- 1991 - 2B Adam Frazier was born in Athens, Georgia. He was selected from Mississippi State in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2013 draft and was signed for slot value of $240,600. Fraze was known for his 24/7 stick and it earned him a call up in 2016. He’s slashed .280/.345/.422 during his three Bucco campaigns. He’s proven quite versatile, playing all three OF spots along with 2B, SS & 3B for the Pirates as a member of the super-utility club of Josh Harrison and Sean Rodriguez. But like J-Hay, he may have claimed the second base spot with a strong second half in 2018, so we’ll see where he ends up this year.
|HBD Fraze (image Pirates)|
- 1993 - The State legislature cut the City’s amusement tax from 10% to 5%; one state senator said that the Pirates had informed him that without the lower rate that they could be forced to leave the City in two years. GM Mark Sauer told the Post Gazette that the team wouldn’t be cutting ticket prices (neither did the Steelers) and then ran down a financial wish list featuring revenue sharing and a salary cap from the MLB to go with a new stadium and lease for the team. They got three-out-of-four wishes granted eventually; good luck on the cap.
- 1995 - Pittsburgh signed 35-year-old free agent CF Mike Kingery to a two year/$1.5M contract, planning to use him as a platoon/bat & glove off the bench player. It didn’t quite work out; Kingery, who had been a .272 lifetime hitter before the deal, hit .246 in 117 games and was released after the season. He opened Solid Foundation Baseball School the year after he retired, and makes appearances with the Kingery Family, a gospel/bluegrass group.
- 1998 - RHP Jon Lieber was traded to the Chicago Cubs for OF Brant Brown. Lieber tossed nine more years in the show, winning 20 games for the Cubs in 2001 while Brown was one and done in Pittsburgh. After his breakout campaign, workhorse Lieber had TJ surgery and only reached the 30-start, 200 IP mark once more in his career.
- 1998 - The Pirates chose LHP Scott Sauerbeck from the New York Mets in the Rule 5 draft. Sauerbeck stuck with the Pirates until 2003, going 19-15-5/3.53 in his 4-½ year Bucco career before he was traded to Boston. Sauerbeck missed 2004 after surgery, and after a fairly ineffective campaign in 2006, the LOOGY’s MLB career ended.
|Wil Cordero 2000 Upper Deck MVP|
- 1999 - “Wil Cordero, a good hitter who has had difficulty staying healthy and out of trouble, signed a $9 million, three-year contract yesterday with the Pittsburgh Pirates, his fourth team in four years...” per the New York Times. Cordero in reality was a good pick up, as the left fielder banged 16 HR with 51 RBI before he was traded in late July to the Indians for Alex Ramirez (who hit .209 and was out of baseball the following year) and Enrique Wilson, a reserve infielder who hit .262 in 1-½ Pirates seasons. Cordero ended up having one more strong year left in him as a Montreal Expo in 2003.
- 2001 - The Giants did what the Bucs couldn’t afford to do by signing RHP Jason Schmidt to a four-year/$31M contract (it became official on the 18th). The Pirates had flipped him to the G-Men at the deadline of his 2001 walk year for Ryan Vogelsong. Jason wasn’t done with the art of the deal; he signed a three-year/$47M agreement with the LA Dodgers in 2006. He pulled in about $92M in his career; $8M was from his five Bucco campaigns.
- 2010 - The Pirates agreed to terms with 1B Lyle Overbay on a one-year/$5M contract; he was waived in August after hitting .227. The Bucs also signed 32-year old OF Matt Diaz to a two year deal worth up to $5M. He was sent back to the Braves at the deadline for P Eliecer Cardenas after hitting .259 with no homers.