Friday, February 3, 2017

2/3: RIP Tom, Billy & Martin HoF, Roberto & Willie Honored, Mike Signs Up, Angel Busted

  • 1901 - Pirate utilityman Tom O’Brien, who was born in Verona, died from “consumption” (pneumonia) at the age of 27, complicated by drinking sea water, which he had been told would cure him. His untimely death left a void in the Buc lineup which ended up to be filled capably by rookie Kitty Bransfield.
Billy Herman (photo George Burke/George Brace Collection)
  • 1975 - The Special Veterans Committee selected 2B Billy Herman (Cubs, Dodgers, Braves and Pirates) for the Hall of Fame. He spent his final season in 1947 as a Bucco player/manager, getting into 15 games and hitting .213. Herman was inducted on August 18th.
  • 1977 - The Hall of Fame's Special Committee on the Negro Leagues selected Cuban star Martin Dihigo into the Hall, where he was inducted on August 8th. Dihigo, who at one time or another played every position on the field, was with the Homestead Grays from 1927-28 and is the only man who’s been selected to the Cuban, Mexican, and United States Baseball Halls of Fame.
  • 1980 - Willie Stargell was given the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year honor for 1979. Cap’n Willie was the World Series MVP and NL’s co-MVP (with the Cards’ Keith Hernandez) in ‘79. It was his second DD award - he shared the 1971 honor with Danny Murtaugh and Roberto Clemente.
Willie Stargell 1974 Topps/O-Pee-Chee
  • 1982 - Minor league C Angel Rodriguez‚ 20, who played for the Pirates' Alexandria club (Carolina League), was suspended from organized baseball for one year for telling opposing Latino batters what pitches were coming, in Spanish. Rodriguez had been suspended by the Pirates during an August 19th game against Lynchburg, and baseball added its punishment after investigators had obtained written statements from eight umpires and several managers. He returned in 1984, but never got past the AAA level.
  • 2001 - RHP Mike Lincoln joined the Pirates from the Twins after being released by Minnesota in the off season. The Bucs converted the starter to a bullpen role, and in three years in Pittsburgh (2001-03), he went 7-9-5 with a 3.50 ERA, closing briefly in 2003. He had a bruised shoulder in his last season, working just 36-⅓ IP, and was non-tendered after the campaign. Lincoln went to the Cards, but had TJ surgery during the 2004 season. It took four years for him to bounce back, but he did rally for three final campaigns with the Reds from 2008-10 before retiring.
  • 2015 - The Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame inducted six new members, including Roberto Clemente. MLB'er Bernie Williams was also honored, along with several Latino League legends.
Roberto's roots recognized (1972 Kelloggs) 

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