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Monday, July 22 2019 @ 11:02 pm UTC
1960 Revisited - July 18   
By Bobster

July 18, 1960---The Pirates (51-33) were off as they traveled to Los Angeles to start a western road trip. The Bucs had a 2˝ game lead over the second-place Braves. Groat (.326) and Clemente (.324) led the Pirates in hitting. Clemente and Skinner led the team with 55 RBIs. Though hitting only .242, Stuart had begun to assert his power and led the Pirates with 13 HRs, despite often platooning at 1B with Rocky Nelson. Now seeing significantly more playing time, Nelson had responded with a .317 average, 6 HRs and 22 RBIs. Catchers Burgess (.301) and Smith (.284) remained valuable offensive contributors and Virdon was riding a hot streak that had raised his average to .266. Virdon and Skinner tied for the team lead in SBs with 7.

The additions of Mizell, Francis and Cheney to the pitching staff had paid dividends. Mizell had a modest 4.69 ERA since joining the Bucs but had managed to go 4-2 in that time. With a 2.57 ERA since joining the team 3 weeks earlier, Francis had become the effective right-handed compliment to Face in the bullpen that the Pirates had lacked in the first half of the season. And as a spot starter, Cheney was 2-1 with a shutout and a sparkling 1.83 ERA.

In June 1961, the Pirates would trade Cheney to the Washington Senators for pitcher Tom Sturdivant. After the 1960 season, the Washington Senators, who featured players like Harmon Killebrew, Camilo Pascual, Bob Allison, Earl Battey, Jim Kaat, Don Mincher and Zoilo Versalles relocated to Minnesota and became known as the Twins. Washington was immediately given an expansion team for the 1961 season and the kept the name Senators. Tom Cheney remained with the Senators from 1961-1966 and joined former Pirate Bennie Daniels, who Cheney had replaced on the 1960 Pirates roster, as members of the Senators’ starting rotation. On September 12, 1962 Cheney started a game for the Senators against the Orioles. The Senators scored a run in the first inning but were then shut down by the Orioles’ Milt Pappas and former Pirate utility infielder/outfielder/pitcher Dick Hall (who remained strictly a pitcher since 1957). Cheney had a K in the 2nd and whiffed the side in the 3rd. He had a K in the 4th and whiffed the side in the 5th. He struck out one in the 6th. The Orioles tied the game 1-1 in the 7th. Cheney struck out 2 in the 8th and 2 more in the 9th. And he wasn’t through. He struck out 2 in the 10th. He struck out 2 in the 11th. He had a 1-2-3 12th with 3 ground outs. He had a 1-2-3 13th with 2 fly outs and a ground out. He had a 1-2-3 14th with 2 Ks. He was still pitching in the 15th and had a scoreless inning with a walk and a K. The Senators finally took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 16th on a HR by Bud Zipfel. And Cheney went right back out to pitch the bottom of the 16th. After a ground out, a single and a fly out, Dick Williams pinch hit for the Orioles. Cheney struck him out looking to end the game. It was a complete game, 16-inning win for Cheney. In those 16 innings, he gave up 10 hits and 4 walks and struck out 21. He threw 228 pitches. His 21 Ks in a single game is still the MLB record.

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