- 1946 - Talk about your off season mishaps! Bucco LHP Preacher Roe’s 148 strikeouts in 1945 led the NL and he was selected for the All-Star Game. But while coaching high school basketball after the season, Roe suffered a concussion (some say he actually fractured his skull) in a fight with a referee. His pitching fell off a cliff, dropping from 27 wins in 1944-45 to seven in 1946-47, and his ERA doubled. He was traded to Brooklyn, where he lasted seven seasons, winning 93 games while earning four All-Star berths. Some credit the comeback to a return to health while others credited his new pitch - the spitter.
|Phil Masi being coached up by Goldie Holt 1949 (photo UPI Teleport)|
- 1950 - The Chicago White Sox purchased C Phil Masi from the Pirates. Masi only spent half a year with the Bucs after a swap with Boston for Ed Sauer, then he was sold to his hometown White Sox. Pittsburgh may have thought at 33 that his better days were behind him (vet Clyde McCullough was ahead of him and 25-year-old Joe Garagiola was next in line), but he still had a full tank as he hit .276 in 206 games during the next two years while the Sox staff’s ERA went from sixth to second in the AL. Phil handed over the reins to Sherm Lollar in 1953 before retiring.
- 1971 - RHP Satchel Paige became the first Negro League star to be nominated to the Hall of Fame. Satch pitched for both the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords, and was formally confirmed June 10th, then inducted on August 9th. He finally broke the color line in 1948 at the age of 41, and tossed six big-league seasons, with a pair of All-Star berths and a World Series title with the 1948 Cleveland Indians.
- 1976 - The Hall of Fame Special Committee on the Negro Leagues selected OF Oscar Charleston for enshrinement. In 1932, Charleston became player-manager of the Pittsburgh Crawfords with a roster that included Hall of Famers Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and Judy Johnson. The team went 99-36, and Charleston himself batted .363 in what was one of the best Negro League teams ever assembled. He managed the Crawfords through 1937 and was also a player with the Homestead Grays. Oscar was inducted on August 9th.
|Oscar Charleston (image from Bernie Fuch's Art Magazine)|
- 1991 - Jim Leyland was presented with the Dapper Dan Sportsmen of the Year award. Leyland led the 1990 Pirates to a 95-67 record and its first NL Eastern Division title in 11 years. He was named the NL Manager of the Year by both the Baseball Writers and The Sporting News. Jimmy hung around for 11 years with the Bucs (1986-96), winning 851 games and three division titles before moving on to Florida, Colorado, Detroit and Team USA.
- 2011 - RHP Ross Ohlendorf was an arbitration winner after being awarded a salary of $2.025M by a three-judge panel. He went 1-11/4.07 in 2010 while earning a $439K paycheck. He rejected the Pirates $1.4M off-season offer to trigger the hearing.