Sunday, January 3, 2016

1/3: HBD, AJ, Gus & Mark; Bucs Pay Off; Clemente Fund Born

  • 1906 - 1B Gus Suhr was born in San Francisco. He spent 9-1/2 seasons (1930-39) with the Pirates, hitting .279 with a .386 OPB and driving in 818 runs, earning an All-Star berth in 1936. Suhr played 1,339 games at first base for Pittsburgh, a team record, and once held the NL standard of 822 consecutive games played, which lasted until 1957. The record-snapping game he missed wasn’t due to injury; he took off to attend his mother’s funeral.
  • 1961 - The Pittsburgh Press reported that the Pirate owners collected their first dividend check since buying the club off the Dreyfuss family in 1946, citing increased attendance thanks to the 1960 World Series championship. They got $4/share. John Galbreath was the main man and majority team owner from 1946-85.
John Galbreath 1967 (photo via Columbus Business Times)
  • 1965 - RHP Mark Dewey was born in Grand Rapids, MI. Mark went 3-3-8/3.23 for the Bucs out of the pen from 1993-94. After retirement, he coached for the Washington Wild Things, and is now coaching in the Brewers organization.
  • 1973 - President Nixon gave a $1,000 check in Roberto Clemente's memory to the Nicaraguan embassy. At the President's request, Dan Galbreath, owner of the Pirates, along with Dave Giusti and Steve Blass, met with him at the White House to discuss setting up a fund in Clemente's honor to aid the survivors of the earthquake. Thus was born the Roberto Clemente Memorial Fund to aid the earthquake victims with Richard Nixon as the first donor.
  • 1977 - RHP AJ Burnett was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The veteran tossed for two years in Pittsburgh (2012-13) after being obtained from the Yankees in a Gotham salary dump, with a line of 26-21 with a 3.41 ERA, averaging a whiff per frame. After a rough season in Philly, he returned for his final year in 2015. He went 9-7/3.18 in 26 starts, coming back in September from an All-Star break elbow inflammation to close out his 17th season, collecting 164 wins and 2,513 whiffs for five teams over that span.
AJ (photo Justin Aller/Getty Images)
  • 2006 - 3B Joe Randa was signed as a free agent for his second go-around with the Pirates. He was inked to a $4M deal, nearly double his 2005 salary at Cincinnati. Joe hit .267 in 89 games in what would be his last MLB season, losing his job to Freddy Sanchez and then announcing his retirement in November.
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