- 1869 - Harry Pulliam, early Pirate exec, was born in Scottsburg, Kentucky. Originally a newspaper writer covering the Cubs for the Louisville Commercial, he was considered one of the leading authorities on the gamel. Pulliam, then the newspaper editor, met the owner of the Louisville Colonels, Barney Dreyfuss, who hired him away from the Courier, appointing him to the position of club secretary, then quickly moving him to club president; Pulliam negotiated an ownership position in the team. He followed Dreyfuss when he purchased the Pittsburgh Pirates as the team president, and convinced Hans Wagner to join the club, later talking him and his teammates from bolting to the AL during the 1900 raids. Pulliam was unanimously elected president of the National League in 1902. He acted as president, secretary and treasurer of the league from 1902 until 1907, when the stress, workload and occasional head bumping with owners who thought he favored Pittsburgh in his decisions caught up to him; he committed suicide. Harry was buried in Louisville on August 2nd, and for the first time in history, both NL and AL games were postponed in tribute.
|Cigar Box Harry|
- 1946 - Talk about your off season mishaps! Bucco LHP Preacher Roe’s 148 strikeouts in 1945 led the NL and he was selected for the All-Star Game. But while coaching high school basketball after the season, Roe suffered a concussion in a fight with a referee. His pitching fell off a cliff, dropping from 27 wins in 1944-45 to seven in 1946-47, and his ERA doubled. He was traded to Brooklyn, where he lasted seven seasons, winning 93 games while earning four All-Star berths. Some credit the comeback to a return to health while others credited his new pitch - the spitter.
- 1951 - RHP Ed “Buddy” Solomon was born in Perry, Georgia. The ten year vet worked the end of his career (1980-82) in Pittsburgh, splitting time between the pen and the rotation. He went 17-15-1 with a 3.58 ERA for the Pirates before being dealt to the White Sox in 1982, where he concluded his MLB run. He died two years later at age 34 in a car wreck.
- 1971 - RHP Satchel Paige became the first Negro League star to be selected to the Hall of Fame. Satch pitched for both the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords, and was inducted on August 9th. He finally broke the color line in 1948 at the age of 41, and tossed six big-league seasons, with a pair of All-Star berths and a World Series title with the 1948 Cleveland Indians.
|Satchel Paige 1933 (photo via John Thorn/Our Game)|
- 1976 - The Hall of Fame Special Committee on the Negro Leagues selected OF Oscar Charleston for enshrinement. In 1932, Charleston became player-manager of the Pittsburgh Crawfords with a roster that included Hall of Famers Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and Judy Johnson. The team went 99-36, and Charleston himself batted .363 in what was one of the best Negro League teams ever assembled. He managed the Crawfords through 1937 and was also a player with the Homestead Grays. Oscar was inducted on August 9th.
- 1991 - Jim Leyland was presented with the Dapper Dan Sportsmen of the Year award. Leyland led the 1990 Pirates to a 95-67 record and its first NL Eastern Division title in 11 years. He was named the NL Manager of the Year by both the Baseball Writers and The Sporting News. Jimmy hung around for 11 years with the Bucs (1986-96), winning 851 games and three division titles.