Jose Tabata = Dick Schofield

Today’s game gets underway, Jose Tabata steps in as the Pirates’ leadoff batter against Travis Wood, kisses a ball off the center-field fence for a triple … and I have this thought:

Jose Tabata is this wonderful season’s Dick Schofield.

History, at least baseball history, always repeats itself. Baseball life is cyclical, we’ve always heard. And here it is again.

On Sept. 6, 1960, while leading the Pirates’ pennant charge and on his way to earning National League MVP honors, shortstop Dick Groat is plunked on the left wrist by a pitch from Milwaukee’s Lew Burdette.

Groat is lost for the rest of the season, a devastating blow to a long-time doormat trying to win its first pennant in 33 years.

But — Dick Schofield, with only 39 at-bats all season until then, steps in for him and goes on to hit .381 (24-for-63) the rest of the season, helping the Bucs to a 12-8 finishing kick that raises the flag.

Flash forward 53 years … 

Starling Marte is stepped on by Arizona third baseman Martin Prado on Aug. 18, when the Pirates are holding onto a slim NL Central lead, suffering a badly-bruised right hand from which he has yet to return to the starting lineup.

This is potentially a devastating blow to an even longer-time doormat trying to win its first pennant in 34 years.

But — Tabata is Marte’s primary replacement both in left field and atop the lineup, and in 23 games since has hit a hard .281, with eight extra-base hits, helping the Bucs to a 15-8 surge that keeps them tied for the division lead.

I love a deja vu like that, don’t you?

5 Comments

Tom, as a man of your vintage, I should have seen the parallel, but missed it. Good hit.

Vintage? You make us sound like wine — but we ARE getting better with age.

Jose has started hustling and its paid off. These two L’s to SD have made me nervous and averaging 2.7 runs pwr game.over the last 10/11 games does too…Im glad Marte is bac. And Lets Go Bucs win the last two vs SD and Sweep the Reds and we wont have to worry about the Nats….

Well with the Bucs losing again t’nite, now 3 in a row I guess there is no reason for Hurdle to do anything about Alveraz batting against lefties. This kid strikes out every 2.9 times at bat on avg. Whats the solution???? It just makes one wonder how this team runs hot and cold so frequently. I have been a Pirate fan since I was old enough to play baseball (8 yrs old) and just turned 70. I sure hope they hold on for at least a wild card,,,,hoping for a division champ.

Last night was a heartbreaker…Forsythe hit low and outside pitch for a game tying hit…Im glad they play at.12:35 today. Go out and smash this lefty or atleast score more than them…magic number Five…lets clincha playoff berth at home–win 4 in a row andone nats loss. Lets. Go Bucs

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