Sunday, November 17, 2013

11/15-17: Maurice Van Robays, Parker, Groat, Clemente MVP, Hurdle Hired, Danny Murtaugh, Kendall Contract...

Maurice Van Robays, Parker, Groat, Clemente MVP, Hurdle Hired, Danny Murtaugh, Kendall Contract...

  • November 15, 1914 - OF Maurice Van Robays was born in Detroit. Van Robays replaced RF Lloyd Waner late in 1939. He finished third in the NL with 116 RBI and received a smattering of MVP votes the next season. Bomber (his nickname after he hit 11 HR in 1940) had a strong 1941, too, but began to fade. MVR developed vision problems and had to wear glasses, and it took him almost two seasons to rediscover his batting stroke. Then he missed the war years of 1944-45 while serving with the 1st Infantry Division, and played one last season in Pittsburgh in 1946. 
  • November 15, 1978 - RF Dave "The Cobra" Parker won the NL MVP, topping runnerup Steve Garvey of the LA Dodgers. Parker had 30 HR with 117 RBI and led the league with a .334 batting average, a .585 slugging percentage, and 340 total bases. 
  • November 15, 2010 - Clint Hurdle, former Colorado manager, became the Pirates sixth field boss since 1992, replacing John Russell, and the first to guide the club to a playoff spot since Jim Leyland in 1992 when his club earned a wild card berth in 2013, reaching the NLDS. 
  • November 16, 1960 - NL batting champ (.325) Dick Groat was named NL MVP, outpolling teammate Don Hoak 276-162. 
  • November 16, 1966 - RF Roberto Clemente won the NL MVP, edging out Dodger ace Sandy Koufax. Clemente hit .317 with 29 HR and 119 RBI. 
  • November 17, 1947 - The Bucs traded for 1B Johnny Hopp and 2B Danny Murtaugh, sending the Boston Braves C Bill Salkeld‚ P Al Lyons‚ and OF Jim Russell. Hopp played three years for the Pirates, hitting .310 but providing little power as a first baseman. Murtaugh’s career was stronger as a manager than player, but he started full-time around the infield in 1948, hitting .290, finishing his playing career as a Bucco reserve in 1951.
  • November 17, 1992 - The Pirates lost OF Alex Cole to the Colorado Rockies, along with P Danny Jackson and IF Ramon Martinez to the Florida Marlins, in the expansion draft. 
  • November 17, 2000 - C Jason Kendall signed the richest contract in team history. The $60M, six-year contract extension, which included a $4M signing bonus, had a base salary of $6M in 2002 and peaked at $13M in 2007.

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