Tuesday, February 5, 2019

2/5: Steady Freddy Signs; GM Ted; RIP Barney; HBD Tiger, Javier, Lick, Jack & Charlie

  • 1852 - 1B Charlie Hautz was born in St. Louis. Charlie got his start in 1875 with his hometown Red Stockings when he hit .301 in 19 games. Then he took a circular route back to the show, flipping between umpiring (for three seasons) and minor league gigs until the Alleghenys gave him another shot a decade later at age 32 in 1884. He hit .208 in a seven-game audition, playing mostly first and a little center, and that was the last entry on his big league resume. Hautz returned to St. Louis and went on to a series of blue collar jobs. 
Lick Carlisle chuggin' (photo via Basebakk Hall of Fames)
  • 1910 - Matthew “Lick” Carlisle was born in Wenonah, Alabama. After spending several seasons in the south playing SS for Montgomery, New Orleans, Birmingham and Memphis, Lick joined the Homestead Grays in 1935. A very good gloveman and dangerous base stealer, he mainly started and batted second for the Grays through 1943, then closed out his career with as a bench player, retiring after the 1946 campaign following a tour in the Navy. He remained in Pittsburgh until he passed away at age 62 in 1972. 
  • 1925 - OF Jack Maguire was born in St. Louis. His early career started a bit late when he was in the service from 1943-45, but he returned to the Giants system and in 1950 made his big league debut. Unfortunately for him, the G-Men had another young OF’er coming up who bumped Maguire out of his slot: Willie Mays, who not only took his position but his number 24. He was waived in May of 1951, claimed by the Pirates, who kept him for a month as mainly a pinch runner and pinch hitter (he went one-for-five in nine games) and then released again, this time to the St. Louis Browns where he finished out a hectic year. St. Louis sent him to the minors in 1952 and he retired after the year, tiring of the travel and ready for some family time. He did drop one of the great baseball nicknames on an American Legion teammate of his after joining him & a pal at the movies. One of the shorts was a travelogue on India that showed its mystics, and they reminded him of his bud beside him, Lawrence, whom he dubbed “Yogi” Berra.
  • 1928 - 3B Don Hoak was born in the Potter County town of Roulette. The Tiger played four years for the Pirates (1959-62), hitting .281 and was renowned for his scrappy play on the diamond, living up to his resume as an ex-boxer and Marine. After his playing days ended, Hoak was a Pirates' broadcaster for two years and managed a couple of seasons in the Pirate farm system; he was one of the final candidates for the 1970 skipper’s position that Danny Murtaugh won. 
Tiger 1962 Topps
  • 1932 - Longtime owner and one of baseball’s early pathfinders, Barney Dreyfuss, died at 66, leaving Pirate ownership to his widow Florence and his son-in-law Bill Benswanger. Not only was he influential in Pittsburgh, building a solid franchise and a signature park, but he was also a sturdy rudder for baseball as it sailed some stormy seas in its early decades. In Dan Bonk’s Story of Forbes Field, it was noted that “Between 1895 and 1932, Dreyfuss was in the middle of every important decision facing professional baseball including syndication, contraction, league conflicts, the Federal League, schedules, and of course, the scandal arising out of the 1919 World Series.” 
  • 1977 - RHP Javier Martinez was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Martinez was a third-round pick of the Cubs in 1994 who was claimed as a Rule 5 player in 1997 by the A’s; the Pirates bought him from Oakland and he lasted through the campaign, going 0-1/4.83 in 37 games. After two years in the minors, he couldn’t work his way back to the show and was released by Pittsburgh. His career in the states ended after the 2005 season which he spent tossing for an indie club.
  • 1992 - The Pirates hired Ted Simmons as General Manager. He served in that position for only a year, retiring after suffering a heart attack in June 1993. He was under a lot of job-related stress, as ownership wanted to trim payroll, resulting in an antsy locker room as players such as Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and Doug Drabek were lost to greener pastures. 
Steady Freddy 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter
  • 2008 - 2B “Steady” Freddy Sanchez inked a two-year/$11M contract with an option for $8M in 2010. He lasted half way through it before being traded at the 2009 deadline to the Giants for RHP Tim Alderson. Sanchez played only one full season for the G-Men, the 2010 World Series campaign, as knee and shoulder injuries eroded his career. Alderson never cashed in as a Pirate prospect and has been out of baseball since the 2016 campaign, which was spent tossing indie ball.

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