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6/29 Happenings: Ollie Boot; Arriba Dedication; HBD Rock, Tony, Patsy, Heinie & Whitey

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  • 1867 – IF Henry “Heinie” Reitz was born in Chicago. Heinie had established himself as a dependable .290 hitter over his first five years and the Pirates sent three players to Washington to get him. Father Time won this deal. The 32-year-old Reitz played just 35 games for the Bucs, hitting a career low of .262 and was traded to Milwaukee of the American Association for Harry Smith, who spent six years with the Bucs as a back-up catcher. Heinie never played major league ball again after the deal and became a sad but historic footnote in baseball history when he died in 1914 at age 47, the first major league player to meet his Maker as the result of a car accident. 
Patsy Flaherty 1904 (photo Chicago History Museum/Getty)
  • 1876 – LHP Patsy Flaherty was born in Mansfield (now Carnegie). The Flaherty and Wagner families were neighbors and Patsy & Hans were lifelong friends. Flaherty was a “quick-pitch” stylist and master of the pickoff (between pitching as soon as he got the ball back from the catcher and his deceptive pickoff move, it’s been said that he struck out at least two batters who swung at throws to first!) who was recommended to the Pirates twice by his homie Hans. He pitched for the Bucs in 1900 and then again from 1904-05. He went 29-19-1 in that span. When he retired after nine years of major league ball with a dead arm, he coached, managed and scouted for various clubs until 1940. 
  • 1910 – Burgess “Whitey” Whitehead was born in Tarboro, North Carolina. A good glove, erratic hitting infielder, Whitey put in eight years with the Cards and Giants, winning a World Series, three NL pennants and an All-Star selection. After missing three seasons while in the military, he returned in 1946 for a last hurrah with the Pirates, hitting .220 at age 36 and then retiring after two more years in the minors. Whitehead was elected into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and was the last surviving member of the Gas House Gang when he died in 1993 at the age of 83. 
  • 1967 – John Wehner was born in Carrick. The Rock was drafted out of Indiana University by the Pirates in the seventh round of the 1988 draft and the infielder spent nine seasons (1991-96, 1999-2001) with the Bucs as a utilityman, hitting .250. On October 1st, 2000, Wehner hit the final home run smacked at TRS. He played every position except pitcher during his career. John shares the major league record of 99 consecutive errorless games at third base with Jeff Cirillo and has a 1997 World Series ring won with the Florida Marlins under Jim Leyland. After a couple of years as a Bucco hitting coach at Altoona, he became an analyst on the Pirates’ TV team. 
Tony McKnight 2002 Fleer Tradition
  • 1977 – RHP Tony McKnight was born in Texarkana, Arkansas. Tony was a big righty who was a first round draft pick and pitched modestly well for Houston (5-1, 3.91 in nine starts) in limited work. The Pirates took a dice roll on the 24-year-old by swinging a deadline deal that sent reliever Mike Williams to the ‘Stros for him. They rolled snake eyes; Tony went 2-6/5.19 in 12 starts with a 1.572 WHIP, then spent two years in the minors before moving on. He’s now a coach at Texas A&M at Texarkana. 
  • 2005 – LHP Ollie Perez was placed on the DL with a broken toe. He kicked a laundry cart in frustration after being pulled from a game in St. Louis on the 26th (an eventual 10-inning, 5-4 Pirate win) and was out of action for 10 weeks. 
  • 2013 – A life-size statue of Roberto Clemente was unveiled at the 25-acre Roberto Clemente State Park along the Harlem River in the Bronx. The likeness, sculpted by Maritza Hernandez, was the first in New York to honor a person of Puerto Rican heritage, according to the park’s director.


Source: http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2018/06/629-happenings-ollie-boot-arriba.html

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