Saturday, November 9, 2013

11/8-9: Wally Westlake, Jay Bay, Billy Sunday, Nick Maddox, Johnny Gooch, Fred Brickell, Red Witt and Scott Sauerbeck...

Wally Westlake, Jay Bay, Billy Sunday, Nick Maddox, Johnny Gooch, Fred Brickell, Red Witt & Scott Sauerbeck...

  • November 8, 1920 - 1B Wally Westlake was born in Gridley, California. He played 4-1/2 seasons for the Pirates (1947-51) and hit .281 with 97 HR in that span. Wally was an All-Star in 1951.
  • November 8, 2004 - Jason Bay, who hit .282 with 26 HRs and 82 RBI, became the first Pirate (and Canadian) player to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
  • November 9, 1862 - OF Billy Sunday was born in Ames, Iowa. Sunday spent three seasons (1888-90) with the Alleghenys before being traded for two players and $1,100 as an early salary dump because the team was broke. He was a flashy outfielder and speedster, but hit just .243 for Pittsburgh. But his true calling was as an evangelical preacher, and from the turn of the century until his death in 1935 he was renown for preaching non-denominational Christianity across the country. He used his reputation as a ballplayer to advance his later calling during its early years.
  • November 9, 1886 - RHP Nick Maddox was born in Govanstown, Maryland. He tossed four years (1907-10) for Pittsburgh, his entire MLB career, with a 43-20/2.29 line. He tossed a no-hitter as a rookie, won 23 games in 1908 and a World Series contest in 1909. Maddox won his first four starts, something no other Pirate would match until Gerrit Cole in 2013. He stayed in Pittsburgh after his brief career ended, raising nine kids while holding down a job at the Fort Pitt Brewery.
  • November 9, 1897 - C Johnny Gooch was born in Smyrna, Tennessee. He caught eight years (1921-28) for the Pirates, hitting .286 in a part-time role and was part of the 1925 and 1927 World Series clubs. He was a Pirate pitching coach and scout from 1937-42.
  • November 9, 1906 - OF Fred Brickell was born in Saffordville, Kansas. Brickell played for Pittsburgh from 1926-30, hitting .312 as a reserve outfielder. His son Fritz also played in the major leagues from 1958 to 1961.
  • November 9, 1931 - RHP George “Red” Witt was born in Long Beach, California. Red tossed for the Bucs from 1957-61, going 10-13/3.93 as a starter/long man, and worked three games in relief against the Yankees in the 1960 World Series without surrendering a run.
  • November 9, 1971 - LHP Scott Sauerbeck was born in Cincinnati. The lefty spent the first five years (1999-2003) of his MLB career with Pittsburgh after being selected as a Rule 5 pick from the Mets. He went 19-15-5/3.56 in his Pirate time.

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