Monday, January 16, 2017

1/16: JHK & Ollie Sign, HBD Art, Erskine & Ron, B-Ball

  • 1858 - IF Art Whitney was born in Brockton, Massachusetts. Known for his glove, he played for the Alleghenys from 1884-87, hitting .248 while in Pittsburgh. His lifetime BA was a paltry .223, but the slick gloveman led the league four times in fielding percentage, three times as a third baseman (1886, 1887, and 1891) and once as a shortstop (1885).
Art Whitney 1887 N284 Buchner Gold Coin
  • 1890 - RHP Erskine Mayer was born in Atlanta. He only worked two seasons for Pittsburgh from 1918-19, going 14-6 with a 3.19 ERA. In 1919, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox, becoming part of the infamous "Black Sox" team. His only appearance in the scandal-tainted 1919 World Series was a one-inning relief stint, his last in a MLB uniform. He ended his eight-year career with a slash of 91-70-6 and a 2.96 ERA. Over that time, he had several notable moments. His best as a Bucco was going 15-⅓ shutout innings, starting the longest scoreless game in Pirate history (the Pirates eventually beat the Boston Braves 2-0 in 20 innings). He had a couple of lowlights, too. As a rookie for the Phils in 1912, Mayer set the MLB record for consecutive hits allowed with nine (since broken), and also was the pitcher who surrendered Honus Wagner’s 3,000th hit in 1914 while wearing the same Philadelphia uniform.
  • 1960 - The Steelers beat the Pirates 22-20 in overtime in a benefit basketball game played at the Pitt Field House to help support Children's Hospital. Former Duke All-America and Buc shortstop Dick Groat led all scorers with 14 points in the 15-minute contest.
  • 1970 - LHP Ron Villone was born in Englewood, New Jersey. Villone played for 12 teams in his 15-year career, tied for second all-time with P Mike Morgan and OF Matt Stairs, trailing only P Octavio Dotel, who played for 13 teams. Dotel, Stairs, and Villone all wore Bucco uniforms. Villone tossed for the Pirates in 2002, going 4–6/5.81 in 45 games with seven starts after signing a $900K, one-year FA deal in February.
Ron Villone 2002 Upper Deck 40-Man
  • 2006 - LHP Ollie Perez signed a $1.9M contract in his first arbitration year after coming off a 7-5/5.85 campaign. The Bucs had high hopes for a bounce back from the southpaw who had gone 12-10/2.98 with 239K in 2004, but the 24-year-old posted a 2-10/6.55 line during the season and the Pirates sent him to the Mets at the 2006 deadline as part of the Xavier Nady package.
  • 2015 - The Pirates officially signed Korean SS Jung-Ho Kang to a four-year, $11M contract ($2.5M, $2.5M, $2.75M & $3M with a $250K/$5.5M option for 2019). He could earn up to $750K/year in at-bat bonuses, with a guaranteed annual stipend for family travel and an interpreter. Pittsburgh also paid his club a posting fee of $5,002,015 for negotiating rights, making the deal the most expensive the Pirates ever paid out for an international signee. Kang, 27, hit .356 with 40 home runs and 117 RBIs in 501 PAs for the Nexen Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2014. His slash was .287/.355/.461 in his first MLB campaign, cut short by a late-season leg injury. He was strong again in 2016 but suffered through another injury-shortened year.

No comments: