The Pittsburgh Pirates played their final game at Exposition Park against the Chicago Cubs on June 29, 1909. The Pirates won the game 8–1 in front of 5,545 spectators, with George Gibson collecting the final National League hit in the ballpark. The very next day, the Pirates once again played the Cubs, this time with the team opening up Forbes Field.
William Howard Taft became the first sitting U.S. President to attend a baseball game outside of Washington, D.C. on May 29, 1909. Taft joined 14,000 fans at Pittsburgh’s Exposition Park to watch the Pirates play the Cubs, though he didn’t bring the Pirates any good luck that day. The Bucs lost the contest, 8-3.
On September 20, 1907 at Exposition Park, Pittsburgh pitcher Nick Maddox tossed a no-hitter against the Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers) to win, 2-1. At the age of 20 years and ten months, the Pirates hurler was the youngest pitcher and only the second rookie to throw a no-hitter. Maddox’s feat would also be the last no-hitter thrown by a Pittsburgh pitcher until 1951, when Cliff Chambers threw one against the Braves.
The Pittsburgh Pirates made their debut at Exposition Park in Pittsburg on April 22, 1891, losing to the Cubs, 7-6. Exposition Park had opened the previous year as the home of the Pittsburgh Burghers of the short-lived Players’ League. The Bucs would call Exposition Park home until 1909, when they moved to Forbes Field.
The season has started out to be a very wet one for baseball. Rain-outs, even snow-outs, have already caused many games to be postponed over the course of the last month. And with the onslaught of all that precipitation, tarp-covered fields have been a common sight this year.
Of course, the practice of protecting the field from the elements had to start somewhere. This brings us back to this day in 1906 at Exposition Park in Pittsburgh, where the Pirates became the first team to cover the grass against a rain storm. The infield was covered by a canvas tarp, thus allowing the following day’s game against the Cubs to be played.