Monday, November 16, 2015

11/16: Dick Groat '60 MVP, Roberto Claims Honor in '66; Catfish & Dale Selected; HBD Brandon Cumpton

  • 1950 - The Pirates selected 1B/OF George “Catfish” Metkovich from Oakland of the Pacific Coast League in the Rule 5 draft. The 29 year-old had six seasons of MLB ball under his belt, but had spent the 1950 season with the Seals. He had a decent run with Pittsburgh, hitting .276 in two seasons and some change before being flipped in 1953 as part of the Ralph Kiner trade. The lefty earned his nickname when he stepped on a catfish during a fishing trip and cut his foot, causing him to miss several games. The Bucs also selected 1B Dale Long, but released him after a handful of games. He would return to the Pirates in 1955 and enter the record books a year later by homering in eight straight games.
Catfish - 1951 Bowman series
  • 1960 - NL batting champ (.325) Dick Groat was named NL MVP, outpolling teammate Don Hoak 276-162. Also trailing him in the race were Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks, all who had big years. Groat won despite losing the last three weeks of the season to a bad wrist, injured on a Lew Burdette pitch. Vern Law, Roberto Clemente, Roy Face and Smoky Burgess also received votes to place six Pirates among the Top Twenty finishers.
  • 1966 - RF Roberto Clemente won the NL MVP, finishing ahead of Dodger ace Sandy Koufax by a narrow 218-208 count. Clemente hit .317 with 29 HR and 119 RBI. His strong play kept the Pirates in the hunt until the next-to-last day of the season. The Great One finished the year fourth in batting, 10th in home runs and second in runs batted in.
Roberto Clemente 1966 Topps series
  • 1988 - RHP Brandon Cumpton was born in Augusta, Georgia. A sixth starter, the Georgia Tech grad saw action as an injury replacement in 2013-24, going 5-5 with a 4.02 ERA. He was the ninth round pick of the Pirates in the 2010 draft, but his career has been put on hold after a recent run of injuries.
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