Tuesday, October 10, 2017

10/10: HBD Cutch, Ad, Dave, Homer, MLB, & Gene; Danny & Vern Covers; AS Games; Expansion; Latino HoF

  • 1867 - RHP Addison “Ad” Gumbert was born on Frankstown Avenue in Pittsburgh’s East End. He won 123 games in nine major league seasons and was a good enough hitter that he played 38 games in the outfield. Ad was a Buc from 1893-94, going 26-21, 5.73, and even played seven games in the pasture with a .263 BA. He and his brother Billy just missed one another; Billy pitched for the Bucs in 1892, a year before Ad arrived. After he hung up the spikes, Gumbert became a popular local politico and community leader. He was elected sheriff of Allegheny County and later County Commissioner while also serving as chairman of several charitable and civic organizations. 
Ad Gumbert Goodwin/Old Judge
  • 1868 - LHP Dave Anderson was born in Chester, Pennsylvania. He tossed for a couple of big league seasons, finishing up with 13 starts for the 1890 Alleghenys, going 2-11, 4.67. Afterwards he toiled for local minor league clubs in Wilmington and Lebanon, hanging it up after the 1891 campaign and returning to Chester. 
  • 1879 - P/UT Homer Hillebrand was born in Freeport, Illinois. Homer was a Princeton grad that was good at multi-tasking. His MLB career was spent with the Pirates from 1905-06 & 1908, and he pitched in 18 games (11 starts) with an 8-4-1, 2.51 line. He also played 26 games in the field at 1B, OF and C (even tho he was a lefty), hitting .237. His 1908 return was short-lived. Homer sat out the ‘07 year to rest a sore arm but it never bounced back, causing him to retire after tossing one frame in ‘08. 
  • 1894 - RHP Myrl Brown was born in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Myrl started his career late, at age 24, following a stint in the service during WW1. He quickly became a minor league ace and in a bit of a bidding war, Barney Dreyfuss bought him from the Reading Orioles in August, 1922, for $20K (Brown got to keep ⅓; the rest went to his team) and he showed promise, getting into seven games (five starts) with a line of 3-1, 5.97. He won his first three starts, a feat unmatched until 2013 when Gerrit Cole won his first four outings, and even with the substandard counting numbers, the Bucs liked what they had seen of him. Then he showed up for camp in 1923 with a dead arm; Pittsburgh sent him to a couple of minor league teams to see if it would recover, but with no luck. He took a full year off to restore it and came back in 1924 to work three straight 250+ IP seasons in the bushes, but never got another call to the show. Trivia bit: Myrl Lincoln Brown is thought to be the first MLB ballplayer with the initials MLB.
  • 1904 - In the final year without a formal October Classic (the 1903 World Series was set up by the two pennant-winning clubs, Pittsburgh and Boston, not by the leagues themselves.) Cleveland and Pittsburgh opened a five-game postseason exhibition series of their own at Cleveland’s League Field. It was a natural as a rivalry due to the proximity of the cities, as a bragging-rights NL-AL clash with both teams finishing fourth in their league and with a bit of star power on display featuring the era’s two best hitters, Hans Wagner and Nap Lajoie (in fact, the Cleveland nine was called the Naps in Lajoie’s honor). Alas, the fans didn’t want to see meaningless baseball and stayed away in droves, with the Naps taking the series two games to one with two draws. 
  • 1930 - A MLB All-Star team played its first game in Cuba on a ten day barnstorming tour, including Pirates OF Paul Waner, 3B Pie Traynor and P Larry French. The Cubans proved to be worthy opponents then as now, winning four of the seven games played on La Isla. 
  • 1946 - C Gino Tennaci (Gene Tenace) was born in Russellton, Pennsylvania, in northeastern Allegheny County. Gene’s claim to fame came as an Oakland Athletic, where he played eight of his 15 MLB years. His final hurrah was in Pittsburgh where Tenace spent his last season as a utility player and pinch-hitter, appearing in 53 games in 1983 and batting .177. He retired after being released in spring training. Gino was thought to be a candidate to replace Chuck Tanner as manager at the time, but Chuck hung around for another season and Tenace began his coaching odyssey with Houston, going to Toronto (twice), Boston and St. Louis before retiring for good after 2009. 
Gene Tenace 1983 Topps
  • 1960 - Vernon Law was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated during its 1960 WS coverage. He won a pair of games against the Yankees and the Cy Young as he finished the regular season 20-9 with 3.09 ERA. 
  • 1961 - The expansion draft claimed six Pirates - the Houston Colt .45s took OF Roman Mejias, P Bobby Shantz, P Jim Umbricht and C Hal Smith, while the New York Mets selected OF Joe Christopher and P Al Jackson. 
  • 1970 - Danny Murtaugh was featured on the cover of The Sporting News for the story “Bucs’ Secret Weapon.” His ‘70 team made the transition from Forbes Field to TRS and won the NL East, only to be swept by the Reds in the NLCS.
  • 1986 - Andrew McCutchen was born in Fort Meade, Florida. Cutch, a five-time All-Star & MVP selected in the first round of the 2005 draft, has been the face of the team since replacing Nate McLouth during the 2009 season. He’s also won Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year, three Silver Sluggers, a Golden Glove, two Player’s Choice Outstanding Player of the Year and the Roberto Clemente awards.
Cutch 2013 Topps Series 2 Variations
  • 2010 - Pirates RF Roberto Clemente and Cuban/Negro Leagues Martin “El Immortal” Dihigo, who played for the Homestead Grays in 1927-28, were inducted into the inaugural class of the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame.

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