Tuesday, February 10, 2015

2/10: Bill, Cotton, Burleigh, Judy, Larry, Jeanmar & Jason...

  • 1893 - RHP Bill Evans was born in Reidsville, NC. He spent his entire three year MLB stint with the Bucs (1916-17, 1919) as a fringe hurler, going 2-13 with a 3.85 ERA. Evans went into the military and missed most of 1917 and all of 1918. He worked seven games for Pittsburgh in 1919, then spent the next decade toiling in the minors. 
  • 1894 - 2B James “Cotton” Tierney was born in Kansas City, KS. He started his pro career in Pittsburgh (1920-23), mainly as a second baseman but also playing the outfield and hot corner. He hit .315 for Pittsburgh, and was the main piece in the 1923 trade for P Lee Meadows. Cotton was remembered when in 2005, Jeff Euston, his great-great-nephew, created the popular website Cot's Baseball Contracts, named after his MLB ancestor. 
Cotton Tierney 1921 (photo by Bob Dorman)

  • 1920 - The spitball, shineball, and emeryball were outlawed by the AL/NL Joint Rules Committee. Seventeen pitchers, including off-and-on Pirate Burleigh Grimes, were grandfathered so they could continue to toss a wet one. Grimes, who finished his career in 1934 with Pittsburgh, was the last man to legally throw a spitter. 
  • 1975 - 3B Judy Johnson was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Negro League Committee. Playing in the 1920s and 1930s, Johnson was a defensive whiz who batted .309 over a 17 year career, including stops at the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords. He was inducted on August 18th. 
Judy Johnson & teammates (via John Holway "Blackball Stars")

  • 1954 - LHP Larry McWilliams was born in Wichita, Kansas. The sixth overall pick of the 1974 draft by the Braves, he worked for the Pirates from 1982-86. Larry had three strong years as a starter, then faded and was shipped back to his original club, the Braves. His line with the Bucs was 43-44-2 with a 3.86 ERA.
  • 1988 - RHP Jeanmar Gomez was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He went 5-2-1 with a 3.28 ERA in 78 outings for Pittsburgh from 2013-14 after coming over from the Indians. Gomez became a free agent in the off season and signed a minor league deal with the Phillies.
 Jeanmar Gomez via MLB.com

  • 2001 - C Jason Kendall was honored as the Dapper Dan 2000 Sportsman of the Year. He made rehabbed a gruesome ankle injury and came back to hit .320, score 112 runs and steal 22 bases, then made long-term commitment to the Pirates by signing a six-year contract extension. He was the first Pirate to win the award since Jim Leyland in 1990.

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