about it at all.” Once his playing career ended in 1985, Oliver took a step back and emerged with a different perspective about the night of September 1, 1971. “But now, of course, it means something. Once you’re out of the game, you look back and [you realize] you could be a part of baseball history. To me, that’s something that I feel good about, being part of baseball history.” Bob Robertson never did make an appearance in the game, but like Oliver, has a similar perspective on its importance. “I think it’s a great thing that really happened there,” Robby says. “That was the type of ballclub that we had. It didn’t make a difference if you were black, yellow, green, purple, whatever. We enjoyed each other’s company. We got along fine. We had a lot of respect for one another. I thought that was a great evening, to see that.” According to some baseball historians, the all-black lineup of September 1,1971, remains significant because it exhibited how progressive the Pirate organization was in drafting and signing blacks and Latinos at all positions. In the past, major league teams had shown a willingness to sign many black infielders and outfielders, but had tended to avoid developing minority pitchers and catchers. Oliver agrees that the all-black lineup demonstrated the Pirates’ belief that blacks and Latinos could play the “thinking man’s” game behind the plate or on the mound. “I signed with the Pirates in 1964,” Oliver recalls. “In 1965, it was really my first spring training in Daytona Beach. The Pirates had signed, if you look at the catcher’s position, they had many [black] catchers. If you looked at the pitchers, there were many black pitchers that they had signed or drafted... I think what it came down to was that the Pirates were not afraid to draft black and Latin players because they were interested in one thing, in my opinion,” Oliver says, “And that was winning.” Although the first all-black lineup has received some media attention over the years, it has generally been overlooked, a sentiment that frustrates Oliver. “Oh, by far it’s been underrated,” Oliver maintains. “I haven’t heard much talk about it. I’ll be honest with you. Only two writers have talked to me [about it], and you are one of them... No one talks about it for some reason. I don’t know why.” Perhaps more people will start talking about it now. The Boxscore (September 1, 1971) Philadelphia ab r h rbi Stone, rf 4 2 1 2 Bowa, ss 2 2 0 0 McCarver, c 4 1 1 0 Johnson, 1b 4 1 1 2 Montanez, cf 3 0 0 1 Gamble, lf 4 0 1 1 Harmon, 2b 4 0 1 0 Vukovich, 3b 3 1 0 0 Fryman, p 0 0 0 0 Brandon, p 2 0 1 0 Selma, p 1 0 1 0 Lis, ph 1 0 0 0 Champion, p 0 0 0 0 Totals 32 7 7 6 Pittsburgh ab r h rbi Stennett, 2b 5 1 2 1 Clines, cf 5 2 2 0 Clemente, rf 4 2 2 2 Stargell, lf 3 1 2 2 Sanguillen, c 4 2 2 2 Cash, 3b 3 1 1 1 Oliver, 1b 4 0 2 1 Hernandez, ss 2 1 0 1 Ellis, p 1 0 0 0 Moose, p 0 0 0 0 Veale, p 0 0 0 0 Walker, p 2 0 0 0 Totals 33 10 13 10 Phil… 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0—7 Pitt…. 5 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 x—10 Philadelphia IP H R ER BB SO Fryman .1 6 5 5 0 0 Brandon, L 2.1 4 4 4 1 1 Selma 4.1 3 1 1 2 3 Champion 1 0 0 0 0 1 Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO Ellis 1.1 2 4 2 4 2 Moose 1.1 3 2 2 0 1 Veale .1 0 0 0 0 1 Walker, W 6 2 1 1 3 1 E—McCarver, Hernandez. DP—Pittsburgh 3. LOB—Philadelphia 6, Pittsburgh 5. 2B—Stargell, Oliver, Clines. HR—Stone (2), Johnson (29), Sanguillen (6). SB—Clines, Cash. SH—Veale. SF—Montanez, Hernandez, Stargell. WP—Selma. PB—Sanguillen. U—Crawford, Landes, Steiner, Davidson. Time—2:44 Attendance—11,278. ... written by Duke 84, November 05, 2010 - 06:09 PM I always liked Bob Moose. Nice guy, cool name. Like Jack Ham. But that day in 1972 was not a day I liked Bob Moose. Though you forgive the ones you like. At one time the Pirates had Moose, Veale and Lamb on their pitching staff. -- Bob Smizik +1

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