1952 – Carnegie’s Honus Wagner’s #33 was retired after he bid farewell as a Bucco coach at the age of 77 following 39 years that he associated the team. The Bucs also honored him by giving him a lifetime pension at full pay. Hans number was the first the Bucs retired; other Pirates to join him in the honor were Billy Meyer (1), Ralph Kiner (4), Willie Stargell (8), Bill Mazeroski (9), Pie Traynor (20), Roberto Clemente (21) and Danny Murtaugh (40). The Flying Dutchman finished his career with a .329 average and won eight NL batting titles, ranking among the Pirates' top 10 in 11 offensive categories. He was a coach with the Pirates between 1933 and 1951. Honus was also part of the first Hall-of-Fame class ever selected, along with Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Babe Ruth.
Honus Wagner 2011 Topps by Kimbrall
1996 – General Mills put out a Wheaties cereal box commemorating Negro League stars Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Cool Papa Bell to celebrate the league's 75th anniversary. All three legendary figures played for Pittsburgh and/or Homestead at some point in their Hall of Fame careers.
2000 – The Pirates signed RHP Leo Nunez out of the Dominican Republic. He never twirled for the Bucs, being traded to KC in 2004 and made the news in 2011 when he admitted to being Juan Carlos Oviedo, not Leo Nunez, a fake ID he used to shave a year off his age and make him a more desirable prospect. He pitched thru 2011, served a lengthy suspension to start 2012 and then blew out his elbow during rehab, requiring TJ surgery. Juan/Leo returned to the show in 2014, but hasn’t appeared on a MLB hill since that season.
2002 – RHP Ron Villone signed a $900K FA contract with the Bucs, making Pittsburgh one of his 12 MLB stops in a 15 year career. He went 4-6 with a 5.81 ERA for the Pirates and was released at the end of the year.
Ron Villone 2002 Upper Deck 40 Man
2014 – Free agent RHP AJ Burnett signed a one-year/$16M deal that included an option for 2015 with the Phils after coming off a pair of strong seasons (26-21, 3.41) for the Bucs that resurrected his brand. He chose Philly over the Pirates because the ballyard was located 90 minutes from his Maryland home. “It was about my wife. It was about my kids. It was about playing somewhere where I'm at home,” the pitcher explained. But he returned to Pittsburgh the following season, signing a contract that was $4.25M less than the option he declined. He told the press that he had one more year left in the tank and “There’s no other place I want to finish my career (than Pittsburgh).”