Thursday, November 1, 2018

11/1: Miceli-Sodowsky Deal; TSN-AS; HBD Larry, Gary, Miguel, Ham, Howie, Mike, Clarence & Eddie and More...

  • 1872 - C Mike Hopkins was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He’s one of only eight native Scotsmen to play MLB, and for him it was just for one game. His family crossed the pond and took up residence in Chartiers (now Carnegie); his dad was a miner and Mike became a railroader. He also played semi-pro ball for Chartiers and his neighbor, Honus Wagner, talked the team into taking him on a road trip in 1902, a year when the Pirates were waltzing away with the pennant. He got into a blowout game at Cincinnati’s Palace of the Fans and went 2-for-2. That was his career; he was married with a child on the way and had a regular day job, so a baseball gig didn’t ring his bell. Mike worked on the RR until the 40s, played a little sandlot ball, and raised nine children who gave him and the missus 18 grandchildren and two great-grandkids before he passed away at the age of 79. 
Ham Hyatt 1911 Sporting Life
  • 1884 - PH Robert Hamilton “Ham” Hyatt was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina. Nominally a 1B/OF but used mainly as a pinch-hitter, Hyatt played for the Bucs from 1910-11, went to the minors for a year and returned from 1912-14, hitting .267 for Pittsburgh. Ham spent a couple of more years in the show and finished off his career with a PCL stint, as he and his wife made their home in her native Washington state. 
  • 1894 - RF Clarence Berger was born in East Cleveland, Ohio. His MLB resume consists of six games for the 1914 Pirates with a 1-for-13 slash after a late September call up from the Richmond Colts, from which the Bucs had bought Berger’s contract for $2,500. He was released the following year before camp broke, played the season in the minors and went on to his life’s work as a bookkeeper. 
  • 1907 - LHP Larry French was born in Visalia, California. He started his 14-year career in Pittsburgh (1929-34) and had a line of 87-83/3.50, winning 15 or more games four times as a Pirate. French won 197 games before he hung ‘em up and was an All-Star for the Cubs in 1940. He’s still noted for his 1933 “Soap Game.” With the Bucs up 8-0 in the ninth, French ducked out of the bullpen to get to the hot water first. The pesky Boston Braves tied the game, and French was summoned to the mound with soap still dripping down his face. It didn’t hurt; he tossed 1-⅔ clean innings and got the win in 10 frames. 
  • 1934 - OF Howie Goss was born in Wewoka, Oklahoma. Howie spent nine years in the minors before the Bucs called him up in 1962 after he put together a .299/27/100 line in the PCL. In 89 games (25 starts) Goss hit .243. As 1963 camp broke, Goss was traded to the Colt .45s for OF Manny Mota. Goss became Houston's regular CF’er, but hit only .209 in what was his last MLB year. Manny spent six seasons as a Pirate with a .297 BA and went on to become an all-timer as a pinch hitter with LA. 
Howie Goss 1963 Topps
  • 1945 - OF/3B Ben Guintini was the Pirates selection in the Rule 5 draft. He had hit .283 for the San Francisco Seals in the PCL, but went 0-for-3 as a Buc in 1946 and returned to the Seals in 1948, closing out his career with three more games with Philadelphia in 1949, never managing to collect a big league hit. Ben did have a long career in the minors, playing 1,000+ games and once hitting 32 homers. Known as an entertainer on the field, he became a Cadillac salesman after he retired. 
  • 1948 - The Pirates hosted the annual farm directors conference at the Hotel Schenley in Oakland, across the street from Forbes Field. Apparently there wasn’t much on the agenda; the meeting lasted just one day with an evening banquet following. The hosts were Pirates GM Roy Hamey, Farm Director Ray Kennedy and Assistant Director Fred Hering. 
  • 1954 - OF Miguel Dilone was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic. He played parts of five seasons for Pittsburgh, from 1974-77 and again in 1983, but mustered just 75 PA and a .145 BA over that span and was used primarily as a pinch runner, finishing with 23 swipes as a Bucco and 267 lifetime steals. Dilone carved out a 12-year MLB career and had a .265 lifetime BA while playing for seven teams. The speedster was know in the Dominican as the "Saeta Cibaeña" (the Cibao Dart; Cibao is the region where Santiago is located) because of his baserunning chops. Sadly, he lost an eye in 2009 after being clipped by a foul ball while he was on the field helping coach young players. 
  • 1956 - 1B/OF Gary Redus was born in Tanner, Alabama. He was a minor league phenom who hit .462 while playing 68 games for the Pioneer League Billings Mustangs’ in 1978, setting a record for pro baseball that still stands, across all levels and all leagues. Redus played off the bench for five years (1988-92) with three division winning teams as a Pirate, hitting .255 in 398 Buc games. His biggest day as a Buc was on August 25th, 1989 when he hit for the cycle in a 12–3 victory over the Reds. Redus retired from playing in 1994, coached baseball for six years at Calhoun Community College in Tanner, Alabama, and was an outfield instructor for Pittsburgh and Houston before retiring for good. 
Gary Redus 1990 Topps Big
  • 1964 - 1B Eddie Williams was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. Williams had put in eight MLB years (and another in Japan) playing baseball’s corners when the Pirates added him to their bench in 1997, where the former first-rounder (1983; fourth overall) hit .247. He got a cup of coffee with San Diego after that and finished his career in Mexico, Korea and the indie leagues. 
  • 1967 - 2B Bill Mazeroski, RF Roberto Clemente and SS Gene Alley were named to The Sporting News 1967 NL Gold Glove Team. It was Maz’s eight GG, Roberto’s seventh and Alley’s second. It would be the last one for the infielders while Clemente still had four more to collect. 
  • 1996 - The Pirates traded RHP Dan Miceli to the Detroit Tigers in return for RHP Clint Sodowsky. Miceli started out as Pirate and in his four years went 8-15-24/5.41. The Bucs gave him nine starts in ‘96 (his only year that he was used as a starter), and he spent the rest of his 14-year career primarily as a set-up guy. Sodowsky went 2-2/3.62 in his only Bucco campaign and was out of the bigs after tossing three games in 1999 for the Cards.

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