Monday, December 19, 2016

12/19 Happenings: Amos, Brian & Corey Sign Up; Bummer Year; Tube City Ump

  • 1938 - In a poll of writers by the Associated Press, the Pirates were selected as the biggest disappointment in sports for the year, edging out the Rice Owls football team. The Pirates had a seven game edge on September 1 and were up 3-½ games after September 22nd, but dropped six of their final seven games to finish the season two games behind the Cubs after losing the famous “homer in the gloaming” game. The Bucs went 28-26 in the final two months of the season while the Cubs rampaged through September, winning 21 of their last 26 games.
  • 1967 - Russ Goetz got his call to the bigs. The McKeesport native’s dream wasn’t to play but ump MLB games, and at age 37, he finally got his chance. He took full advantage, too - he wore the blue for the AL from 1968 to 1983, umping 2,384 games in a 16-year career. Russ worked two World Series (1973, 1979), two All-Star Games (1970, 1975) and four ALCS (1970, 1974, 1977, 1981). He was one of the last handful of umps still using the outside chest protector when he retired.
Amos Otis 1984 Topps
  • 1983 - The Pirates signed 37 year old OF Amos Otis. A five-time All-Star with the Kansas City Royals, Otis hit .165 in 40 games for the Bucs. He was released in August and never played in the majors again. Ironically, the Royals had agreed to a deal sending him and Cookie Rojas to the Pirates for Al Oliver after the 1976 season, but Rojas voided the transaction by exercising his 10-and-5 year veto rights; Pittsburgh was that close to landing Otis in his heyday.
  • 2002 - RHP Brian Meadows avoided arbitration by signing a one year/$800K deal, with a split time provision paying him $150K if he was in the minors. And that’s where he started, but after going 7-0 at Nashville, he was called up to collect his big league fee and stayed on the active roster through 2005.
Corey Hart (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • 2014 - The Pirates signed free agent 1B/OF Corey Hart to a one year, $2.5M contract with another $2.5M available in bonuses based on at-bats. Hart had microfracture knee surgery in 2013, missing that year, and hit just .203 with Seattle in 2014, but prior to that was a career .271 hitter and two-time All-Star playing for Milwaukee, swatting 30 homers twice. Hart got just 57 at bats with the Bucs before his knees gave out again, and he retired after the 2015 campaign.

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