1870 – RHP Bill Hoffer was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Bill started out on fire, winning 78 games for the Orioles from 1895-97 before the bottom fell out. He worked for Pittsburgh from 1889-90, going 11-10, 3.33, but was near the end of his career, pitching MLB ball again in 1901 as his swan song. He also played some outfield, but put up a measly .186 BA.
1920 – OF Wally Westlake was born in Gridley, California. He played 4-1/2 seasons for the Pirates (1947-51) and hit .281 with 97 HR in that span as an everyday player. Wally was an All-Star in 1951, the season he split between the Pirates and Cardinals, and played through the 1956 season.
Rex Johnston 1998 One Year Winners
1937 – PH Rex Johnston was born in Colton, California. Rex only played briefly for the Bucs, going hitless in seven at-bats in 1964. In 1960, the former two-sport Southern Cal star played as a kick returner for the Steelers (he was behind John Henry Johnson & Tom “The Bomb” Tracy in the backfield) during the minor league off-season and thus became the only athlete to date who suited up for both the Bucs and the Steelers. He was also teammates with the Phil’s Hall of Fame GM Pat Gillick, who was a lefty pitcher when USC won the 1958 College World Series.
2004 – Jason Bay, who hit .282 with 26 HRs and 82 RBI, became the first Pirate (and Canadian) player to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. Although he didn't begin his year until May while recovering from shoulder surgery, Jay led all NL rookies with a .550 slugging percentage, 54 extra base hits and 226 total bases. (Johnny Ray won The Sporting News ROY award in 1982).