- 1953 - RHP Odell Jones was born in Tulare, California. Jones had several stints with the Bucs, starting out in 1975, spending a year in the minors and returning from 1977-78, then coming back via trade in 1981. He went 9-12/4.28, splitting his time between the pen and starting. The fastballer last pitched in the show in 1988; his final hurrah was in 1992 when he finished in the Mexican League.
|Odell Jones – 1977 Topps|
- 1954 - The Pirates traded workhorse RHP Murry Dickson, a 1953 NL All-Star, to the Phils for RHP Andy “Swede” Hansen, IF Jack “Lucky” Lohrke and $70K. Dickson won 62 more games until he retired in 1959, while neither Hansen or Lohre ever suited up for Pittsburgh (or any other MLB club) as both were assigned to the top Bucco farm team, the Hollywood Stars. Dickson was a victim of a Branch Rickey payroll dump; both he and Ralph Kiner (in June, 1953) were traded, trimming $115,000 of Bucco salary. Swede’s moniker was because of his Scandinavian heritage (he was actually a Dane). Lucky came by his nickname honestly; by the time he was 22, he had several close brushes with the Reaper between WW2 combat and a couple of crashes.
- 1963 – Kevin McClatchy was born in Sacramento, California. McClatchy headed the group that purchased the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1996 for $95M and pushed through the construction of PNC Park, keeping the team in Pittsburgh. Bob Nutting replaced him as principal owner after 10 years, and in July of 2007, McClatchy stepped down as CEO of the Pirates, replaced by Frank Coonelly. He’s a director of The McClatchy Company, a newspaper publishing group owned by his family, and stayed local, living in Ligonier.
- 1971 - RHP Elmer Dessens was born in Hermosillo, Mexico. He started out with the Bucs by signing with them in 1993 and then pitching from the bullpen from 1996-98 with a 2-8/6.12 slash. He went to Japan the following year, then came back to toss in the MLB through the 2010 season, wearing eight different uniforms, including two stops with the Mets, during a 14-year career.
|Teke – 1978 Topps|
- 1977 – The Bucs signed RHP Kent Tekulve and LHP Terry Forster to contracts. Teke’s salary wasn’t disclosed; he was coming off a breakout year with 64 outings (102 IP) and a line of 5-3-9/2.45 while Forster had been held back by injuries in the past two years with the White Sox and would pitch just one year for the Pirates. He signed for $50,000 while going 6-4-1/4.43.
- 2004 - Per the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Padres and Bucs were cooking up a deal that would send C Jason Kendall to San Diego for C Ramon Hernandez and 3B Jeff Cirillo. While SD GM Kevin Towers was a big Kendall fan (this was the fourth different proposal he offered during the off season to get him in the Padre fold), Friar ownership had a late change of heart and killed the proposed swap, leery of taking on the $42M still owed to Kendall over the next four seasons. Jason was moved after the season to the Oakland A’s.
- 2006 – OF Craig Wilson avoided arbitration by signing a $3.3M contract in what would be his last Bucco season, as he was dealt to the Yankees at the 2006 deadline. He played for the Pirates from 2001-06, hitting .268 with 94 HR. He faded with the Yankees, went to Atlanta the following season and was sent to the White Sox, playing AAA ball for the remainder of 2007 and all of 2008 for the Bucs and Mariners before retiring.
- 2010 – OF Craig Monroe inked a one-year/$750K deal with the Bucs. Another in a collection of guys of that era who were on the way out but were given a paid farewell tour by the Bucs FO, Monroe hit .215 with three homers and was released in July, ending his nine-year MLB career.
|Cole Train – image via Positively Pittsburgh|
- 2018 - The Pirates sent RHP Gerrit Cole to the Astros for a gaggle of youngsters: RHP Joe Musgrove, 3B/1B Colin Moran, RHP Michael Feliz and minor-league OF Jason Martin a day or two after a premature report of a consummated deal between the clubs. The two teams had discussed a Cole deal starting from the 2017 deadline and got back to brass tacks during the winter meetings. The Yankees were considered the early frontrunners in the Cole sweepstakes and reportedly offered either Clint Frazier or Chance Adams as the featured return. Bronx prospects Gleyber Torres, Justus Sheffield, Estevan Florial and Miguel Andujar were all off the table, thwarting the Pirates FO, which had reputedly targeted Andujar or Sheffield. Cole had a great couple of seasons for the ‘Stros before the Yankees got their man two years later. Moran eventually moved to first and was non-tendered after the 2021 campaign while Musgrove joined the rotation and was later traded to San Diego. Feliz had been a yo-yo, spinning between Indy and Pittsburgh before being released in ‘21 (he’s with the BoSox now), while Martin reached AAA ball and got a taste of the show in 2019 before his 2020 release; he’s currently a Texas Ranger.
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