- 1902 - GM Roy Hamey was born in Havana, Illinois. Hamey replaced Ray Kennedy as Bucco GM after the 1946 campaign after serving as Business Manager of the Yankees. He hired Billy Meyer (a Yankee farm manager) as the Bucs' skipper and dealt for veterans like Tiny Bonham, Bob Chesnes and Hank Greenberg, but the team was a second-division club for most of his tenure, and he was swapped out for Branch Rickey after the 1950 season. Hamey ran the Phillies for five years after that without much more success, and then returned to New York after the 1960 World Series, and in his three years there, the Bronx Bombers averaged 103 wins. His last shot at the top was as interim Chief Executive of the Seattle Pilots in 1969, running operations until Bud Selig bought the team in 1970.
|Roy Hamey (photo Getty Images)|
- 1906 - The Phillies had a 1-0, eighth inning lead over the Pirates at the Baker Bowl. As a storm approached, the Pirates rallied in the ninth to forge ahead, and the Phils decided to give away outs‚ bean batters, toss wild pitches (the Pirates caught on and swung at them, trying to strike out on purpose) and argue almost every call in the hope of umpire Bill Klem calling the game because of the weather. He did, all right: after seven runs crossed the plate‚ Klem declared a forfeit because of Philadelphia’s antics. The ploy almost worked, though - it rained two minutes after the game was called.
- 1931 - Bill Virdon was born in Hazel Park, Michigan. The Quail came over from the Cards in 1956 and patrolled center field for 11 years (1956-66) in Pittsburgh, including the 1960 World Series season. Virdon won Rookie of the Year in 1952, the World Series in 1960 and a Gold Glove in 1962. He later coached and managed the Bucs and still lends a hand at spring training.
|Bill Virdon 1965 Topps|
- 1939 - IF Julio Gotay was born in Farardo, Puerto Rico. He spent two seasons with the Pirates in 1963-64 and barely got a taste of the show with just seven games under his belt (though he did hit .500) with most of his days spent in AAA Columbus. Julio did have parts of 10 seasons in the majors, mainly with the Astros and Cards, but only once collected more than 250 at-bats.
- 1951 - Dave Parker was born in Calhoun City, Mississippi. The Cobra manned right field for 11 years (1973-83) for the Bucs with a line of .305/166/758, earning four All-Star appearances and three Golden Glove awards. He was the 1978 National League MVP and the first professional athlete to earn one million dollars per year after signing a five-year, $5 million contract in January 1979. Fun fact: Parker wore a gold necklace with a Star of David pendant although he wasn’t Jewish. When asked why, he explained "My name is David, and I'm a star."
- 1958 - The Pirates stopped in Boise, Idaho while on a west coast trip and became the first MLB club to play a game in the state. The Bucs paid the visit as a nod to Vern Law, who was born in Meridian and honored during “Vern Law Day.” The Pirates were greeted by a crowd at the airport and driven to their hotel in a motorcade. The Boise Braves were a Class C club out of the Pioneer League and played to that level, losing 17-6 to the big boys.
|Tony Sanchez 2009 Tri-Star Prospect Plus|
- 2009 - C Tony Sanchez was the Pirates first selection (#4 overall - $2.5M signing bonus) in the draft. RHP Vic Black ($717K bonus) was the second round pick, and IF Brock Holt was chosen in the ninth round; both were later traded. There was a great gnashing of teeth over the Pirates cheap ways in selecting Sanchez, tho it wasn’t a notably deep draft with few solid guys available and a couple of franchise players in Stephen Strasburg taken #1 and the #25 overall choice, prepster Michael Trout. Sanchez never quite made it; he got into 51 games with the Pirates (.259 BA) but is out of the organization and has mostly bounced around in AAA.
- 2015 - The Pirates chose Arizona SS Kevin Newman (#19 overall, $2.175M bonus), Texas prep 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (#32; $1.855M bonus) and UCLA SS Kevin Kramer (#62; $850K bonus) in the opening two rounds of the draft.
- 2016 - The Buccos took Wake Forest 3B Will Craig (#22 overall; $2,257,700 bonus), one of the top college sticks on the board, followed by HS pitchers lefty Nick Lodolo from California (#44; he rejected $1.75M and instead honored his commitment to TCU) and Florida’s RHP Travis MacGregor (#68; $900K bonus) on the first day of the draft.