This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 6th, Tale of Two Buds

There have been seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date.

Stan Belinda, relief pitcher for the 1989-93 Pirates. He was originally drafted by the Pirates in the tenth round of the 1986 draft. He was a relief pitcher from the start of his career. In fact, in 209 minor league games and 585 major league appearances, the only two starts that Belinda made were rehab starts during the 1995-96 seasons. He made it to the Pirates in 1989 as a September call-up, posting a 6.10 ERA in eight outings. He began the next year back in Triple-A, returning to the Pirates in late May and helping the team to the playoffs each of the next three seasons. Over the 1990-92 seasons, he pitched a total of  174 games, with an ERA between 3.15 and 3.55 each year, while compiling a total of 42 saves. Belinda pitched eight playoff games over that time, giving up one earned run in 10.1 innings, although he was the last Pirate to pitch in the playoffs during that stretch due to an inherited run he allowed to score. He remained with the Pirates until the trading deadline in 1993, when he was dealt to the Royals for pitchers Jon Lieber and Dan Miceli. Belinda pitched until 2000, finishing his 12-year career with the team he helped get to the 1992 World Series. In his 585 games, he went 41-37, 4.15, with 79 saves in 685.1 innings.

Steve Nicosia, catcher for the 1978-83 Pirates. He was drafted by the Pirates in the first round of the 1973 draft. He made it to Triple-A by 1976, but missed nearly all of the 1977 season, then returned to the level in 1978  for a third year. That third season he made two appearances with the Pirates, the first time for a week in July, then again at the end of the year. He played just three games, but by 1979 he was a backup catcher to Ed Ott, playing a total of 70 games, 55 as a starter.  Nicosia hit .288 in his 215 plate appearances, with 13 RBIs and 22 runs scored. In the World Series, he started four games, going just 1-for-16 at the plate, though the Pirates still won their fifth WS title. Nicosia remained a backup with the Pirates through August of 1983, first behind Ott, then backing up a rookie in 1981 named Tony Pena. Nicosia asked to be traded in 1983 and on August 19, 1983, the Pirates sent him to the Giants in exchange for veteran catcher Milt May. He lasted in the majors until 1985, also seeing time with the Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays. In six years in Pittsburgh, he played 247 games, hitting .242 with nine homers and 61 RBIs.

Clem Labine, pitcher for the 1960-61 Pirates. He was originally signed in 1944 by the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing one season before losing a year of baseball to military service. Labine they spent the next four years working his way to the majors, making the Dodgers Opening Day roster in 1950, though his stay lasted just one game. He went back to the minors for the rest of 1950, then made the Opening Day roster again the following year. He stayed a little longer in 1951, but he was still back in the minors by May. Clem (first name was Clement) came back in August and began to pitch well as a starter by the end of the month, throwing five complete games (two shutouts). He finished that year with a 5-1, 2.20 record with the Dodgers. Labine struggled in 1952, going back to the minors at one point, but once he returned, he would spend the rest of his time in the majors. He remained with the Dodgers until 1960, being used almost exclusively as a reliever. In 1955, he led the league with 60 games pitched, throwing a career high 144. 1 innings. The next two years he was chosen for the NL All-Star team, recording the most saves (not an official stat at the time) each year.

In June of 1960, the Dodgers traded Labine to the Tigers. After two unsuccessful months there, he was released, then immediately signed by the Pirates. He turned things around with Pittsburgh, going 3-0, 1.48 in 15 appearances and 30.1 innings, helping the Pirates to the World Series. Labine did not pitch well in the postseason, allowing 11 runs over just four innings. He was with the Pirates in 1961, going 4-1, 3.69 in 56 appearances. He was signed by the expansion New York Mets in the off-season, though his short was stay. After just three outings, Labine was released, ending his 13-year big league career with a 77-56, 3.63 record in 513 games pitched.

Bud Hafey, outfielder for the 1935-36 Pirates.  The Pirates acquired Hafey just two games into his Major League career with the Chicago White Sox, both appearances coming as a pinch-runner. On June 9, 1935, Pittsburgh sent pitcher Jack Salveson to Chicago in an even up deal for Hafey. Bud (first name was Daniel) played 58 games for the Pirates that year, seeing time at all three outfield spots, hitting .228 with six homers and 16 RBIs. In 1936, he hit .212 with four homers and 13 RBIs in 39 games. On October 13, 1937, after Hafey had spent the entire season in the minors, he was dealt to the St Louis Cardinals, along with two other players, for outfielder Johnny Rizzo. Bud played just 24 more games in the majors during his career, splitting the 1939 season between the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. He remained in pro ball until 1941, spending his last two years playing for Memphis of the Southern Association. He began his career as a 17-year old in 1930 and spent his first five years playing for the Mission Reds of the Pacific Coast League. His brother was Tom Hafey, who played two years in the majors. His cousin was Chick Hafey, a Hall of Fame outfielder for the Cardinals and Reds.

Bud Sharpe, first baseman for the 1910 Pirates. During Spring Training of 1910, the Pirates had a competition for the open first base job between Sharpe and John Flynn. Both players made the Opening Day roster, but the job was soon given to Flynn, who was the much better hitter, while Sharpe was strong on defense, but not much of a batter. Bud (first name was Bayard) ended up playing just four games for the Pirates, hitting .188, while handling all forty chances in the field flawlessly. On April 28, 1910, he was traded to the Boston Doves, along with pitcher Sam Frock, for pitcher Kirby White. Sharpe played with Boston until the end of 1910, finishing with a .239 average and no homers in 115 games. Before the 1911 season, he was sold to the minors, ending his Major League career. Before joining the Pirates in 1910, he had played part of one season in the majors, back in 1905 with the Boston Doves. That year he hit .182 in 46 games, in what was also his first year in pro ball. He then played four full seasons in the minors (1906-09), plus two more years after his 1910 season. He finished his career with the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League in 1912 as a player/manager, hitting .300 in 101 games, which was his highest minor league average.

Brownie Foreman, lefty pitcher for the 1895-96 Pirates. As a 19-year-old in 1895, the 5’8″, 150 pound Foreman began his pro career with the Petersburg Farmers of the Virginia State League, where he went 14-8, 2.28 in 205.1 innings. The Pirates signed him in July and he made 16 starts and three relief appearances, going 8-6, 3.22 with the lowest hits per nine rate in the majors. He also didn’t allow a single home run. Foreman remained with the Pirates through the beginning of the next season, going 3-3, 6.57 before Pittsburgh gave up on him. He finished the year with the Reds, where he made the last four starts of his Major League career (1-3, 11.35). He lasted five more years in the minors before retiring, but his big league career was done at 21 years old. His brother Frank pitched 11 years in the majors, winning 96 games. His actual first name was John.

Jim McDonald, utility player for the 1884 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He played just 45 games in the majors over the 1884-85 seasons, yet managed to play in three different Major Leagues. He was in the Union Association, which only existed in 1884, the American Association and the National League. McDonald spent the first six years of his pro career playing in his hometown of San Francisco, seeing time with five different teams. After playing two games for Washington of the UA (made his debut June 20), he moved on to the Alleghenys to finish the season. McDonald played 38 games, seeing time at 3B/2B and all three outfield spots. He hit just .159 with 11 runs scored with Pittsburgh. The next year he went 0-for-14 in four games at the end of the season for the Buffalo Bisons (NL), his last Major League action. McDonald played pro ball until 1894, finishing his career back in California. He became an NL umpire in 1895, sticking around until 1899 in that role.