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Monday, February 17, 2020

Jacob’s Ladder; Stallings’ persistence pays off for Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — The son’s stay in town has outlasted the father’s. The irony isn’t lost on Jacob Stallings.

It wasn’t necessarily supposed to be this way. Stallings was still a catching prospect — and not necessarily a young one — in the Pirates’ organization four years ago when his dad Kevin left a successful run as the men’s basketball coach at Vanderbilt to take on the same job at the University of Pittsburgh.

The marriage between the elder Stallings and the Panthers lasted all of two nightmarish seasons. By the spring of 2018, Pitt moved on. It seemed the younger Stallings might meet the same fate. Pittsburgh designated for him assignment several times as he pogoed between the minors and the majors after making his debut in 2016. The odds of him ever sticking in Pittsburgh seeming to grow more and more remote as his mid-20s turned into his late-20s.

Yet rather than worry about it, Stallings buried himself in the game. When he spent the first half of 2019 as the third catcher while Elias Diaz and Francisco Cervelli battled with injuries, Stallings won over members of the starting rotation with his willingness to do whatever, whenever on the off chance the two might find themselves working together when it mattered.

Or, Two Men In Another Town

 

QLE Posted: February 17, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball, fathers and sons, jacob stallings, pittsburgh

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Former Pirate Bobby Del Greco remembered as ‘hero,’ ‘bigger than life’

About 30 years ago, Bobby Del Greco Jr. was working out at a health spa with a friend when he heard a disturbing report.

“It came over the news that former Pittsburgh Pirate Bob Del Greco was missing and, possibly, dead,” his son remembers.

(After he retired from baseball, Del Greco Sr. drove a newspaper delivery truck, a job he held part-time during his player career while raising eight children with his wife, Catherine.)

The news report was sparked after his truck was found tipped over in the river.

“I ran down and called him and he said, ‘Hello,’ Del Greco Jr. said.

“Dad? Is it you?

“Yeah.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m eating fried bologna on pita bread, watching the Stooges.”

“Are you sure.”

“I’m positive.”


 

 

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