Thursday, December 22, 2016

12/22 Happenings: Teke, Todd, Dewey, GI Jones & JHK Sign; Mazzilli Deal; Tiger Growls; Fed Folds

  • 1915 - The Federal League and Pittsburgh Rebels came to an end, agreeing to drop its antitrust suit and disband after the NL and AL made the following concessions: the reinstatement of all players who had been blacklisted during the bidding wars, the sale of Fed players to the highest bidder rather than a forced return to their old club, $600K to be distributed among the Federal League owners, and the Fed clubs in Chicago and St Louis combining with the existing Cub and Brown teams after being sold to Federal League owners.
The Tiger 1962 (photo Jay Publishing)
  • 1961 - Ex-marine and Bucco third sacker Don Hoak lived up to his “Tiger” nickname on this night. Three young big-talkers cornered him in town and taunted him regarding the Pirates, leading to words. One of the hoodlums waved a knife as the other pair began to shove Hoak. They picked the wrong guy to bully; the Post-Gazette wrote that “After a short tussle, the trio broke and ran...He (Hoak) tracked two of them down…” and turned them over to the police after making what he termed a “citizen’s arrest.” They were charged with disorderly conduct, as “stupidity,” per the article, wasn’t a criminal offense.
  • 1982 - OF Lee Mazzilli was traded by the New York Yankees to the Pirates for minor leaguers Don Aubin, John Holland, Jose Rivera and RHP Tim Burke. The key figures were Burke, who had an eight year career as a reliever with 100+ saves, and Mazzilli, who played 3-½ years (1982-85) for Pittsburgh, playing outfield and first base while putting up a .244 Bucco BA.
  • 1983 - Free agent RHP Kent Tekulve re-signed with the Pirates for three years/$900K per season. In 1983, Teke had 18 saves and a 1.64 ERA for Pittsburgh. The inking was a big deal for the Bucs; Telkulve had been a bullpen fixture since 1975 in Pittsburgh, and the Pirates had to fend off the deep pockets of California Angel owner Gene Autry to seal the deal. Teke picked a good year to hit the market; after the Yankee’s Goose Gossage, he was the top reliever available.
Todd Ritchie 2002 Upper Deck Victory
  • 1998 - RHP Todd Ritchie signed as a free agent with the Pirates. Ritchie won a career-high 15 games in 1999, and was the Pirates’ Opening Day starter in 2001. In his three Pirate seasons, he went 35-32/4.29 for the Bucs before he was dealt to the White Sox for Kip Wells, Josh Fogg and Sean Lowe after the 2001 campaign.
  • 2008 - C Ryan Doumit signed a three year, $11.5M extension that bought out his arbitration years, with a team option for 2012/13 worth $15.5M. Doumit hit .271 during his time as a Pirate, but he was often injured and not very strong defensively. The Pirates didn’t pick up the option seasons, and Dewey signed with Minnesota in 2012.
  • 2008 - The Bucs signed FA 1B/OF Garrett Jones to a minor-league deal. He was on the big club by mid-year and never looked back. He sprinted from the gates, becoming the first Buc to hit seven home runs in his first twelve games since Dino Restelli in 1949 and finished with flair when in 2013 he became the second player and first Pirate to hit a homer out of PNC Park and into the Allegheny River on the fly. The big lefty hit .256 with 100 HR/325 RBI in his five Pittsburgh seasons before signing with the Marlins in 2014.
    Jung Ho Kang 2015 Bowman Chrome
  • 2014 - The Nexen Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization accepted the Pirates’ posting offer of $5,002,015 in exchange for negotiating rights for SS Jung-Ho Kang, a five-time KBO All-Star and the league’s 2014 MVP after a .356/40/117 slash. The Bucs had a 30-day window to sign him. Asian free-agency was a new market for Pittsburgh; it was the first time the Pirates had ever won a bid for an international player thru the posting system. He was officially inked to a deal three weeks later.
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