Monday, March 20, 2017

3/20: Roberto to HoF; Josh & Judy to Grays; HBD Pete, Walter, Rick & Blas

  • 1864 - 3B Pete McShannic was born in Pittsburgh. Fittingly, he played his only MLB season for the hometown Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1888, batting .194, and closed out his career in 1890 in the minors.
Walter Schmidt (image from Conlon Collection/Baseball Magazine)
  • 1887 - C Walter Schmidt was born in London, Arizona. He donned the tools of ignorance for Pittsburgh from 1916-24, hitting .257. Schmidt went through the unusual transaction of buying his own release from the San Francisco Seals after the 1915 season for $3K and then negotiated a deal with the Bucs. He went that route because he suspected that the Seals had turned down previous offers for him made by MLB clubs and didn't want to miss the boat to the show.
  • 1937 - The Homestead Grays acquired future Hall of Famers Josh Gibson and Judy Johnson for $2,500 in cash and a pair of journeymen players after Pittsburgh Crawfords owner Gus Greenlee was forced to unload his stars as salary dumps. While the amount seems paltry, the deal was thought to be the largest cash transaction in the history of the Negro Leagues. It wasn’t enough to save Gus. By the end of 1938, the Crawford’s Greenlee field was razed to give way to the Bedford Dwellings housing project, and Greenlee sold the Crawfords to Toledo businessmen, leaving the Grays as the only black team in town.
  • 1952 - RHP Rick Langford was born in Farmville Virginia. Signed by the Pirates in 1973 out of college, he worked briefly for the club in 1976, getting in 12 games before being shipped to the A’s as part of the Phil Garner trade in early 1977. He went on to have a solid 10-year career with Oakland, once winning 19 games and leading the AL in complete games in back-to-back seasons while tossing over 200 frames four times. In 1980, he threw 22 consecutive complete games while piling up over 290 innings.
Blas Minor 1994 Pacific Crown 
  • 1966 - RHP Blas Minor was born in Merced, California. Working out of the Buc bullpen from 1992-94, he had an 8-7-3 record for Pittsburgh with a 4.76 ERA. Minor also pitched for the Houston Astros, New York Mets & Seattle Mariners, and got to live out every boy’s childhood fantasy - after being a major league ballplayer, he retired to become a fireman.
  • 1973 - In a special election held by the BBWAA‚ Roberto Clemente was voted into the Hall of Fame. The Board of Directors waived the five year eligibility period for Clemente, and he was inducted on August 6th as the first Hispanic player to enter Cooperstown, having posted a .317 lifetime BA and earned 12 All-Star nods. Roberto was a Latino trailblazer as the first Latin American/Caribbean player to win a World Series as a starter (1960), to receive a National League MVP Award (1966), and to receive a World Series MVP Award (1971).

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