Tuesday, February 7, 2017

2/7 Birthdays: HBD Joe, Clipper, Terin, Adrian & Humberto

  • 1927 - Coach Joe Lonnett was born in Koppel, Beaver County. He graduated from Beaver Falls High School and lived in Brighton Township for 45 years before passing away in 2011. He was a catcher for four seasons with the Phillies from 1956-59 before joining the coaching ranks. A long time bud of Chuck Tanner, he came to Pittsburgh with him from the AL - he was with Tanner when he managed the Chicago White Sox (1971-75) and Oakland Athletics (1976) - and was a part of the Pirates staff from 1977-84, serving as the third base coach for the Bucs during the 1979 World Series Championship season.
Felipe Montemayor (photo via Baseball Happenings)
  • 1928 - OF/1B Felipe “Clipper” Montemayor was born in Monterrey, Mexico. He played for Pittsburgh in 1953 and again in 1955, hitting .173 as one of the first Mexican MLB players. But he did have his day in the sun despite the stats. Montemayor had two career home runs, and they came in both ends of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 1st, 1955. The Clipper had a long career (1948-68) although Pittsburgh was his only MLB stop - he started at age 20 and ended his playing days at 40, playing both in the US minors and the Mexican League.
  • 1937 - LHP Juan “Terin” Pizarro was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. The lefty had an 18-year MLB stint and spent 1967 and part of ‘68 with the Pirates, then returned for his last campaign in 1974, slashing 10-12-9/3.55 as a bullpen guy and occasional starter for the Bucs. Juan was a partier who lived large. Per Rory Costello of SABR, “In his childhood, he got the nickname that stuck with him for life, ‘TerĂ­n,’ (because) the neighborhood kids likened him to the main character of the comic strip ‘Terry and the Pirates.’” Pizarro was selected into the Caribbean Confederation and the Puerto Rican Sports Hall of Fames with a lifetime line of 157-110/2.51 compiled during his Puerto Rican Winter League work (with an additional 38 wins in the Mexican League) to go along with his 131 major league victories and two All-Star selections.
  • 1974 - OF Adrian Brown was born in McComb, Mississippi. A 48th round draft pick in 1992, he beat the odds by having a nine year MLB career, the first six (1997 - 2002) with the Pirates as a reserve. He hit .261 during his Pittsburgh stay. The switch-hitter had a breakout 2000 campaign when he hit .315 w/ four HRs, 64 runs, 28 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 104 games/340 PA. But he had a pair of DL trips that season with hammy issues, and it got worse when he had rotator cuff/labrum surgery out of camp in 2001, costing him virtually all of the season. He never again came close to matching those 2000 numbers.
Humberto Cota 2006 (photo Jamie Squire/Getty)
  • 1979 - C Humberto Cota was born in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. Cota was the Pirate backup catcher for his entire MLB career of seven seasons (2001-07) with a .233 lifetime BA after coming over from Tampa Bay as part of the Jose Guillen deal. He became a free agent in 2008 and signed with the Rox but failed a drug test. Cota was suspended for 50 games and never got another call to the show.

No comments: