Saturday, December 21, 2013

12/21: Josh Gibson, Danny Kravitz, Dick Groat, AVS, Steady Freddy, Frankie...

Josh Gibson, Danny Kravitz, Dick Groat, AVS, Steady Freddy, Frankie...

1911 - Hall of Fame catcher Josh Gibson was born in Buena Vista, Georgia. Considered the top HR hitter (the “Babe Ruth”) of the Negro Leagues, he played for the Grays and Crawfords.
1930 - C Danny Kravitz was born in Lopez, near Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. The reserve catcher played five years (1956-60) for Pittsburgh, hitting .236, but missed out on the ‘60 Series when he was traded in June to KC for Hank Foiles.
1959 - Deals not made: After Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh rejected the A's offer to deal Roger Maris for SS Dick Groat earlier in the month, Pittsburgh obtained OF Gino Cimoli along with RHP Tom Cheney from the Cardinals for RHP Ron Kline. Maris, who was dealt to the Yankees, had the first of his two consecutive MVP years in New York, while Groat played a key role for the World Champion Bucs the next season and was named the NL MVP.
1960 - OF Andy Van Slyke was born in Utica, NY. AVS played eight years (1987-94) for the Bucs, hitting .283, earning three All-Star spots while winning five Golden Gloves and two Silver Sluggers during his stay. He was a mainstay of the Jimmy Leyland teams of the early nineties.

1977 - 2B Freddy Sanchez was born in Hollywood. In six years (2004-09) as a Pirate, he hit .301, winning the batting crown in 2006 with a .344 BA and appearing in three All-Star games. It was a dark day in the City when the fan favorite Steady Freddy was traded to the Giants, where injuries derailed his career.
2012 - LHP Francisco Liriano reached an agreement to sign with the Bucs, pending his physical. He broke his right arm over the holidays, but he and and the Pirates worked out an alternate deal. The Cisco Kid won 16 games in 2013 and was the “Comeback Player of the Year.”

The image is from the Pittsburgh Baseball Hero Decks, available at:  Heinz History Center - Sportzburgh, Pittsburgh Airport & Settlers Ridge Shopping Center - Hall of Cards, 300 Mt Lebanon Blvd - Allegheny General Hospital Gift Shop - Morini, The Mall at Robinson - Do It Best Hardware, Ambridge, PA - Washington Hospital Gift Shop - Synders Gateway Travel Plaza, Breezewood, PA

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