Sunday, November 9, 2014

11/9: Billy Sunday, Nick Maddox, Johnny Gooch, Fred Brickell, Red Witt, Scott Sauerbeck...

Billy Sunday, Nick Maddox, Johnny Gooch, Fred Brickell, Red Witt, Scott Sauerbeck...
  • 1862 - OF Billy Sunday was born in Ames, Iowa. Sunday spent three seasons (1888-90) with the Alleghenys before being traded for two players and $1,100 as an early salary dump because the team was broke. He was a flashy outfielder and speedster, supposedly the fastest player of his era, but hit just .243 for Pittsburgh. His true calling was as an evangelical preacher, and from the turn of the century until his death in 1935 he was renown for preaching non-denominational Christianity across the country. He used his reputation as a ballplayer to promote his tent revivals during his early years of spreading the Good Word. 
Billy Sunday 1886 Goodwin & Company
  • 1886 - RHP Nick Maddox was born in Govanstown, Maryland. He tossed four years (1907-10) for Pittsburgh, his entire MLB career, with a 43-20/2.29 line. He threw a no-hitter as a rookie, won 23 games in 1908 and a World Series contest in 1909. Maddox won his first four starts, something no other Pirate would match until Gerrit Cole in 2013. He stayed in Pittsburgh after his brief career ended due to arm problems, raising nine kids in Millvale while holding down a job at the Fort Pitt Brewery. 
  • 1897 - C Johnny Gooch was born in Smyrna, Tennessee. He caught eight years (1921-28) for the Pirates, hitting .286 in a part-time role and was part of the 1925 and 1927 World Series clubs. He was a Pirate pitching coach and scout from 1937-42 and a lifelong friend of Pie Traynor, who he had played with in the minors. 
Johnny Gooch American Caramel series, unknown date
  • 1906 - OF Fred Brickell was born in Saffordville, Kansas. Brickell played for Pittsburgh from 1926-30, hitting .312 as a reserve outfielder. His son Fritz also played in the major leagues from 1958 to 1961. 
  • 1931 - RHP George “Red” Witt was born in Long Beach, California. Red tossed for the Bucs from 1957-61, going 10-13/3.93 as a starter/long man, and worked three games in relief against the Yankees in the 1960 World Series without surrendering a run. Witt went 11-16 with a 4.32 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 66 career games after spending 1962 with Houston and the Los Angeles Angels.
Red Witt via the Laguna Beach Independent
  • 1971 - LHP Scott Sauerbeck was born in Cincinnati. The lefty spent the first five years (1999-2003) of his MLB career with Pittsburgh after being selected as a Rule 5 pick from the Mets. He went 19-15-5/3.56 in his Pirate time.
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