Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2002
On this date in 1975 the Pirates traded pitchers Doc Ellis, Ken Brett and secondbaseman Willie Randolph to the Yankees for pitcher Doc Medich. Randolph went on to play 17 more seasons in the bigs after the trade, 6 times making the all-star team. As a member of the Pirates he played 30 games, 14 as a secondbaseman and 1 as a thirdbaseman, the only time he would play a position in the field other than 2ndbase in his career. He batted just .164 while with the Bucs, with 3 RBI's but scored 9 runs. Randolph also played in the NLCS that year, appearing in 2 games,going 0-2 and scoring a run. He was 20 at the time of the trade.
Ken Brett,was a 26 year old, left-handed starter at the time of the trade. He played 2 years for the Bucs, going a combined 22-14 over 50 games, 43 as a starter. He was a good hitting pitcher too, batting .310 with 2 homers and 15 RBI's in 87 at-bats in 1974. In the post-season, he pitched 1 game during the 1974 NLCS, giving up 2 runs over 2 2/3 in game 4, and then in the '75 NLCS he pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings over 2 appearances. Ken is the brother of Hall of Famer George Brett, and he made his only all-star team as a member of the Bucs in 1974 when he went 13-9.
Doc Ellis was a very good pitcher for the Bucs for 8 seasons from 1968-75 and also made a brief stop with them in 1979, his last season. In his best season,Doc went 19-9 3.06 during the 1971 W.S winning season. He started the all-star game that year, finished 4th in Cy Young voting and won game 2 of the NLCS vs San Fran. In game 1 of the W.S. he gave up 4 runs in 2 2/3 innings,his only appearance.
Doc's best moment came June 12th, 1970 when he threw a no-hitter against the Padres. He also won 13 straight during the 1971 season. He pitched one game each during the 1972 and 1975 NLCS,giving up no earned runs over 7 innings but took a loss in game 4 of the '72 series when Reds scored an unearned run in the first inning. His combined record as a Pirate was 96-80. Twice he finished top-10 in wins and twice in ERA in the NL.
For more on Doc Medich's Pirates career check out Dec. 9th history.
In 1952 on this date Fred Haney took over as the manager from Billy Meyer who had led the team since 1947. Haney hadn't managed since 1941 when he piloted the St Louis Browns for 2+ seasons. As the skipper of the Bucs he did not fair well, finishing in 8th place all 3 seasons, twice losing over 100 games,he posted just a .353 winning percentage. Proving it wasn't his fault, as much as it was the team, Haney went on to manage the Braves the next 4 seasons to two 2nd place finishes and 2 World Series appearances,i ncluding winning the 1957 W.S. Haney was replaced by Bobby Bragan who took over the Bucs in 1956
On this date in 1928 the Bucs traded shortstop Glenn Wright to the Dodgers for pitcher Jesse Petty. Jesse,a left-handed starter who was 34 at the time of the trade would go 11-10 3.71 his first year with the Bucs. The next season however he would struggle,going 1-6 8.27 before going to the Cubs to finish the year.
Glenn Wright, who will be a subject of a future article, played 5 seasons for the Bucs, 3 times hitting over .300 and 3 times driving in over 100 runs but would have his best season in 1930 when he would hit .321 with 126 RBI's, both career highs. He missed most of the 1929 seasons after suffering an off-field injury.
In proving that this date is a bad one for trades, the Bucs started this trend in 1906 by trading Ginger Beaumont, Claude Ritchey and Patsy Flaherty for 2ndbaseman Ed Abbaticchio. Ed would have 2 decent years for the Bucs, including leading the NL in fielding in 1908 before becoming a bench player his last 1+ seasons. He appeared in one game during the 1909 W.S., making an out as a pinch hitter. He stole a career high 35 bases in and drove in 82 runs 1907. He held out the entire 1906 season in a contract dispute with the Braves.
Patsy Flaherty was a small left-handed pitcher who made a brief appearance with the Bucs in 1900 pitching 4 games before going to the White Sox. He would rejoin the Bucs in 1904 and go 19-9 2.05 that season. The next year he would post a 10-10 3.50 record. Patsy did not pitch in the majors the entire 1906 season but had 2 decent years for the Braves after the trade.
Ginger Beaumont, who was a left-handed hitting centerfielder played 88 years for the Pirates, 4 times scoring over 100 runs and 6 times hitting over .300 including a career high .357 in 1902 when he led the league in average. Twice he led the league in at-bats(1903-04), once in runs, and from 1902-04 he led the league in hits all 3 years. His 137 runs in 1903 in the 6th highest total in team history. As a rookie in 1899 he hit .352, and batted .265 during the 1903 W.S. Ginger was a .311 career hitter and stole 200 bases with the Bucs
Claude Ritchey was a good fielding, light hitting second baseman for the Pirates from 1900-1906. He hit between .255 and .296 and drove in between 51 and 74 runs each season as a member of the Bucs. He also had double digit stolen bases each of the first 6 years. During the 1903 W.S Claude hit just .111(3-27) as the Pirates lost to the Red Sox. Ritchey came over in 1899 from Louisville when the owner of the Pirates Barney Dreyfuss (who was also part owner of the Louisville team at the time) sent all of his good players to the Pirates because Louisville was one of the teams the NL was going to get rid of the next season when they changed from a 12 team to an 8 team league. As a member of the Bucs,Claude was a double play combo with Pirates all-time great Honus Wagner.
Finally former players born on this date include 2 Bells who weren't related. Derek Bell, born in 1968(covered briefly yesterday) and Jay Bell who played for the Bucs from 1989-1996. A steady shortstop with average speed and a little power, Jay played for 3 straight pennant winning teams from 1990-1992. He appeared in the 1993 all-star game, and won a gold glove also that year as he hit .310 with scoring 102 runs. A great bunter, he had 39 sac bunts in 1990,25 more than the next highest total.He also led the league the next year with 30. During the 1991 NLCS he batted .414 in 7 games vs Atlanta. During the '92 series however he batted just .172. Three times with the Bucs he finished top-10 in the NL in triples and twice in doubles. Bell turns 37 today.
Also 2 players named O'Brien were born on this date who were related. Twins Johnny and Eddie O'Brien were born on this date in 1930. They both made their debut with the Bucs in April of 1953,and formed a double play combo that season, both playing in 89 games with Eddie hitting .238 and Johnny hitting .247. They both went into the military and missed the next season and both returned in 1955. Both also appeared as pitchers for the Bucs during their brief career.
Eddie spent his whole career with the Pirates,playing in parts of 4 seasons hitting .236 over 231 games. After playing mainly shortstop his first season, he came back from the military and played centerfield in 1955. As a pitcher he went 1-0 3.31 over 5 games, including a complete game win.
Johnny hit .299 in 84 games his first year back from military service but would struggle and play sparingly the next 3 seasons appearing in just 110 games. As a pitcher he went 1-3 5.61 over 25 games. He would play with the Bucs till mid-1958 when he went to St Louis before finishing his career with Milwaukee the next season. He finished as a career .250 hitter.