This Date in Pirates History: December 24

Born on this date in 1949 was shortstop Frank Taveras, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1971 to 1979. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Pirates in 1968 and he spent four full seasons in the minors before he got a chance in the big leagues. He played just one game his rookie season, pinch running for Willie Stargell during a 15 inning game against the Mets on September 25,1971. He played just four September games...

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This Date in Pirates History: December 23

Born on this date in 1871 was one of the best pitchers in Pittsburgh Pirates history, Sam Leever, who played for the team from 1898 to 1910. On the Pirates all-time list for pitchers he ranks fourth in ERA with a 2.47 mark, tied for second in wins with 194, sixth in both innings pitched with 2660.2 IP and games started with 299. He ranks fourth in complete games with 241 and second in shutouts with 39. He won 20 games four times and...

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This Date in Pirates History: December 22

Born on this date in 1938 was all-star outfielder Matty Alou, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1966 to 1970. The Pirates acquired Alou from the San Francisco Giants on December 1, 1965 for Ozzie Virgil and Joe Gibbon in a trade that was covered here. Matty had been in the majors with the Giants since 1960 but he never received more than 351 plate appearances in a season and he was just a .260 hitter over 453 games. When he...

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This Date in Pirates History: December 21

Born on this date in 1960 was Andy Van Slyke, the all-star, gold glove defender who manned center field for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1987 to 1994. Van Slyke was a first round draft pick of the Cardinals in 1979 and he made his major league debut in mid-June 1983 after he hit .368 in 54 AAA games. In his four seasons in St Louis he hit .259 with 204 RBIs, 205 runs scored and 104 stolen bases. He spent time at all outfield positions...

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This Date in Pirates History: December 20

On this date in 1984 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Dale Berra, Al Pulido and Jay Buhner to the New York Yankees for Steve Kemp and Tim Foli. Berra and Foli were teammates on the Pirates for three seasons, with Berra backing up Foli when he wasn’t his double play partner. Pulido was almost 28 and had pitched just two games for the Pirates, one in 1983 and one in 1984 and he struggled in both games. Buhner was just a minor leaguer...

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