Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2/17: HBD Ed; Turkey Trot; Nate Signs Deal; Groat DD Award; Rule Change

  • 1905 - LHP Ed Brandt was born in Spokane, Washington. In his final two MLB seasons (1937-38), he tossed for Pittsburgh and went 16-14-2/3.23. He was mostly a good pitcher on bad teams, winning 121 games in 11 years after taking his lumps during his first three seasons.
  • 1909 - The NL made it mandatory that a relief pitcher face one batter, and gave him five pitches to warm up. The rule countered managers who would yank a pitcher, bring in another (slowly) to kill a little time, and then pull him if they didn't like the pinch hitting match up or when the guy the skipper really wanted on the mound was good and loose. It eventually became Rule #6.2.2.
  • 1912 - The Pirates switched outfielders, sending Vin Campbell to the Boston Braves for Mike Donlin. Both players were solid hitters but neither were one trick ponies. Campbell was a successful businessman while Donlin was a vaudevillian, silent movie actor and all-around bon vivant. Both left baseball for periods of time to hold out for bigger salaries knowing they could make better money at their side jobs. They each ended up playing just one year for their new teams, then sat out the 1913 season. Donlin hit .316 in 77 games for the 1912 Pirates while Campbell hit .296 and led the league in at-bats for the Braves that season. On a side note, Donlin was nicknamed “Turkey Mike” due to his red neck and distinctive strut. It’s said many fans even imitated his way of walking, but it wasn't a moniker that he particularly cared for.
Mike Donlin (image via The Deadball Era)
  • 2009 - CF Nate McLouth signed a three-year, $15.75M contract with an option that bought out his arbitration years. It guaranteed his salary but not his home; he was traded to Atlanta in June to clear the CF spot for Andrew McCutchen. He returned to the Bucs briefly in 2012, and since then has played in Baltimore and Washington. A free agent this season, the 34 year old has done OK, earning $30M in 10 campaigns.
  • 2016 - Dick Groat was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 80th annual Dapper Dan Dinner. In 1960, Groat hit .325 and was named NL MVP for the WS winners and earned three All-Star berths as a Bucco SS. He was also a two-time All America at Duke as a hoopster.
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