Friday, January 6, 2017

1-6: Neftali Signs; HBD Phil, Lee & Doe; Batter's Eye

  • 1914 - The first version of the “batter’s eye” in ballparks was mandated by baseball. Every park was required to have a plain, dark green center field wall (early ballyards had their fences plastered with ads) so the hitters could pick up the ball as it left the pitcher’s hand per Today In Baseball History.
PNC's batter's eye is clean and green, but w/lots of visual distractions around it.
  • 1916 - C Phil Masi was born in Chicago. He spent 48 games of his 14-year career in Pittsburgh, arriving via a June 1949 deal with the Braves. Phil hit .278, then was sold to the White Sox, where he closed his career in his hometown after three more campaigns. Masi began his MLB career with Boston, where he spent the first 11 years of his stint while earning four All-Star spots as a steady hitter and strong defensive player.
  • 1933 - OF Lee Walls was born in San Diego. He played three years in all three outfield positions for Pittsburgh (1952, 1956-57) and put up a .259 BA before being traded to the Cubs in May of 1957. Walls was a Cub starter for three years, earning an All-Star berth in 1958, but spent the back end of his career as a bench player.
  • 1955 - 1B Dorian "Doe" Boyland was born in Chicago. Boyland was drafted in the second round of the 1976 draft but would play in just 21 games with the Pirates in parts of 1978, 1979, and 1981, batting .105 and at any rate was blocked at first base by Willie Stargell. Boyland was traded to the San Francisco Giants and never resurfaced in the show. He still made it big, though - at last look, his Dorian Boyland Auto Group had dealerships thriving in several western states.
Neftali Feliz (image from Root Sports)
  • 2016 - Free agent RHP Neftali Feliz signed a one year/$3.9M deal plus incentives with the Bucs. He had suffered through a terrible 2015 season, but the Pirates bet on past performance as a closer and recovery from a variety of injuries, including TJ surgery, by adding Feliz to the pen. Neftali bounced back and put up a solid 4-2-2, 3.52 slash with 61 K in 53-⅔ IP and 1.137 WHIP.

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