- 1969 - RHP Don Wengert was born in Sioux City, Iowa. Don had spent 1996-97 full-time with Oakland but had been bouncing back and forth since when the Pirates signed him as a FA in 2001. The 32-year-old got four starts in May, went 0-2, 12.38, and spent the rest of the year back on the farm. That ended his MLB days; he tossed one more year for the Boston system before retiring and returning to Iowa.
|Don Wengert 2001 (photo Tom Pidgeon/Getty)|
- 1972 - RHP Matt Skrmetta was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. Matt got to toss briefly in the bigs during 2000, first getting into a half-dozen games with the Expos and finishing with eight outings and an 0-2, 9.26 line with Pittsburgh. Matt was a determined hurler: he played for 25 teams, believed to be a record, and 13 organizations, including a couple of seasons in Japan and an indie campaign. He’s now a scout for Softbank in the Japanese League.
- 1976 - In a swap of 22-year-old righties, the Bucs traded Jim Sadowski to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Tom Carroll. The deal ended up a wash; neither Sadowski nor Carroll ended up never pitching in the majors again.
- 1979 - 1B Adam LaRoche was born in Orange County, California. He played for the Bucs from 2007-09, hitting .265 with 58 HR. During his last Pirate season, he got to play with his brother Andy (their pop was P Dave LaRoche) and also became the first player in major league history to lose a home run to video review. He left baseball in 2016 after a messy clubhouse beef about him bringing his teen-aged son to the Chicago White Sox clubhouse too often. A devout family man and Christian, LaRoche quietly retired rather than compromise, passing on a $13M contract for the season.
- 1981 - Dave Anderson of the NY Times wrote that the Bucs and Yankees were discussing a deal for RF Dave Parker with the departure of Reggie Jackson on the horizon. The Pirates originally wanted five pitchers; the Yankees countered with an offer of hurlers Ron Davis and Gene Nelson along with SS Andre Rodgers. There were two sticking points: Pittsburgh wanted lefty Dave Righetti, whom New York considered an untouchable, and the Gotham gang wanted Parker to agree to a playing weight of 210 pounds, which the Cobra ho-ho-ho’ed off. No match was made and Parker played as a Pirate for two more seasons, then signed as a free agent with the Reds.
|Neil Walker 2014 Topps Heritage|
- 2014 - CF Andrew McCutchen won his third consecutive NL Silver Slugger award and 2B Neil Walker took home his first. Cutch became the first Pittsburgh outfielder to earn three consecutive Silver Sluggers since Barry Bonds in 1990-92 while Walker was the first Pirate second baseman to earn one since Johnny Ray in 1983. Cutch and SS Ian Desmond of the Nats were the only NL repeat winners.