Thursday, January 30, 2014

1/30: Matt Alexander, '60 Trade, Highpockets, Pokey, Paul Maholm, Eric Hinske...

 Matt Alexander, '60 Trade, Highpockets, Pokey, Paul Maholm, Eric Hinske...

  • 1947 - Pinch runner Matt Alexander was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He spent the last four years of his career (1978-81) with the Pirates, and though he only got 27 at-bats during that time, he stole 30 bases (out of 37 tries) and scored 36 runs.
  • 1959 - C Smoky Burgess, LHP Harvey Haddix and 3B Don Hoak went from the Reds to the Pirates in exchange for RHP Whammy Douglas, OF Jim Pendleton, OF John Powers and 3B Frank Thomas, providing three major pieces of the 1960 championship club.
  • 1973 - The Veteran’s Committee selected 1B George “Highpockets” Kelly to the Hall of Fame. Kelly spent one season with the Pirates, more or less on loan from the NY Giants, to replace an injured Honus Wagner in 1917 (he was playing first in the twilight of his career). Highpockets was a slick fielder who played 16 MLB season with a .297 BA. He was inducted on August 6th.
  • 2002 - The Pirates signed FA 2B Pokey Reese to a two year, $4.25M contract with a 2004 club option. Pittsburgh was the fourth team for Reese since the end of the 2001 season. He finished the year with Cincinnati, and then was traded to the Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox in a span of three days in December. Boston didn’t offer him a deal, making him a free agent. Pokey stuck with the Bucs for both seasons, although he lost all but 37 games to injury in 2003.

 Pokey Reese bobblehead - 2002

  • 2009 - The Pirates avoided arbitration by signing LHP Paul Maholm to a three year, $14.5M contract, which included a team option for 2012. He was released after the 2011 season.
  • 2009 - OF/UT Eric Hinske inked a one year, $1.5M FA contract with Pittsburgh. Hinske was shipped to the NY Yankees before the deadline, hitting .255 with 1 HR for the Bucs.

1 comment:

WilliamJPellas said...

I well remember Matt Alexander, the greatest pinch-runner in major league history. Seriously, he was. Couldn't hit enough to play regularly in the bigs (though I often thought he should have gotten at least a little longer look), but he really was a weapon for the strong Pirates teams of the late 70s - early 80s. Although he was not the greatest in terms of his basestealing percentage---which was good but not great---he was so fast that on at least a couple of occasions, when he was coming in from third on a hit or sacrifice fly, he had enough time to stop just short of home plate and then bend over backwards to touch the plate to score the run. In the offseason he used to cut hair at a barbershop; I'm not sure if he owned it or just worked there. Simpler times.