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Monday, January 30 2023 @ 08:23 am UTC
This Day in Pirate History - 2/15   
By 81omar_moreno

On this date in Pirates History just 2 former players were born. First, Barry Jones who played for the Bucs from 1986-1988 turns 40 today. A big righty relief pitcher, he made his ML debut on July 18, 1986 during a 12-7 win Vs the Padres at Three Rivers. During his rookie season he would go 3-4 2.89 with 3 saves in 23 games. His ERA placed him 2nd on the team just behing Pat Clements among relievers. He picked up his 1st save 10 days after being called up from the minors in a 7-4 win Vs the Expos in Montreal.

Barry got his first major league win in an unusual way. The Pirates played a game vs the Cubs on April 20th that the ending was postponed due to darkness (before Wrigley Field had lights). The game was continued on August 11th after the original game for that day was played which the Pirates won. The Pirates would go on to win the continued game in 17 innings by a 10-8 score, and Barry Jones got the win by striking out the side. Rookie Barry Bonds also had the game winning RBI, but like Jones, both of them were in the minor leagues when the game officially started.

In 1987 Jones struggled going just 2-4 5.61 in 32 games with 1 save, but his ERA wasn't the worst by far on the team that year. Starter Bob Kipper and fellow relievers Dorn Taylor, Bob Patterson and John Smiley (who pitched 75 games in relief in his first 2 seasons before being switched to starter in 1988) all had higher ERA's on the year.

The next season Barry lasted 42 appearances into the year with the Bucs and he put up numbers reminiscent of his rookie season, going 1-1 3.04 with 2 saves. Before the trading deadline, Jones was traded to the White Sox for lefty starter Dave LaPoint who would go 4-2 in 8 starts to finish the year in his only season with the Bucs.

Barry would have his best season of his career with the Sox in 1990 as the set-up man for Bobby Thigpen, who set an all-time saves record with 57. Jones went 11-4 2.31 in 65 games. He was traded with Ivan Calderon to the Expos for Tim Raines in the offseason and struggled playing for 4 teams over the next 3 years before retiring. He pitched 17 games for the 1992 Mets posting a 9.39 ERA but had a 2-0 record. Jones finished 33-33 3.66 in 348 games career, all in relief. While with the Bucs Jones wore #50 (a number he wore for every team he played for except the Mets) and his 3 year salary with the Pirates was $225,000 total, just barely above rookie minimum now.

The other player born on this date was Charles Reilly who played one year for the Bucs way back in 1891. Reilly had played his first 2 seasons of his career with the Columbus Solons of the American Association(considered a major league back then). He played 6 games his first year and hit .478, but to show a difference between now and then, he made his ML debut on October 9th, a date now when playoff games are being played. After coming off a season where he hit .266 with 77 RBI's and 75 runs scored in 1890, Reilly became the Pirates everyday 3rd baseman, occasionally playing shortstop. He hit just .219 with 44 RBI's in 114 games, and although he was considered a good fielding 3rd baseman, he made 60 errors with the Bucs, falling well short of the league average fielding % at the time. He also stole 20 bases, which was good for just 5th highest on the team (but would've led the Pirates in each of the past 2 season)

Reilly went on the the Phillies the next season, and despite hitting .196 he kept his job due mostly to his fielding, which was back to his previous level with Columbus. He played 3 more years for the Phillies, before finishing his career after a one year hiatus, with the 1897 Senators. In 641 games career he hit .250 with 311 RBI's and 132 stolen bases. Reilly was a switch hitter, born in 1867 in Princeton, NJ and went by the nickname "Princeton Charlie" during his playing days.

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