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12/3 From 1960: Deacon, Barney, Billy HoF; Chico Signed; Junior Drafted; Lookin' For Help; Staff Moves; HBD Steve

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  • 1964 - OF Steve Carter was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. Carter was drafted by the Pirates in the 17th round of the 1987 draft out of the University of Georgia and got into 14 games between 1989-90, batting .143 for the Bucs. The outfielder was traded by the Pirates to the Chicago Cubs for Gary Varsho just before 1991 camp broke and never made it back to the show. He was an offensive force in the minors but never could transition past AAAA status. Steve retired following the 1995 season after playing in Italy and Mexico. He’s now a division chief for the Maryland – National Capital Park and Planning Commission. 
Steve Carter — 1991 Fleer Ultra
  • 1969 – Charley Feeney of the Post Gazette reported that the Pirates were looking for another backend righty to add to the bullpen to join Bruce Dal Canton and Chuck Hartenstine. They kicked Moe Drabowsky’s (11-9-11/2.94) tires at KC, with the Royals asking for a package centered around OF Angel Mangual with Hartenstine as a second piece. The Bucs also talked to Seattle, checking on Bob Locker (5-6-10/3.14), but their requested price was Dave Cash. The Pirates ended up making no reliever deals during the winter other than signing 36-year-old Orlando Pena, and good thing. They didn’t realize it at the time, but they had already had their man in hand after they picked up Dave Giusti from the Cards in late October. He was converted from a swingman to closer and finished 1970 with a 9-3-26/3.07 line in 66 outings. Hartenstine went to Saint Louis during the season and Dal Canton was sent to KC after the 1970 campaign. 1982 - 2B Jose “Chico” Lind was signed as an 18-year-old FA out of Puerto Rico. He won the 2B job in 1988, and the defensive whiz played six years in Pittsburgh, hitting .255. Chico was a member of the 1990-92 division winning clubs before ending his career in the AL amidst a swirl of personal problems. He got his nickname as a toddler; “Chico” is the Spanish term for a youngster. 
  • 1984 - C Junior Ortiz was selected by the Pirates from the New York Mets in the Rule 5 draft. Junior began a five-year (1985-89) run with the Bucs, starting 201 games behind the dish in that span. Junior batted .264 in his seven-year Bucco career, as the draft served as a homecoming. He had debuted as a Pirate as a 22-year-old in 1982, and was traded to the Mets as part of the Marvell Wynne deal in June, 1983. 
  • 1995 - The Pirates were kicking the tires of some FA outfielders, particularly to man the middle of the pasture. John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times had them talking to Otis Nixon and Darron Lewis; they also had interest in corner guy Kevin Mitchell, fresh off a hot season in Japan. They didn’t ink any of the players on their list, instead signing soon-to-be 35 Mike Kingery from the Rox, and he won the job when Jacob Brumfield was traded in May. Afterward, they tried to work prospect Jermaine Allensworth into the spot, but it remained an up-for-grabs position until Nate McLouth handed it off to Andrew McCutchen a decade later. 
Mike Kingery – 1996 Fleer Ultra (reverse)
  • 2001 – Brian Graham was signed by the Pirates from Florida as Minor League Director, eventually becoming the Senior Director for Player Development. With Graham in charge, the Pirates minor league teams finished with combined winning records in four of his five seasons and the Bucs 2002 minor league system was honored as the Topps’ “Baseball Organization of the Year.” In 2007, he was appointed interim GM of the Pirates after the dismissal of Dave Littlefield. A month later, he was fired along with manager Jim Tracy, scouting director Ed Creech, and director of baseball operations Jon Mercurio by new GM Neal Huntington, a surprise as he and NH were supposed to have a good working relationship from their Cleveland days. Graham was quickly picked up by the Orioles and still works in their system as Director of Player Development. He was close to leaving the Pirates before that – he was a finalist for the Cincinnati Reds manager’s job in 2004 (he had spent a decade as a minor-league skipper and big league coach before becoming an administrator) but lost out to Dave Miley. 
  • 2002 – Kent Biggerstaff was replaced as the Pirates head trainer after more than two decades (1981-2002) at the position. Before joining the Bucs, he worked for the New York Mets & Milwaukee Brewers. Biggerstaff was named the All Star Athletic Trainer for the NL in 1990, 1994 & 2002, and was selected as the Athletic Trainer for the 1996 MLB All Star Tour of Japan; he was also named 2002 Major League Athletic Trainer of the Year. Kent switched gears and has since worked for golf’s PGA and Champions Tours. His replacement was Brad Henderson, who held down the job through 2011.
  • 2007 – German-born Barney Dreyfuss, owner of the Pirates from 1900 until his death in 1932, was elected by the Veterans Committee to the Hall of Fame. He built Forbes Field, helped to establish the first modern World Series in 1903, won six pennants & two titles, cleaned up the game and was considered one of the founding fathers of modern baseball. The Pirates honored him with a stone memorial which has traveled from Forbes Field to TRS and now sits in PNC’s concourse behind home plate. Billy Southworth was also selected to the HoF, with his playing and managing careers both lasting 13 years. OF Southworth played three years for the Pirates (1918-20), leading the NL in triples in 1919 (14) and hitting .294 as a Buc. As a manager, he won four pennants and two World Series titles with St. Louis and Boston. They were inducted on July 28th, 2008. 
Barney’s Memorial
  • 2012 – James “Deacon” White was elected to the Hall of Fame by the pre-integration era committee. Earning his reputation as a bare-handed catcher, although he played several positions over his career, Deacon helped popularize the catcher’s mask (Al Spalding, who founded a sports equipment company that sold them, was once his battery-mate) and as a young spot pitcher (he tossed twice) is credited with developing the first windup. He played for the Bucs near the end of his 20-year career in 1889, hitting .253 from the hot corner. Deacon came by his nickname honestly; he was a devout Christian in an era when ballplayers were notoriously rowdy.


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