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11/20 Through 1985: Bucs For Sale; Leyland Hired; Stu-for-Pags; Law, Maz AS's; Big Daddy '85 Comeback Player; Joe Brown Signs; Rickey In, Hamey Out; HBD Pinch & John

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  • 1880 – SS George “Pinch” McBride was born in Milwaukee. McBride put together a 16-year career, mainly with the Senators, but one of his early stopping points was in Pittsburgh in 1905, where as Honus Wagner’s sub, he hit .218 in 27 games (also his lifetime BA; George was a good field, bad hit SS) before being sent to St Louis for Dave Brain in July. Despite that sickly average, he earned his nickname because of his perceived talent to hit in a pinch. McBride spent his final couple of years in Washington as a player/coach and was rewarded with the skipper’s job in 1921, but only lasted one season due to an odd injury – he was conked by a ball thrown by an OF’er during warm-ups and suffered dizzy spells the rest of the year. He resigned and left baseball until 1925, coached for a while and then retired for good, living to the ripe old age of 92. 
  • 1887 - RHP John Scheneberg was born in Guyandotte, West Virginia. John got his only major league start in 1913, going six innings for the Bucs and giving up four earned runs (five overall) on 10 hits to take the loss. He got one more big league outing as a St. Louis Browns reliever in 1920, getting shelled for seven runs in two frames. John nevertheless had a long pro career, working from 1910-21 with time off during the war, and had better success on the farm, going 12-0 in 14 games for Class D Paris (Kentucky) in 1911 and winning 19 games for Joplin of the Western League in 1920. 
Roy Hamey – undated Getty photo
  • 1950 - Pirates GM Roy Hamey resigned and was replaced by Branch Rickey. Hamey was a NY Yankee baseball exec who got his first GM gig in Pittsburgh in 1946. He hired Billy Meyer to manage and added players Tiny Bonham, Bob Chesnes and Hank Greenberg to go with holdover Ralph Kiner. What he didn’t develop was a farm system to stock a team lacking in depth, Rickey’s forte. Hamey landed on his feet, returning to the Yankees, and was in various exec suites until 1970. Rickey would falter in restoring the Bucco sheen too, but his minor league spadework helped his 1955 replacement, Joe Brown, build the successful late-50s & 60s Pirates. 
  • 1956 – 38-year-old GM Joe Brown was given a new contract after he had generated a bit of a buzz both on the field and at the gate for the Pirates in his first campaign behind the wheel. Terms weren’t leaked, but Brown told reporters “I’ll be around for awhile” when quizzed on the length of the deal. He sure enough was; Joe lasted from 1956-76 and came back in 1985 to help transition a battered and embattled franchise. 
  • 1960 - RHP Vern Law and 2B Bill Mazeroski were named to The Sporting News MLB All-Star team, selected by the Baseball Writers of America Association. The NL continued to be well represented by winning eight of the team’s 11 spots. 
  • 1962 – The Pirates traded 1B Dick Stuart and RHP Jack Lamabe to the Boston Red Sox for RHP Don Schwall and C Jim Pagliaroni. Pags appeared in 490 games over the next five years for the Bucs, batting .254 while Schwall became a multi-role pitcher, tossing four years for Pittsburgh with a 22-23-4/3.24 ERA. Stu hit 103 homers in the next three seasons and then faded away, while Lamabe lasted six more seasons in the show, with strong campaigns in 1966-67. 
  • 1984 - Dan Galbreath announced his decision to sell the Pirates, saying that his family didn’t want to unload the team but as a family ownership group, the drain on their assets was more than they could handle. He added that the team was to remain in Pittsburgh as he considered the agreement to play at TRS through 2011 to be unbreakable (though he would quickly change his mind). It was the first step in what was to prove a long, strange trip… 
Rick Reuschel – 1985 Fleer Update
  • 1985 - 36-year-old Rick Reuschel was named the NL’s Major League Comeback Player of the Year by United Press International. Big Daddy went 14-8/2.27, starting the year with Hawaii in the Pacific Coast League after signing as a free agent with Pittsburgh in February. Rick went on to win 71 more games in the next five seasons with the Bucs and Giants before running out of gas and hanging up the spikes in 1991. 
  • 1985 – Syd Thrift hired Jim Leyland to manage the Pirates, replacing Chuck Tanner after a 57-104 finish in ‘85. During his Pirate era of 1986 to 1996, Leyland won two Manager of the Year awards (1990 & 1992), finished as runner-up in 1988 and 1991, and led the team to three divisional titles (1990-92).


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