Sunday, December 11, 2016

12/11 TRS-PNC Era: Dock & Others Come Aboard, Charlie Extended, Sid Wins Hutch & Sports City

  • 1973 - The Pirates agreed to play two exhibition games in San Juan for the next five years to help fund a Roberto Clemente Sports Complex. It was a team effort - the Expos, Yankees, Mets and Red Sox (twice) agreed to play the series and Eastern Airlines picked up the travel arrangements. General manager Joe Brown said “We are overwhelmed by the cooperation.” The Sports City opened in Carolina, a suburb of San Juan, on land donated by Puerto Rico in 1974 with upkeep and upgrades supported by the games.
  • 1975 - The Yankees acquired RHP Dock Ellis, LHP Ken Brett and 2B Willie Randolph from the Pirates for RHP Doc Medich. Randolph suited up for 17 more seasons, was named to six All-Star teams and played in four World Series, but was blocked in Pittsburgh by Rennie Stennett, who, as fate would have it, broke his leg in 1977 and left Pittsburgh after 1979.
Tim Foli 1980 Topps
  • 1981 - SS Tim Foli was traded to the California Angels for Brian Harper. Foli was on the downside of his career while Harper spent three years in Pittsburgh as a utilityman, hitting .243. Crazy Horse (he was a fiery 100%'er) Foli returned in 1985 in a trade with the Yankees, but hit just .189 and was released in June.
  • 1990 - Sid Bream, who overcame three knee operations to help the Pirates capture the NL East championship, was named the winner of the 26th annual Hutch Award. The award goes to a player who overcomes adversity to go on to further accomplishments, named in honor of Fred Hutchinson. Bream hit .270 and drove in 67 runs after sitting out most of the 1989 campaign. It was his last bow as a Buc, as Bream signed with the Atlanta Braves as an off-season FA.
  • 1991 - The Pirates signed 3B Steve Buechele, a free agent they had traded for late in the season, to a four year/$11M contract. He played 80 games in Pittsburgh before being sent to the Cubs in a 1992 deadline deal for LHP Danny Jackson, who in turn was lost to the Marlins in the following off season during the expansion draft.
Matt Lawton 2005 (photo USA Today Sports)
  • 2004 - The Pirates swapped out LHP Arthur Rhodes to the Indians for OF Matt Lawton less than a month after they had acquired him. Lawton hit .284 with 10 HR and 44 RBIs before being flipped for Jody Gerut at the 2005 trading deadline.
  • 2006 - Pittsburgh signed hometown utility guy Don Kelley, born in Butler and a Mt. Lebanon HS grad, to a minor league deal. But sometimes you just can’t go home again. He got into just 25 games with the Bucs during the 2007 campaign and hit .148 during his only local stint.
  • 2013 - RHP Charlie Morton signed a contract extension for three years plus an option. He received $4M for 2014 (his last arb year), $8M in 2015 & 2016 plus a club option for 2017 of $9.5M and a $1M buyout, with $500K in possible bonuses. Morton went 15-21/4.21 the next two seasons, was traded to Philly, got hurt and inked a deal with the Astros.

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