1967 – Pirates scout Dana Brown was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Pirates hired the former minor league OF away from the Phils in 1993; he moved on to Montreal in 2002 as scouting director and left to become a special assistant to the GM with Toronto in 2009. As a Bucco birddog, he was responsible for signing Ian Snell and Chris Young.
Dana Brown (photo via The Olympian)
1971 – RHP Miguel “The Poet” Batista was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The outfielder-turned-pitcher began his 18-year, 12-team career by tossing a pair of innings for the Bucs in 1992. After his modest Pittsburgh beginnings, he cooled his heels in the minors until 1996 before becoming a MLB fixture from 1998 through his last game with Atlanta in 2012. His nickname came about because of his love of literature. He even published a book of poetry – a lifelong interest of his – titled “Feelings in Black and White (“Sentimientos en Blanco y Negro”) in 2002.
1982 – C Chris Stewart was born in Fontana, California. He joined the Pirates via trade in 2014 and hit .294 as Russ Martin’s caddy (he’s batting .272 in three seasons w/Pittsburgh) while providing solid defense. Stew signed a two year contract with a club option in 2016 as the back-up to Francisco Cervelli. He’s familiar with the drill; he played behind Cervelli and Martin as a Yankee, too. He had late-season knee surgery and is good to go for camp.
2004 – The Pirates signed 1B Randall Simon to an $800,000 FA contract months after trading him to the Cubs following his sausage-swatting incident in Milwaukee. He spent 26 days on the DL with a bad hammy, hit .194 upon his return and was released in August.
Randall Simon 2004 Topps
2012 – The Pirates had RHP AJ Burnett drop in their laps. The Yankees sent him to Pittsburgh for farm hands Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones and agreed to pay $20M of the $33M remaining on the last two years of his contract. AJ went 26-21 with a 3.41 ERA in Pittsburgh before joining the Phils for an injury-plagued 2014 season. He returned to the Bucco fold in 2015 (9-7, 3.18 ERA) for his farewell campaign, agreeing to a team-friendly $8.5M deal after refusing to exercise a $14.75M Philly option.