Friday, August 11, 2017

8/11 Happenings: HBD Dinty, Woody, Dorn, Al & Andrew; ABC Affair; ASG; Benson's Big Bucks; Cover Boy Will

  • 1891 - IF Walter “Dinty” Barbare was born in Greenville, SC. He started 120 games for the Pirates from 1919-20 (he missed part of 1920 with a broken jaw), hitting .273. He was part of the package sent to Boston in the 1921 Rabbit Maranville deal. After his playing days, Barbare served as a manager and umpire in the minor leagues. 
Woody Jensen 1936 Goudey 
  • 1907 - LF Forrest “Woody” Jensen was born in Bremerton, Washington. He spent his whole MLB career in Pittsburgh, playing from 1931-39. He hit .285 and started from 1935-37. His major league record of 696 at bats in 1936 stood until Matty Alou broke it in 1969 with 698 AB. 
  • 1926 - The ABC Affair concluded with Babe Adams, Carson Bigbee and Max Carey cut loose from the club. Adams had been a World Series hero, Bigbee had over a decade’s service with the team, and Carey was a Hall of Fame player. But they crossed management by holding a team meeting to complain of an odd management dynamic - Bill McKechnie was the manager, but the owner, Barney Dreyfuss, had Fred Clarke sit on the bench every game, leaving the players befuddled as to who was in charge. After the ABC heads rolled, Clarke never sat on the bench again (and in fact severed ties with his long-time team) and Dreyfuss fired McKechnie after the season. Another dynamic may have been some housecleaning: Per SABR’s Stephen Rice “Adams, at age 44, was done after nearly 3,000 innings pitched for the Pirates in 18 seasons. Bigbee, a reserve outfielder, was no longer needed after 11 seasons with the team. And Carey, the team captain in his 17th year with the club, was also let go.” 
  • 1935 - The East-West Negro League All-Star game drew 25,000 to Comiskey Park. The fans got to watch an 11-inning thriller with the West winning 11-8. C Josh Gibson of the Pittsburgh Crawfords led the West attack with four hits. Pittsburgh was well represented. Besides Josh, Cool Papa Bell, Oscar Charleston and Jimmy Crutchfield were West starters with Chester Williams and P Leroy Matlock as reserves. Charleston not only played, but was the manager. 
Josh Gibson 2001 Upper Deck Hall of Fame
  • 1958 - RHP Dorn Taylor was born in Abington, PA. Taylor joined the Pirates in 1981, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Pfeiffer College. He had a couple of tastes with the Pirates in 1987 and 1989, going 3-4, 5.63 as a starter later converted to the pen. From 1988-90 he was an excellent starter at AAA Buffalo, posting sub-3 ERAs and showed well in spring camp, but never got an extended opportunity in the show. He closed out his career in Baltimore and coached HS baseball after he retired. 
  • 1960 - IF Al Pedrique was born in Valencia, Venezuela. He was a utilityman for the Pirates from 1987-88 while batting .259. Al’s managed in the minors since his retirement, and he had short stints as Arizona’s third base coach and interim skipper. 
  • 1979 - Willie Stargell was featured on the cover of The Sporting News for the story “Sonic Boomer.” He was a boomer in the ‘79 season, going long 32 times for his highest HR production since 1973 and adding five more homers (and two MVP’s) during the NLCS and World Series. 
Andrew Lambo 2014 Topps Finest
  • 1988 - OF Andrew Lambo was born in Newbury Park, California. He joined the Bucs at the 2010 deadline in a deal with the LA Dodgers that also netted P James McDonald. Lambo got three cups of coffee with the Pirates from 2013-15 and hit .191; though a solid performer in the minors, he could never stay healthy long enough to win a MLB spot. 
  • 1996 - Clemson’s Kris Benson, the first overall selection in the 1996 draft, became the highest paid draftee to date when he signed with Pittsburgh for $2M. He looked well worth the money after starting his career with strong 1999-2000 campaigns, but had TJ surgery after the 2000 season and never regained his edge. Kris finished his nine year MLB tenure with a 70-75 slate (43-49 w/the Pirates).

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