Friday, September 9, 2016

9/9 Happenings: HBD Abner, Dots, Dashing Dan, Fordham Flash, Schoolboy & Dan; Cutch Cover Boy

  • 1857 - LF Abner Dalrymple was born in Gratiot, Wisconsin. He had a long and illustrious career in early baseball - he was the first hitter to be issued an intentional walk with the bases loaded - but spent just two years (1887-88) at the backend of his career with the Alleghenys. Abner his just .215 as an Allegheny, but got the team’s first NL at-bat against the White Sox on April 30, 1887, a 6-2 win at Recreation Park that is considered by the Pirates to be the beginning of the franchise.
  • 1886 - IF Jack “Dots” Miller was born in Kearny, New Jersey. He played with Pittsburgh for five seasons, from 1909-13. He drove in 87 runs for the 1909 Series champs and had a .263 career average with the Pirates. According to Bucco lore (and the SABR Biography Project), he got the nickname "Dots" after a reporter asked Honus Wagner the whereabouts of the new kid. Wagner pointed to him in a corner and replied in his German accent, "Dots (That's) Miller." Another version has Miller himself using “dots” for “that” as a youth, and it stuck.
Dots Miller (photo Bain News Service/Library of Congress)
  • 1891 - OF “Dashing Dan” Costello was born in Jessup, PA, in Lackawanna county. The LH hitter played three years (1914-16) for the Bucs as a reserve outfielder and utility man. He hit .241 as a Pirate. Pittsburgh released him in August of 1916, “ he had been mixed up in several near fights because of his remarks to opposing players.” He also had authority issues, as the Pittsburg Press added “...his attitude (bad) toward club officials and policy was well known,” probably not a wise tack for a .240 hitter of any era. As far as his nickname, we have not a clue - he was speedy and/or perhaps charming, or it may be a sort of perverse recognition of the bench jockeying he was was noted for around the league.
  • 1898 - Bucco skipper Frankie Frisch was born in the Bronx. He spent his Hall of Fame playing days with the NY Giants and St. Louis’ Gas House Gang. The Fordham Flash managed the Pirates from 1940-46, leading the club to five winning seasons and a second place finish in 1944, ending up with a 539-528 slate in Pittsburgh. He was a track star in college at Fordham, earning him the nickname "Fordham Flash.”
  • 1899 - RHP and Hall of Famer Waite “Schoolboy” Hoyt was born in Brooklyn. Best known for his NY Yankee years, he tossed for the Bucs from 1933-37 as a multi-role arm, compiling a record of 35-31-18/3.08 as a Pirate, winning 15 games in 1934. He got his nickname when John McGraw signed him to his original contract when Hoyt was a teenaged school boy, and he became known as "The Schoolboy Wonder.”
Schoolboy Hoyt (photo via Out of the Park Development)
  • 1970 - RHP Dan Miceli was born in Newark. The reliever spent the first four years (1993-96) of his 14 season career in Pittsburgh, going 8-15-24/5.41 during that span. He was known for a power arm and shaky control throughout his MLB journey. In 2003, he gained him entry into a club with just a handful of members - players that appeared for four different teams during the same season.
  • 2013 - Andrew McCutchen was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as part of Lee Jenkin’s story “The Bucs Start Here.” It didn’t take Dick Tracy to figure that out; Cutch won the MVP that year with a .317/.404/.508 slash.

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