This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 23rd, Al Oliver’s Career Day at the Plate

Three former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus two games of note.

The Players

Tyler Glasnow, pitcher for the 2016-18 Pirates. The Pirates drafted Glasnow in the fifth round of the 2011 draft out of high school and he quickly became one of the top prospect in their system, then one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He debuted in the majors late in 2016 and posted a 4.24 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in 23.1 innings, with 24 strikeouts. He was a starter with the Pirates for half of the 2017 season, going 2-7, 7.69 in 62 frames, with a 2.02 WHIP.  Glasnow performed better as a reliever in 2018, with a 4.34 ERA in 56 innings over 34 appearances. At the trading deadline, he was part of a package used to acquire Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays. Glasnow was moved to a starter in Tampa and had a 4.20 ERA in 2018 after the deal. He was pitching great for a short time in 2019 before an injury shut him down for most of the season. At the time of this write-up, he had a 5.56 ERA in three starts in 2020.

Denny Bautista, pitcher for the 2008-09 Pirates. He was signed as an international free agent in 2000 by the Florida Marlins, but he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles while still in the minors. Bautista appeared briefly with the 2004 Orioles, before being traded to the Kansas City Royals. He would go on to play for the Colorado Rockies and Detroit Tigers before joining the Pirates in 2008 in a trade for minor league pitcher Kyle Pearson. In two seasons in Pittsburgh, he made 49 relief appearances, posting a 5.89 ERA in 55 innings. He left the Pirates after the 2009 season and signed with the San Francisco Giants, where he played his last season in 2010, the year they won the World Series. In seven seasons in the majors, Bautista had an 11-15, 5.88 record, with 180 strikeouts and a 1.69 WHIP in 223.1 innings. He played pro ball until 2015, seeing three full seasons in Korea and one in Mexico.

Guy Bush, pitcher for the 1935-36 Pirates. He pitched 17 full seasons in the majors and won 176 games, but he is best known for giving up two of the three homers that Babe Ruth hit at Forbes Field on May 25, 1935. Bush spent the better portion of his career with the Chicago Cubs and posted a 152-101 record in 12 seasons with the team. He put up double-digit win totals in each of his last nine seasons with the Cubs, topping out at 20 wins and a 2.75 ERA during the 1933 season. From 1925 until 1934, he averaged 212 innings per season, while splitting his time between starting and relief work.

The Pirates acquired Bush on November 22, 1934 in a five-player deal that included Hall of Famer Freddie Lindstrom. He went 11-11, 4.32 in 204.1 innings for the 1935 Pirates, making 25 starts and 16 relief appearances. He spent two months with the 1936 Pirates before being released, and pitched in relief the entire time, posting a 5.97 ERA in 34.1 innings over 16 appearances. He was immediately signed by the Boston Braves (called the Bees that season) and pitched much better, with a 3.39 ERA in 90.1 innings. He played for the Bees in 1937 and the St Louis Cardinals in 1939 before retiring. He came back to pro ball in the minors in 1944 when competition was watered down due to the war. Bush made it back to the majors briefly with the 1945 Cincinnati Reds at 43 years old.

The Games

On this date in 1907, Howie Camnitz threw a five-inning no-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader against the New York Giants. The first game of the day ran long and prior to the start of game two, the managers (John McGraw and Fred Clarke) agreed to limit the game to five innings. Due the start time and length of game one, plus the fact that stadiums didn’t have lights back then, they were running up against darkness issues if the game went too long. The Pirates collected just two hits in the game, scoring their run on a Honus Wagner RBI single. Camnitz was far from perfect, with five walks and a hit batter in his five frames. He stranded all six runners though in the 1-0 win. You can find a full recap in our Game Rewind section, which was posted yesterday.

On this date in 1971, Al Oliver had a career game against the Atlanta Braves. He went 5-for-6 with five RBIs and four runs scored in a 15-4 victory. He had a chance in the ninth for the cycle, needing just the double, but he hit his second home run of the game instead. A full game recap can be found here, along with the boxscore.