- 1916 – The Pittsburgh Press’ Ernest Lanigan wrote “No one knows who invented doubleheaders, the gentleman who did so refusing to step up…and claim the dubious honor. Jimmy Callahan, the Pirates field boss, would like to meet the person responsible…” His Pirates were swamped by bargain baseball, partaking in 34 twin bills during 1916, almost 45% of the schedule, with just 14 at Forbes Field, and finishing a dismal 27-39-2 playing them. “Barney’s Buccaneers” weren’t very good in any mode, it should be noted – they were only a smidge better at 38-50 in single game matchups that year.
- 1951 – It was announced that five players who were part of a 15-game American-Japanese Goodwill Baseball Tour would spend two days in Korea with the troops during the week before heading home. One of the players selected was Pirates infielder George Strickland (P Bill Werle was also part of the US team). Bo was no stranger to military life, as he had served in the South Pacific with the Navy from 1944-46. The tour, led by Lefty O’Doul, was the first of six by the MLB between 1951-58 and helped find common ground between the two WW2 foes. O’Doul had led an earlier 1949 tour, at the request of General MacArthur, with the San Francisco Seals club of the Pacific Coast League.
|Dave Otto – 1993 photo George Gojkovich/Getty
- 1964 – LHP Dave Otto was born in Chicago. He worked parts of eight seasons in the show with a stop at Pittsburgh in 1993, going 3-4/5.03 in 28 outings. Dave was 6’7,” two-sport star (hoops & baseball) at the U of Missouri and a member of the University’s Sports Hall of Fame. Since his retirement, he’s been a sports announcer in Chicago.
- 1967 – Doctor Charles Jorgensen passed away. “Doc” was the Pirates trainer for 30 years until he retired in 1958, working under nine field managers (Jewel Ens, George Gibson, Pie Traynor, Frankie Frisch, Billy Herman, Bill Meyer, Fred Haney, Bobby Bragan and Danny Murtaugh) and four team presidents (Barney Dreyfuss, Bill Benswanger, Frank McKinney and John Galbreath) during his three-decade stint as the Bucs’ main medico.
- 1983 – RHP Charlie Morton was born in Flemington, New Jersey. The promising righty came to Pittsburgh in 2009 as part of Nate McLouth’s trade to Atlanta. Despite excellent stuff (he earned the nickname “Ground Chuck” for his ground ball deliveries), Morton was in-and-out of the rotation because of various injuries and spotty performances, going 41-62/4.39 over seven seasons. He was traded to the Phils, but was put out of action early in the campaign with a torn hamstring. Charlie did find a boost going to the Astros in 2017, going more with his hard stuff to become a rotation mainstay (well, except for that six-week trip to the DL…) and then tossed like Mr. October of the slab set with Game Seven wins for Houston in the ALCS and WS. He went 15-3/3.13 in 2018, then followed with another super season (16-6/3.05) with Tampa, going 5-1 in two postseasons with the Rays.
- 2013 – Clint Hurdle, who guided the Pirates to their first winning record in 21 years and to the NLDS, was named the NL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Clint was the first Pirates manager to win the award since Jim Leyland in 1992 and he did it easily by winning on 25 of the 30 ballots cast, leaving the Dodgers’ Don Mattingly and the Braves’ Fredi Gonzalez in the dust. New Brighton’s Terry Francona won the AL honor.
- 2014 – LHP Justin Wilson was traded to the New York Yankees for C Francisco Cervelli. It marked the third straight offseason that the Bucs took on a Yankee catcher, signing FA Russ Martin for the 2013-14 seasons and acquiring Chris Stewart for the 2014 campaign. Fran had a pair of strong campaigns, and the Bucs signed him to a three-year, $31M extension in 2016 before releasing him to Atlanta in 2019. Wilson got a lot of work, too, appearing 344 times in six seasons with the Yankees, Tigers, Cubs and Mets.
|The Shark – 2014 Topps Blue|
- 2014 – MLB sent a squad overseas to open a 10-day, five-game Japanese All-Star series, the first since 2006. Mark Melancon represented the Pirates, along with ex-Bucs Jose Veras, Eric Katz and Justin Morneau. The team played five games in Osaka, Tokyo and Sapporo, with exhibitions in Koshien and Okinawa. For The Shark, it was just another goodwill trip in a long string of overseas MLB ventures. He had represented baseball in camps held in South Africa, Taiwan, China, New Zealand and Australia in the past.
- 2015 – Andrew McCutchen became the first Bucco to win four Silver Slugger awards, breaking a logjam with Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and Rick Rhoden, each of whom took home three trophies (Bonds & Rhoden consecutively). It was the fourth straight year he took the honor, hitting .292 with 23 HRs and 96 RBI in 2015 after falling below the Mendoza Line by the end of April.
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