Friday, December 11, 2015

12/11: HBD Jay Bell & O'Brien Twins; Swaps & Signings Galore

  • 1906 - The Pirates traded veterans OF Ginger Beaumont, P Patsy Flaherty and 2B Claude Ritchey to the Boston Beaneaters for 2B Ed Abbaticchio. Beaumont had a great 1907 for Boston and followed with a pair of solid seasons. Flaherty and Ritchey also had two workmanlike years left in them. Abby stuck with the Pirates until 1910. He started for two years, but was a sub on the 1909 championship team and hit .253 in Pittsburgh.
Batty 1910 Tip Top Bread
  • 1928 - SS Glenn “Buckshot” (his arm was strong but not entirely accurate) Wright was sent to the Brooklyn Robins for LHP Jesse “The Silver Fox” (because he didn’t really make it in the big leagues until his 30s) Petty and IF Harry Riconda. Wright, one of the top SS of the era, suffered a major shoulder injury in 1929 which affected his play in the field, but didn’t hang up the spikes until 1935 with a lifetime .294 BA after 11 big league seasons. Petty was workmanlike in 1929, but the wheels fell off in 1930, his final MLB season.
  • 1930 - The O’Brien twins, Eddie and Johnny, were born in South Amboy, New Jersey. Utility man Eddie - he played SS, 3B, OF and even pitched 16 innings - spent five years (1952, 1954-57) with the Bucs, hit .236 and had a 3.31 ERA with a 1-0 record. Johnny was a Pirate for five years (1953, 1955-58) and was a middle infielder/pitcher. He put up a .260 BA and went 1-3 with a 5.61 ERA. The O'Briens were the first twins in major league history to play for the same team in the same game. On a side note, the brothers were also strong basketball players at Seattle University, and scored 84 points between them when SU beat the barnstorming Harlem Globetrotters in 1952.
  • 1952 - Fred Haney was named as manager, replacing Billy Meyer. The Bucs finished in last place each season under Haney’s three year reign, compiling a 163-299 (.353) record. But that was more an indictment of the Pirates talent than Haney’s leadership. In 1957, he took a Milwaukee team that featured Henry Aaron, Eddie Mathews and Warren Spahn to the World Series title.
Fred Haney 1954 Topps
  • 1965 - SS Jay Bell was born at Elgin AFB (Pensacola), Florida. Jay played SS for Pittsburgh from 1989-96, hitting .269, anchoring the infield of Jim Leyland’s 1990-92 division championship clubs and earning an All-Star spot in 1993. Bell also won a Gold Glove in 1993, breaking a string of thirteen straight NL Gold Gloves by SS Ozzie Smith. It was the first GG by a Pirate SS since Gene Alley's back-to-back honors in 1966 and 1967.
  • 1975 - The Yankees acquired RHP Dock Ellis, LHP Ken Brett and 2B Willie Randolph from the Pirates for RHP Doc Medich. Randolph suited up for 17 more seasons, was named to six All-Star teams and played in four World Series, but was blocked in Pittsburgh by Rennie Stennett, who, as fate would have it, broke his leg in 1977 and left Pittsburgh after 1979.
  • 1981 - SS Tim Foli was traded to the California Angels for Brian Harper. Foli was on the downside of his career while Harper spent three years in Pittsburgh as a utilityman, hitting .243. Crazy Horse Foli returned in 1985 in a trade with the Yankees, but hit just .189 and was released in June.
Brian Harper 1984 Topps
  • 1990 - Sid Bream, who overcame three knee operations to help the Pirates capture the NL East championship, was named the winner of the 26th annual Hutch Award. The award goes to a player who overcomes adversity to go on to further accomplishments, named in honor of Fred Hutchinson. Bream hit .270 and drove in 67 runs after sitting out most of the 1989 campaign. It was his last bow as a Buc, as Bream signed with the Atlanta Braves as an off-season FA.
  • 1991 - The Pirates signed 3B Steve Buechele, a free agent they had traded for late in the season, to a four year/$11M contract. He played 80 games in Pittsburgh before being sent to the Cubs in a 1992 deadline deal for LHP Danny Jackson, who in turn was lost to the Marlins in the following off season during the expansion draft.
  • 2004 - The Pirates swapped out LHP Arthur Rhodes to the Indians for OF Matt Lawton less than a month after they had acquired him. Lawton hit .284 with 10 HR and 44 RBIs before being flipped for Jody Gerut at the 2005 trading deadline.
Matt Lawton 2005 (photo: USA Today)
  • 2013 - RHP Charlie Morton signed a contract extension for three years plus an option. He received $4M for 2014 (his last arb year), $8M in 2015 & 2016 plus a club option for 2017 of $9.5M and a $1M buyout, with $500K in possible bonuses. Morton has gone 15-21 since the deal.

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