Saturday, February 13, 2016

2/13: Cool Papa HoF Day; Nellie Passes Away; The Deal That Wasn't; HBD Pete; Inge Signing

  • 1921 - IF Pete Castiglione was born in Greenwich, Connecticut. He played seven years (1947-53) for the Bucs, mainly as a reserve, and hit .258 for Pittsburgh. Pete actually signed with the Bucs in 1940, but he joined the Navy in 1943 and served two years in the Pacific. He participated in campaigns at the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, Palau Islands, Philippine Islands and Okinawa, and was at Wakayama, Japan at the end of the war, so his best work may not have been at Forbes Field, but in the Pacific theater.
  • 1974 - OF James "Cool Papa" Bell was named to the Hall of Fame by the Special Committee on the Negro Leagues. He played for both the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords, and was inducted on August 12th. Cool Papa joined the Homestead Grays in 1943, and they won league championships in Bell's first two seasons. They were foiled going for the trifecta, losing in the 1945 World Series to the Cleveland Buckeyes. Per, he got his moniker when he began as a pitcher for the St. Louis Stars in the Negro National League. He was dubbed “Cool” when he struck out legendary Oscar Charleston; Bell's manager added the “Papa.”
Cool Papa Bell (photo via Negro League History Museum)
  • 1980 - As a five-and-ten veteran, OF’er Bill Robinson vetoed his proposed trade to the Houston Astros for pitcher Joaquin Andujar when Houston wouldn’t offer him a new contract. It’s hard to project how the trade would have worked out. Robinson had a strong 1980 campaign, then faded away, while Andujar wouldn’t hit his prime until 1982, winning 61 games and two All Star berths between then and 1985 as a St. Louis Cardinal. 
Bill Robinson 1979 (photo Associated Press)
  • 2005 - RHP Nelson “Nellie” Briles, who was part of the Pirates 1971 World Series club, died at age 61 in Orlando, Florida, after suffering a heart attack at a Pirates alumni golf tournament. In his game five start in the Series against the Orioles, Briles pitched a two-hit, complete game 4-0 shutout, also driving in a run with a second inning single. He pitched three seasons for the Pirates, going 36-28 with a 2.98 ERA. Following his retirement in 1979, Briles worked as a color man for the Pirates, and joined the front office in 1986 as director of corporate sales. He founded the Pittsburgh Pirates Alumni Association, and was also the director of the team's annual fantasy camp.
  • 2013 - The Bucs signed 36 year old IF Brandon Inge to a one year, $1.25M FA contract. 50 games and a .181 BA average later, he was released on August 1st, ending his 13 year MLB career.

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