Friday, February 20, 2015

2/20: Tom O'Brien, IA, Frankie Gustine, ElRoy Face, Pat Meares

  • 1873 - Utilityman Tom O’Brien was born in Verona. O’Brien played just two seasons for his hometown club (1898, 1900), hitting .274 for Pittsburgh before his untimely death from pneumonia in 1901. 
    Frank Gustine (TSN)
  • 1877 - The International Association (so-called because it had a pair of Canadian clubs) was formed in Pittsburgh with the Alleghenys as one of the charter teams. Some baseball historians consider it to be the first minor league; others think the league was conceived to rival the National League. It was fairly short lived, folding after the 1880 season. It really didn’t have very much of a schedule; Alleghenys’ ace Pud Galvin tossed 18 of the 19 IA games played that first year.
  • 1920 - All-Star infielder and restaurateur Frankie Gustine was born in Hoopeston, Illinois. He played 10 years (1939-48) for the Bucs, hitting .268 as a Pirate and earning three All-Star spots. Gustine later became the head coach at Point Park College from 1968-74 and operated a bar/restaurant on Forbes Avenue in Oakland a few steps away from Forbes Field. 
  • 1928 - The Baron of the Bullpen, ElRoy Face, was born in Stephentown, NY. He pitched fifteen years (1953, 1955-68) for the Bucs, going 100-93-188/3.36. Face was the first major leaguer to save 20 games more than once, leading the league three times and finishing second three times; in 1959 he set the still-standing major league record for winning percentage (.947) at 18-1, winning 22 games in a row over two seasons (1958-59). He held the NL record for career games pitched (846) from 1967-86, and the league record for career saves (193) from 1962-82. Face still holds the NL record for career wins in relief (96), and he held the league mark for career innings pitched in relief (1,211-1/3) until 1983. 

Elroy Face via Main Line Autographs
  • 1999 - The Pirates signed free agent SS Pat Meares to a $1.5M contract. In April, they extended the deal through the 2003 season for $15M. He broke his hand early in 1999, had surgery, and was out of baseball by 2002, having played 240 games for the Bucs and hitting .238.

No comments: