- 1882 - The case of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys versus C Charlie Bennett was decided. Prior to the 1882 season, Allegheny signed Bennett to a $100 agreement which stated that he would sign an 1883 contract with the club. Instead, Bennett re-signed with the Detroit Wolverines. The Western Pennsylvania District Court ruled in Bennett’s favor for several reasons, including restraint of trade and because there was no concrete contract agreed to by the parties. Sadly, Bennett lost both his legs in 1894 when he was run over by a train. He played for the Wolverines for eight seasons, and they named their stadium after him. Charlie is also credited with the first chest protector; his was a cork-lined vest he wore under his jersey.
- 1886 - The NL officially admitted the Alleghenys, who became the first franchise to jump from the American Association. The club made a reported profit of $160,000 in 1886 (per Wikipedia) and finished second in the AA, making the decision a no-brainer for the NL. The 1887 Pittsburgh Alleghenys finished sixth in their first NL campaign with a 55-69 record. They played at Recreation Park that year and became known as the Pirates a few seasons later in 1891. The Bucs date their history from their entrance into the NL, although the Alleghenys formed in 1882 and played in the American Association, a rival league that was considered to be major league at the time, with the two champions playing each other in the post-season from 1884-90 in loosely organized title bouts.
|Pud Galvin won 28 games for the 1887 Alleghenys (1887 Old Judge)|
- 1924 - 1B Glenn “Rocky” Nelson was born in Portsmouth, Ohio. He got a cup of coffee with Pittsburgh in 1951 and then platooned with Dick Stuart from 1959-61. He hit .270 as a Pirate, and in the 1960 World Series went 3-for-9 with a Game Seven homer and two RBI. Rocky may have been a MLB journeyman, but he was a minor league terror. In 1958, Nelson was voted the International League’s MVP after winning the triple crown while a Toronto Maple Leaf. He was inducted into the IL Hall of Fame and later into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. He earned his nickname the hard way, according to SABR: while in the St. Louis Cardinals training camp, Whitey Kurowski bounced a ball off Nelson's noggin during a pepper game and then added insult to injury by afterward anointing him with the moniker Rocky.
- 1943 - LHP Jim Shellenback was born in Riverside, California. He was a seldom used reliever for the Pirates from 1966-67 and 1969, going 1-1-2 with a 3.35 ERA. He put together a nine year career with some solid seasons for the Washington Senators and afterward became a long-time minor league pitching coach for the Twins organization.
|Jim Shellenback 1969 Topps|
- 1947 - The Bucs traded for 1B Johnny Hopp and 2B Danny Murtaugh, sending the Boston Braves C Bill Salkeld‚ P Al Lyons‚ and OF Jim Russell. Hopp played three years for the Pirates, hitting .310 but providing little power as a first baseman. Murtaugh’s career was stronger as a manager than player, but he started full-time around the infield in 1948, hitting .290, finishing his playing career as a Bucco reserve in 1951.
- 1997 - The Pirates lost P Jason Johnson to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays while P Clint Sodowsky and 3B Joe “The Joker” Randa went to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the expansion draft. Randa returned to the Pirate fold for his last MLB season in 2006.
- 1998 - The Bucs sent LHP Ricardo Rincon to the Tribe for OF Brian Giles. In five campaigns with the Pirates, Giles would put up a line of .308/.426/.591 with 165 HR and 426 RBI and was twice named to the All-Star team. That deal began a chain reaction of swaps that eventually led to the Pirates acquiring Jason Bay, Ollie Perez, Xavier Nady, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, and Bryan Morris before the smoke finally cleared.
|Brian Giles 2000 Topps|
- 2014 - Free agent C Russ Martin officially signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays after spending two playoff years behind the dish for the Bucs. Born in Toronto, it was a homecoming for the 31 year old Martin, sweetened by a five year, $82M contract.
- 2014 - Manager Clint Hurdle was given the Brooks Robinson Community Service Award and All-Star Josh Harrison was named the MLB recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award at the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association's (MLBPAA) 15th annual Legends for Youth Dinner. Hurdle was recognized for his work with the Prader-Willi Association, while Harrison’s award was given to “an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of baseball.”