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1/5 Through the 1960’s: Brown Bought; Live Ball; HBD Danny, Roger, JR, Bob, Jack, Newt & Gene

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  • 1880 – 1B Fred “Newt” Hunter was born in Chillicothe, Ohio. Hunter spent from 1903-18 in the minors, getting the call in 1911 when he was one of six players who spent time at first base in 1911 along with John Flynn, Honus Wagner, Bill McKechnie, Mickey Keliher and Bill Keen. He did OK, hitting .254 in 65 games, but was replaced by Doggie Miller in 1912. After retiring (he played 17 years on the farm for 17 teams), he spent time as a Card coach in 1920, and except for a brief 1924 minor-league comeback that lasted six games, was done with baseball. 
  • 1890 – UT/PH Gene Madden was born in Elm Grove (now Wheeling), West Virginia. Gene hit .312 at Galveston in 1915, earning a Pirates contract for the next season. He played well in camp and made the opening day roster, but after a couple of series was told the Bucs wanted him to play regularly in the minors. Hans Wagner (manager Nixey Hallahan was ejected, leaving Honus in charge) sent him up to pinch-hit on his last day in Pittsburgh, and Madden grounded out. It would be his only MLB game and at bat. He played one more year in the bushes before joining the Marines, and made a minor league comeback in 1921. But his family was growing (he ended up with seven kids) and Gene retired for good after that campaign. 
  • 1914 – RHP Jack Salveson was born in Fullerton, California. He worked for five MLB campaigns, including five 1935 outings for the Pirates with an 0-1, 9.00 line. Jack was known as a quick worker, once pitching a game in 65 minutes, and was a long-time PCL hurler who tossed for 22 years in the minors. Show biz fact: He got a small part in the movie “Pride of the Yankees” and got to bop Lou Gehrig (played by Gary Cooper) in the noggin as a Tinseltown tosser. 
Bob Oldis – 1960 Topps
  • 1928 – C Bob Oldis was born in Preston, Iowa. Oldis was a third string catcher for the Bucs between 1960-61, getting into 26 games and batting .160 as a Pirate. Though seldom used, Oldis appeared in Games 4 and 5 of the 1960 World Series as a late-inning defensive replacement. After his seven-year MLB career ended, he was a coach/scout for the Phillies, Twins, and Expos. He’s been with the Marlins organization since 2002. 
  • 1934 - The leagues still can’t agree on the DH, didn’t play inter-league games until 1997 and didn’t pool umpires until 2000, but they did agree on a common baseball for the first time on this day. The NL adopted the AL horsehide, which had a thinner cover and less prominent seams. The switch was supposed to both juice up the NL attack and make inter-league performance comparisons more equivalent (the NL was considered more of a pitcher’s league because of the less lively ball and the higher, pitcher-friendly seams). Pirates manager George Gibson told Volney Walsh of the Pittsburgh Press that “If the lively ball helps anyone it should help us some for we had the hardest hitting team in the league last year.” It didn’t quite work out that way. The Bucs led the NL with a .383 slugging % in ’33, and though they came in second in ’34, their average fell to .344 as they pounded a paltry 52 homers. Business of baseball trivia: The AJ Reach Company, the AL’s vendor, was contracted to manufacture the balls, but it was bought by Spalding, its chief rival in the business, which then produced the MLB balls until 1977 when Rawlings became the supplier. 
  • 1946 – The Pirates forked over $30,000 to the Cards for infielder Jimmy Brown. Brown had been an All-Star in 1942, but played an abbreviated season in ‘43 before joining the Army Air Corp. He came back for the Bucs as a 36-year-old, hit .241 in 79 games and called it a career after spending the following two seasons in the minors. Afterward, he managed in the Pittsburgh system for a couple of years and then coached with the Braves for three more campaigns. 
  • 1961 – Manager John Russell was born in Oklahoma City. While with the Rangers, he caught Nolan Ryan’s sixth career no-hitter in 1990. He ended his 10-year career with a .225 batting average, 34 home runs and 129 RBI in 448 games. After hanging up the spikes, he made several coaching stops and managed the Bucs from 2008-10 during some dark seasons, with a record of 186-299. It wasn’t his first gig in Pittsburgh; JR had been Lloyd McClendon’s third base coach from 2003-05. He was the Baltimore Orioles bench coach from 2011-18 and is now an IMG Sports Academy director in Bradenton. 
JR – photo Associated Press
  • 1961 – LHP Roger Samuels was born in San Jose, California. He had a 20-game MLB career, tossing five of those contests in 1989 as a Bucco with no decisions and a 9.82 ERA. The 28-year-old started 1990 at AAA Buffalo, then the Pirates sent him to the Mets, where he pitched for AAA Tidewater and then retired. 
  • 1962 - LHP Danny Jackson was born in San Diego. The Pirates got him in mid-July for the stretch run of the 1992 division race, and the lefty went 4-4/3.36 ERA as the club won the NL East but lost the NL playoff to Atlanta in seven games. After the season, he was lost in the expansion draft. Jackson had a 15-year career with seven teams, appearing in three World Series and two All-Star games.



Source: https://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2022/01/15-through-1960s-brown-bought-live-ball.html



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