Monday, January 4, 2016

1/4: Bucs Bring In Sam, Skates, Lance & Starling

  • 1886 - St. Louis owner Chris Von Der Ahe sold the rights to IF Sam Barkley to the Alleghenys, despite the fact that the infielder had already signed a contract with the Orioles; because they were late in sending Von Der Ahe their check for Barkley’s rights, he unilaterally voided the deal and shipped him to Pittsburgh instead. The American Association eventually resolved the controversial case by allowing Barkley to play for the Alleghenys, and sending Milt Scott from Pittsburgh to Baltimore as compensation. Additionally, the Browns were allowed to keep the $1,000 they received from Pittsburgh for Barkley's reserve rights. For all that, Barkley hit .248 in his two years with the club, splitting time between first and second base.
Sam Barkley 1887 Gold Coin
  • 1993 - The Pirates signed OF Lonnie “Skates” (due to his somewhat awkward footwork and quirky routes while playing the outfield) Smith to a one year/$1M deal. He put up a line of .286/6/24, with a .422 OBP and nine stolen bases before he was flipped to the Orioles in September for two career minor leaguers, Terry Farrar and Stanton Cameron. The Pirates were Smith’s fifth team; he had reached the World Series with the first four (and was on the winning side for three of them) but his championship streak bottomed out as a Bucco.
  • 1996 - The Pirates purchased the contract of free agent and eight-time All-Star catcher Lance Parrish from the Tigers. He had caught for the Bucs in 1993, hitting .270 in a backup role, but Father Time caught up to him - he was entering his age 40 season, and he didn’t make it out of camp with Pittsburgh, marking the end of his career. Since then, he’s been an announcer, minor league manager and MLB coach. Lance was a local boy, born in Clairton, though he was raised in California. Parrish had a scholarship offer to play football at UCLA, but made what proved to be a wise choice by focusing on baseball.
Lance Parrish 1995 Fleer
  • 2007 - Rene Gayo signed Dominican OF Starling Marte for $85,000 in perhaps the best Latin signing of Dave Littlefield’s watch. Marte was sought by several teams, and his stock took off after he switched from SS to CF. The deciding factor was said to be that Gayo had a good working relationship with Marte’s buscon (agent), tilting the field toward the Buccos.

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