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11/27 From 1960: Kendall Dealt; Shelty Hired; Damaso, Walkie Sign; The Kid Fab 22; RIP Buck & Harold; HBD Jared, Moose & Tim

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  • 1961 – 1B Randy “Moose” (he was 6’1”, 230 lbs) Milligan was born in San Diego. He spent eight seasons in the show, notably with Baltimore. Moose hit .220 in 80 at bats for the Pirates after coming over as part of the Mackey Sasser deal with the Mets and then was moved to the O’s in a minor-league transaction after the year. 1994 was his last MLB season and Milligan is now an Orioles scout. 
Moose Milligan – 1988 Donruss Rookie
  • 1969 – C Tim Laker was born in Encino, California. He spent 11 years as a reserve big league backstop (with 15 seasons in the minors, many being split campaigns). In 1998-99, he bounced between Pittsburgh and AAA Nashville. Tim hit well in 20 games with a .364 BA, mainly as a pinch hitter with some first base and catching outings. His last MLB appearance was in 2006, and since he’s managed and coached in the minors; Laker is now the hitting coach for Arizona. 
  • 1988 – The Pirates signed Bob Walk to a guaranteed three-year contract worth $2.5M after his 1988 All-Star campaign. “I’m thrilled,” the righty told Paul Meyer of the Post Gazette. “I got the length of contract I wanted from the team I wanted to play for. It’s kind of like winning the lottery.” The deal was a win for Walk, who was holding out for three years after the Bucs had reportedly offered him two years at $775K per season (Dave LaPoint also asked for three years and got it, but with the Yankees rather than the Bucs as Pittsburgh wouldn’t bend for him). Walkie went 29-17/4.00 over those three seasons and inked a two-year deal following that contract to finish out his Pirate career. 
  • 1995 - OF Jared Oliva was born in Santa Clarita, California. Jared was a high school teammate of Keston Hiura (Valencia HS) and college teammate of Kevin Newman (Arizona). The speedy centerfielder was taken in the seventh round of the 2017 draft and called up in late September of 2020, going 3-for-16 in six games. He got another call up in July, 2021, and hit .233 in 20 games. 
  • 1997 – Buck Leonard passed away in Rocky Mount, North Carolina at the age of 90. He joined the Homestead Grays in 1934 and stayed there until his retirement in 1950. The team won nine league pennants in a row during that span with Leonard hitting cleanup behind Josh Gibson. He led the Negro leagues in batting average in 1948 with a mark of .395 and was one of the NL’s great power hitters, being called the “Black Lou Gehrig.” He and Gibson were elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972. 
Buck Leonard – Ron Lewis Postcard
  • 2000 – Harold Tinker passed away at the age of 95. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, his family moved north when he was 12 and Tinker played for several local teams, including the Edgar Thompson squad that merged with the Pittsburgh Crawfords, and he played center field for the Craws until 1930. He left after Gus Greenlee mandated the players give up their jobs and become full time ballers, opting to keep his year-round $25 per week job over GG’s $80/month salary. Good choice; he ended up working 52 years for his company while also becoming an assistant pastor at Central Baptist Church. He founded the Terrace Village Baseball Club in 1949, one of the city’s earliest, if not the first, integrated ballclub. As a final feather in his cap, Harold is also credited with discovering Josh Gibson back when Gibby was a youngster playing on the North Side. 
  • 2003 – Neil Walker was selected to the Post-Gazette’s High School Fabulous 22 Players squad for the second straight year – in football. The Pine-Richland grad was also named the “Male Athlete of the Year” by the paper. But his write-up was quick to note that “…his best sport is baseball. Considered one of the top five catchers in the country…(He) has a baseball scholarship to Clemson.” The Pittsburgh Kid passed on the Tigers when he became the Pirates first round pick in 2004 (11th overall; $1.95M bonus), and after bouncing from backstop to third to second, he made his MLB debut in 2009 and was starting the next season. In all, Neil played 12 years in the show, with seven of those campaigns spent as a Bucco. 
  • 2004 – The Pirates traded two-time All-Star C Jason Kendall to the Athletics for pitchers Mark Redman and Arthur Rhodes as Pittsburgh wanted to unload the $34M due to the catcher over the next three seasons. The Bucs flipped Rhodes to Cleveland for OF Matt Lawton two weeks later while Redman hurled one year at Pittsburgh before being dealt for Jonah Bayliss. Kendall went on to play eight more seasons with four other clubs, ending his career with 2,195 hits and a slash of .288/75/744. 
  • 2006 – The Bucs inked LHP Damaso Marte to a two-year contract extension with a club option for 2009 worth $8.5M total over the three years ($4.75M guaranteed); the Yankees paid most of it when they traded for the lefty set-up man at the 2008 deadline. 
Damaso Marte – 2006 Brad Mangin/Getty
  • 2019 - The Pirates announced the hiring of Minnesota Twins bench coach Derek Shelton as their new manager to replace Clint Hurdle. It was the 49-year-old’s first shot as an MLB manager after coaching stints with the Twinkies, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians following his first job in the New York Yankees’ farm system. Shelton was a hot item; he had been a finalist for the NY Mets job and was highly regarded within baseball circles. Due to some internal churn, he had to make his case to a pair of Pirates GMs – Neal Huntington first, and then NH’s replacement, Ben Cherington.


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