1884 – Financially troubled despite finishing second to New York in the American Association‚ the Columbus Colts sold its players to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys for $8‚000 and disbanded. The Alleghenys needed all the help they could get; they finished the 1884 season 30-78 and 45-1/2 games behind the AA champion NY Metropolitans. 10 of Columbus’ players stuck on the Alleghenys 1885 roster, and five became core players for years – C Fred Carroll, OF Tom Brown, 2B Pop Smith, 3B Bill Kuehne and P Ed Morris.
1917 – Manager Bobby Bragan was born in Birmingham, Alabama. The former big league infielder managed the Bucs in 1956-57, just before they turned the corner, slating a record of 102-155 (.397) before Danny Murtaugh took the reins.
Bobby Bragan (photo via Sports Memorabilia)
1960 – RHP Lee Tunnell was born in Tyler, Texas. The Baylor righty was the Bucs’ second pick in the 1981 draft. He arrived in Pittsburgh the following September and then went 11-6/3.85 in 1983, but his four year run (1982-85) produced just a 17-24/4.06 line overall.
1975 – Westinghouse Broadcasting stunned Pirate fans by announcing that Bob “The Gunner” Prince and sidekick Nellie King were getting the ax. At the time, no major league broadcaster had ever spent more years (29) with one team than Prince had with the Pirates. The reasons given were that the pair didn’t do enough to promote the team and went off-topic too often (guilty of the latter, but not the former). Despite a parade in his support that drew 10,000 fans, the duo were replaced by Milo Hamilton, formerly of the Atlanta Braves booth, and Lanny Frattare, the voice of the Pirates AAA Charleston club.
1981 – RHP Ian Snell was born in Dover, Delaware. He spent parts of six seasons (2004-09) as a Pirate starter, showing promise but never quite getting over the hump with a line of 33-46/4.75. Ian was demoted to Indy in 2009, at his own request, and traded to Seattle a month later. He bombed there and was DFA’ed in June of 2010, ending his MLB career, although he did make a couple of comeback efforts.
Ian Snell 2008 Topps Allen's & Ginter's
1991 – Mark Sauer was hired as GM after Carl Barger left to run the Florida Marlins. He oversaw the cost-cutting that gutted the Pirates' 1990-92 powerhouse teams as per the orders of the Pirates' public-private ownership to reduce payroll. He was eased out of action by the McClatchy group and resigned in the summer of 1996.