Sunday, December 13, 2015

12/13: HBD Joe, Dale, Jeff & Josh; Damaso, Eddie, The Joker Join Up

  • 1935 - OF Joe Christopher was born in in Frederiksted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. He played for Pittsburgh from 1959-61 sparingly, hitting .244 before being lost in the expansion draft to the NY Mets, although he did score twice in the 1960 World Series as a pinch runner. Christopher is thought to be the first player from the Virgin Islands to play in the majors. Joe should remember his first start. He was called up to replace an injured Roberto Clemente and made his big league debut playing right field during Harvey Haddix’s 12 inning perfect game.
Joe Christopher 1961 Topps
  • 1956 - Dale Berra was born in Ridgewood, NJ. The SS, the first round pick of the 1975 draft (20th overall), spent eight years in Pittsburgh (1977-84) and started the last three, but his bat (.238 as a Pirate) never came around and to boot, he testified that he was a coke user during the 1985 trial. Berra still makes the highlight tapes thanks to a 1985 baserunning blooper with Bobby Meacham while a Yankee. With Meacham at second and Berra at first, Ricky Henderson drilled a ball into the corner. Meacham slipped rounding the bases, so he and Berra came home at virtually the same time. Sadly for them, Ozzie Guillen’s relay beat them to the dish and Carlton Fisk tagged them both out - a double turned into a double play!
  • 1960 - RHP Jeff Robinson was born in Santa Ana, California. He tossed for the Bucs from 1987-89. His first two seasons were strictly out of the pen, but he got 19 starts in 51 appearances in ‘89. Overall, Robinson went 20-19-17 for Pittsburgh with a 3.78 ERA. He went to the Yankees in the Sluggo Slaught deal, but couldn’t replicate his Pittsburgh success. Robinson tossed for three teams from 1990-92 and then was out of baseball.
  • 1976 - RHP Josh Fogg was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. He pitched for Pittsburgh from 2002-05 with a record of 39-42 and a 4.79 ERA. Josh finished seventh in the Rookie of the Year vote in 2002 and won double figure games for three straight seasons, but was released after the 2005 campaign and pitched four more years before ending his career in 2010.
Josh Fogg 2002 Fleer
  • 1996 - SS Jay Bell and 3B Jeff King were traded to the Royals for 3B Joe Randa (called "The Joker" after the Batman villain), LHP Jeff Wallace, LHP Jeff Granger and RHP Jeff Martin in a salary dump, or maybe in an effort by the clubs to set a record for Jeffs (or just “J” first names in general) included in one deal.
  • 2001 - The Pirates sent P Todd Ritchie and C Lee Evans to the White Sox for pitchers Kip Wells‚ Sean Lowe‚ and Josh Fogg. Ritchie struggled for Chicago and then was injured the following year, effectively ending his career. Fogg and Wells were mainstays in the Pirate rotation for three years but never blossomed beyond journeyman status.
  • 2005 - The Bucs acquired LHP Damaso Marte from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for INF/OF Rob Mackowiak. It was the lefty’s second go-around with Pittsburgh, and after an injury to Matt Capps in 2006, Marte became the closer. He was traded to the New York Yankees with Xavier Nady at the deadline for José Tábata, Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, and Dan McCutchen.
Damaso Marte 2006 Upper Deck
  • 2013 - RHP Edinson Volquez was signed as a free agent to a one year, $5M contract. He was quite the bargain, going 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA during the season. He signed a two year, $20M guaranteed deal with the KC Royals after reestablishing his value.

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