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1/3 From 1965: Joker, Spanky, Jo Jo Sign Clemente Fund; HBD AJ, Carlos, Michael, Mark & Luis

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  • 1965 – RHP Mark Dewey was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mark went 3-3-8/3.23 for the Bucs out of the pen from 1993-94, with ‘93 being a particularly strong campaign as he converted seven saves with a 2.36 ERA. After six years in the show, he retired and since has coached for the Washington Wild Things and is now with the Brewers organization. 
Mark Dewey – 1994 Flair
  • 1965 - IF Luis Sojo was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He spent 13 years in the show, the last eight with the Yankees except for a 61-game spell in 2000 when he was a Bucco. He hit .284 here after signing as a FA, and in August the Yankees got him back by sending RHP Chris Spurling to the Pirates. He retired from the Pinstripe Mob in 2003 and has coached in their system since then except for a break as the manager of the Venezuelan national/WBC squad. 
  • 1973 - President Nixon gave a $1,000 check in Roberto Clemente’s memory to the Nicaraguan embassy. At the President’s request, Dan Galbreath, owner of the Pirates, along with Dave Giusti and Steve Blass, met with him at the White House to discuss setting up a fund in Clemente’s honor to aid the survivors of the earthquake. Thus was born the Roberto Clemente Memorial Fund to aid the earthquake victims with Tricky Dicky as the first donor. 
  • 1977 – RHP AJ Burnett was born in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The veteran tossed for two years in Pittsburgh (2012-13) after being obtained from the Yankees in a Gotham salary dump, with a line of 26-21 with a 3.41 ERA while averaging a whiff per frame. After a rough season in Philly, he returned for his final year in 2015. He went 9-7/3.18 in 26 starts, coming back in September from an All-Star break elbow inflammation to close out his 17th season, collecting 164 wins and 2,513 whiffs for five teams over that span. AJ was credited with leading the charge to reverse the team’s decades-long losing culture through his mentoring and clubhouse presence. 
Mike Restovich – 2005 Topps Update
  • 1979 – OF Michael Restovich was born in Rochester, Minnesota. He spent parts of six seasons in the bigs, with the second half of 2005 in a Bucco jersey. He hit .214 in 52 games, mostly as a pinch-hitter, and moved on to the Cubs in 2006. After playing for seven different organizations (five at the MLB level) and in Japan, Restovich retired after the 2011 season. 
  • 1979 – C Carlos Maldonado was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. After playing in the Mariner and White Sox systems, he signed with the Pirates in 2004. He got into 21 games in two years, but was here long enough to make his MLB debut, swat his first big league homer (he banged three in his career) and stole his only base. Carlos was released after the 2005 campaign and played his final eight games in the show for the Nats, taking his final at bat in 2012. He’s been a minor league coach and manager for Texas since 2015 after spending time in the Venezuelan and Italian leagues. 
  • 1992 – GM Larry Doughty inked C Mike Lavaliere to a three-year/$6.3M contract that included a $600K signing bonus. The move didn’t pan out; the Pirates released Spanky in April of 1993 after he played one game, eating over $4M worth of Lavaliere’s salary. He finished out his MLB days in 1995 after a three-year run with the White Sox. 
Mike Lavalliere – 1992 Studio
  • 2006 – 3B Joe Randa was officially signed as a free agent for his second go-around with the Pirates. He inked a $4M deal, nearly double his 2005 salary at Cincinnati. The Joker hit .267 in 89 games in his last MLB season, losing his job to Freddy Sanchez and then announcing his retirement in November. 
  • 2012 - LHP Jo Jo Reyes, who became a thing when he tied a MLB record for consecutive starts without a win (28) between 2008-2010, signed a minor league deal with the Bucs. The 27-year-old was coming off a 7-11/5.57 AL campaign, but was given a shot to land a back end/long man spot for Pittsburgh. It didn’t happen; he had a lousy spring, was sent to Indy and never took the hill for the Pirates. After his November release, he worked one game for the Angels in 2015 and another for the Marlins in 2016, with most of his remaining slab time spread among Korean, Mexican, and AAA ball.


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