1885 – OF Lew “Buttercup” Pessano Dickerson was born in Tyaskin, Maryland, and is one interesting dude who made a brief stop in the City. Dickerson hit .249 while playing five different positions for the Alleghenys in 1883, and during his career played in three different major leagues (The American Association, the National league and the Union Association.) His nickname “Buttercup” was given to him by his Cincinnati Reds teammates during the 1879 season, after the “Little Buttercup” character in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta H.M.S Pinafore. No, we don’t why; Buttercup in the musical is described as a “bumboat woman.” On the other hand, Dickerson was known as a lush, league-jumper and all-around street hustler, so… Also, he’s sometimes referenced as the first Italian ballplayer (he’s a member of the Italian-american Sports Hall of Fame), but it ends up the “Pessano” name associated with Dickerson is actually his given middle name, added to honor the doctor who delivered him as was the custom of the era. Ed Abbaticchio is generally recognized as the first paisano in baseball – pro football, too; he was an all-around athlete – and played for the Pirates from 1907-10.
Buttercup (via Baseball Bloggess)
1900 – Rube Waddell punched out a NL season-high of 12 in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Orphans at Exposition Park. He finished second in the senior circuit with 130 strikeouts and a 2.37 ERA in 208-⅓ IP, even though his record was just 8-13. Rube only pitched twice for Pittsburgh in 1901 before being sold to the Chicago Orphans and embarking on a Hall-of-Fame career, mostly with Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns.
1934 – It was the end of an era as the Pirates released RHP Burleigh Grimes. The Hall of Famer was the last player to legally toss a spitter, one of 17 hurlers exempted when the pitch was outlawed in 1921. He finished the year as a Yankee, then went on to a long career as a coach, manager and scout.
1977 – IF Ty Wigginton was born in San Diego. He came over from the Mets as part of the Kris Benson deal and played for the Pirates from 2004-05, primarily at third, but hit just .237. He played 12 seasons before his last game in 2013, making stops at eight different cities.
Ty Wigginton 2004 Topps Traded
1979 – LHP Shane Youman was born in New Iberia, Louisiana. Shane made 23 appearances (11 starts) in 2006-07 for Pittsburgh with a line of 3-7, 5.13, and that was the extent of his MLB career. He spent four years pitching in the indy leagues, another four campaigns in Korea, and spent some winters tossing for Latin clubs, with 2016 spent in the Mexican & Dominican Leagues.
2005 – The Pirates hired Jim Tracy as manager, signing him to a three year deal. It was the first time in two decades, since the hiring of Jim Leyland from the White Sox, that Pittsburgh went outside the organization to select its field boss. He lasted two years, then signed on as a bench coach at Colorado, replacing Clint Hurdle as skipper of the Rox in 2009. May the circle be unbroken…