Wednesday, December 9, 2015

12/9: HBD Adam, Hank; Purkey, Blyleven Deals; Hernandez Inked

  • 1905 - OF Adam Comorosky was born in Swoyersville, in Luzerne county. He played eight years (1926-33) for the Pirates with a line of .285/26/363. In 1929 and ‘30, he was one of the hot NL bats. Over that period, he hit .317 with 216 RBI and 198 runs scored, banging out 73 doubles, 34 triples (he led the NL with 23 in ‘30) and 18 homers. Adam is the only NL outfielder to register two unassisted double plays in a season, both within the span of a week in 1931.
Adam Comorosky 1927 (via UK BaseballFan/Out of the Park Developments)
  • 1914 - C Henry Camelli was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Camelli was a reserve during the war years (he only got three at-bats in 1945 due to service obligations) with a Bucco BA of .229 between 1943-46. Hank played just 159 games in his MLB career, but paid his dues with 13 minor league campaigns. He once caught six straight doubleheaders while on the farm.
  • 1948 - RHP George “Doc” Medich was born in Aliquippa. For a local boy (he played football and baseball at Pitt), he didn’t get much Pirate love, pitching just one of his 11 big league season in Pittsburgh, going 8-11/3.52 in 1976. Doc lived up to his name. Twice as a player (once as a Pirate) he went into the stands to perform CPR on a fan, saving one of them.
  • 1957 - The Pirates traded RHP Bob Purkey to the Cincinnati Reds for LHP Don Gross. Gross won six games in three years as a Pirate while Purkey, a Pittsburgh kid who went to South Hills HS, won 124 games after the deal, appearing in a World Series and three All-Star games. GM Joe Brown later called it “the worst trade I ever made.” Purkey pitched his final season (1966) for the Pirates and then retired to Bethel Park, where he became a successful insurance broker. He died in 2008 at age 78 and was buried at Queen of Angels Cemetery.
Bob Purkey 1957 Topps
  • 1980 - The Pirates traded RHP Bert Blyleven and C Manny Sanguillen to the Indians for P Bob Owchinko‚ P Victor Cruz‚ C Gary Alexander‚ and minor league P Rafael Vasquez. Hall of Famer Blyleven was the key figure, and he went on to pitch 11 more seasons and win 148 more games. Blyleven requested the trade, saying that manager Chuck Tanner didn’t show any confidence in him by not letting him go deeper into games, although the Frying Dutchman (named because he loved setting teammates’ shoelaces on fire - the “hotfoot” prank - not his temperament) averaged 233 IP per season under Tanner’s watch.
  • 2005 - The Pirates signed free agent reliever RHP Roberto Hernandez, 42, to a one year‚ $2.75M contract. The set up man was flipped to the NY Mets, his old club, at the 2006 deadline as part of the Xavier Nady trade.
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