After a day off the Pirates and Phillies finished their two game opening series at Three Rivers Stadium with a night game. The pitching match-up two left handers – Luke Walker for the Pirates and Woodie Fryman for the Phillies. It was a pitchers duel- a double off the bat of Pirate slugger Willie Stargell with 2 outs in the bottom of the 6th inning brought in Manny Sanguillen and Bob Robertson- and those two runs was it- the Pirates winning 2-0. Luke Walker went all the way for the Pirates striking out 4, giving up 4 hits and a walk and of course no runs. Woodie Fryman pitched well but that one mistake to Stargell did him in- he went 7 innings giving up 5 hits 2 walks and 5 strike outs.

For the Thursday night game only 12,289 showed up at Three Rivers Stadium- the game was a quick one- 1 hour 47 minutes. I will bet there isn’t a game that goes by that quickly the entire 2021 season. The Pirates are off to a good start sweeping the series against Philadelphia and at 2-0 in first place.

The stars of the game -Luke Walker with his complete game shutout- and Willie Stargell doubling in both Pirate runs.

The Phllies pitcher Woodie Fryman- a former Pirate who would pitch a total of 18 seasons in the big leagues. The story Pirate announcer Bob ‘The Gunner’ Prince would tell about Fryman was- he owned a farm in Kentucky and the Fryman family lived off of the profits of the farm- and Woodie just banked his baseball salary. Another story on Fryman which is very odd and unlikely- he didn’t sign to play professional baseball until the age of 25- and made his debut in the majors at the age of 26 with the Pirates. He would pitch until he was 43. [below is Fryman as a Pirate]

Woody Fryman - Pittsburgh Pirates - 1966.jpg



  1. This was a great idea Hans…Woody Fryman… not signing until 25 and in the bigs by 26…that would never happen again.

    • Phil Niekro didn’t really establish himself until he was 27-28. Wilhelm as you mentioned. Age is but a number- those two guys ended up playing forever..

    • You just never know when a guy will blossom.

      Speaking of Niekro…I wish there were more knuckle ball pitchers around…I thought RA Dickey was going to last longer. I guess teams don’t like taking a chance on them because of being inconsistent.

    • The Pirates signed Steven Wright ex of the Red Sox– the way the Pirates rotation is going right now maybe they will bring him up. I read where last season the only knuckleballs thrown were by position players who were doing mop up work…. yes today would a team hold on to a Sandy Koufax as long as the Dodgers did before he finally clicked? No patience today.

    • I hope he gets to pitch. The first knuckleballer I remember was Charlie Hough and it was fun to watch the batters chase the ball.

      No patience at all… just like with quarterbacks.

    • As you remember the Pirates had a knuckleballer who after great early success- struggled and they didn’t have patience- Tim Wakefield then went to Boston and pitched it seems forever and had a lot of success. A great innings eater.

    • That is right… I forgot about Wakefield. He was really important to those Boston teams. He had pretty good control also.

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