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12/13 Through the 1980s: Cobra Settles; HBD Josh, Jeff, Dale, Dave, Joe, Bill & Buckshot

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  • 1899 – RHP William “Buckshot” May was born in Bakersfield, California. The 24-year old appeared in his one and only game in the major leagues as a Pirate, tossing a no-run, two-hit, one-strikeout frame in a 10-7 loss to the Boston Braves at Forbes Field in 1924. May never was given another chance (it was said that he got into a contract dispute with Barney Dreyfuss and that may have been the brake on his career) though he did work at least 13 credible minor-league campaigns, winning 20 games three times. At age 35 in 1935, Buckshot left the mound for the rigs, retiring to a drilling supervisor job in the oil industry. 
  • 1904 - 1B Willis “Bill” Windle was born in Galena, Kansas. Windle attended Missouri U where he starred in football and baseball, but his MLB career consisted of just three games played for the Bucs between 1928-29 with Bill going 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored. He played in the minors until 1933 before retiring to Corpus Christi where he became a successful apartment owner and a model citizen, with ties to the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis and different civic boards. 
  • 1935 - OF Joe Christopher was born in Frederiksted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. He played for Pittsburgh from 1959-61 sparingly, hitting .244 before being lost in the expansion draft to the NY Mets; his highlight was scoring twice in the 1960 World Series as a pinch runner. Christopher is thought to be the first player from the Virgin Islands to play in the majors. Joe should remember his first start. He was called up to replace an injured Roberto Clemente and made his big league debut playing right field during Harvey Haddix’s 12-inning perfect game. 
Joe Christopher with Maz – 1960 Forbes Field photo/Teenie Harris
  • 1947 - LHP Dave Hamilton was born in Seattle. He tossed for nine big-league seasons, splitting 1978 between the Pirates and Cards, the club the Bucs bought the lefty from in May. Dave pitched well enough, going 0-2-1/3.42 and then signed up with Oakland after the season, returning to the squad he had won three World Series titles with in 1972-74. He retired as an Athletic in 1980 and went on to coach high school ball and work as a project manager. 
  • 1956 – Dale Berra was born in Ridgewood, NJ. The SS, the first round pick of the 1975 draft (20th overall), spent eight years in Pittsburgh (1977-84) and started the last three, but his bat (.238 as a Pirate) never came around and to boot, he testified that he was a coke user during the 1985 trial. Berra still makes the highlight tapes thanks to a 1985 baserunning blooper with Bobby Meacham while with the Yankees. With Meacham at second and Berra at first, Ricky Henderson drilled a ball into the corner. Meacham slipped rounding the bases, so he and Berra came home at virtually the same time. Sadly for them, Ozzie Guillen’s relay beat them to the dish and Carlton Fisk tagged them both out – a double turned into a double play! 
  • 1960 - RHP Jeff Robinson was born in Santa Ana, California. He tossed for the Bucs from 1987-89. His first two seasons were strictly out of the pen, with 19 starts in 51 appearances in ‘89. Overall, Robinson went 20-19-17 for Pittsburgh with a 3.78 ERA. He went to the Yankees in the Don Slaught deal, but couldn’t replicate his Pittsburgh success. Robinson tossed for three teams from 1990-92 and then was out of baseball. He preceded starter Jeff Robinson, a Bucco in 1992 was a brother Californian and whose birthday was just one day later. 
Josh Fogg – 2003 Upper Deck Vintage
  • 1976 – RHP Josh Fogg was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. He pitched for Pittsburgh from 2002-05 with a record of 39-42 and a 4.79 ERA. Josh finished seventh in the Rookie of the Year vote in 2002 and won double figure games for three straight seasons, but was released after the 2005 campaign, pitching four more years before ending his career in 2009 with Colorado. 
  • 1988 - The suits and Dave Parker settled a 2-1/2 year battle over the Cobra’s 1979 contract. The Pirates believed his drug involvement voided $5.3M in deferred payments; Parker disagreed. A few weeks from trial, the two sides settled with Parker getting a lump sum payment of an undisclosed amount that was reportedly less than the original total due, confirmed a week later when the team said its 1988 operating profit was impacted favorably by the settlement.


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