1918 – LHP Arthur “Cookie” Cuccurullo was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He spent his three year MLB career as a Pirate from 1943-45, with a record of 3-5-5 and 4.55 ERA in 62 games, nine of which were starts. Cookie was one of many ballplayers who filled in during the war years and returned to the minors afterward.
Monty Basgall 1951 (photo William Jacobellis/National Press Photography)
1922 – 2B Romanus “Monty” Basgall was born in Pfeifer, Kansas. Monty was a yo-yo player for the Bucs from 1948-51, hitting just .215 as he went back and forth from the minors to the show. He was in the Pirate system until 1958, ending his pro career as a player/manager at Waco, Beaumont and Lincoln. He went on to become a successful scout and coach for the Dodgers.
1959 – Manager Danny Murtaugh and GM Joe Brown were honored at the Dapper Dan dinner at the Penn Sheraton Hotel. Murtaugh was the top awardee, recognized for publicizing Pittsburgh sports (he beat out the Steelers’ QB Bobby Layne) and Brown was recognized for his contributions to Pittsburgh sports while Bob Friend, Bill Mazeroski, Roy Face and Frank Thomas were also given awards for outstanding performances in 1957.
1967 – Eddie Feigner, headliner softball pitcher of the King and his Court, appeared in a charity softball game at Dodger Stadium and struck out six MLB players in a row, including Roberto Clemente, allegedly tossing a 114 MPH underhand heater.
Thunder Twins Josh & Buck (image via MLB Network)
1972 – C Josh Gibson and OF Walter “Buck” Leonard were selected for the Hall of Fame by the Special Committee on the Negro Leagues. Gibson, the “Black Babe Ruth,” played for the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords. His statue is at Nationals Park, where the Grays often played, and Ammon Field in the Hill District was renamed to honor him. The Grays’ Leonard batted behind him and became known as the “Black Lou Gehrig.” The “Thunder Twins” were inducted on August 7th.
2013 – LHP Francisco Liriano was signed as a free agent. The Cisco Kid had agreed to a two-year contract worth $12.75M on December 12th, 2012, but broke his arm before the physical, voiding the deal. A new two-year agreement was reached with lots of incentives based on starts that would allow him to reach the original contract figures. Frankie came back May 11th, finishing 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA and was the NL Comeback Player of the Year. He followed that with a 7-10 slate in 2014 with a 3.38 ERA, netting a three-year contract during the off season. Frankie was shipped to Toronto at the 2016 deadline.