- 1944 - The MLB sponsored a USO caravan to visit war zones, including players Rip Sewell and Paul Waner. Rip was coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons for the Bucs, notching 21 wins each campaign with his ol’ eephus. Big Poison was at the end of his Hall-of-Fame career, splitting time between Brooklyn and the Yankees; he ended his tenure in the bigs quietly the following year, batting just one more time before hanging up his spikes for good.
|Rip Sewell Launches the Ol' Eephus (photo via Late Innings)|
- 1971 - Danny Murtaugh retired as manager because of health reasons after winning the 1971 World Series, and Bill Virdon was named as his replacement. The Quail led the Pirates to 96 wins and the 1972 NL East title, but a 67-69 performance the following season cost him his job. The Irishman returned in late 1973 for another stint as skipper. Virdon moved on to skipper the Yankees for two years, the Astros for eight more (with two pennants) and closed out as the Expo’s field general for two more seasons. He’s now a special instructor for the Pirates. Bill had the oddball distinction of having been replaced twice by the manager he replaced, bookended by Murtaugh in Pittsburgh and Jim Fanning in Montreal.
|Danny Murtaugh & Bill Virdon 1960 (United Press International photo)|
- 1977 - The New York Yankees signed Rich “Goose” Gossage to a six-year contract worth $3.6M. Gossage saved 26 games for the Pirates in 1977, but the Bucs never made a serious offer for him to return - and by most accounts, Goose liked the City, the team and Chuck Tanner - so he took the Yankee deal. When Gossage was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008, he invited Tanner as his special guest.
|Goose Gossage & Friend (photo via Baseball Fever)|