1874 – C Harry Smith was born in Yorkshire, England. He was a reserve catcher from 1902-07, hitting just .202 as a Bucco. He joined the club as a highly touted youngster. When the Bucs signed him after the 1901 season, the Pittsburg Press wrote in a front page article that gushed “Clever Harry Smith…is the catcher pronounced by all the writers who are in sympathy with the National League as being the greatest young backstop in the country.” Smith was a player-manager for the Boston Doves briefly, and went on to become a minor-league skipper after he hung up the spikes.
Harry Smith 1903 (photo Chicago History Museum/Getty Images)
1924 – 1B Dee Fondy was born in Slaton, Texas. Dee joined the Bucs in 1957 and hit .313 in 95 games; he also was the last player to bat at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn before the Dodgers switched coasts. Fondy was a contact hitter, and in the off season, the Bucs dealt him to Cincinnati for Ted Kluszewski. Following his playing career he worked as a scout and in the FO for the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers.
1973 – The Astros traded Jerry Reuss to the Pirates for Milt May. Reuss ended up 61-46 with a 3.52 ERA as a Buc and was a rotation mainstay for four seasons. The lefty worked six campaigns in Pittsburgh (1974-78, 1990) and spent his last MLB season as a Pirate. He did get around; Reuss was on the roster of eight different clubs at one time or another and won 220 games in a 22-year career.
Jerry Reuss 1974 Topps
1990 – Jim Leyland was selected as the NL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He guided the Bucs to 95 wins and a division title, easily outdistancing the Cincinnati Reds’ Lou Piniella in the voting.
2011 – Roster shake-up day: the Pirates lost C Ryan Doumit, C Chris Snyder, SS Ronnie Cedeno and LHP Paul Maholm to free agency after deadline acquisitions OF Ryan Ludwick and 1B Derrek Lee had declared themselves FAs the day before.