Wednesday, March 30, 2016

3/30: HBD George & Hal; Deacon Phillippe Passes Away; Rincon & Meadows Inked

  • 1866 - OF George Van Haltren was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He played briefly for the Pirates in 1892-93, hitting .325, but was deemed expendable because of a deep outfield. A borderline HoF player, Van Haltren was sold to the New York Giants, where he spent the next decade putting up a .321 BA. He started his career as a pitcher, and in 1888 tossed a rain-shortened no hitter against the Alleghenys.
  • Hal Rhyne Wide World Sports photo 1926
  • 1899 - IF Hal Rhyne was born in Paso Robles, California. He began his career in Pittsburgh (1926-27), coming over with Paul Waner from the San Francisco Seals, and hit .258. He was a .250 batter in his seven MLB years and a minor league lifer, spending 20 years on various farm clubs. Rhyne came to the majors with a reputation as a hitter. The back of a 1926 photo carries a caption that claimed his “magnetic eyes” made a ball look twice as large as normal. He might have been better off with a magnetic bat instead, although he did finish with a .291 career BA on the farm, playing until he was 41. 
The back of Rhyne's photo, via RMY Auctions.
  • 1952 - Deacon Phillippe passed away. The RHP tossed 12 seasons (1900-11) for the Bucs with a 168-92 record and 2.50 ERA, winning 20 games six times and never suffering through a losing season. He won three World Series games against Boston in 1903, beating Cy Young in the opener and tossing five complete games. Toward the end of his career, he worked six shutout innings in the 1909 Series against Detroit. In 1969, Pirates fans voted him as Pittsburgh's top all-time right handed pitcher.
  • 1997 - The Pirates purchased LHP Ricardo Rincon from the Mexico City Reds. In 1997-98, he went 4-10-18/3.17 for the Bucs, and was then traded to Cleveland for Brian Giles in one of Pittsburgh’s better baseball deals.
  • 2002 - RHP Brian Meadows signed as a minor league free agent with the Pirates. He was called up mid-season and lasted four years with the Bucs, converting from a starter to a reliever who made 133 appearances in his last two seasons with Pittsburgh. Meadows went 8-12-2 with a 4.20 ERA from 2002-05 with the club. He lasted one more year with Tampa Bay before retiring.

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