Friday, December 16, 2016

12/16: Not-So-Big-Deals, HBD Rick & '02 Rule 5 Hits

  • 1938 - The Boston Bees traded catcher Ray Mueller to the Pirates for C Al Todd and OF Johnny Dickshot. Todd had a couple of good seasons left, while Dickshot wouldn’t hit his prime until his last two seasons in 1944-45 during the war for the White Sox. “Iron Man” Mueller (he picked up his nickname in the early forties after catching 233 consecutive games for the Reds) played 90 games in Pittsburgh as a reserve catcher, hitting .269. Factoid: Mueller was from Pittsburg - Pittsburg, Kansas, which was named after our fair town.
  • 1956 - Coach Rick Sofield was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was a #1 draft pick and outfielder for the Twins, worked in the minors (he was the Pirates' minor league field coordinator in 2002) and managed in college. Sofield was brought back to the Pirate fold by long-time bud Clint Hurdle, managing at West Virginia for a season before joining the big league staff in 2013. After a couple of ill-advised windmills at third base (he also coached the runners), he was released after the 2016 campaign.
Bobby Schantz 1962 Topps
  • 1960 - The Bucs sent UT Harry Bright, 1B RC Stevens and RHP Bennie Daniels to the expansion Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers) for veteran curveballer LHP Bobby Shantz. Daniels was a useful starter in DC for several seasons, while Shantz lasted a year in Pittsburgh before being lost to the Houston Colt .45s in the 1961 expansion draft. He went 6-3-2/3.22 in 43 games with the Pirates, and pitched fairly effectively afterward, his career lasting until the end of the 1964 season. Schantz won 24 games in 1952 as a starter for the Philadelphia Athletics and was voted the AL MVP, but arm injuries drove him from the rotation to the bullpen.
  • 2002 - The Rule 5 Draft took RHP DJ Carrasco, C Ronny Paulino and RHP Chris Spurling from the Pirates. Carrasco tossed for eight MLB seasons (including 2010 as a Bucco), Spurling for four and Paulino was returned to the club in the spring, going on to catch for eight years in the show, the first four with Pittsburgh (2005-08/.278). They also released LHP Jimmy Anderson. 
Benito Santiago 2005 Pirates Promotional Card
  • 2004 - The Pirates acquired C Benito Santiago and cash from the Royals for RHP Leo Nunez (Juan Oviedo). The 30-year-old Oviedo served a 2012 suspension after pitching for seven seasons because of name fraud; he went by Nunez to make it appear he was younger. Santiago, 40, got in six games before his release and never played in the majors again.

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