- 1867 - LHP Duke Esper (birth name: Charles H. Esbacher) was born in Salem, New Jersey. Duke spent nine seasons in the show with a pair of brief stops with the Alleghenys (1890: 0-2, 5.29) and the Pirates (1892: 2-0, 5.40). In between those stops, Duke won 36 games, including 20 with Philadelphia in 1891, in 59 outings. He ended up with a solid 101-100/4.39 lifetime slash before retiring after the 1898 campaign.
|Max Butcher (photo Harriwell Collection/Detroit Public Library)|
- 1939 - The Pirates traded veteran 1B Gus Suhr to the Phillies for RHP Max Butcher. Suhr was nearing the end of his career (he was released after playing just 10 games in 1940, his last MLB season), but Butcher became a mainstay for the Bucs, pitching for seven seasons, making 154 starts and winning 67 games in Pittsburgh.
- 1958 - Frank Thomas was featured as the cover story of Sports Illustrated in an article titled “Nobody Knows Him But Everybody Wants Him.” In case you’re among the gang that doesn’t know him, the Pittsburgh native hit 163 HR in eight years as a Bucco and 286 bombs in his 16 seasons in the majors.
- 1960 - 1B/OF Carmelo Martinez was born in Dorado, Puerto Rico. Carmelo (he’s Edgar’s cousin) spent parts of the tail end of his nine-year career with the Pirates. The Pirates got him in 1990 as part of the Wes Chamberlain deal with the Phillies and then sent to KC for Victor Coles in May of the following year. Martinez didn’t see much action in that span, getting in 23 games and hitting .229. He works for the Cubs now as their Latin Field Coordinator.
|Carmelo Martinez 1991 Fleer|
- 2000 - The Bucs sent OF Wil Cordero to the Indians for IF Enrique Wilson and OF prospect Alex Ramirez. Cordero played respectably through 2003, while Wilson was traded again in 2001 and Ramirez began a long career as a slugger in Japan after the 2000 season.
- 2005 - The Bucs traded for IF JJ Furmaniak from the San Diego Padres in exchange for C David Ross. Furmaniak batted 52 times as a big leaguer with a .186 BA while Ross hit .229 but had a long shelf life ahead of him, playing through the 2016 season.
- 2013 - The final page in a deal that didn’t happen was turned when the Astros passed on the Bucs final offer of Luis Heredia & a competitive balance pick for Bud Norris. The give and take was released as part of Astro e-mails leaked by St. Louis Cardinal staffers. The Pirates offered one of Heredia, Tyler Glasnow or Alen Hanson for Norris; Houston GM Jeff Luhnow wanted Glasnow and either Heredia or Nick Kingham as a package, offers that Neal Huntington wisely rejected. (Thanks to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review).