Saturday, February 22, 2014

2/21-22: College HOF, Roy Spencer, Bill Baker, Frankie Zak, Pittsburgh Visits the Prez...

College HOF, Roy Spencer, Bill Baker, Frankie Zak, Pittsburgh Visits the Prez...

  • February 21, 2011 - Seven new members of the College Baseball Hall of Fame were announced, including Duke’s Dick Groat, who became the first player ever inducted into both the college basketball (he was a two-time All-America who considered hoops to be his best sport) and baseball halls. Groat won a World Series and MVP while with the Pirates, so imagine what he may have done in the NBA!

 Dick Groat, Blue Devil

  • February 22, 1900 - C Roy Spencer was born in Scranton, NC. He played from 1925-27 on two World Series clubs, appearing in the ‘27 Classic. In three years, he hit .307 for Pittsburgh.
  • February 22, 1911 - C Bill Baker was born in Paw Creek, NC. The backup played four seasons (1941-43, 1946) with Pittsburgh, missing a couple of years while in the Navy during WW2, and hit .247. Baker went into umpiring after his career, and worked his way up to the NL for a season before his knees finally gave out, an almost unavoidable occupational hazard for an old catcher.
  • February 22, 1922 - SS Frankie Zak was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He played three years, all in Pittsburgh (1944-46) as a reserve infielder and pinch runner with a .266 lifetime BA. Even tho he only got 160 bats in 1944, he was named a replacement All-Star. The game was held at Forbes Field, and with the game in Pittsburgh and wartime travel restrictions creating logistic problems, it was thought the NL took the easy road by selecting him (and Zak did hit .300 that season).  
  • February 22, 1980 - President Jimmy Carter hosted both the Steelers and Pirates in a single ceremony at the White House to celebrate their respective championship wins in Super Bowl XIV and the 1979 World Series.

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