1886 – RHP Nick Maddox was born in Govanstown, Maryland. He tossed four years (1907-10) for Pittsburgh, his entire MLB career, with a 43-20/2.29 line. He threw a no-hitter as a rookie, won 23 games in 1908 and a World Series contest in 1909. Maddox won his first four starts, something no other Pirate would match until Gerrit Cole in 2013. He stayed in Pittsburgh after his brief career ended due to arm problems, raising nine kids in Millvale while holding down a job at the Fort Pitt Brewery.
1897 – C Johnny Gooch was born in Smyrna, Tennessee. He caught eight years (1921-28) for the Pirates, hitting .286 in a part-time role and was part of the 1925 and 1927 World Series clubs. He was a Pirate pitching coach and scout from 1937-42 and was a lifelong friend of Pie Traynor, a minor league teammate.
Johnny Gooch (photo via SABR)
1906 – OF Fred Brickell was born in Saffordville, Kansas. Brickell played for Pittsburgh from 1926-30, hitting .312 as a reserve outfielder. His son Fritz also played in the major leagues from 1958 to 1961.
1931 – RHP George “Red” Witt was born in Long Beach, California. Red tossed for the Bucs from 1957-61, going 10-13/3.93 as a starter/long man, and worked three games in relief against the Yankees in the 1960 World Series without surrendering a run. Witt went 11-16 with a 4.32 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 66 career games after spending 1962 with Houston and the Los Angeles Angels.
1953 – The Supreme Court confirmed by a 7-2 decision that baseball is a sport, not a business, and therefore not subject to antitrust laws in a case brought before it by a minor league player.
Scott Sauerbeck 2001 Topps
1971 – LHP Scott Sauerbeck was born in Cincinnati. The lefty spent the first five years (1999-2003) of his MLB career with Pittsburgh after being selected as a Rule 5 pick from the Mets. He went 19-15-5/3.56 in his Pirates time.
2007 – The Italian nine beat Team USA 6 – 2 in the 2007 Baseball World Cup. Italy had not beaten the US for 21 years and had never beaten an American team with pro players. Pirate farmhands were complicit in the defeat – SS Brian Bixler committed a pair of errors (plus was picked off first base) while Andy LaRoche mishandled a pick-off try while playing first, allowing five unearned runs to the Italian nine. Still, it was just a bump in the road as it was the USA’s only loss on their journey to the Cup.