Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3/18: Happy B-Days to Nixey, Elbie, Dick & Brian

  • 1874 - Pirate skipper Jimmy “Nixey” Callahan was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Callahan was the Buc manager in 1916 and part of 1917, never sniffing the first division and replaced midway through his second year by Honus Wagner after compiling an 85-129 record at the helm. He was a nice ballplayer (tho he never suited up for the Pirates). In 1902, Callahan pitched the first no-hitter in American League history and is the only pitcher to have collected five hits in a game three times. 
  • 1916 - 1B Elbie Fletcher was born in Milton, Massachusetts. He played first for Pittsburgh for seven seasons (1939-43, 1946-47) with two years off during WW2. Elbie put together a line of .279/79/616 as a Bucco, and was an All-Star in 1943. Fletcher began his big league career in 1934 with Boston after a contest was held to determine which local high school player was most likely to reach the majors, with the winner receiving an invitation to the Braves' spring training camp. With the help of some ballot-box busting votes from his large family, Fletcher won, and then actually made the team.
Elbie Fletcher - 1941 Goudey series
  • 1926 - LHP Dick Littlefield was born in Detroit. The journeyman southpaw worked from 1954-56 for some pretty sad Pirate teams and put up a 15-23 record with a 4.29 ERA. Littlefield was the poster boy for journeymen as he played for nine teams in his nine year MLB career. 
  • 1962 - RHP Brian Fisher was born in Honolulu. A second round draft pick of the Yankees, the Bucs traded for him in 1987. He was a workmanlike starter for two years, but suffered from knee problems in 1989 and was released by Pittsburgh after a Bucco line of 19-22/4.72 ERA. He lasted in the show until 1992 when his knees finally gave out. He was a second round draft pick by the Atlanta Braves, and had a fastball that touched 97 MPH.
Brian Fisher - 1989 Donruss series

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