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8/21 From 1970: Bautista, Big Daddy Dealt; Rennie Breaks Ankle; Reynolds Raps; Giles POTW; Tabata Signs; TSN Dock; Game Tales; HBD Jeff, Jesse, Ramon & Lou

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  • 1971 – Dock Ellis was featured on the cover of The Sporting News for the story “Sound Off.” That’s the year Ellis told the media that NL All-Star Team manager Sparky Anderson would “never start two brothers against each other” as Vida Blue was starting for the AL. Anderson surprised Ellis (or played into his hand) by naming him the starter. Dock may have been better off muted; he was the losing pitcher in the game, giving up a titanic shot to Reggie Jackson. 
  • 1973 – IF Lou Collier was born in Chicago. He began his eight-year career as a Bucco in 1997-97, hitting .235 after being selected in the 31st round of the 1992 draft from Kishwaukee College. He spent two years in Korea after his MLB days and retired from baseball in 2007. He founded the Lou Collier Baseball Association, recruiting Chi-town kids out of rec center/little league teams to showcase their skills. He’s also an area scout for KC. 
  • 1976 – IF Ramon Vazquez was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. He spent the final campaign of his nine-year career with Pittsburgh in 2009, hitting .230 while playing third, short and second. Since retiring, he’s coached for San Diego, Houston, and currently Boston along with managing Santurce (Roberto Clemente’s old club) in the Puerto Rican League. 
Ramon Vazquez – 2009 Ronald Modra/Getty
  • 1977 – Rennie Stennett broke his right ankle sliding into second against the Giants at Three Rivers Stadium and was lost for the year. Rennie never recovered fully, and his best BA after the accident was just .244. At the time, Stennett was the NL’s #2 hitter, batting .336 and fell 12 at-bats short of qualifying for the title, though his .336 BA would have been nosed out by the eventual winner, teammate Dave Parker, who hit .338. To rub some salt into the wound, the Bucs lost the game, 5-4. The second baseman left the Pirates after the ‘79 campaign to join San Francisco, inking a big five-year deal, but was never the same player and was released after two seasons on the Bay at age 31. 
  • 1983 – RHP Jesse Chavez was born in San Gabriel, California. He started out with the Pirates in 2008-09, going 1-5/4.48 from the bullpen after arriving as the return from Texas for Kip Wells. In turn, the Bucs sent him to Tampa Bay in 2009 for 2B Akinori Iwamura. Jesse is still pitching, now with the Angels; when he was with Oakland, they had converted him to the rotation, though most clubs (he’s been on nine teams) preferred him out of the pen. 
  • 1983 – 1B Jeff Clement was born in Marshalltown, Iowa. He was a highly touted power hitter from Southern Cal and was taken third overall in the 2005 draft by Seattle. The Pirates got him from the Mariners in 2009 as part of the return for Ian Snell and Jack Wilson. Jeff got a look-see in 2010 and again in 2012, putting up a .193 BA, and retired from baseball in 2014. 
  • 1987 – Vet RHP Rick Reuschel was sent to the Giants for two pitchers, righties Jeff Robinson and Scott Medvin. Reuschel had two strong years on the Bay, winning 36 games and earning an All-Star berth. Robinson lasted three years in Pittsburgh as a fairly solid reliever/spot starter (20-19-17/3.98) while Medvin (3-1/5.03 in 23 Bucco outings) was traded to Seattle in May, 1990 after spending most of his Pirates time in the minors at Buffalo.
Chris Peters – 1998 Pacific Online
  • 1998 – All nine Pirates starters had hits, eight had RBI and seven scored in a 14-2 romp over the Reds at TRS. Kevin Young banged out three knocks and five other Bucco had a pair of raps as the Bucs collected 17 hits and six walks. Al Martin and Jason Kendall homered; Pittsburgh added five doubles and a triple. Chris Peters went seven innings for the decision. It was part of a 15-game streak where the Pirates attack scored four or more runs. 
  • 2000 – OF Brian Giles was named the NL’s co-POTW, along with Todd Helton. Giles was 11-of-21 with three doubles, a triple and three homers, scoring six times and chasing home eight runs. It was the fourth time Giles had earned the award. 
  • 2008 – 3B Jose Bautista was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for a PTBNL (C Robinzon Diaz). Bautista bloomed as a slugger in Toronto and while no one saw it coming at the time, it ended up among the more lopsided deals in Bucco history. A side note: the Pirates were trying to pry C Brian Jeroloman loose for Jose. Jeroloman, a prospect that never reached MLB (he spent 11 years with various farm clubs), did eventually end up a Bucco when he was sold to the club in 2013 just before the season started. He was traded away in May to the Nationals. The FO had its eye on Jeroloman before that – they claimed him off waivers in 2011, but DFA’ed him three days later. 
  • 2011 – The Pirates announced a six-year extension of Jose Tabata’s contract. It guaranteed him $15M and included three club option years. JT’s advisers quit, believing the terms were too team friendly; they were wrong. From 2012-25, JT hit .267/96 OPS+ for the Bucs and logged lots of minor league innings before being traded to the LA Dodgers at the 2015 deadline; they released him in 2016, and after bouncing around the bushes, he’s a free agent this year. 
Jose Tabata – 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter
  • 2020 – OF Bryan Reynolds drove in four runs and scored three more to lead the Pirates to a 7-2 win against the Brewers, collecting three hits including a homer and triple. It was a red-letter day for RHP Chad Kuhl, too, who went five frames and picked up his first win since June, 2018, after missing the entire 2019 campaign while recovering from TJ surgery. 1B Colin Moran and SS Cole Tucker added three more hits apiece as the Bucs banged out 14 knocks at PNC Park.


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