Monday, January 25, 2016

1/25: Roberto's Payday; Joe & Hank Join HoF; HBD Gregg

  • 1956 - SS Joe Cronin and OF Hank Greenberg were elected to the Hall of Fame. Both were considered to be among the top RH hitters of their era and had brief stops in Pittsburgh. Cronin started as a Pirate in 1926-27 and played sparingly before breaking out for Washington and Boston, while Greenberg spent 1947, his last MLB season, as a Bucco, hitting 25 HR and served as a mentor to up-and-coming slugger Ralph Kiner. They were inducted on July 23rd.
Hank Greenberg & Joe Cronin 1956 HoF (photo via Sports Treasures)
  • 1964 - Former Pirate coach Gregg Ritchie was born in Washington DC. Ritchie played in the Giant system, reaching AAA, and then went on to coach in the White Sox organization for a decade before joining Pittsburgh. In 2006, Ritchie became the Bucs roving minor league hitting coordinator and later the hitting coach for the big club during the 2011-12 seasons. He left to take the George Washington University’s baseball manager job.
  • 1967 - Roberto Clemente signed a $100,000 contract, then the highest in Pirate history. The Great One’s payday topped Ralph Kiner’s $90,000 deal of 1952. He joined the MLB elite of players with a six-figure deal. The others on the short list at the time were Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson.
Roberto & Joe Brown after inking $100K deal (photo - Associated Press)
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