This Date in Pirates History: December 26

On this date in 1953 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded young infielder Danny O’Connell to the Milwaukee Braves in exchange for six players and $100,000 cash. Danny had a strong season for the Pirates in 1953 hitting .294 with 57 walks and 88 runs scored. He was 26 at the time of the trade and had played just one prior season in the majors(1950) due to serving two years in the military. This deal, along with another trade a month...

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This Date in Pirates History: December 25

Born on this date in 1856 was James “Pud” Galvin, the winningest pitcher to ever suit up for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. He joined the team having already won 222 games by the age of 28 and by the time he retired following the 1893 season he would be the major league leader in wins, a record he would hold until he was passed by Cy Young in 1903. Pittsburgh, while still in the American Association at the time,...

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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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