1882 – The case of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys versus C Charlie Bennett was decided. Prior to the 1882 season, Allegheny gave Bennett $100 to sign an agreement binding him to a future 1883 contract with the club. Instead, Bennett re-signed with the Detroit Wolverines. The Western Pennsylvania District Court ruled in Bennett’s favor for several reasons, including restraint of trade and because there was no concrete ‘83 contract agreed to by the parties. His case later was cited during the fight over the reserve rule during the 1889-1890 Players League battle. He played for the Wolverines for eight seasons, and they named their stadium after him. Charlie is also credited with the first chest protector; his was a cork-lined vest he wore under his jersey. Sadly, he didn’t have long to enjoy his court win – Bennett lost both his legs in 1894 when he was run over by a train.
1886 – The NL officially admitted the Alleghenys, who became the first franchise to jump from the American Association. The club made a reported profit of $160,000 in 1886 (per Wikipedia) and finished second in the AA, making the decision a no-brainer for the NL. The 1887 Pittsburgh Alleghenys finished sixth in their first NL campaign with a 55-69 record. They played at Recreation Park that year and became known as the Pirates a few seasons later in 1891. The Bucs date their history from their entrance into the NL, although the Alleghenys formed in 1882 and played in the American Association, a rival league that was considered to be major league at the time, with the two champions playing each other in the postseason from 1884-90 in loosely organized, unofficial title bouts.
Danny Murtaugh 1951 Bowman
1947 – The Bucs traded for 1B Johnny Hopp and 2B Danny Murtaugh, sending the Boston Braves C Bill Salkeld‚ P Al Lyons‚ and OF Jim Russell. Hopp played three years for the Pirates, hitting .310 but providing little power as a first baseman. Murtaugh’s career was stronger as a manager than player, but he started full-time around the infield in 1948, hitting .290, before finishing his playing career as a Bucco reserve in 1951.
1949 – Despite hitting .310 with a league-leading 54 HR and 127 RBI, Ralph Kiner finished fourth in the NL-MVP balloting, trailing winner Jackie Robinson, Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter.
1997 – The Pirates lost P Jason Johnson to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays while P Clint Sodowsky and 3B Joe “The Joker” Randa went to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the expansion draft. Randa returned to the Pirate fold for his last MLB season in 2006.
Brian Giles 2000 Topps
1998 – The Bucs sent LHP Ricardo Rincon to the Tribe for OF Brian Giles. In five campaigns with the Pirates, Giles would put up a line of .308/.426/.591 with 165 HR and 426 RBI and was twice named to the All-Star team. That deal began a chain reaction of swaps that eventually led to the Pirates acquiring Jason Bay, Ollie Perez, Xavier Nady, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, and Bryan Morris before the trade tree finally fell.
2014 – Free agent C Russ Martin officially signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays after spending two playoff years behind the dish for the Bucs. Born in Toronto, it was a homecoming for the 31-year-old Martin, sweetened by a five-year, $82M contract.
2014 – Manager Clint Hurdle was given the Brooks Robinson Community Service Award and All-Star Josh Harrison was named the MLB recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award at the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) 15th annual Legends for Youth Dinner. Hurdle was recognized for his work with the Prader-Willi Association, while Harrison’s award was given to “an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of baseball.”