1864 – SS John Gilbert was born in Pottstown, PA. His big league career lasted a day. John played both ends of a doubleheader for the Alleghenys against the Phils on June 23rd, 1890, going 0-for-8 but playing a clean game in the field during the split. His brother Harry was his teammate up the middle, and that twin bill was his only major league time, too. They did make club history as the first bro teammates of the Alleghenys/Pirates franchise.
1934 – IF Gene Freese was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. Augie went to Wheeling Central HS and West Liberty State College, spending two stints (1955-58, 64-65) and six years with the Bucs. Mostly a reserve with Pittsburgh, he hit .247 as a Pirate, though while between Bucco rosters, he started at third for three years at Cincinnati, hitting 26 homers in 1961, helping the Reds to their first NL flag in years. After he retired, Freese settled near New Orleans where he ran a sports bar. Freese had a history of issuing nicknames; he claimed to have given Pete Rose his “Charlie Hustle” moniker. Gene had his nickname hung on him in 1955 thanks to Ebbets’ Field PA announcer Tex Ricard, who was noted for confusing names and introduced him as Augie, per ex- Bucco player and announcer Nellie King.
Gene Freese 1958 Topps
1969 – RHP Brian Boehringer was born in St. Louis, Missouri. The reliever closed out his 10 year MLB career in Pittsburgh between 2002-04, with a Bucco record of 10-9-1, 4.36 ERA. He had a sharp 2002 season, making 70 appearances and pitching to a 3.39 ERA, but couldn’t keep up the pace during his final two campaigns.
2007 – The Pirates brought back utility man Jose Hernandez, who they had sold to the Phillies late in the 2006 campaign after he had hit .267 for the Buccos. Jose’s homecoming didn’t have a storybook ending as he was a late cut in camp and was assigned to Indy, marking the end of his MLB career.
2008 – In his ninth year on the BBWAA's ballot, Rich “Goose” Gossage was the only player elected to the Hall of Fame. During Goose's' 22-year career, he compiled a 124-107 record, saved 310 games, and posted a 3.01 ERA. He spent 1977 as a Pirate, going 11-9-26 with a 1.62 ERA and 151 K in 133 IP. Goose was inducted on July 27th.