On this date in Pirates history way back in 2001, Three Rivers Stadium was imploded. The Pirates had played there since 1970 when they moved over from Forbes Field on July 16th. The stadium held 47,971 fans for baseball and approx. 11,000 more for football. The outfield dimensions when it opened were 340 down the lines and 410 to straight away center, but they were moved in, in 1975 (5ft down the lines, 10 in center). The Bucs won 9 division titles and 2 world series in their 31 seasons there. The highest single season attendance at Three Rivers was 1991 when over 2,065,000 fans showed up.
The Pirates lost the stadiums opening game to the Reds by a score of 3-2. The first win in 3 Rivers came the next day when they won 4-3. The starters of that game were Doc Ellis vs Gary Nolan. The 1st home run was hit by Tony Perez, first by a Pirate was Willie Stargell. On October 1, 2000 the Pirates played the last game at Three Rivers vs the Cubs, but lost 10-9. There last home win had come the day before vs the Cubs by a 4-2 score.
On this date in 1928, the Pirates and Giants traded star pitchers. The Bucs sent Vic Aldridge, who had gone 40-30 over the last 3 seasons, to NY for Burliegh Grimes who would go on to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Aldridge played a key roll in the Bucs winning of the 1925 World Series, winning games 2 and 5. He had been a member of the Bucs since coming over from the Cubs on October 27, 1924. With the Giants he held out for more money till May then only won 4 games after that, never pitching after 1928.
Grimes who began his career with the Pirates back in 1916, would win 42 games over the next 2 seasons, including an NL high 25 wins in 1928. After the 1929 season he would be sold to the Braves. Grimes would have one more brief stint with the Bucs in 1934 before retiring at the end of the season. He won 270 games career and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964.
Players born on this date, and there's only 2, include Hal Rice who played for the Bucs in 1953 and 1954. Hal, born in 1924, had played 5 seasons for the Cardinals with most of his time spent in left field and as a pinch hitter. In 1953, he played just 8 games with St Louis, all as a PH, before joining the Bucs. He would hit .311 with 42 RBI's and 39 runs scored in 78 games, 68 as a left fielder. The next year Rice would struggle with the Bucs, and he would finish the year as a member of the Cubs. While with the Pirates he hit just .173 in 28 games. That year would also be the end of his 7 year career, in which he hit .260 in 424 games.
Finally, Trey Beamon who was a 2nd round draft pick by the Pirates in 1992 turns 29 today. In 1994, as the youngest player in the Southern League, Trey won a batting title hitting .323 that season. Beamon made his Pirates debut on August 4, 1996 and on the season he would play in 24 games, batting 51 times with 11 hits and 6 RBI's. Trey played 11 games in RF and 5 in LF for the Pirates in his only season with the team. He would be traded to the Padres on March 29, 1997 along with Angelo Encarnacion in exchange for Mark Smith and Hal Garrett. Trey played for the Padres in 1997 and the Tigers in 1998. He has a career average of .253 in 95 games.