- 1848 - Harmar Denny McKnight, son of local politico Robert McKnight, was born on Western Avenue in Allegheny City. He founded the Allegheny Baseball Club of Pittsburgh on October 15, 1881, making him the father of the Pirates. McKnight was the first president of the American Association and also managed the club during the 1884 season. The Alleghenys bolted to the NL in 1887 after a flap over signing Sam Barkley, after which McKnight sold the club to William Nimick.
- 1932 - P Billy Swift was traded by Kansas City Blues of the American Association to the Pirates for P Bob Osborn and C Eddie Phillips. It was a good deal: Osborne never pitched in the majors again and Phillips played for three more seasons while Swift worked eight years for the Bucs and notched 91 wins. Swift was a pitch-to-contact guy; he walked few (1.9/9 innings), struck out almost no one (3.4/9 innings) and still put up a 3.57 ERA in Pittsburgh.
|Bill Swift 1939 Play Ball|
- 1936 - Honus Wagner, along with Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson, was selected by the BBWAA to become the first Hall of Fame class. They had to wait until July 12th, 1939, for the enshrinement, though, until the museum in Cooperstown was opened and the first four HoF classes were inducted en masse.
- 1949 - The Pirates purchased RHP Murry “Dick” Dickson from the Cardinals for $125,000. During his five-year stay in Pittsburgh, he went 66-85 with a 3.83 ERA and had a 20-win season in 1951; the Pirates won only 64 games that year. Dickson was a soft thrower with a variety of pitches and a rubber arm. Beginning in 1947, when he turned 31, he worked more than 200 innings in each of the next ten seasons.
- 1961 - OF Max Carey was voted into the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee and inducted on July 24th. In 17 seasons with Pittsburgh, he collected 2,400+ hits, batted .287 and stole 688 bases. Carey joined the Bucs planning to become Pittsburgh’s everyday shortstop, but thanks to Honus Wagner, Max spent the entirety of his long Pirate career as an outfielder.
|Maz Carey 1912 Recruit Cigars|
- 1967 - GM Branch Rickey and OF Lloyd Waner were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote of the Special Veterans Committee and were inducted on July 24th. Rickey was GM from 1950-55; his teams were terrible but he began the process of building a farm system that paid dividends in 1960. “Little Poison” spent 17 years with the Pirates, mainly in CF, and batted .319 during that time.
- 1971 - The Pirates traded OF Matty Alou and P George Brunet to the Cardinals for OF Vic Davalillo and RHP Nellie Briles. Davalillo spent 2-½ years in Pittsburgh as a role player, hitting .290. Briles spent three full seasons as a Bucco, winning 36 games with a 2.98 ERA.
- 1973 - RHP Jason Schmidt was born in Lewiston, Idaho. He was drafted by Atlanta and came to the Pirates in 1996 as part of the Denny Neagle deal. In 5-1/2 seasons with Pittsburgh, he went 44-47/4.39 before being traded to San Francisco, where he had three All-Star campaigns.
|Jason Schmidt 1997 Fleer Ultra|
- 2004 - The Bucs signed RHP Jose Mesa, 37, to a minor-league deal after a dismal season in Philly. The vet rediscovered his mojo and became the Buc closer, saving 43 games in 2004 and 27 in 2005 before leaving for Colorado as a FA. He saved 321 games over a 19 year big-league career.