Thursday, February 2, 2017

2/2 Birthdays: HBD Big Bill, Fred, John, Manny, Pat, Ronny & Travis

  • 1882 - 1B “Big Bill” Abstein was born in St. Louis. He was a Pirates backup in 1906 and returned as a starter in 1909, batting .258 for the Bucs and playing all seven games during Pittsburgh’s World Series win over Detroit. He closed out his brief career the following season with his hometown St Louis Browns. Bill was a two sport star; he also played soccer for a couple of St Louis clubs when he wasn’t swatting baseballs.
Bill Abstein 1909 Conlon Collection/Detroit Public Library
  • 1927 - LHP Fred Waters was born in Benton, Mississippi. He came to Pittsburgh in the Danny O’Connell blockbuster and tossed from 1955-56, going 2-2, 2.89 mainly from the pen. Fred was injured in winter ball and never made it back to the bigs, although he did spend 13 years toiling in the minors. He became a long-time coach and manager, primarily in the Twins organization.
  • 1954 - LHP John Tudor was born in Schenectady, New York. He went 12-11/3.27 in his only Bucco season, 1984, with the team scoring two or fewer runs in nine of his losses. That December, the Bucs traded him & Brian Harper to the Cardinals for George Hendrick & minor-leaguer Steve Barnard. Tudor said of the deal “I’ll miss the parrot” and then went on to win 21 games for the Redbirds to lead them to the NL title and World Series in 1985.
  • 1956 - RHP Manny Sarmiento was born in Cagua, Venezuela. The Bucs purchased the five-year vet from the Red Sox and Manny tossed a pair of strong campaigns in 1982-83, going 12-9-5 with a 3.25 ERA as a starter and reliever. He blew out his elbow during camp in 1984 and though only 28 years old, he never pitched in the majors again.
Manny Sarmiento 1983 Donruss
  • 1962 - LHP Pat Clements was born in McCloud, California. He was in Pittsburgh early in his career from 1985-86, going 0-6-4/3.12. He then became a piece of the 1986 deal that landed Doug Drabek for the Pirates. He worked through the 1992 season for NY, San Diego and Baltimore as a bridge reliever.
  • 1983 - SS Ronny Cedeno was born in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. He manned the spot for Pittsburgh from 2009-11, hitting a streaky .254 but never showing any consistency in the field, flashing the good, the bad and the ugly with his leather. He last played for the Phils in 2013 and is now playing in the Mexican League.
  • 1988 - OF Travis Snider was born in Kirkland, Washington. He came to the Bucs from Toronto in the 2012 Brad Lincoln deal. After sputtering for a couple of years, he had a solid 2014 season with 13 HR and a .264 BA, which earned him a ticket to the Boston Red Sox for a pair of minor league prospects. Snider returned to the Bucs in August, 2015, before being released during the off season and signing with KC. He’s now with the Texas organization.
Travis & Clint party (photo Charles LeClaire/USA Today)

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