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This Day in Pirate History - 1/10  View Printable Version 
Posted: Friday, January 10, 2003

By 81omar_moreno

Former Pirates players born on this date include pitcher Bill Swift, who started his ML career with the Pirates in 1932 and pitched for them thru the 1939 season. Bill, born in 1908, was a 24 year old sidearm throwing starting pitcher when he made his debut on opening day, April 12, 1932. The Pirates lost that game 10-2 to the Reds, but Swift would go on to have a great rookie season going 14-10 3.61 with 4 saves. He had the lowest walk per inning ratio in the NL that year and finished 2nd on the team, to the staff ace Larry French, in wins and strikeouts. The Pirates would finish 2nd that year with an 86-68 record, just 4 games behind the Cubs.
This Day in Pirate History - 1/9  View Printable Version 
Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2003

By 81omar_moreno

On this date in Pirates history, only one former player was born on Jan 9th, but there was a big trade that took place back in 1918 on this date involving 2 future Hall of Famers. The Braves and Pirates finalized a deal involving 5 players on January 9, 1918. Going to the Braves were 2nd year pitcher Burleigh Grimes who was coming off a 3-16 season, pitcher Al Mamaux and rookie Chuck Ward. The Pirates got in return outfielder Casey Stengel and George Cutshaw.
"This Day in Pirate History - 1/8"  View Printable Version 
Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2003

By 81omar_moreno

Former Bucs players born on this date include Gene Freese, born in 1934,who started his ML career with the 1955 Pirates, played with them till mid-1958 and then rejoined them for the 1964-65 seasons. Gene had a good rookie season as a 21 year old splitting his playing time between 2nd base and 3rd base. In 134 games, he hit .253 with 14 HR's and 44 RBI's. He also finished 8th in the league in triples with 8 and 2nd to the Cubs Gene Baker in sacrifice hits with 16. Freese also split 3rd base duties with his brother George who started 50 games there in his only season with the Bucs. Neither one of the brothers were much defensively and Gene by far had the best career.
This Day in Pirate History - 1/7  View Printable Version 
Posted: Monday, January 6, 2003

By 81omar_moreno

Former Buc players born on this date include Dick Schofield. Ducky as he was known, was born in 1935 and played shortstop for the Pirates from 1958-1965. Dick joined the Bucs midseason 1958 from the Cardinals and played sparingly his first year with the team getting 27 at-bats in 26 games with just 4 hits and 2 RBI's. The next season he would be the backup second baseman, playing sparingly at short and outfield, getting into 81 games total while batting .234 with 9 RBI's.
De Ja Vu, Is 2010 Going to be Year of the Pirates?  View Printable Version 
By Richard A. Mathews

Time Magazine called the 2000’s the Decade from Hell. While I hope Time’s assessment of the prior decade was not factual in your personal lives, as Pirate fans it might not be much of a stretch to agree with one of this country’s older magazines.

Like many, a New Year and a New Decade caused an attempt at removing the old baggage sitting around that the “Boss” somehow doesn’t understand is really good stuff to keep. Having turned 50, I really probably keep a little too much stuff and what the heck, you got to live with your wife anyway. So into my files I went throwing out what didn’t need kept but all too often stopping to read many of the thousands of articles I once wrote on our Pittsburgh Pirates.

I thought you might enjoy the following excerpts from a 1997 piece I wrote and how the 2010 Bucs rate against the original Freak Show.


“Can Cam,” remains the cry from crushed Pirate fans who will need to buy a program just to have a clue who is on the field in 1997.

Every sensible national baseball review of the Bucs chances in 1997 predict a 100+ loss season.

But then whoever said I had any common sense.
This Day in Pirate History - 1/6  View Printable Version 
Posted: Monday, January 6, 2003

By 81omar_moreno

Former Bucs players born on this date include Lee Walls, who made his ML debut with the 1952 Pirates team as a teenager. Walls, born in 1933, played 18 games in center that year, 32 games all together and hit just .188 over 80 at-bats. He wouldn't play again in the majors till 1956 when he would be an everyday player, hitting .274 in 143 games. He had double figures in HR's, triples and doubles in 1956 and scored 72 runs while driving in 54.
This Date in Pirate History - 1/5  View Printable Version 
Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2003

By 81omar_moreno

Former Bucs players born on this date include 6 guys who played briefly for the team. Starting with Newt Hunter, born on this date in 1880. Hunter played with the Bucs way back in 1911 and was a platoon 1st baseman in his only season in the big leagues. A right handed hitter and thrower, he made his debut opening day during a Pirates 14-0 win over the Reds.

Hunter played 65 games total, 61 at first base where he had a .989 fielding percentage on the season which was 4 points higher than the league average. Hunter hit .254 with 24 RBI's in 209 at-bats.
This Day in Pirate History - 1/4  View Printable Version 
Posted: Friday, January 3, 2003

By 81omar_moreno

Since there isn't much Pirates history for this date, I'm going to do something a little different. First, I'll get to the 2 birthdays and one free agent signing.

Born on this date in 1977 was pitcher Brian O'Connor, who pitched 6 games for the 2000 Pirates team. Brian, a left-handed pitcher, was an 11th round draft pick by the Bucs in the 1995 draft. He immediately signed and joined the Bucs rookie league team, appearing in 14 games that season. He progressed about one level each year before making the majors midseason 2000, after going 12-4 in double-A.
This Day in Pirate History - 1/3  View Printable Version 
Posted: Friday, January 3, 2003

By 81omar_moreno

Former Bucs players born on this date include Gus Suhr, who was the everyday 1st baseman from 1930-1939. Gus took the everyday part serious, setting at the time what was an NL record, by playing in 822 games straight from Sept 11, 1931 until he missed a game attending his mother-in-laws funeral on June 5th, 1937. The season before joining the Bucs, Suhr had an incredible year in the minors, hitting .381 with 51 HR's and 177 RBI's. He also had a pretty impressive rookie season in 1930 hitting .286 with 107 RBI's, scoring 93 runs in 151 games.
This Day in Pirate History - 1/2  View Printable Version 
Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2003

By 81omar_moreno

Born on this date in Pirates history is one of my favorites from my early days, Bill Madlock. Mad Dog was born in 1951 and joined the Pirates on June 28th, 1979 in trade along with Len Randle from the Giants in exchange for pitchers Ed Whitson, Al Holland and Fred Breining. Over the last 85 games, Madlock hit .328 with 44 RBI's. After hitting .250 with 2 RBI's in the NLCS, Bill hit .375 with 3 RBI's in the Pirates 7 game World Series victory over the Orioles.

In 1980, Bill dropped off to a .277 avg. over 137 games, with 53 RBI's and on top of that he got suspended for poking an umpire in the face with his glove after a bad call. The suspension would last 15 days. In 1981, Bill had a great year, leading the NL in avg. with a .341 mark, he made the All-Star team and drove in 45 runs over 82 games during the strike shortened season. In 1982, Madlock hit .319 with career highs in HR's (19), RBI's (95) and runs scored (92). That year he finished 2nd in the NL in hitting to former Pirate Al Oliver.