On this date in 1930, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded away Hall of Fame pitcher, Burleigh Grimes, to the Boston Braves in exchange for veteran pitcher Percy Jones and cash. It was the second time they had traded away Grimes. The Pirates had reacquired Burleigh in February 1928 in a trade covered here. In 1928, Grimes led the NL in wins(25) innings pitched(330.2) complete games(28) and shutouts with four. He went 17-7 3.13 in 232.2 innings in 1929. Grimes was 36 years old at the time of the trade while Jones was 30 years old. Percy had pitched eight season in the majors prior to 1930. In 1929 he went 7-15 4.64 for the last place Braves. The year before, he had a 10-6 4.03 record for the Cubs.
This trade didn’t work out well for the Pirates except for the cash part of the deal. Grimes wasn’t a star pitcher anymore, but Jones lasted just two months in Pittsburgh and never pitched in the majors again. In nine games, two as a starter, he went 0-1 6.63 in 19 innings. Grimes lasted another five years, although he had just two good seasons left in him. He won 16 games in 1930, then 17 the next year but was 12-23 the last three season. The last eight games of his career were spent with the Pirates in 1934. The Braves only got three wins from Grimes before they shipped him to the Cardinals for two pitchers in June of 1930.
Only one former player born on this date:
Claude Passeau(1909) Pitcher for the Pirates on September 29,1935. He pitched four seasons in the minors before making his major league debut for the Pirates on the last day of the 1935 season. Claude had pitched for Des Moines of the Western League that year, going 20-11 in 244 innings. The Pittsburgh paper at the time referred to him in the game recap and boxscore as Passo, saying he also goes by the name Passeau. The 6″3 righty lasted just three innings before he was chased from the game. He took the loss, allowing seven hits, four runs, two walks and he struck out one batter. Shortly after the season ended, the Pirates traded him, along with catcher Earl Grace, to the Philadelphia Phillies for catcher Al Todd. The deal would not work out well for the Pirates as Passeau had 162 wins in his career, including ten straight seasons with double digit win totals. He ranks sixth among pitchers in most wins after leaving the Pirates. The leader in that category is the aforementioned Burleigh Grimes.
On this date in 2001, the Pirates opened up PNC Park against the Cincinnati Reds. They had spent the last thirty-one seasons playing their home games at Three Rivers Stadium. The Pirates had opened the season by going 3-3 on the road before coming home for their season opener in Pittsburgh. On that Monday afternoon, 36,954 fans showed up to see the Pirates lose to the Cincinnati Reds by an 8-2 score. Chris Reitsma and three relievers shutdown the Pirates that day. Pittsburgh would win their first game at the new stadium two nights later, coming back from 3-0 and 5-3 deficits to win 6-5. The mood wasn’t all festive before the game, earlier that day Willie Stargell had passed away at age 61.
The Pirates lineup that day was:
Adrian Brown CF
Derek Bell RF
Jason Kendall C
Brian Giles LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Kevin Young 1B
Pat Meares 2B
Jack Wilson SS
Todd Ritchie P+ posts
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.