HEBNER ON A HOT STREAK — Richie Hebner of Norwood and the Pirates, slides into third as ball pops out of the glove of Giants’ Ron Hunt. Hebner had four hits, boosting his average to .392. (AP)
Bucs Sail on Hebner’s Bat


May 13, 1969 — Rookie Richie Hebner got the key to the suburban city of McKeesport. His next may be Pittsburgh’s.

The 21-year-old third baseman hit a triple, double, and two singles, drove in a run, and scored the tying and winning runs as Pittsburgh scored a comeback victory over San Francisco 4-3 Monday night.

Hebner, a chatty guy, takes a lot of kidding from his teammates for his offseason job in Norwood, Mass. ‘I’ll go back to digging graves this Winter,” he said. “Some people think it’s degrading, but I enjoy it. It keeps me in shape and it’s a nice quiet job,” he mused.

When Hebner visited friends Monday in McKeesport a city of 46,000 he was introduced to the mayor who gave him a gold key to the city. “It’s pretty nice, isn’t it?” he asked a reporter, taking it off his locker shelf in the dressing room.

Hebner sports a .392 average second in the National League, and has driven in 10 runs

“I don’t read the headlines,” Hebner said. “It doesn’t matter one way or another. The only thing that counts is win, win, win.

The Pirates crept back from a 3-0 deficit to win in the ninth. They scored one in the third when Willie Stargell singled in Manny Sanguillen, who had gone to third on Benet’s hit.

The Pirates scored two on an error and triples by Hebner and Stargell in the seventh.

Sanguillen doubled with one out and Hebner singled. But Sanguillen was out trying to score on a perfect throw from Jim Ray Hart. Hebner took second on the throw. Al Oliver spanked a single to left, driving in Hebner with the winning run off loser Bob Gibbon, 1-1. In the only other National League games, Chicago topped San Diego 2-0 and St. Louis topped L.A. 6-2.

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(The Boston Globe-May 13, 1969)


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