Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3/12: Denny Lyons, Ladies Day, Reb Russell, Vern Law, Dave Williams, Chuck Klein...

Denny Lyons, Ladies Day, Reb Russell, Vern Law, Dave Williams, Chuck Klein...

  • 1866 - 3B Denny Lyons was born in Cincinnati. He played four seasons for Pittsburgh (1893-94; 1896-97) and put up a .299 BA as a Buc. 
  • 1894 - The Pittsburgh Pirates issued free season tickets for ladies, good for Tuesday and Friday games at Exposition Park, per Baseball Almanac. The New York Gothams introduced the ladies day on June 16th, 1883 and Pittsburgh finally bought into the concept.

  • 1899 - OF Ewell “Reb” Russell was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Russell started as a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox in 1912 and was a good one, but developed arm trouble in 1918 and was released. While in the minors, he converted to playing the outfield. Reb got back to the show with Pittsburgh in 1922-23, and in 511 at-bats hit .323 with 21 HR and 113 RBI. His downfall was that though he hit like an outfielder, he played the outfield like a pitcher.
  • 1930 - P Vern Law was born in Meridian, Indiana. The righty pitched 16 years for the Pirates (1950–1951, 1954–1967), putting up a 162-147/3.77 line and winning the Cy Young in 1960 with a 20-9/3.05 mark for the World Series champs. Unfortunately, he hurt his arm during the post-game celebration and only had one more strong campaign afterward, going 17-9/2.15 in 1965 when he was named the Comeback Player of the Year. Law was also selected twice as an All-Star. 
  • 1979 - LHP Dave Williams was born in Anchorage, Alaska. He spent four seasons (2001-02, 2004-05) with the Bucs, going 17-26 with a 4.25 ERA, and got to play a bit with high school teammate Ian Snell. Williams was traded to Cincinnati for Sean Casey after the 2005 season. 
  • 1980 - OF Chuck Klein was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Klein batted .320 over a 17-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and one season with the Pirates, 1939, when he hit .300. He was inducted on August 3rd.

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