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Thursday, December 1, 2022

This Date in Pirates History. February 11

On this date in 1928 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded pitcher Vic Aldridge to the New York Giants in exchange for future Hall of Fame pitcher Burleigh Grimes. Aldridge was 34 at the time of the trade and had won 15 games for the Pirates in 1927, helping them to their fourth World Series appearance. There were signs of a drop in his stuff, he posted his highest ERA that season at 4.25 and he got hit hard in his only WS start. Grimes was also 34 years old and had gone 19-8, 3.54 in his only year with the Giants. He was asking to be traded due to his unhappiness over how he was handled late in the season by manager John McGraw. Grimes was a former Pirate, starting his career with the team in 1916.

This trade was a one-sided win for the Pirates. Aldridge continued his downward slide and his major league career was done before the season ended. He went 4-7, 4.83 in 16 starts and six relief appearances. He played the next season in the minors and was out of baseball by 1931. Grimes lead the NL in wins in 1928 with 25, complete games with 28 and innings pitched with 330.2 while posting a 2.99 ERA. He finished third in the MVP voting as well. The following season he went 17-7 3.13 and this time finished fourth in the MVP voting. Prior to the 1930 season Grimes was holding out for more money so the Pirates shipped him to the Boston Braves in return for pitcher Percy Jones. Burleigh had two more good seasons,then bounced around between four teams his final two seasons, finishing his career back in Pittsburgh for a third time.

Players born on this date include:

Trey Beamon (1974) outfielder for the 1996 Pirates. He was a second round draft pick of the Pirates in the 1992 amateur draft. He played 32 games in rookie league ball after signing, hitting .296 in 108 AB’s. In 1993 he moved to full season ball as a 19-year-old and hit .271 in 104 games with 64 runs scored and 19 stolen bases. He jumped over high-A to AA for 1994 and hit .323 with 69 runs scored and 24 stolen bases, establishing himself as a top prospect. He was in AAA by age 21 and hit .334 with 74 runs scored and 18 stolen bases in 118 games but did not get a September call-up. Back in AAA for 1996 he hit .288 with a career high 55 walks. The Pirates called him up in August and in 24 games hit he .216 with six RBIs. Just prior to the 1997 season he was part of a four player deal with the Padres. He played two more seasons in the majors, then another eight years in the minors, retiring as a player in 2006.

Hal Rice (1924) outfielder for the 1953-54 Pirates. He began his major league career in September 1948 with the Cardinals and was with the team as a backup outfielder until St Louis sent him to the Pirates in exchange for longtime infielder Pete Castiglione on June 14,1953. Rice played left field almost everyday for Pittsburgh and hit .311 with 42 RBIs in the last 78 games of the season. He struggled to start the 1954 season, hitting .173 through mid-June and he had played just 28 of the team’s 58 games. The Pirates traded Rice to the Cubs exactly one year after they acquired him from the Cardinals. In return they received outfielder Luis Marquez, who played just 11 games with the Pirates. Hal played with the Cubs through the end of the season then finished his pro career with two more years in the minors. Rice spent three full seasons(1943-45) serving in the military during WWII. He had a .260 major league average with 162 RBIs in 424 total games.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


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