Saturday, March 23, 2019

Cardboard Cameos: Celebration Nearly 20 Years In the Making

The image you see above is the end result of a single small trade that started over 20 years ago.

We end with a celebration of Sean Rodriguez returning to the city Pittsburgh, hitting a walk off homerun hours after being traded.  Star centerfielder, Andrew McCutchen, is the blurry object on far right.

He would eventually be getting drenched in a Gatorade bath from a city that loves the Gatorade punching utility fielder.

Pretty cool moment if you click the video...

Did you forget how much he hates Gatorade?

But where did it begin?

Well it began with the last Pirates player to be involved in throwing a no-hitter.

It began with the name brought up in the Brad Pitt starred baseball movie, Moneyball.

Ricardo Rincon was a lefty specialist who bounced around internationally before signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates and breaking into the majors as a 27 year old.  He never started for the Bucs but was on the mound for the final out of the team's combined no-hitter in 1997 against the Astros.

In November 1998 he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Brian Giles.

Giles went on to become a star in Pittsburgh appearing in 2 All-Star Games while smashing

Once it was time for Giles to get near free agency, he was traded for two more star players who were just prospects at the time.

Jason Bay went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year in 2004 and would be a two time All-Star in Pittsburgh. More on his future with the team later...

Oliver Perez would go on to be one of the top strikeout pitchers in the National League in 2004.

Perez would be part of a trade to the Mets for Xavier Nady who was ultimately traded to the Yankees for Jeff Karstens, Jose Tabata, and Daniel McCutchen.

Bay, like Giles, was approaching free agency and was traded as part of a blockbuster that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers and Bay to the Red Sox.

The Pirates received prospects from both clubs that included Craig Hansen, Brandon Moss, Andy LaRoche, and Bryan Morris.

Moss went on to become an Oakland.

Hansen and LaRoche never met the expectations set on their prospect status.

Morris was a key part of the Pirates 2013 "Shark Tank" bullpen and became one of the better longmen relief arms in the National League during 2013 to 2015.

He was ultimately traded to the Miami Marlins who were struggling with relief pitching in 2014 for a competitve balance draft pick between rounds one and two.

Using the 39th overall pick the Pirates selected Connor Joe, a catcher/third baseman.

Connor Joe who was the pick used for the Bryan Morris trade eventually was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Sean Rodriguez who had worked incredibly hard during the off-season to come back from a car accident that left him hospitalized for an extended peiod of time.

A few hours after hearing the news he was traded he was on a flight to Pittsburgh and winning the game for a team that he loves.

In a post game interview.

So to recap, a left handed specialist Ricardo Rincon was traded for Sean Rodriguez over the course of 20 years of trading and in between there was a few All-Star appearances, a top 5 strikeout leader, rookie of the year, draft pick trades, and a lot of fun memories with all those involved along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Love connecting all these dots! Very cool. Was always a big Giles fan. Loved how he played.