Monday, April 3, 2017

4/3 Happenings: Mota, Patterson, Wilson Deal; Walk Inked; Memorable Openers

  • 1963 - OF Manny Mota was traded by the Houston Colt .45's to the Pirates for Howie Goss and cash. Mota spent six years as a Pirate, hitting .297 as a fourth OF’er/pinch hitter. He went on to a 13 year career with LA (he spent 20 seasons in MLB) as a pinch hitter deluxe, and when he was finished hitting, his 34 consecutive seasons as a Dodgers coach was the longest in team history and the second-longest streak in MLB history behind Nick Altrock. Howie played one season for Houston, hit .209, and never got back to the bigs. The unsuspecting Goss had to get in touch with his family who had left Florida just prior to the deal and were driving to Pittsburgh. The Florida Highway Patrol found them and directed the Goss clan westward to Texas.
Manny Mota 1965 Topps
  • 1984 - After being released by the Braves, the Pirates signed RHP Bob Walk. Walk ended up spending 10 seasons as a Bucco back-ender, going 82-61 with a 3.83 ERA and putting up a 2-1 record during the Bucs three NLCS series from 1990-92.
  • 1986 - RJ Reynolds became the second Bucco to lead off the Home Opener with a home run (Billy Cox was the first in 1947) and added a double, but it wasn’t enough as Doc Gooden and the Mets dropped the Pirates 4-2 at TRS. Rick Reuschel took the loss.
  • 1986 - The Pirates sent OF Marvell Wynne to the San Diego Padres for RHP Bob Patterson. It was a win-win deal. Patterson eventually was effective as a reliever for the Bucs (he came to the club as a starter) over six seasons, and Wynne played fairly regularly for SD for the next four seasons.
Bob Patterson 1987 Donruss
  • 1990 - The Bucs traded OF’er Billy Hatcher, whom they had picked up at the 1989 deadline for Glenn Wilson, to the Reds for a pair of minor leaguers. Hatcher helped the Reds sink the Bucs in the 1990 NLCS, hitting .333, and played six more MLB seasons as mainly a platoon outfielder. Wilson was solid for Pittsburgh, too, playing as a bench guy and part-time starter while batting .274 in his time (1989-90, 1993) as a Pirate.
  • 2003 - The Pirates completed a season opening three game sweep of Cincinnati at The Great American Ballpark with a 7-5 win. Former Red Reggie Sanders went deep twice for Pittsburgh, going 4-for-5 and adding five RBI. Sanders went 7-for-10 in the series as the Pirates jumped out to their first 3-0 start to a season since 1993.
  • 2011 - The Pirates plated a pair of runs in the ninth to down the Cubs at Wrigley Field 5-4. A walk to Garrett Jones, a single by Neil Walker and a Lyle Overbay bunt against Carlos Marmol left runners at second and third in the ninth for Pedro Alvarez, who rolled a ball softly to the left side hole. He beat it out for a hit as both Bucs scored, giving El Toro three RBI on the day. Jeff Karstens got the win in relief of Ross Ohlendorf, with Joel Hanrahan picking up the save.
El Toro 2011 Topps Stadium Lights
  • 2016 - In the kick-off of the major league season shown on ESPN, the Pirates defeated the Cardinals 4-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 39,500 fans at PNC Park. Frankie Liriano struck out 10 batters in six scoreless frames and also drove in the game’s first run with a single off losing hurler Adam Wainwright. Josh Harrison managed to hit into a rare RBI double play when with runners on first and third and no outs, his fly plated a run although the runner at first was cut down trying to get to second (basepath gaffes like that were common during the season, costing 3B/baserunning coach Rick Sofield his job in October). Though the year started off on a high note for the Cisco Kid, he would be traded to Toronto at the deadline after posting a 6-11/5.46 slash during the campaign.

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