Saturday, January 16, 2016

1/16: Jung Ho Signed; HBD Art & Erskine; Steelers-Bucs Clash

  • 1858 - IF Art Whitney was born in Brockton, Massachusetts. Known for his glove, he played for the Alleghenys from 1884-87, hitting .248 while in Pittsburgh. His lifetime BA was a paltry .223, but the slick gloveman led the league four times in fielding percentage, three times as a third baseman (1886, 1887, and 1891) and once as a shortstop (1885).
  • 1890 - RHP Erskine Mayer was born in Atlanta. He only worked two seasons for Pittsburgh, from 1918-19, going 14-6 with a 3.19 ERA. In 1919, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox, becoming part of the infamous "Black Sox" team. His only appearance in the scandal-tainted 1919 World Series was a one-inning relief stint, his last in a MLB uniform. He ended his eight-year career with a slash of of 91-70-6 and a 2.96 ERA. Over that time, he had several notable moments. His best as a Bucco was going 15-⅓ shutout innings, starting the longest scoreless game in Pirate history (the Bucs beat the Braves 2-0 in 21 innings). He had a couple of lowlights, too. As a rookie for the Phils in 1912, Mayer set the MLB record for consecutive hits allowed with nine (since broken), and also was the pitcher who surrendered Honus Wagner’s 3,000th hit in 1914 while wearing the same uniform.
Erskine Mayer 1915-16 via The Sporting News Collection
  • 1960 - The Steelers beat the Pirates, 22-20 in overtime, in a benefit basketball game played at the Pitt Field House to help support Children's Hospital. Former Duke All-America and Buc shortstop Dick Groat led all scorers with 14 points in the 15 minute contest.
  • 2015 - The Pirates officially signed Korean SS Jung-Ho Kang to a four year, $11M contract ($2.5M, $2.5M, $2.75M & $3M with a $250K/$5.5M option for 2019). He could earn up to $750K/year in at-bat bonuses, with a guaranteed annual stipend for family travel and an interpreter. Pittsburgh also paid his club a posting fee of $5,002,015 for negotiating rights, making the deal the most expensive the Pirates ever paid out for an international signee. Kang, 27, hit .356 with 40 home runs and 117 RBIs in 501 PAs for the Nexen Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2014. His slash was .287/.355/.461 in his first MLB campaign. 
Jung Ho Kang 2015 Topps Hi Tek
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