Sunday, January 6, 2019

1/6: Neftali, Chris Signed; Batters Eye; HBD Lee, Phil, George, Chuck, Doe, Brian & Jimmy

  • 1903 - RHP George Grant was born in East Tallahassee, Georgia. He tossed for seven big league seasons, closing out his career in 1931 as a Pirate with an 0-0/7.41 line in 11 games. He was sent to Buffalo and closed out his 10-year pro ball stint when he was 29 after spending the 1932 campaign with Fort Worth. 
  • 1914 - The first version of the “batter’s eye” in ballparks was mandated by baseball. Every park was required to have a plain, dark green center field wall (early ballyards had their fences plastered with ads) so the hitters could pick up the ball as it left the pitcher’s hand per Today In Baseball History
  • 1915 - OF/3B Chuck Workman was born in Leeton, Missouri. Chuck had a six-year career, starting in 1944-45 with the Braves. The Pirates traded OF Johnny Barrett for him in June of 1946 and Workman finished his showtime with the Pirates that summer, hitting .221 in 58 games. Chuck soldiered on in the minors afterward, retiring after 15 pro seasons in 1951 with Atlanta of the Southern Association.
Phil Masi w/mitt 1949 (photo UPI Teleport)
  • 1916 - C Phil Masi was born in Chicago. He spent 48 games of his 14-year career in Pittsburgh, arriving via a June 1949 deal with the Braves. Phil hit .278, then was sold to the White Sox, where he closed his career in his hometown after three more campaigns. Masi began his MLB career with Boston, where he spent the first 11 years of his stint while earning four All-Star spots as a steady hitter and strong defensive player. 
  • 1933 - OF Lee Walls was born in San Diego. He played three years and all three outfield positions for Pittsburgh (1952, 1956-57) while putting up a .259 BA before being traded to the Cubs in May of 1957. Walls was a Cub starter for three years, earning an All-Star berth in 1958, then spent the back end of his career as a bench player. He later coached for Oakland and the NYY while also spending time as a minor league manager. 
  • 1955 - 1B Dorian “Doe” Boyland was born in Chicago. Boyland was drafted in the second round of the 1976 draft but would play in just 21 games with the Pirates in parts of 1978, 1979, & 1981, batting .105 and blocked at first base by Willie Stargell. Boyland was traded to the San Francisco Giants and never resurfaced in the show. He still made it big, though - at last look, his Dorian Boyland Auto Group had dealerships thriving in several western states. 
  • 1982 - RHP Brian Bass was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Bass spent parts of three seasons in the show, closing out with four 2010 appearances with the Pirates. He was a wild child, giving up 10 walks to go with nine hits in 7-1/3 IP and allowing 11 runs (10 earned) and was DFA’ed in mid-September. Brian signed on with the Phils and Astros after that campaign (he had gone 4-4/3.26 as a starter in AAA) and ended his baseball days with a season in Korea and another in the indie leagues. 
Jimmy Barthmaier 2008 (photo Rob Tringali/Getty)
  • 1984 - RHP Jimmy Barthmaier was born in Atlanta. A waiver claim from Houston, Jimmy got his only taste of MLB in 2008 for the Bucs, going 0-2/10.45 in three starts. Still, he opened the next year as the Pirates #12 prospect, but required TJ surgery in 2009 and never came back; he last played in the 2012 season as a member of the Nats system. 
  • 2004 - The Pirates signed 31-year-old, eight-year vet Chris Stynes to a $750K deal. The Bucs were trying to plug a hole at third base, and Stynes unfortunately wasn’t the answer. He hit .216 in 74 games and was released in August. It was his last major league gig. 
  • 2016 - Free agent RHP Neftali Feliz signed a one year/$3.9M deal plus incentives with the Bucs. He had suffered through a terrible 2015 season, but the Pirates bet on past performance as a closer and recovery from a variety of injuries, including TJ surgery, by adding Feliz to the pen. Neftali bounced back and put up a solid 4-2-2/3.52 slash with 61 K in 53-⅔ IP and 1.137 WHIP. He split 2017 between the Brewers and Royals, then spent 2018 as a D-Back farmhand.

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