This Date in Pirates History: February 14

I didn’t get a chance to write up the This Date article for today due to the changeover to blogs so quickly I will mention the players that get short-changed today:

Damaso Marte (1975) lefty relief pitcher for the Pirates in 2001 then again in 2006 until 2008. He had a 7-8 3.52 record in 210 games with the Pirates. Pittsburgh originally got him from the Yankees in exchange for Enrique Wilson after the 2000 season. He was then traded to the White Sox for Matt Guerrier, then reacquired in exchange for Rob Mackowiak in December 2005. The final time they traded him was in the six player deal to the Yankees, along with Craig Wilson that got the Pirates Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen and Jose Tabata, all of whom are still on the Pirates 40 man roster. Marte missed all of last season injured and is currently a free agent

Will McEnaney (1952) lefty reliever for the 1978 Pirates. They acquired him just prior to the 1978 season in exchange for pitcher Timothy Jones. Will pitched just six games for the Pirates, 8.2 innings total and he had a 10.38 ERA. He was released following the completion of the season. In his six year career he had a 12-17 3.76 record with 29 saves in 269 games, all in relief.

Earl Smith (1897) catcher for the Pirates from 1924 until 1928. He caught on two Pirates World Series teams and hit .350 during the 1925 series. Smith played 12 seasons in the majors, catching for five teams that made the WS. For the Pirates he hit .315 over 351 games with 104 walks and just 42 strikeouts. He was a .303 career hitter and in 105 games for the 1926 Pirates he hit .346

Harry Jordan (1873) pitcher for the 1894-95 Pirates. He won his only start during the 1894 season, a 10-7 win in which he pitched a complete game during the last week of the season. He made two starts in early July in 1895, four days apart, both against the Cleveland Spiders and lost both games. Those three games were the only major league games of his career.

Morgan Murphy (1867) caught five games for the 1898 Pirates. He was acquired in the 1897-98 off-season for catcher Joe Sugden, who had been with the team since 1893. Murphy hit .125 in those five games and the Pirates released him less than two months into the season. Morgan was let go on June 11th due to financial reasons, at the same time the Pirates cut star outfielder Steve Brodie. They decided with Murphy, to let him go since he was the third string catcher.  The local paper said at the time that they could’ve sent him to the minors, but instead they rewarded his hard work over the off-season and Spring Training, by releasing him outright so he could sign with another major league team. He played in the majors for 11 seasons, hitting .225 over 568 games. He is one of a small group of players that played in four different leagues, the Player’s League, the American Association, the National League and the American League during it’s first season in 1901.

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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