Found February 26, 2012 on Pirates Prospects:

Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date and no transactions so we get right into the players starting with the most recent first.

Joe Martinez(1983) pitcher for the 2010 Pirates. He was a 12th round draft pick of the Giants in 2005 that made his major league debut for the team in 2009. Joe went 3-2 7.50 in nine games that season for the Giants, five as a starter. In his second game in the majors on April 9, 2009 he was hit in the head by a liner from Mike Cameron that caused him to miss nearly half the season. He spent most of the first four months of the 2010 season in the minors, pitching four games for the Giants during three separate stints with the team. At the July 31 trading deadline, he was sent to the Pirates along with John Bowker in exchange for relief pitcher Javier Lopez. He first reported to AAA, then joined the Pirates when the rosters expanded in September, posting a 3.12 ERA in five relief appearances. He was traded to the Indians after the season and pitched at AAA all of 2011. Martinez signed with the Diamondbacks for the 2012 season.

George Kopacz(1941) first baseman for the 1970 Pirates. He signed his first pro contract in 1960 yet prior to joining the Pirates he had just six games of major league experience, all with the 1966 Atlanta Braves. Pittsburgh acquired him in July 1969 in exchange for outfielder Shaun Fitzmaurice, who had nine career major league games to his credit, all coming in 1966. In AAA in 1970 Kopacz hit .310 with 29 homers, 110 RBI’s and 100 runs scored, winning the International League MVP and earning a September call-up. He went 3-16 in 10 games, two as a starter at 1B, the rest as a pinch hitter. He returned to the minors in 1971 and played three more seasons, two as a member of the Pirates organization.

Vic Janowicz(1930) catcher for the Pirates in 1953-54. He was a Heisman winner in College at Ohio State who the Pirates signed as a bonus baby, meaning his high bonus amount dictated that the Pirates had to keep him on their major league roster for two full seasons before he could be sent to the minors or they would lose the rights to his contract. He saw limited playing time during his two seasons despite the fact the Pirates lost over 100 games each season. He was a catcher his first season, then saw most of his playing time in 1954 at third base. In 83 career games he hit .214 with two homers and ten RBI’s. After the season the Pirates released him and he played two seasons in the NFL before a car accident ended his sports playing career.

Preacher Roe(1916) lefty pitcher for the Pirates from 1944 until 1947. He was originally signed by the Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1938 and pitched one game in the majors that season. It would be six years later before he reached the majors again. On September 30,1943 the Pirates sent two players and cash to the Cardinals for Roe. He had pitched the previous five seasons in the high level minors, getting into 150 games, 85 as a starter although he never topped 167 innings pitched. For the Pirates in 1944 he went 13-11 3.11 in 39 games, 25 as a starter with 185.1 innings pitched. He would win 14 games the following year, upping his innings pitched to 235 thanks in part to 15 complete games. He led the NL in strikeouts with a career high of 148 and his 2.87 ERA ranked sixth in the league. An off-season fight prior to 1946 led to a skull fracture that severely hampered his last two seasons in Pittsburgh. He went a combined 7-23 between 1946-47 with an ERA over 5.00 each season. In December 1947 he was traded to the Dodgers in a six player deal detailed here. Roe would pitch seven seasons in Brooklyn, going 93-37 for a team that would make three World Series appearances during his time there.

Jack Hammond(1891) second baseman for the 1922 Pirates. He first played minor league ball in 1909 before attending Colgate University. Hammond returned to the minors in 1914, then signed with the Indians, making their 1915 opening day roster out of spring training. In 35 games that season he hit .214 with four runs batted in. He returned to the minors until 1922 when he again played for the Indians, this time for just one game in late April. Three weeks later the Pirates purchased his contract, His was used sparingly, getting just two AB’s and five pinch running appearances the first month he was there. Beginning on June 14, he started three straight games at second base, going 1-3 in each game and he made every play hit his way in the field. Those games would be his last in the majors and he finished his playing career the next season in the minors. He is one of just 13 graduated of Colgate to ever play in the majors and out of that group, Hammond is the leader in games played with 45 and his 13 runs scored are five more than the other 12 players scored combined. No Colgate graduate has played in the majors since the 1963 season.

