Monday, December 5, 2016

12/5 Birthdays: Frank, Pink, Bill, Sam & Tony

  • 1868 - C Frank Bowerman was born in Romeo, Michigan. He spent a couple of his 15 pro seasons, 1898-99, in Pittsburgh, batting .265 while throwing out 49.5% of attempted base stealers and also playing 1B. But Bowerman had a hair trigger temper and once started a fight with manager Fred Clarke, giving him a shiner, helping to explain why his stay in the City was so short.
Pink Hawley (photo via Wikipedia)
  • 1872 - RHP Emerson “Pink” Hawley was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. He tossed for Pittsburgh from 1895-97 with a slash line of 71-61 and a 3.76 ERA. He was a workhorse, appearing in 56 games in 1895 while throwing 444-⅓ innings, both league-leading numbers. Pink was a stand up guy, once turning down a bribe to throw a game. But he came from good stock. His ancestor was the noted essayist Major Joseph Hawley, who joined with Samuel Adams and James Otis, Jr., as a revolutionary leader during the Stamp Act/Boston Tea Party era. Pink is his given middle name; he was part of a set of twins, and his family, as the story goes, put a blue ribbon on his brother and a pink one on Emerson so they could tell them apart. Fact of the day: The color choice didn’t lead to any childhood traumas. Up until the baby boomers came along, baby’s clothes colors were either considered sex-neutral or actually the opposite of today, with pink for boys and blue for girls.
  • 1922 - OF Bill Rodgers was born in Harrisburg. Bill was a wartime special - he played for the Bucs from 1944-45, got into three games and went 2-for-5 with one run scored. Rodgers was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1946, but never again made it to the major leagues.
  • 1963 - SS Sam Khalifa was born in Fontana, California. Khalifa was a first round pick (#7 overall) from Arizona’s Sahuero HS, but in his three years MLB career, all as a Pirate (1985-87), he hit just .219. He’ll go down in the history books as the first player of Egyptian ancestry to play major league baseball.
Tony Beasley 2008 (photo/Associated Press)
  • 1966 - Coach Tony Beasley was born in Fredricksburg, Virginia. A minor league infielder who spent time with the Pirates, Beasley became a farm coach/manager in the Bucco organization after his playing days. Starting out as a player/coach and roving batting instructor, Beasley then managed in the Pirates system for the next five seasons, making the playoffs every year. Tony became the Pirates roving minor league infield instructor and was named third base coach in 2008 by John Russell; he was considered instrumental in the transition of Neil Walker into a second baseman. After JR left, Beasley spent four seasons in the Washington organization before getting the call from Jeff Banister to become the third base coach of the Texas Rangers. In 2016, he was diagnosed with cancer. After surgery and chemo, he was back in uniform at Arlington, albeit primarily as a quality control coach.

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