1864 – RHP “Little Bill” Sowders was born in Louisville. He pitched two of his three seasons for Pittsburgh from 1889-90, going 9-13, 5.39 for the Alleghenys. Bill came from a baseball family. Two of his brothers, John and Len, also played in the big leagues. No clue as to why he was “Little Bill” as Sowders was 6’0”, although a string-bean at 155 pounds.
1950 – 1B/OF Mike Easler was born in Cleveland. The Hit Man spend six (1977, 1979-83) of his 14 MLB seasons as a Pirate role player with a .302 BA. Fittingly enough, he spent his later years as a hitting coach for a handful of MLB squads. Mike, btw, is considered to be the Original Hit Man, not Don Mattingly. He picked up the name because of his aggressive style at the plate and his ability to drive the ball to all fields, leading to five .300+ seasons in the show and a .293 career BA.
Mike Easler 1983 O-Pee-Chee
1931 – LHP Paul “Lefty” Pettit was born in Los Angeles. He pitched for the Bucs in 1951 and again in 1953, going 1-2, 7.34. The Bucs signed him in 1950, making him baseball's first $100,000 bonus baby. He never really got a chance to show his stuff; he injured his arm in 1951. By 1954, it was so painful that he was sent to the PCL and switched to OF where he showed a nice stick, but he eventually had to move to 1B to spare his wing. He retired from pro ball in 1961, becoming a high school teacher and coach.
1989 – The Pirates signed veteran righty Walt Terrell to a $800K deal as a free agent, and he promptly had the worst start of his career, going 2-7/5.88 before the Bucs cut him loose in July. He did go on to finish up a bit more credibly with the Tigers, tossing through 1992.
1910 – 2B Ed Leip was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He played three years for the Bucs as a pinch hitter and runner, getting into 30 games and hitting .200 from 1940-42 before turning in the flannels for khaki during WW2.
Chris Cannizzaro 1969 Topps
1967 – Pittsburgh traded 1B/OF Mike Derrick to Detroit for C Chris Cannizzaro. Pittsburgh kept the light-hitting Cannizzaro for a season before moving him to San Diego while Derrick played one MLB campaign.
2010 – The Bucs sent 3B Andy LaRoche outright to Indy; he opted for free agency the following day. Laroche was a key piece of the Jason Bay trade, but hit just .226 in three Pirate seasons. The Bay deal reeled in Laroche, Craig Hansen, Brandon Moss and Bryan Morris, but they never became building blocks for Neal Huntington (although Moss & Morris have developed into ML players). The GM was hoping to maximize the return by dealing Bay at the deadline, but later admitted he probably should have held off until the winter to pull the trigger.