Monday, March 28, 2016

3/28: HBD Chief, Shark, Bryon; Deals For Heaton, Solomon; Cum Passes On

  • 1898 - RHP Moses “Chief” Yellowhorse was born in Pawnee, Oklahoma, fitting enough as he was a full-blooded Pawnee. His MLB years were 1921-22 and spent in Pittsburgh, where he went 8-4 with a 3.93 ERA, but had three different arm injuries that ended his career. He was one of the first, if not the pioneer, full-blooded Native American to play MLB ball. He could do little wrong in the Steel City and was a fan favorite during his stay in Pittsburgh. But he wasn’t all peaches and cream; he once drilled Ty Cobb between the eyes in an exhibition game for being too yappy at the dish.
  • 1946 - Cumberland “Cum” Posey, who owned the Homestead Grays from 1911-46, died in Mercy Hospital from cancer. He was part-time player until 1929, and managed until 1937. Posey was a big-time owner, and his teams played regularly in Forbes Field and Washington DC’s Griffith Stadium. The Grays won eight Negro League pennants and three World Series titles under his hand.
Cum Posey 1913 from the Homestead Gray Team Photo
  • 1969 - The Pirates traded RHP Tommie Sisk and C Chris Cannizzaro to the San Diego Padres in exchange for OF Ron Davis and IF Bobby Klaus. Sisk was on the backside of his career while Davis and Klaus never become big-time performers, but Cannizzaro became an All-Star in 1969 for the expansion Padres (albeit with a .220 BA) and had a 12 year career that ended after 1974.
  • 1980 - RHP Buddy Solomon was traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Pirates for minor league player Greg Field. Solomon worked 1980-82 for Pittsburgh, going 17-15-1 with a 3.58 ERA before being traded at the deadline to Chicago for 3B Jim Morrison. He died young in a car accident in Macon, Georgia, at age 34 in 1986.
  • 1985 - RHP Mark Melancon was born in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Melancon came to Pittsburgh in 2013 from the Red Sox as a versatile back-ender, working both as set-up man and closer, and earned a spot on the ‘13 All-Star team. Mark the Shark took the closers job full time in early 2014, saving 33 games in 37 chances. In three seasons, he’s picked up nine wins, 100 saves and 41 holds from the Bucco pen while posting a 1.85 ERA (2.20 FIP) in 222 appearances. He won the Sporting News & Trevor Hoffman NL reliever of the year awards in 2015.
Mark the Shark (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • 1987 - RHP Bryan Morris was born in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Acquired in the Jason Bay trade, he was part of the Bucco bullpen from 2012-14, going 13-8 with a 2.61 ERA before being dealt to Miami. The change of scenery did him good. Morris was other worldly in his Marlin stint, posting an 0.66 ERA (although his 3.03 FIP was more down to earth).
  • 1989 - LHP Neal Heaton was traded by the Montreal Expos to the Pirates for RHP Brett Gideon. Heaton worked four years for the Jimmy Leyland playoff teams of the early nineties and made the All-Star team in 1990. He was out of the MLB after the 1993 season and is a pitching instructor for the private All Pro Sports Academy in Bellport, NY.

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