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The First Pitch: January 18, 2022

Two years after throwing his most recent major league pitch, Francisco Liriano officially announced his retirement. Signed at age 16 by San Francisco, the left-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic was dealt along with Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser to Minnesota in a 2003 trade that yielded catcher A.J. Pierzynski and a ton of criticism upon the Giants, as Nathan blossomed into an All-Star closer and Liriano, initially, looked to be a stunning equal to Cy Young winner Johan Santana—going 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 2006 before Tommy John surgery derailed his breakout progress. Still, Liriano managed to hang in the majors for 14 seasons, winning as many as 16 games for the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates—but he simply could never capture the pre-Tommy John magic. Liriano finishes his career with a 112-114 record and 4.15 ERA.


It Was Whatever-Something Years Ago Today

1947: The Pirates purchase Hank Greenberg from the Tigers. The aging slugger only agrees to the deal after learning that the Pirates are moving in the left-field fences at voluminous Forbes Field.


Shameless Link of the Day

Let’s check out the top 10 games in St. Louis Cardinals history.


You Say It’s Your Birthday

Atlanta pitcher Max Fried is 28; pitcher Wandy Rodriguez is 43; two-time All-Star catcher Mike Lieberthal is 50; surprise 50-homer guy from 1996 Brady Anderson is 58; 138-game winner Scott McGregor is 68; TGG interview subject Billy Grabarkewitz is 76. Born on this date is 1970s pitcher Carl Morton (1944) and Gold Glove outfielder and reserve clause challenger Curt Flood (1938).

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