Tuesday, August 30, 2016

8/30 Happenings: HBD Kiki, Arky Drowns, Gunner & Arlin, Martinez, Buechele Deals

  • 1898 - OF Hazen Shirley “Kiki” Cuyler was born in Harrisville, Michigan. The Hall-of-Famer spent his first seven seasons (1921-27) as a Pirate, hitting .336 with a .399 OBP. The end of his Pittsburgh era was rocky. In 1927, Cuyler was benched for nearly half the season because of a dispute with rookie manager Donie Bush. The Pirates went to the World Series, but Cuyler was on the pine, and that November, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs. He played 11 more seasons and ended his career with a .321 BA. Per SABR, two explanations have been given for his nickname "Kiki." In one version, the players called him "Cuy" in the minors at Nashville, so when a fly ball was judged to be his play, the shortstop would call out "Cuy" as would the second baseman, and the echoed “Cuy-Cuy” caught on with the fans. A variant says that "Kiki Cuyler" was caused by his stuttering problem and was the way Cuyler's name came out when he pronounced it. 
Kiki Cuyler (artwork by Dick Perez)
  • 1952 - Arky Vaughan, 40, and friend Bill Wimer drowned in California’s Lost Lake. While the two were fishing, their rowboat overturned. Wimer couldn’t swim, and both men went under when Vaughan tried to save his bud. Vaughan retired with 1,173 runs scored, 926 RBI, 118 steals, a .318 BA and a .406 OBP. His .385 batting average, .491 OBP, and 1.098 OPS in 1935 are Pirate team records, and the batting average is a 20th century record for NL shortstops. Arky was a Hall-of-Famer, included in the Ritter/Honig book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time and cited by Bill James as the second greatest SS in history, behind only Honus Wagner.
  • 1972 - Bob Prince turned the mike over to ex-KDKA announcer Harold Arlin, the first man to ever broadcast a live baseball game. The Gunner allowed him to call a few innings in Pittsburgh while Harold’s grandson‚ Steve Arlin‚ was on the mound for San Diego. Pap didn’t have much to brag about as the Bucs won 11-0, with Manny Sanguillen and Dave Cash combining to drive in seven runs on five hits.
  • 1990 - The Pirates picked up vet OF/1B Carmelo Martinez from the Phillies for OF’s Tony Longmire, Wes Chamberlain and Julio Peguero. Martinez lasted less than a season with the Bucs, while the young outfield prospects ended up with bench roles during their brief careers, with Chamberlain the only solid producer of the three.
Carmelo Martinez 1991 Fleer
  • 1991 - The Rangers traded 3B Steve Buechele to the Pirates for young pitchers Kurt Miller and Hector Fajardo. Buechele, a FA, signed with the Pirates after the season, but was moved at the next deadline for Danny Jackson after hitting .248 in 453 BA. Miller tossed off-and-on until 1999, appearing in 44 games for the Marlins and Cubs, while Fajardo was done in 1995 after pitching in 28 games for the Rangers.

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