Saturday, January 28, 2017

1/28 Birthdays: Light the Candles for Emil, Spittin' Bill, Alf, Carlos & Chris

  • 1900 - LHP Emil Yde was born in Great Lakes, Illinois. As a rookie in 1924, Yde led the NL in shutouts with four, in winning percentage (.842) with a record of 16–3 and he was a member of the Pirates 1925 World Series championship team, going 17-9 during the season. His career was brief; he pitched four years for the Pirates with a 44-22/3.84 line before the bottom fell out in 1927 (1-3/9.71). He spent 1928 in the minors and was out of MLB after a stint with the Tigers in 1929.
Emil Yde 1924 (photo Mears Collection/The Sporting News)
  • 1908 - P “Spittin’ Bill” (guess what his bread and butter pitch was) Doak was born in Pittsburgh. Even though he never pitched for the hometown nine, the Bucs and MLB can thank him for an innovation still in use, the first modern glove. He proposed to Rawlings that a web should be placed between the first finger and thumb to create a natural pocket, and his model was introduced when he pitched against the Pirates in 1920. The Bill Doak glove soon replaced all other mitts and is still considered a classic design.
  • 1914 - SS Alf Anderson was born in Gainesville, Georgia, where he was an all-state HS baseball player and a two-sport (baseball/football) athlete for the Georgia Bulldogs. He saw some action in 1941-42 for the Bucs, but lost the next three years to wartime service. He returned for a cup of coffee in 1946, but that was it; he retired after the season. Alf hit .238 as a Bucco. After baseball, Anderson worked for Jefferson Mills HS in Georgia as athletic director and baseball coach. He was inducted in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
  • 1927 - OF Carlos "Comet" (he led his MiLB league in stolen bases three times) Bernier was born in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico. He only played one MLB season, hitting .213 for the Pirates in 1953, but he was a minor league dynamo. Carlos played for 16 MiLB seasons, appearing in 2,200 games (mostly in AAA and the PCL, then independent), batting .298 with 2,291 hits and 200 home runs in the bushes with a great eye, whiffing and walking at the same pace. Carlos is de facto the first Pirates black player, beating Curt Roberts to the show by a season. Oddly, he’s not recognized as such by MLB or the Bucs, likely because he was Puerto Rican rather than American. His tale has a sad ending: In 1989, at age 62 and homeless, Bernier committed suicide.
Carlos Bernier 1953 Topps
  • 1972 - LHP Chris Peters was born in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. He graduated from Peters Township HS in McMurray, was drafted by the Pirates in 1993 and toiled five years (1996-2000) for the Bucs, going 17-21/4.57 as a long man/spot starter. His career was short circuited by shoulder surgery in 1999, and 2001 was his last season in MLB, with the Expos. Chris still lives and works in the area, coached at Point Park for a spell and tossed BP for the Bucs at PNC.

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