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Friday, March 24 2023 @ 12:46 am UTC
This Day in Pirate History - 2/10   
By 81omar_moreno

Former players born on this date in Pirate history include starting pitcher Larry McWilliams, who played for the Bucs from 1982-1986. A tall lanky left hander, Larry was acquired in a trade for Pascual Perez from the Braves in June of 1982. McWilliams was a starter his first 4 seasons, but he was moved to the bullpen by the Braves before the trade. In 18 starts for the Bucs in 1982, he went 6-5 3.11 with 2 shutouts and even got a save in his only relief appearance.

In 1983, he would have his best season of his 13 year career when he went 15-8 3.25 with 199 strikeouts (3rd in the NL, and 8th highest single season total in team history). He tied for team lead in wins with John Candelaria. He also finished 5th in the NL Cy Young voting. The next season Larry finished with a 12-11 2.93 record, the same win/loss total as fellow starters John Tudor and John Candelaria. Rick Rhoden led the team in wins with 14, but despite having the top 4 starters all with winning records, the Pirates as a team finished 12 games under .500.

In 1985 McWilliams along with the rest of the team struggled. He would be moved to the bullpen at one point and finish the season 7-9 4.70 with just 52 strikeouts. He also suffered a shoulder injury which would bother him throughout the rest of his career. His last year in Pittsburgh he would spend most of the year in the bullpen, starting just 15 of his 49 games. He finished 3-11 with a 5.15 ERA. Larry played for 4 teams over his last 4 seasons and he finished 78-90 3.99 in 370 games, 224 as a starter.

James "Cotton" Tierney, who was born in 1894, was a second baseman for the Pirates from 1920-1923. A late season call up, he made his ML debut on Sept 23, 1920 during a 4-0 win vs the Reds. He would play 12 games and hit .239 with 8 RBI's, also getting 2 starts at shortstop. The next year he earned a starting job and hit .299 with 52 RBI's on the season. He platooned at 2b with George Cutshaw (who hit .340 on the season) and backed up at 3b, playing 32 games there.

With Cutshaw going to the Tigers in the offseason, Cotton had a great year in 1922 hitting .345 (5th in the NL) with 86 RBI's. He also finished 5th in the NL in triples with 14, but was just 3rd on the team behind Carson Bigbee and HOF'er Rabbit Maranville. In 1923, after 29 games, Cotton would be traded to the Phillies along with Whitey Glazner for Lee Meadows and Johnny Rawlings. He lasted just 2 more seasons and his hitting fell off down to .259 and .257 his last 2 years. He hit .296 career over 620 games.

Bill Evans pitched 3 seasons for the Pirates from 1916-1919 and he was also born in 1894 like Tierney. He made his debut August 13, 1916 during a doubleheader vs the Cardinals. He would start his first game 8 days later in a doubleheader vs the Phillies, and get his 2nd career start another 8 days later in another doubleheader. In fact, Evans next 3 starts were also during a doubleheader. He would finish the season 2-5 3.00 in 13 games. The next season, Bill would have a 3.38 ERA in 8 games, but finish with a 0-4 record. He missed most of the 1917 season with an illness, and he would spend all of 1918 in the military during WW1. He returned in 1919 for 7 games, but finished 0-4 5.65, ending his ML career with a 2-13 3.85 record in 28 games.

Finally, Billy O'Dell who was born in 1932, finished his 13 year career as a member of the Bucs in 1966-67. In 1965 with the Braves he had 10 wins, a 2.18 ERA and 18 saves in 62 games as a reliever (1 start). He came over to the Pirates midseason 1966 from the Braves and would go 3-2 2.78 in 37 appearances the rest of the way. He would also win his 100th career game that year. The next season he would go 5-6 5.82, getting an occasional start, and finish his career 105-100 3.29 in 479 games. He was a 2 time All-Star back in 1958-59 with the Orioles, but his best year was 1962 when he won 19 games for the Giants.

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