Wednesday, November 5, 2014

11/5: Lefty, Manny-for-Chuck, Syd, Hot Rod, John Russell Hired, Frankie Wins Comeback Award...

Lefty, Manny-for-Chuck, Syd, Hot Rod, John Russell Hired, Frankie Wins Comeback Award...
  • 1908 - LHP Ralph “Lefty” Birkofer was born in Cincinnati. Lefty worked for the Bucs from 1933-36 and went 31-26-2/4.04, splitting time between starting and the pen. 
Ralph "Lefty" Birkofer via Out of the Park Developments
  • 1976 - The Pirates sent catcher Manny Sanguillen and $100,000 to Oakland to land manager Chuck Tanner. It was the second player-for-skipper deal in MLB history (excluding player/managers), the first occurring in 1967 when the Mets sent RHP Bill Denehy and cash to the Washington Senators in exchange for manager Gil Hodges. 
  • 1985 - The Pirates hired Syd Thrift as their GM, replacing Harding Peterson. Syd only lasted until 1988 after a contentious relationship with the owners, but laid the groundwork for the powerhouse early-ninety clubs. Thrift traded for Doug Drabek, Bobby Bonilla, Andy Van Slyke and Mike LaValliere, then hired Jim Leyland to stir the pot. 
Syd Thrift - Associated Press photo
  • 1992 - Rod Scurry, one of the main figures of the infamous Coke trials in Pittsburgh during the eighties, died of a heart attack in Reno, Nevada. He was 36 years old. Scurry pitched for the Bucs from 1980-85, going 17-28-34 with a 3.15 ERA. 
  • 2007 - The Pirates named third base coach John Russell as manager, replacing Jim Tracy. The Bucs' new skipper was the 2006 International League Manager of the Year at Scranton, but was never given much to work with in Pittsburgh. In 2010, he was fired as the Pirates manager after a 105 loss season and an overall record of 186-299, replaced by Clint Hurdle. 
John Russell - Jared Wickersham.Getty Images photo
  • 2013 - LHP Francisco Liriano was named the Baseball Writer’s “Comeback Player of the Year,” the second time he took that 2013 honor, having earlier won the same recognition from The Sporting News after a 16-8, 3.02 ERA, 9.1K/game campaign.

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