Saturday, January 28, 2017

1/28: Deacon, Kiki & Highpockets Enter the Hall; Travis Traded; Cobra Dapper Dan Man

  • 1962 - Local boy Bill “Deacon” (he was a quiet soul who even sang in his church choir) McKechnie was selected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. He was inducted on July 22nd. The Wilkinsburg native played for and managed the Pirates, winning the 1925 World Series. McKechnie was the first manager to win World Series titles with two different teams (1925 Pirates and the 1940 Cincinnati Reds; he’s one of 15 to pull off that feat), and is one of only two managers (Dick Williams is the other) to win pennants with three teams, also capturing the NL title in 1928 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bill McKechnie 1981 Bob Parker Hall of Fame series
  • 1968 - OF Kiki Cuyler was elected into the Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote of the Special Veterans Committee, and was inducted on July 22nd. Kiki spent his first seven MLB seasons in Pittsburgh, hitting .336. Cuyler was traded for the equivalent of a bag of baseballs by the Bucs when he bumped heads with management over a new contract and then with new manager Donie Bush when he didn’t slide into second to break up a DP.
  • 1973 - The Hall of Fame Special Veterans Committee selected 1B George Kelly to the Hall of Fame. Highpockets had a very brief stint in Pittsburgh - as a young player in 1917, the NY Giants waived him because of a weak stick. The Bucs picked him up to back up Honus Wagner, who by that time was playing first, but in eight games, Kelly went 2-for-24 and was released; the Giants took him back. Highpockets was a slick fielder who played 16 MLB seasons - 11 with NY - who put up a lifetime .297 BA. He was inducted on August 6th. He got his nickname (he was also called Long George) because of his stork-legged 6’4” frame.
  • 1979 - Dave “The Cobra” Parker, a couple of days removed from signing his $5M contract, was feted as the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year at the Hilton ballroom. He was the first Pirate to take home the award since 1971 when Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente and Danny Murtaugh were named co-winners, breaking a football awardee streak of six seasons. The Cobra had a monster year, with a .334/30/117 slash despite breaking his jaw. Like many other Bucs, Parker was nicknamed by Bob Prince who noted Parker was always poised to strike like a cobra at the plate.
Dave Parker 2011 Panini Greats
  • 2015 - Fourth outfielder Travis “Lunchbox Hero” (he was renown for his team cook-outs) Snider, a former first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, was traded to Baltimore for a pair of minor league prospects, LHP Stephen Tarpley and a PTBNL (LHP Steven Brault); he returned later in the year for free, as the O’s released him in mid-August and the Bucs signed him a week later before releasing him in the off season. From 2012-15, Snider had a slash of .242/20/80 in 818 PAs for Pittsburgh.

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