1881 – The American Association was founded. The initial members were the Brooklyn Atlantics, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Louisville Cardinals, Philadelphia Atlantics, Pittsburgh Alleghenys, and St. Louis Brown Stockings. The AA was considered a major league organization, though the Alleghenys bolted to the NL after the 1886 campaign and the league folded after the 1891 season. Denny McKnight, the Alleghenys owner, was elected its first president, with his term running from 1882-85.
Denny McKnight 1909 (photo via Baseball Hall of Fame)
1952 – He never played in the Pirate organization, but he sure has some pull in the FO: agent Scott Boras was born in Sacramento. Boras is the rep of Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell among others and was Pedro Alvarez’s man. Fun fact: Boras played four years in the minors as an infielder and was a pretty good slap hitter and OBP guy, even earning a spot on the Florida State League All-Star team before hanging up the spikes due to injury and heading to law school.
1955 – Bobby Bragan was named the new Bucco field manager‚ replacing Fred Haney. The fiery Bragan didn’t last long, getting the ax in early August of 1957 after compiling a 102-155 record. His spot was taken by Danny Murtaugh. Bobby went on to manage the Cleveland Indians (1958) and Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves (1963-66), compiling an overall 443-478 record.
1966 – OF/1B Orlando Merced was born in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Merced played from 1990-96 for the Bucs with a .283 BA, coming in second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1991. After a 13-year MLB career, he now he operates the Orlando Merced Baseball Training Center in Kissimmee, FL.
1971 – Roberto Clemente was featured on the cover of The Sporting News for the story “Mr. Big.” And he was for the Bucs, hitting .341, earning an All-Star berth, Golden Glove and World Series MVP award.
Yo-yo man: Antonio Bastardo (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
2015 – The Pirate had eight free agents after the season: P Antonio Bastardo, P Joe Blanton, P AJ Burnett, P JA Happ, 1B Corey Hart, UT Sean Rodriguez, 3B Aramis Ramirez and P Joakim Soria. S-Rod was the only one the team re-signed as AJ and A-Rod retired while the others found new homes during the winter. Bastardo had a homecoming when the Pirates traded to get him back at the 2016 deadline.