Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Happenings

The Bucs have been busy at the end of January - they pulled off the deal to land the Kitten and the Tiger in 1960, inked BB and Paul Maholm to contracts, brought Pokey Reese aboard and saw Big Poison and company off to the Hall of Fame:

  • January 31, 1952 - RF Paul “Big Poison” Waner was elected to the Hall of Fame and inducted on July 21st. He led the NL in batting three times and put up a slash of .333/.404/.473 during his twenty year career.
  • January 31, 1965 - Pud “Gentle Jeems” Galvin was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee and was the lone HOF selection that year. Galvin had 20 victories ten times in 14 seasons. He tossed for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys and Pirates from 1885-1892. He won 138 games and notched four 20+ win years. He was inducted on July 26th.
  • January 31, 1971 - The Hall of Fame Special Veterans Committee selected two Bucs from the early days to the Hall, 1B Jake Beckley and OF Joe Kelley. Beckley played for the Alleghenys and Pirates from 1888-96, hitting .300. He banged a modest 43 HR, but legged out 113 triples in that span. Kelley got a cup of coffee with Pittsburgh in 1892, hitting just .239. The Pirates dumped him, and he went on to have a dozen consecutive .300+ seasons beginning the following year. They were inducted on August 9th.
  • January 31, 1976 - The Special Veterans Committee selected C Al Lopez for the Hall of Fame. Lopez caught for Pittsburgh from 1940-46, hitting a modest .254. But he was best known for his glove and ability to handle a staff, and went on to manage the Indians and White Sox when his playing days ended. He was inducted on August 9th.
  • January 31, 1992 - The Pirates signed OF Barry Bonds to a one-year contract worth $4.7M‚ the largest single year deal in baseball at the time.
  • January 30, 1959 - C Smoky Burgess, LHP Harvey Haddix and 3B Don Hoak went from the Reds to the Pirates in exchange for RHP Whammy Douglas, OF Jim Pendleton, OF John Powers and 3B Frank Thomas, providing many of the key pieces of the 1960 championship club.
  • January 30, 2002 - The Pirates signed FA 2B Pokey Reese to a two year, $4.25M contract. Pittsburgh was Reese's fourth team since the end of the 2001 season. He finished the year with Cincinnati, and then was traded to the Colorado Rockies who flipped him to the Boston Red Sox three days later. Boston didn't offer him a contract, making him a free agent.
  • January 30, 2009 - The Pirates avoided arbitration by signing Paul Maholm to a three year, $14.5M contract, which included a team option for 2012. He was released after the 2011 season, and is now pitching for the Braves.

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