- 1845 - IF Bob Ferguson was born in Brooklyn. In a 14-year career with eight teams, he closed out his playing days in 1884 with the Alleghenys, getting into 10 games and hitting .146. But he did leave a legacy; he was the first recognized switch hitter in baseball, and also had one of the all-time great nicknames, “Death to Flying Things” Ferguson, because of his ability to run pops and flares down (although a more prosaic theory holds that he got the name because of his skill at swatting flies in hotel lobbies). He managed for a couple of years after hanging up the spikes and then moved on to umpiring.
|Al Buckenberger Ars Longa|
- 1861 - Manager Al Buckenberger was born in Detroit. He managed the Pirates from 1892-94, coming in second in 1893 and posting an overall 187-144 slate while also serving as club president. He then tried unsuccessfully to resurrect the old American Association, earning himself a brief league suspension during the 1894 off season. Buckenberger carved out a 25-year career as a manager at different levels, taking the helm for four big league clubs while winning four minor league championships.
- 1870 - RHP Joshua “Jot” Goar was born in New Lisbon, Indiana. The Terre Haute ace of the Western League was purchased by the Pirates in 1896 for $3,200. He got into three games, was hit hard (0-1/16.88) and in May was sold to Grand Rapids. He had another dominating year for Indianapolis in 1897, was purchased by the Reds and got bombed in a mop-up role, ironically against Pittsburgh, claimed a sore arm and on that note ended his MLB career. He finished his playing days in the Western League and semi-pro ball, retiring in 1906 after a freak hunting accident - he shot himself in the arm!
- 1894 - 2B John “Stuffy” Stewart was born in Jasper, Florida. Stuffy was a good glove, good stick (five .300+ minor league years) and superb base stealer in the minors (he led the Southern Association in swipes five times), but unfortunately didn’t have much of a knack for reaching base on his own in the show. He played in parts for eight MLB seasons but only got more than 17 at-bats twice in that time, entering 64 of his 176 big league games as a pinch runner. He got into three games for the Pirates in a 1922 trail, going 2-for-13. He was an early version of a AAAA player, lasting for 17 pro seasons and managing a little after that with a year off as an artilleryman during WW1.
- 1899 - LHP Don Songer was born in Walnut, Kansas. He tossed three of his four MLB years with the Bucs between 1925-27, going 7-9-3/3.55. Songer was part of two World Series teams, but never got to participate, being off the playoff roster in his rookie year of 1925, then traded to the Giants before the 1927 year ended.
|Coral in his post-Pirates days 1948 Sommer & Kaufmann|
- 1919 - P Ken “Coral” Gables was born in Walnut Grove, Missouri. He pitched for the 1945-47 Pirates, spending his entire brief career as a Bucco. Gables had a 13-11/4.69 slate before being traded to the San Francisco Seals and spent the last seven seasons of his career in the PCL. We can’t confirm it, but we’d guess is nickname is a nod to the Florida town.
- 1941 - A Pittsburgh era ended when Paul “Big Poison” Waner, 37, who was released by the Pirates in December, signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers after a 15-year run in the Steel City. He lasted five more years with Brooklyn, the Boston Braves and New York Yankees, and hit .276 over that wartime span. Paul retired after the 1945 season and was a hitting coach for several clubs. He made it into the HoF in 1952 and the Pirates retired his #11 on July 21st, 2007, 55 years to the day of Waner's induction into the Hall.
- 1950 - The Pirates signed high school LHP Paul Pettit (“The Wizard of Whiff” pitched six prep no-hitters) for a record $100‚000 after buying his rights from film producer Fred Stephani‚ who had signed him to an exclusive contract as an athlete/actor. The lefty went 1-2/7.43 for the Pirates (1951, 1953) and after eight minor league seasons, he retired in 1961 with arm problems that had first surfaced a decade earlier and forced him to become an OF/1B (he actually turned into a good hitter and replaced Dick Stuart at 1B for Hollywood of the PCL). Pettit did get a couple of bit parts in the movies, but show biz never panned out and he became a high school coach.
- 1952 - RF Paul “Big Poison” Waner was elected to the Hall of Fame and inducted on July 21st. In a 20 year career, he led the NL in hitting three times and put up a slash of .330/.404/.473. His 2,868 hits as a Pirate are third on the team, behind Roberto Clemente (3,000) and Honus Wagner (2,970). 15 years later, he and younger sib Lloyd became the second brother combo to enter the Hall, behind Harry and George Wright.
|Ted Power 1991 Fleer|
- 1955 - RHP Ted Power was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Ted tossed for 13 MLB campaigns, stopping in Pittsburgh as a 35-year-old in 1990 with a line of 1-3-7/3.66 in 40 games. His career ended in 1994 after labrum surgery; since 2000, he’s been on the Reds farm staff and was promoted to bullpen coach in 2016 after a long run as Cincy’s AAA pitching coach with Louisville.