By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
If baseball clubs were given an option of which half of a doubleheader split they’d rather win, most would choose the latter. That sentiment was especially true for the Rochester Red Wings in Buffalo on July 19, 1959.
Rochester was tagged for five home runs in the first game of the Sunday doubleheader, suffering a 9-0 blanking for its six consecutive loss. Buffalo seized that contest with a six-run fifth inning, lifted by Harry Hanebrink’s three-run home run.
Red Wings ace Cal Browning allowed six runs, all earned, in 4.1 innings in the loss. Howie Nunn had better luck in the nightcap, allowing just six hits in a seven-inning complete game. Backed by Gene Green, Chuck Staniland and Charley James launching homers over Offermann Stadium’s left field fence, Rochester rolled to a 10-1 rout.
The Red Wings took control in a six-run second inning. Billy Harrell and Staniland both singled, providing Nunn a one-out scenario with runners at the corners. Nunn swung away, grounding the ball to third, but third baseman Jack Phillips threw home late, allowing Harrel to score and Staniland and Nunn to reach safely.
Bisons starter Chris Short walked Lee Tate and allowed three consecutive singles to Frank Verdi, James and Green. The difficult inning gave way to Short’s third loss in 12 decisions.
Democrat and Chronicle writer George Beahon described Green’s single, one of four hits in his five at bats during the second game, as having “eyes.”
Green had a standout ’59 season, batting .305 with 19 homers and 71 RBI in 102 games. He hit .300 in two of his three seasons as a Red Wing and just missed it with a .299 average in 1957. He drove in 254 runs for the Wings and was posthumously inducted into the Red Wings Hall of Fame in 2011.
The 1959 Red Wings compiled a 74-80 record, missing the International League playoffs by two games.
|Tate 2b||4||0||1||0||Amaro ss||3||0||0||1|
|Verdi 3b||4||2||2||1||Harrington lf||4||0||1||0|
|James lf||4||2||2||2||Del Greco cf||3||0||1||0|
|Green rf||5||2||4||4||Herrera 1b||4||0||1||0|
|Smith cf||5||0||2||1||Taylor rf||2||0||0||0|
|Easter 1b||1||0||0||0||Phillips 3b||2||1||1||0|
|Rand c||2||0||0||0||Morgan 2b||3||0||0||0|
|Harrell ss||4||1||2||0||Burk c||3||0||1||0|
|Staniland c, 1b||3||2||2||1||Hort p||0||0||0||0|
|Howie Nunn p||4||1||1||1||Bunker p||2||0||1||0|
Rochester 160 110 1- 10
Buffalo 000 100 0- 1
2B- Verdi, Smith, Nunn, Harrington. HR- Green, Staniland, James.
|Nunn (W, 4-5)||7||6||1||1||6||4|
|Short (L, 9-3)||1.1||5||5||5||1||1|
Time- 2:15. Attendance- 10,516.
Also On This Day: Eddie Murray hit his first home run as a Red Wing with a three-run shot in Memphis’s Blues Stadium in 1976. Murray also recorded a two-run single in Rochester’s 8-4 victory.