Thursday, February 6, 2014

2/6: Glenn Wright, Dale Long, Smokey, Richie Zisk, El Toro, Cutch, Jonathan Sanchez, Clint...

Glenn Wright, Dale Long, Smokey, Richie Zisk, El Toro, Cutch, Jonathan Sanchez, Clint...

  • 1901 - SS Glenn Wright was born in Archie, Missouri. He played five years (1924-28) for Pittsburgh, hitting .294, and was considered one of the league’s elite shortstops until a shoulder injury suffered in 1929. Wright was a member of the 1925 and 1927 World Series clubs, and was named a Sporting News All-Star in ‘25 while finishing fourth in the NL-MVP vote. 
  • 1926 - 1B Dale Long was born in Springfield, Missouri. Long played four seasons for the Pirates (1951, 1955-57), hitting 27 homers in 1956 and earning a spot on the All-Star team. He put his name in the record books that year by hitting eight home runs in eight consecutive games between May 19th and May 28th, still the MLB standard, tied but never topped. Long was one of the few lefties that caught (though not much) in the majors. The big guy had a choice of careers; he turned down a try-out with the Green Bay Packers to focus on baseball. 

 1955 Topps Series

  • 1927 - C Smokey Burgess was born in Caroleen, NC. He spent six years (1959-64) as Pirate platoon catcher, hitting .296 as a Buc and was a key part of the 1960 World Series club. 
  • 1949 - LF Richie Zisk was born in Brooklyn. A third round pick in the of the 1966 draft, he spent six seasons in Pittsburgh (1971-76), hitting .299 as a Buc before being traded to the Chicago White Sox as part of the Goose Gossage deal. 
  • 1987 - 3B Pedro Alvarez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. El Toro, who played at Vandy, was drafted in the first round (second overall) of the 2008 MLB draft. A last minute signing, complicated by some posturing by the FO and Scott Boras along with a suit filed by the MLBPA, was resolved and he joined the club, ultimately receiving a $6.4M bonus. He’s developed into a middling average, high strikeout middle-of-the-order boomer since his 2010 MLB debut, and tied for the NL lead in homers in 2013 with 36, also netting an All-Star berth. 
  • 2013 - Two-time All Star Andrew McCutchen was honored with the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year Award. He hit .327/.400/.533 with 31 home runs in a break out 2012 season. 
  • 2013 - The Pirates signed free agent LHP Jonathan Sanchez. He broke camp as the fifth starter, but was released on May 8th after posting an 0-3/11.85 line. 
  • 2014 - Manager of the Year Clint Hurdle was named as the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year. Hurdle joined Andrew McCutchen, Ralph Kiner, Danny Murtaugh, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Dave Parker as winners of the award. Cutch was the 2013 winner, and it was the first time Pirates had won back-to-back Dapper Dans since Parker in 1978 and Willie in 1979.

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