Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pirate Week In History, Hall of Famers Galore

Roberto Clemente wins the Dapper Dan, Freddy Sanchez signs, GM Ted Simmons comes aboard, a catcher is suspended for tipping signs, and a lot of Hall-of-Fame dudes selected:

  • February 2, 1936 - SS Honus Wagner joined Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson in becoming the first players to enter the new Baseball Hall of Fame. The initial induction ceremony took place on June 12th, 1939 when the Hall officially opened.
  • February 2, 1964 - P Burleigh Grimes was selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee and was inducted on July 27th. The 270 game winner began, ended, and played some during the middle of his career with the Pirates. Also chosen was OF Heinie Manush, who spent his last two seasons (1938-39) in Pittsburgh, getting 25 at-bats.
  • February 2, 1969 - RHP Waite "Schoolboy" Hoyt was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Special Veteran's Committee. He spent 4-1/2 of his 21 pro seasons in Pittsburgh between 1933-37, going 35-31, topped by a 15-5 record in 1934. He was inducted on July 28th.
  • February 2, 1976 - OF Freddie Lindstrom was picked to join the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. He played two years for Pittsburgh (1933-34), hitting .302 and driving in 147 runs. He was inducted on August 9th.
  • February 3, 1975 - The Special Veterans Committee selected 2B Billy Herman (Cubs, Dodgers, Braves and Pirates) for the Hall of Fame. He spent his final season in 1947 as a Bucco player/manager, getting into 15 games and hitting .213. Herman was inducted on August 18th.
  • February 3, 1982 - Minor league C Angel Rodriguez‚ who played for the Pirates' Alexandria club (Carolina League), was suspended from organized baseball for one year for telling opposing Latino batters what pitches were coming. Rodriguez had been suspended by the Pirates after spilling the beans during an August 19th game against Lynchburg.
  • February 4, 1962 - Roberto Clemente is given the Dapper Dan Man of the Year Award after hitting .351 in 1961. It took the NL batting title that season, his first of four crowns.
  • February 4, 2003 - The Red Sox claimed Bronson Arroyo off waivers from the Pirates. After three seasons in Pittsburgh with a 9-14/5.44 ERA, he’s quietly worked 10 more years in the show since then, winning 115 games.
  • February 5, 1992 - The Pirates hired Ted Simmons as General Manager. He served in that position for only a year, retiring after suffering a heart attack in June of 1993.
  • February 5, 2008 - 2B Freddie Sanchez inked a two year, $11M contract with an option for $8M in 2010. He was traded at the 2009 deadline to the Giants for RHP Tim Alderson.


WilliamJPellas said...

Very interesting list of people and events, Ron. There really haven't been many Pirates of recent vintage who have made, or who conceivably will make, the Hall of Fame. Barry Bonds would of course be a no-brainer despite his dysfunctional personality, but obviously he is stained by steroids. Tony Pena looked like he had a shot based on his first few seasons, but his hitting fell so far off the map over the second half of his career that he had no chance. Doug Drabek and John Smiley were both very good major league pitchers, but both had their careers derailed prematurely by injuries. Even had they stayed healthy, though, I don't think either of them were Cooperstown material.

As for the current Pirates, Andrew McCutchen might be in the discussion if he can produce another handful of seasons like the one he just posted in 2012. I'm still thinking, though, that if he's not going to steal a lot of bases, his career offensive totals will be good, certainly, but won't have that last little bit to put him over the top. Likewise with his better than average but by no means stellar defense. I can't think of anyone else who really stood out or who stands out. Usually even bad teams will have at least one player per decade who will end up in the Hall of Fame discussion, if not actually inducted. That the Pirates haven't had anyone worthy of being discussed since Willie Stargell speaks volumes about the poor talent acquisition and development that this organization has had for decades now.

Ron Ieraci said...

True, Will, but off the top of my head there have been some players worth the price of a PNC admission over the years - Brian Giles, Jason Kendall, Jay Bay, Freddy Sanchez and Cutch have all had extended periods of nice ball, though not HOF stats.

WilliamJPellas said...

Kendall probably had an outside chance at the Hall had he not gotten hurt. Giles, Bay and Sanchez were all good major leaguers but nowhere near Cooperstown status. Cutch might have a look at it before it's all said and done.