Sam LaRocque(1863) infielder for the Pirates/Allegehenys in 1890-91. He played in the minors from 1884 until 1907, getting in just three seasons of major league experience along the way. He played his first two games in the majors in 1888 for the Detroit Wolverines, hitting .444(4 for 9) but also making four errors. He next appeared with the 1890 Alleghenys team that would finish 23-113 on the year. Sam played 111 games that year, hitting .242 with 27 steals and 59 runs scored. In 1891 he played one game at 3B for the newly named Pirates, going 0-4 with two errors before they released him. LaRocque moved on to Louisville of the American Association where he hit .314 in 10 games, his last time in the big leagues.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Fox’s Versatility Could be Asset for Pirates

BRADENTON — Being able to play multiple positions not only takes talent and dedication, but it apparently also requires a big equipment bag. Once Spring Training games kick off for the Grapefruit League on March 3, Jake Fox will be carrying around nine gloves. Nine. “I will have a game glove for each position, a backup, and as a catcher I usually carry three gloves,” Fox said...

Erik Bedard Feeling Healthy and Strong

Image Credit: Pittsburgh Pirates BRADENTON — Erik Bedard signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates in December, adding a lefty to the rotation, and depth to the pitching staff. Over the off-season, Bedard has been working hard to be healthy and strong heading into the 2012 season. “Just the normal stuff: workout the legs, the upper body, the whole body thing, and get...

Pirates Home Run Leaders Through the Years

Most Pittsburgh Pirates fans can tell you the team’s all-time home run leader is Willie Stargell with 475. A lot of them could tell you whose record he broke as well, Ralph Kiner with 301. Prior to that is where it gets cloudy. I thought for today, why not go all the way back to the beginning of the franchise and show just how the Pirates to that current record held by Stargell...

3 Things Still On Huntington’s To-Do List

Back in October, there was doom and gloom about the 2011 offseason from not only fans, but also writers that follow the Pirates closely.  At the time, I consistently said that it was OCTOBER and you can’t write the story for the upcoming offseason when it hasn’t…ya know….started. At the time, there was widespread consternation about the impending decline of options on Ryan...

11 chances to see Pirates this spring

Without going back and actually looking, I am going to just go ahead and say that the Pirates will be on television way more this Spring Training than any other prior year. Root Sports Pitsburgh wil cover 4 games, all live. 6 other games (2 live, 4 delayed) will appear on MLB Network. MLB Network will also carry all 4 games covered by Root Sports for any out of towners, however those...

The 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates Season: Part One

The Pittsburgh Pirates came into the 1909 season looking to regain the top spot in the National League that they held from 1901 until 1903. Very few of the players were left from those teams, shortstop Honus Wagner, left fielder/manager Fred Clarke, third baseman/ center fielder Tommy Leach and pitchers Deacon Phillippe and Sam Leever were all that remained. The team was confident...

This Date in Pirates History: February 27

On this date in 1948, Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pie Traynor is elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He narrowly missed getting elected in 1947, falling two votes shy of the minimum 75% of the votes required to gain entrance into the Hall. Traynor played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, making his debut in September 1920 and continuing on through 1935...

McGehee must get his stroke back to find spot

Much will be out of Casey McGehee's status during spring training. If Pedro Alvarez hits well, he'll bump McGehee off third base. If Garrett Jones hits well, he'll bump McGehee off first.

Nutting has Very High Expectations for 2012

BRADENTON — Bob Nutting, the Pirates Chairman of the Board, addressed the team this morning at Pirate City. His message this year was different from a year prior –the expectations are higher heading into 2012. “We have talked about expectations, but I really believe — and [General Manager] Neal [Huntington] addressed this head on yesterday — I really believe the level of...

Pirates hope A.J. Burnett can still draw blood when needed

Asked by a magazine writer to describe himself, heat-throwing A.J. Burnett once said: "Bloodthirsty — at least, I pitch that way sometimes."

Heading Home

Just a few observations from Monday morning at Pirate City, as I’m heading home now: – Erik Bedard is wearing a knee brace, which I wasn’t aware of until Tom Smith noticed it this morning. – Most of the pitchers seem a bit wild.  I’ve never been to spring training this early, so I’m guessing this is typical.  During live BP the hitters generally don’t swing much....

AJ is Gone And His Pies Should Be, Too

Now that AJ Burnett is no longer a Yankee, speculation has begun as to whether or not his pie act will continue and, if it does, who should do the honors. Joe Girardi was asked about it the other day. He said "The guys enjoyed it. Someone might do it, continue the tradition."[The Star-Ledger] I don't know if Girardi was serious or was simply being polite to the reporter...

Swisher: Replacing A.J. easy as pie

When A.J. Burnett was traded to Pittsburgh last week, everyone was wondering who would fill the righty’s role as the designated pie thrower.
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.