Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2/1: Cruz Signs & Lots of HBD: Stolmy, Jim B, Cecilio, Jim M, Bob, Jim K and Rosey

  • 1884 - Pirate announcer Rosey Rowswell was born in Alton, Illinois (although raised in Tarentum). In 1936, he joined WWSW as a Pirate broadcaster and remained there until his death in 1955. His last on-air partner was Bob Prince from 1948-54, who called Rowswell his mentor. Rosey was an unabashed homer, and known for his home run call of “Open the window, Aunt Minnie, here she comes” followed by the sound of shattering glass. He also coined the term “Buccos” and “FOB” (when the bases were loaded, they were Full Of Buccos). Roswell died in Pittsburgh in 1955 at the age of 71 and was buried in Allegheny Cemetery.
1942 Opening Day ad in the Post-Gazette featuring Rosey Rowswell
  • 1884 - RF Jim Kelly was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey. He didn’t have much a pro career, and spent two of his three MLB years in Pittsburgh, batting .227 as a part-time Pirate in 1914 and .294 as a starting outfielder for the Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federation League. He was a sly one - born Robert John Taggert, he used the name James Robert Kelly and trimmed six years off his age (he changed his B-Date to 1890) to muddy the fact that he was beginning his minor league career as a 27 year-old.
  • 1931 - LHP Bob Smith was born in Woodsville, New Hampshire. The journeyman worked out of the Pirate bullpen from 1957-59, where he went 8-19-1 with a 3.74 ERA in 75 appearances. Smith’s everyday name played havoc with him. While with the Boston system, a similarly built lefty of the same name was often confused with him, and the Sox had to revert to using initials to differentiate the pair. In Pittsburgh, he suffered a more embarrassing fate - Smith’s 1958 Topps card, he claims, has the picture of Cardinal outfielder Bobby Gene Smith rather than his, and he has never autographed that particular card because of the mix-up.
  • 1947 - RHP Jim McKee was born in Columbus, Ohio. Jim tossed briefly for the Pirates in 1972-73, going 1-1, 4.17 in 17 outings. He was a life-long Bucco, selected by Pittsburgh in the fourth round of the 1969 draft out of Otterbein College and closing out his career in 1974 at AAA Charleston.
Jim McKee 1973 (photo via Sports World)
  • 1960 - P Cecilio Guante was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The righty was a bridge guy for Pittsburgh for five seasons (1982-86) and went 13-17-20/3.06 in that role before being traded to the Yankees as part of the Doug Drabek deal.
  • 1961 - Pitching wizard Jim Benedict was born in Burbank, California. After tossing in the KC system, he managed and coached in the college ranks. In 1990, he joined the Rangers, then from 1994-2000 was the minor league pitching coordinator for the Expos and Dodgers. Jim became a scout and Special Assistant to the GM for the Yankees for five years. In 2007-2008, he scouted for the Indians. In late 2008, he joined the Pirates as Special Assistant to the GM. He helped turn around the pitching and in 2015 was hired away by the Miami Marlins as the VP of pitching.
  • 1990 - RHP Stolmy Pimentel was born in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. He was a Buc from 2013-14, coming over from the Red Sox and going 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA. The old Sox Prospects scouting report on him held true: “Excellent overall stuff, but struggles with the consistency of his mechanics.” He was released and has bounced around since then.
Juan Cruz 2012 Topps Update
  • 2012 - 33-year-old RHP Juan Cruz agreed a $1.25M contract with the Pirates, earning a spot on the team as a non-roster invitee and finishing the campaign with a solid 1-1-3, 2.78 line. But his 4.19 FIP, 1.626 WHIP and five walks per nine painted a clearer picture of his performance and he was released in late August to end his last season in the majors.

No comments: