Thursday, January 7, 2016

1/7: HBD Kitty, Ducky, Al & Ted; McClatchy Sells Out

  • 1875 - 1B William “Kitty” Bransfield was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. He played four seasons for Pittsburgh (1901-04), batting .271, and started for the 1903 Pirate team that played in the first recognized World Series, losing to the Boston Americans. He played through the 1911 season and then spent time as an minor league umpire, Cubs scout and briefly as a farm team manager. Per David Anderson of the SABR Biography Project, “His original nickname was "Kid," but a reporter with bad hearing heard it as "Kitty" and the name stuck.”
Kitty - 1907 Bains New Service photo via the Library of Congress
  • 1902 - C Al Todd was born in Troy, NY. Todd spent from 1936-38 as a Pirate after coming over in a deal with the Phillies. He started the last two seasons, compiling a .282 BA during that span before being traded to the Boston Bees. He hung up the spikes at age 39 after the 1943 season and worked as a minor league manager and scout for several years after his playing career ended.
  • 1921 - OF Ted Beard was born in Woodsboro, Maryland. He played for the Pirates as a reserve outfielder from 1948-52, batting .203, after losing three years to WW2 as a medic. A top prospect, Ted had speed and showed some occasional flashes of power (he became the second player, after Babe Ruth, to clear the RF roof at Forbes Field), but was fated to become a AAAA player. He had great success playing for the Hollywood Stars & San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast League and later Indianapolis through the fifties and into the early sixties.
  • 1935 - IF Dick “Ducky” (his dad’s nickname that followed Schofield around; prob a play on Dickie) Schofield was born in Springfield, Illinois. He played eight (1958-65) of his 19 big league years with the Pirates, and took over for an injured Dick Groat during the 1960 title stretch run, hitting .333 to help the Bucs take the NL title without looking back. Schofield was a regular infielder from 1963-65, but his BA (.248 as a Pirate, .227 overall) limited him to a backup role through most of his career.
Ducky - 1960 Topps
  • 2009 - Selling the last of his remaining shares in the Pirates, Kevin McClatchy ended his 13-year relationship with the team. After local ownership failed to materialize in 1996, the former managing general partner guaranteed that the struggling club would stay in Pittsburgh by finding shareholders and securing the $95M financing needed to buy the franchise. Bob Nutting became the majority stockholder in 2007 and ushered in Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington when the season ended.

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