This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 24th, Jewel Ens and Kevin Correia

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, one of them went on to later manage the team. Also one transaction of note.

Kevin Correia, pitcher for the 2011-12 Pirates. He was drafted in the fourth round in 2002 by the San Francisco Giants. Correia spent his first six seasons in the majors with the Giants, where he had a 14-22, 4.59 record in 398 innings, seeing most of his time in relief. In 2009, he signed with the San Diego Padres and spent two season there, going 22-21, 4.54 in 343 innings. Correia signed with the Pirates in 2011 and he went 12-11, 4.79 in 154 innings. He was elected to the All-Star team for the only time during his career. In 2012 he was 12-11 again, this time with a 4.21 ERA in 171 innings. He left via free agency after the season and spent two years in Minnesota, then played briefly for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. Correia had a career 76-98, .62 record in 1,428.2 innings over 221 starts and 137 relief appearances. He was impressively consistent during his career. With the Padres, Giants, Twins and Pirates, he finished with an ERA between 4.49 and 4.59 with each club, throwing between 314 and 398 innings in each place.

Al Bool, catcher for the 1930 Pirates. While playing for Baltimore of the International League in 1929, Bool had his best minor league season. He hit .322 with 31 homers and 36 doubles in 141 games. Despite the big stats, he almost ruined his chance of getting back to the majors that August. During a series in which many scouts came out to see him play, he struggled at the bat and in the field, going 3-for-15 at the plate and making three errors. The Pirates were still interested and purchased Bool over the off-season. They brought him to camp to battle with Rollie Hemsley and Charlie Hargreaves for the starting catcher job. Hemsley won the starting job, with Hargreaves as his backup, leaving Bool on the bench for the first 22 games. That changed at the end of May,  when Hargreaves was released to the minors. Bool became a platoon player with Hemsley for the rest of the year, finishing with 51 starts behind the plate. He hit .259 with seven homers and 46 RBIs in 216 at-bats. The Pirates put him on waivers after the season ended, where he was picked up by the Boston Braves. He would hit .188 in 49 games for Boston, in what would end up being his last season in the majors. He played two more seasons in the minors before retiring. Bool’s only other Major League experience prior to joining the Pirates was two late season games for the 1928 Washington Senators. He was a late cut from their 1929 Spring Training roster and sent to his International League team in Baltimore, where he was eventually rediscovered.

Jewel Ens, Pirates infielder from 1922-25, and manager from 1929-31. He had a 13-year minor league career before he ever played a Major League game, seeing his first action at age 32 with Pittsburgh. He joined the Pirates in 1922 and got 28 starts at second base while seeing very limited time at the other three infield spots. Ens played well in the role, hitting .296 with 17 RBIs in 47 games. He played three more seasons with the team, but his actual role was as a coach. He had managed in the minors in 1920 while in the Cardinals system. From 1923 until 1925, he got a total of 46 plate appearances over twenty games played. Jewel (which was his actual first name) moved into the managerial spot near the end of the 1929 season, leading the team to a 21-14 finish, giving them an 88-65 record, good for second place. He remained on as the manager for two more years, but when the Pirates finished below .500 in 1931, he was relieved of his spot. Ens rejoined the Pirates as a coach in 1935 (until 1939), working under manager Pie Traynor. In 1940, he was hired to coach in the minors for the Cincinnati Reds, eventually spending eight years at the helm for the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. His full name was Jewel Winklemeyer Ens. His brother Anton “Mutz” Ens, played for the 1912 White Sox.

Bill Kelsey, catcher for the 1907 Pirates. Before joining the Pirates in 1907, Kelsey played that season with the Coffeyville Glassblowers of the OAK-League, where he hit .258 in 94 games. He would play two October games for the Pirates, which turned out to be his only two Major League games. His first big league game was on October 4th, while the second game came as the season (and his big league career) ended two days later. Pittsburgh played doubleheaders each day and both games were limited to seven innings each. Kelsey went 2-for-5 at the plate, with two singles and a run scored. In 1908, he played the first of two seasons for Oklahoma City, where he hit .172 in 122 games. Kelsey then followed that up with a .196 average in 128 games.  He moved on to play parts of two years for Houston of the Texas League, before retiring. His career began in 1905 with the Bellingham Gillnetters of the Northwestern League.

The Transaction

On this date in 1930, the Pirates sold pitcher Jesse Petty to the Chicago Cubs. Petty was one of two players that the Pirates got from Brooklyn for star shortstop Glenn Wright. The other player in the deal, infielder Harry Riconda, lasted just eight games with the Pirates, so Petty turned out to be the big return. He went 12-16, 4.55 in 32 starts and 14 relief appearances. Petty threw a total of 225.2 innings with the Pirates. He pitched well for the Cubs in limited time (2.97 ERA in 39.1 innings), but never played in the majors after 1930.