- 1906 - Pampered players department: The Pittsburgh Press reported that for spring drills in Hot Springs, manager Fred Clarke decided to “...do away with the running in from the park to the hotel after afternoon practice. The road is a hard one the players injured their legs while sprinting. If the men rode in open cars, they caught cold. Clarke will try to have a closed car held...until practice ends.” The team opened camp March 14th, played a seven-game exhibition schedule starting April 4th and started playing for keeps (hopefully with fresh legs) on April 12th.
|Syd Thrift with his thinking cap on (photo Rick Stewart/Getty)|
- 1929 - Pirate GM Syd Thrift was born in Locust Hill, Virginia. Thrift had been out of baseball for nine years when he was the surprise hire for general manager in 1985. He brought in dark horse Jim Leyland as manager and dealt veterans like Don Robinson, Tony Pena and Rick Reuschel in exchange for young prospects like Doug Drabek, Andy Van Slyke, Mike LaValliere, Mike Dunne, Chico Lind and Jeff Robinson. Thrift's term ended after the 1988 season when he was fired after noisily butting heads with team ownership. He’s credited for laying the foundation for the team's success in the early nineties under Jim Leyland.
- 1957 - In a big day for MLB, the U.S. Supreme Court decided 6-3 that baseball is the only professional sport exempt from antitrust laws, withstanding a challenge from the NFL. Ever since congressmen (mainly from areas without teams) have threatened to rescind the exemption, but baseball has managed to dodge the bullet so far. The case was Radovich v. National Football League, and the NFL tried to sway the court to give it the same antitrust status as baseball, but the Supremes ruled that was a matter for legislative, not judicial, action.
- 1987 - RHP Phil Irwin was born in Germantown, Tennessee. The U of Mississippi hurler was drafted in the 19th round of the 2009 draft on the recommendation of scout Darren Mazeroski and compiled a promising minor league resume. He was called up for a so-so spot start in 2013 and injured his arm upon his return to Indy, requiring ulnar nerve surgery (he had a forearm issue in 2012 which was likely the first sign of the damage) and never made it back. He was DFA’ed by the Pirates in 2014 and claimed by the Rangers. He made one start for them and spent his last pro season in Korea in 2015.
|Tony Womack 1997 Fleer|
- 1999 - The Pirates traded 2B Tony Womack to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a player to be named later (P Jason Boyd) and OF Paul Weichard (minors). Womack led the NL in steals for three straight seasons, two with the Bucs, and played on Arizona and St. Louis World Series clubs.
- 2005 - OF Matt Lawton signed a one-year, $7.75M deal with the Pirates. The Bucs traded him at the deadline to the Cubs for Jody Gerut. He had a solid half season, hitting .273 with 10 HR and 44 RBI before being flipped.