Tuesday, January 3, 2017

1-3: HBD Red, Gus, Harry, Mark & AJ; It Rolls In; The Joker Returns

  • 1894 - RHP Kirby (or Red) White was born in Hillsboro, Ohio. Kirby tossed most of 1910 and a bit in 1911 for the Bucs. He was traded to the Pirates by the Boston Doves early in 1910 and went 10–9 with a 3.46 ERA in 30 games. In 1911, he was used for just three innings, going 0-1, 9.00, and was released, spending the next four seasons in the minors. We assume he was red-haired; Kirby also went by “Buck.”
Kirby White 1911 (photo via Detroit Public Library)
  • 1906 - 1B Gus Suhr was born in San Francisco. He spent 9-1/2 seasons (1930-39) with the Pirates, hitting .279 with a .386 OPB and driving in 818 runs, earning an All-Star berth in 1936. Suhr played 1,339 games at first base for Pittsburgh, a team record, and once held the NL standard of 822 consecutive games played, which lasted until 1957. The record-snapping game he missed wasn’t due to injury; he took off to attend his mother’s funeral.
  • 1926 - PH/RHP Harry Fisher was born in Waterloo, Ontario. He was a two-way guy and appeared in 18 MLB games with the 1951–52 Pirates, ten as a pinch hitter and eight as a pitcher. Harry hit .278 for the Bucs, and went 1-2, 6.87 on the hill. He made his last appearance in August of 1952 before returning to minor league baseball, where he played through 1959 and split time between the mound and the pasture.
  • 1961 - The Pittsburgh Press reported that the Pirate owners collected their first dividend check since buying the club from the Dreyfuss family in 1946, citing the increased attendance thanks to the 1960 World Series championship. They got $4/share. John Galbreath was the main man and majority team owner from 1946-85.
  • 1965 - RHP Mark Dewey was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mark went 3-3-8/3.23 for the Bucs out of the pen from 1993-94. After retirement, he coached for the Washington Wild Things and is now a part of the Brewers organization.
Mark Dewey 1995 Score
  • 1973 - President Nixon gave a $1,000 check in Roberto Clemente's memory to the Nicaraguan embassy. At the President's request, Dan Galbreath, owner of the Pirates, along with Dave Giusti and Steve Blass, met with him at the White House to discuss setting up a fund in Clemente's honor to aid the survivors of the earthquake. Thus was born the Roberto Clemente Memorial Fund to aid the earthquake victims with Tricky Dicky as the first donor.
  • 1977 - RHP AJ Burnett was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The veteran tossed for two years in Pittsburgh (2012-13) after being obtained from the Yankees in a Gotham salary dump, with a line of 26-21 with a 3.41 ERA while averaging a whiff per frame. After a rough season in Philly, he returned for his final year in 2015. He went 9-7/3.18 in 26 starts, coming back in September from an All-Star break elbow inflammation to close out his 17th season, collecting 164 wins and 2,513 whiffs for five teams over that span. AJ was credited with leading the charge to reverse the team’s decades-long losing culture through his mentoring and clubhouse presence.
  • 2006 - 3B Joe Randa was officially signed as a free agent for his second go-around with the Pirates. He was inked to a $4M deal, nearly double his 2005 salary at Cincinnati. The Joker hit .267 in 89 games in what would be his last MLB season, losing his job to Freddy Sanchez and then announcing his retirement in November.

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