- 1948 - One of the Bucs more colorful characters, RHP Dock Ellis, was born in Los Angeles. He pitched nine seasons (1968-75, 1979) for Pittsburgh, going 96-80/3.16, and tossed the infamous LSD no-hitter against San Diego in 1970. He was part of the early seventies juggernaut that was in four NLCS tilts and won a World Series. Ellis rehabbed after his 1980 retirement and remained sober the rest of his days. Dock then devoted his post-baseball life to counseling drug addicts in treatment centers, prisons and ballparks before he died of cirrhosis in 2008 at the age of 63.
|Salomon Torres 2003 Topps Total|
- 1972 - RHP Salomon Torres was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. After coaching for three years and then spending 2001 in foreign leagues, he tossed for the Bucs between 2002-07 with a line of 26-28-29/3.63. In 2006, his 94 pitching appearances led the MLB and tied the Pirate record held by Kent Tekulve. His final year was 2008 with the Brewers, retiring afterward to spend time with his family. His final MLB line was 44-58-57 with a 4.31 ERA, working for five teams and 12 seasons.
- 2000 - 1B Kevin Young returned after an off season knee procedure, doubling and scoring in his spring debut. A key part of the Pirates lineup, he’d have a solid 2000 campaign in the first season of a four-year/$24M deal, capping a 1998-2000 run that compiled a slash of .276/.344/.481 along with 73 HR/302 RBI. But from 2001-03, his production nosedived - his line was just .236/.315/.397 with 32 HR/123 RBI, and the end of the contract was also the end of his MLB career.
- 2006 - The Pirates got back WBC players Jason Bay and Yurendell DeCaster, a pair of guys who would be on opposite ends of the Bucco totem pole in 2006. Bay, fresh from signing a four-year/$18.5M contract extension, went on to an All-Star campaign, batting .286 with 35 homers and 109 RBI. DeCaster, a utility infielder, started the year in the minors and was called up twice. He got into three games, whiffing twice, and was released at the end of the year.
|Freeser joins up (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
- 2016 - The Pirates inked David Freese to a one year/$3M contract. An All-Star and World Series MVP for St. Louis, Freese came to the Bucs as a free agent after a two year stint with the LA Angels. He was signed to cover for the early season loss of regular hot cornerman Jung Ho Kang, who was rehabbing a leg injury, and to add a veteran bench presence when JHK returned. They liked his work. Freeser hit .270 w/13 dingers, playing both infield corners and even five innings at second base. In late August, the Pirates signed Freese to a two-year contract extension worth $11M with a club option for 2019.