This Day in Pirate History - 2/1

Monday, February 01 2010 @ 05:30 am UTC

Contributed by: Staff

By 81omar_moreno

Former Pirates players born on this date include Cecilio Guante, who played for the Pirates from 1982-1986. He got called up to the majors May 1, 1982, just 2 years after making his minor league debut, and in 10 games that year he posted a 3.33 ERA in 27 innings. The next season after starting in the minors he pitched 49 games for the Pirates, going 2-6 3.32 with 9 saves. After posting a career low 2.61 ERA in 27 games in 1984, Cecilio had his best season the next year, appearing in a career high 63 games with 5 saves. He also set highs in innings and strikeouts.

The 1986 season he again proved to be valuable in the bullpen going 5-2 with 4 saves in 52 games. After the season on Nov 24th the Pirates traded Guante along with Rick Rhoden and Pat Clements for Doug Drabek, Brian Fisher and Logan Easley. Cecilio pitched 9 years total, going 29-34 3.48 with 35 saves in 363 games. He turns 43 today.

Jim Kelly, who was born in 1884, made his ML debut for the Pirates in 1914 at the age of 30. A backup outfielder / pinch hitter, he played 32 games, batting 44 times and hitting .227. The next season, he played for the Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federal League and hit .294 with 50 RBI's in 148 games. After the FL folded he had trouble getting back into the majors, and despite hitting .329 in 35 games for the Braves in 1918, that would be his only other ML experience. He also played under the name Robert John Taggert that year, which was his actual real name.

Chuck Churn made his ML debut for the 1957 Pirates. Born in 1930, he was a righty reliever who appeared in just 5 games for the Bucs in 1957. He made his ML debut on April 18th during a 6-1 loss in Brooklyn (2nd game of the season). Chuck pitched 2 more years in the majors, for the Indians in 1958, and Dodgers in 1959 finishing 3-2 5.10 in 25 games. Chuck wore #28 while with the Bucs.

Ernie Camacho, who played for the 1981 Pirates was born on this date in 1955. A righty reliever, he made his ML debut the season before for the A's. He was originally a 12th round pick of the Pirates in 1975, but didn't sign. For the Pirates he was just 0-1 4.98 in 7 games, 3 as a starter. Ernie would go on to play 8 more seasons in the big leagues, starting with the 1983 Indians, and playing for the Astros, Cardinals and Giants also before he was done.

Dixie McArthur, who was born in 1892, played his entire major league career in one game for the 1914 Pirates. On Friday July 10, 1914 the Pirates played the Philadelphia Phillies in a home game at Forbes Field. Bob Harmon started the game for the 32-37 7th place Bucs that day, but when he struggled they called on the right hander Dixie to pitch. He would pitch 1 inning, giving up 1 hit and striking out one batter in what would be his only ML game. The Pirates lost 5-2 that game. He lived to the ripe old age of 94, passing away in 1986.

Jim McKee, who turns 56 today, was a 6"7 righty reliever for the 1972-73 Pirates. He was a late season call up for the Bucs, making his ML debut on Sept. 15, 1972 and pitched 2 games total, striking out 4 batters in 5 innings. The 1972 Pirates would go on to win the NL east that year, but lose to the Reds in 5 games during the NLCS. The next season, McKee's last in the majors, he would pitch 15 games for the Pirates going 0-1 5.67 in 27 innings. He started one game for the Bucs in his career, getting a no decision during a 13-2 Pirates win on Sept. 26, 1973 vs the Phillies in Pittsburgh.

Finally, Bob Smith, who was a teammate of Chuck Churn, turns 72 today. He was a lefty reliever for the Pirates from 1957-59. After pitching briefly for the Red Sox in 1955, and the Cardinals early in 1957, Smith became a regular out of the Bucs bullpen going 2-4 3.11 in 20 games. He also started 4 games, and had 2 complete game wins. The next year he went 2-2 4.43 in 35 games, had 1 save and even started 4 games, again pitching 2 complete games. The next year,after pitching 20 games in relief for the Bucs (0-0 3.49), he would be sent to the Tigers where he finished his ML career later that season.