Friday, February 5, 2016

2/5: HBD Tiger; Barney Passes On; Ted Simmons In As GM; Steady Freddy Signs

  • 1928 - 3B Don Hoak was born in the Potter County town of Roulette. The Tiger played four years for the Pirates (1959-62), hitting .281 and was renowned for his scrappy play on the diamond, living up to his resume as an ex-boxer and Marine. After his playing days ended, Hoak was a Pirates' broadcaster for two years and managed a couple of seasons in the Pirate farm system.
The Tiger 1960 Topps
  • 1932 - Longtime owner and one of baseball’s early pathfinders Barney Dreyfuss died at 66, leaving Pirate ownership to his widow Florence and his son-in-law Bill Benswanger. Not only was he influential in Pittsburgh, building a solid franchise and a signature park, but he was also a sturdy rudder for baseball as it sailed some stormy seas in its early decades. In Dan Bonk’s Story of Forbes Field, it was noted that “Between 1895 and 1932, Dreyfuss was in the middle of every important decision facing professional baseball including syndication, contraction, league conflicts, the Federal League, schedules, and of course, the scandal arising out of the 1919 World Series.”
  • 1992 - The Pirates hired Ted Simmons as General Manager. He served in that position for only a year, retiring after suffering a heart attack in June 1993. He was under a lot of job-related stress, as ownership wanted to trim payroll, resulting in a decidedly antsy locker room as the players waited for the next domino to fall.
Ted Simmons at 1992 Hiring (photo Gene Puskar/AP)
  • 2008 - 2B Freddy Sanchez inked a two year, $11M contract with an option for $8M in 2010. He was traded at the 2009 deadline to the Giants for RHP Tim Alderson. Freddy played only one full season for the G-Men, the 2010 World Series campaign, as knee and shoulder injuries eroded his career. Alderson never cashed in as a Pirate prospect and is in the Nat's system this season.

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