Friday, December 6, 2013

12/4-6: Big Poison, Cookie, Sluggo, Enrique Romo, Hans...

Big Poison, Cookie, Sluggo, Enrique Romo, Hans...

  • December 4, 1927 - OF Paul "Big Poison" Waner nosed out the Card's Fordham Flash, Frankie Frisch, for NL MVP honors by 72 votes to 66. 
  • December 4, 1936 - The Brooklyn Dodgers traded LHP Ed Brandt for Pirate IF Cookie Lavagetto and LHP Ralph Birkofer. Lavagetto started for the next five years, hitting .275 for Brooklyn and making four All-Star teams before losing four years to the Second World War. Brandt lasted two years with the Bucs as a swingman, going 16-14 with a 3.23 ERA before he retired at age 34. 
  • December 4, 1989 - The Pirates picked up C Don Slaught from the Yankees for pitchers Jeff Robinson and Willie Smith. Slaught would form a platoon tandem with Spanky LaValliere through 1992, and remained with the Bucs until 1996 after being injured during most of the 1995 campaign, hitting .305 during his Pittsburgh tenure. 
Bowman series 1991

  • December 5, 1940 - Paul Waner was released by the Pirates. The Hall of Fame OF’er played 15 seasons in Pittsburgh, hitting .340 with 2,868 hits, 1,627 runs and 1,309 RBI. A party hearty type, Waner was famous for his ability to hit hung over. He gave up the bottle for a year in 1938 at management’s request, and only hit .280, the first time he failed to reach .300+. Needless to say, the tee-totaler experiment ended after that campaign. Another bit of lore was that the Bucs discovered he was nearsighted late in his career and made him wear glasses. He gave those up when he found the large fuzzy object he had been swinging at all those years turned into a small spinning BB that was nearly impossible to hit when he had his peepers on. And finally, Paul and his younger brother Lloyd (Little Poison) hold the career record for hits by brothers with 5,611.
  • December 5, 1978 - Pitchers Enrique Romo and Rick Jones along with shortstop Tom McMillan were sent to the Pirates by Seattle, who got pitchers Rafael Vasquez, Odell Jones and shortstop Mario Mendoza. Romo pitched four years for the Pirates (1979-82) pretty effectively, going 25-16-26/3.56 and was part of the 1979 World Series club. 
  • December 6, 1955 - Carnegie Hall of Famer Honus Wagner died at the age of 81 and was buried at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery. Considered by many to be the greatest shortstop in history, Wagner batted .327 over a 21-year career and retired with more hits, runs, RBI, doubles, triples, games and steals than any other NL player.

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