By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
Tony Jacobs won 13 games for the 1954 Red Wings without starting any of them. Four of those victories were earned in both halves of a doubleheader and both doubleheaders were held in Richmond.
Jacobs made 61 appearances for Rochester that year, the International League’s top relief pitcher. The expansion franchise Virginians, whose losses on July 11 were their 11th and 12th in 13 games against Rochester, saw more of the All-Star than they wanted.
A rare four days’ rest preceded Jacobs’s day at Parker Field, granting him the stamina necessary to throw over five combined innings in the 7-4 and 8-3 victories. He allowed three hits and no runs, pitching 2.2 innings each game. The first game was tied in the ninth, until Rochester scored four unearned runs spurred by a mishandled bunt and highlighted by Allen Richter’s two-run two-out single to center field.
Rochester lost a 4-1 lead in the second game but Lou Ortiz’s home run put the Red Wings back in front. Richter, a Virginia native, drove across an insurance run with a sixth-inning triple as part of a 6-for-8 day.
The Wings collected 19 hits in the doubleheader despite catching just about three and a half hours of sleep at the hotel following a red-eye flight from Havana. Galvanized by Allie Clark’s triumphant two-hit return from a back injury, they increased their International League lead over Toronto to two games.
Rochester didn’t win the division that year, finishing the season with an 83-67 record, but emerged as International League champions the next year with the help of Jacobs’s 57 appearances and eight victories.
The 5-foot-9, 150-pound Jacobs pitched in two major league games seven years apart, debuting with the Chicago Cubs in 1948 and throwing two innings of relief for St. Louis in 1955. His 13-1 record in 1954 is untouched as Rochester’s best single-season winning percentage and he was posthumously inducted into the Red Wings Hall of Fame in 1992.
|Red Wings 7, Virginians 4|
|Al Richter||4||1||2||2||Stan Hollmig||4||0||0||0|
|Tom Burgess||3||0||0||0||Russell Kerns||5||1||3||2|
|Tom Alston||5||0||1||0||Ed Mierkowicz||5||1||2||1|
|Allie Clark||4||1||0||0||Joe Lutz||4||1||1||1|
|Vern Benson||0||0||0||0||Ken Wood||2||0||1||0|
|Bill Virdon||4||1||2||0||Eddie Kasko||2||0||0||0|
|Walter Derucki||2||1||1||0||Marv Rackley||1||0||0||1|
|Lou Ortiz||3||2||1||2||Robert Caffery||1||0||0||0|
|Pete Riggan||2||0||0||1||Dee Phillips||3||0||1||1|
|Ed Ludwig||2||0||0||0||Darrell Johnson||4||0||0||0|
|Tony Jacobs||1||0||0||0||Frank Fanovich||2||0||0||0|
|Pete Castiglione||0||1||0||0||Jim Dyck||0||1||0||0|
|Rochester||0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 – 7|
|Richmond||1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 – 4|
|2B – Kerns 2, Lutz.|
|Tony Jacobs (W, 9-1)||2.2||2||0||0||2||1|
|WP – Fanovich 2, Ludwig.
T – 2:30.
|Red Wings 8, Virginians 3|
|Al Richter||4||2||4||1||Marv Rackley||3||0||0||0|
|Tom Burgess||2||0||0||0||Russell Kerns||3||0||1||1|
|Tom Alston||4||1||3||2||Ed Mierkowicz||3||1||2||2|
|Allie Clark||4||1||2||2||Joe Lutz||2||0||0||0|
|Vern Benson||0||1||0||0||Ken Wood||2||0||0||0|
|Bill Virdon||4||1||0||0||Eddie Kasko||3||0||0||0|
|Walter Derucki||4||0||0||0||Robert Caffery||2||1||0||0|
|Lou Ortiz||3||1||1||1||Martin Tabacheck||2||1||0||0|
|Pete Riggan||4||1||2||2||Ken Heitzelman||1||0||0||0|
|Duke Markell||2||0||0||0||Jim Dyck||1||0||0||0|
|Tony Jacobs||2||0||0||0||Stan Hollmig||1||0||1||0|
|Rochester||0 0 3 0 1 2 2 – 8|
|Richmond||0 0 0 1 2 0 – 3|
|2B – Richter 2. 3B – Richter. HR – Clark, Mierkowicz, Ortiz. SB – Alston.|
|Tony Jacobs (W, 10-1)||2.2||1||0||0||2||0|
|Ken Heitzelman (L, 2-4)||5||6||4||4||1||2|
T – 2:17. Att. – 4,396.
Also on this day: The Red Wings used a four-run seventh to earn a comeback victory over Richmond before 6,219 fans at Silver Stadium in 1986… Frontier Field hosted its first event in 1996, as The Beach Boys performed in front of 12,982 fans… D’Angelo Jimenez’s pinch-hit single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth lifted Rochester to a 5-4 victory over Buffalo in 2010, snapping an eight-game Red Wings losing streak at Frontier Field.