Saturday, February 9, 2019

2/9 From 1950: Coop, Josias Sign; Ohlie Wins; Bye Phil; Jimmy DD; Satch,Oscar HoF; HBD Buddy & Aki

  • 1950 - The Chicago White Sox purchased C Phil Masi from the Pirates. Masi only spent half a year with the Bucs after a swap with Boston for Ed Sauer, then he was sold to his hometown White Sox. Pittsburgh may have thought at 33 that his better days were behind him (vet Clyde McCullough was ahead of him and 25-year-old Joe Garagiola was next in line), but he still had a full tank as he hit .276 in 206 games during the next two years while the Sox staff’s ERA went from sixth to second in the AL. Phil broke in Sherm Lollar in 1953 before retiring. 
Buddy Solomon 1982 Donruss
  • 1951 - RHP Eddie “Buddy” Solomon Jr. was born in Perry, Georgia. The ten-year vet worked the end of his career (1980-82) in Pittsburgh, splitting time between the pen and the rotation. He went 17-15-1 with a 3.58 ERA for the Pirates before being dealt to the White Sox in 1982, where he concluded his MLB run. He died two years later at age 34 in a car wreck. His nickname was bestowed on him by his family who called him Buddy Jay. 
  • 1954 - The Pirates signed C Walker Cooper as a free agent. Walker, 39, was an eight-time All-Star who had a couple of down years. He got into just 14 games with the Bucs (3-for-15, one start) and was released in May. But his tank had more than fumes left - as a backup, he played through 1957 for the Cubs and Cards, hitting .285 over that span with 108 games behind the dish before hanging up the mask. 
  • 1971 - RHP Satchel Paige became the first Negro League star to be nominated to the Hall of Fame. Satch pitched for both the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords, and was formally confirmed June 10th, then inducted on August 9th. He finally broke the color line in 1948 at the age of 41, and tossed six big-league seasons, with a pair of All-Star berths and a World Series title with the 1948 Cleveland Indians. 
  • 1976 - The Hall of Fame Special Committee on the Negro Leagues selected OF Oscar Charleston for enshrinement. In 1932, Charleston became player-manager of the Pittsburgh Crawfords with a roster that included Hall of Famers Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and Judy Johnson. The team went 99-36, and Charleston himself batted .363 in what was one of the best Negro League teams ever assembled. He managed the Crawfords through 1937 and was also a player with the Homestead Grays. Oscar was inducted on August 9th.
Oscar Charleston 1990 Eclipse Stars of the Negro Leagues
  • 1979 - 2B Akinori Iwamura was born in Uwajima, Japan. He didn’t leave much of a legacy, hitting .182 in 52 games during part of 2010 before being released. But Aki did trigger one move that helped the Pirates for years: his sub-par performance opened the door for catcher turned third baseman turned second baseman Neil Walker to earn a starting job. Beginning with that season, Walker held down the position for six years, hitting .272 and earning a 2014 Silver Slugger award before being dealt to the Mets in the 2015 off season for Jon Niese. 
  • 1991 - Jim Leyland was presented with the Dapper Dan Sportsmen of the Year award. Leyland led the 1990 Pirates to a 95-67 record and its first NL Eastern Division title in 11 years. He was named the NL Manager of the Year by both the Baseball Writers and The Sporting News. Jimmy hung around for 11 years with the Bucs (1986-96), winning 851 games and three division titles before moving on to Florida, Colorado, Detroit and Team USA. 
  • 2000 - Pittsburgh signed RHP Josias Manzanillo, 32, as a minor league free agent. He gave the Pirates a pair of credible seasons with a 5-4-2/3.38, line before elbow surgery in 2002. He was released in August and was never again effective, tossing his last MLB frame in 2004. 
  • 2011 - RHP Ross Ohlendorf was an arbitration winner after being awarded a salary of $2.025M by a three-judge panel. He went 1-11/4.07 in 2010 while earning a $439K paycheck (the ERA, btw, was at league average). Ohlie had rejected the Pirates $1.4M off-season offer to trigger the hearing.

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