Sunday, December 11, 2016

12/11 Expo Park-Forbes Field Era: Abby, Buckshot & Fred; HBD O'Brien Twins & Jay Bell

  • 1906 - The Pirates traded veterans OF Ginger Beaumont, P Patsy Flaherty and 2B Claude Ritchey to the Boston Beaneaters for 2B Ed Abbaticchio. Beaumont had a great 1907 for Boston and followed with a pair of solid seasons. Flaherty and Ritchey also had two workmanlike years left in them. Abby stuck with the Pirates until 1910. He started for two years, but was a sub on the 1909 championship team and hit .253 in Pittsburgh.
Ed Abbaticchio 1909-11 T206
  • 1928 - SS Glenn “Buckshot” (his arm was strong but not entirely accurate) Wright was sent to the Brooklyn Robins for LHP Jesse “The Silver Fox” (because he didn’t really make it in the big leagues until his 30s) Petty and IF Harry Riconda. Wright, one of the top SS of the era, suffered a major shoulder injury in 1929 which affected his play in the field, but didn’t hang up the spikes until 1935 with a lifetime .294 BA after 11 big league seasons. Petty was workmanlike in 1929, but the wheels fell off in 1930, his final MLB season.
  • 1930 - The O’Brien twins, Eddie and Johnny, were born in South Amboy, New Jersey. Utility man Eddie - he played SS, 3B, OF and even pitched 16 innings - spent five years (1952, 1954-57) with the Bucs, hit .236 and had a 3.31 ERA with a 1-0 record. Johnny was a Pirate for five years (1953, 1955-58) and was a middle infielder/pitcher. He put up a .260 BA and went 1-3 with a 5.61 ERA. The O'Briens were the first twins in major league history to play for the same team in the same game. On a side note, the brothers were also strong basketball players at Seattle University, and scored 84 points between them when SU beat the barnstorming Harlem Globetrotters in 1952. 
  • 1952 - Fred Haney was named as manager, replacing Billy Meyer. The Bucs finished in last place each season under Haney’s three year reign, compiling a 163-299 (.353) record. But that was more an indictment of the Pirates talent than Haney’s leadership. In 1957, he took a Milwaukee team that featured Henry Aaron, Eddie Mathews and Warren Spahn to the World Series title.
Jay Bell 1995 Stadium Club Clear Cut
  • 1965 - SS Jay Bell was born at Elgin AFB (Pensacola), Florida. Jay played SS for Pittsburgh from 1989-96, hitting .269, anchoring the infield of Jim Leyland’s 1990-92 division championship clubs and earning an All-Star spot in 1993. Bell also won a Gold Glove in 1993, breaking a string of thirteen straight NL Gold Gloves by SS Ozzie Smith. It was the first GG by a Pirate SS since Gene Alley's back-to-back honors in 1966 and 1967.

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