This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History, September 20th, Jason Bay and Two No-Hitters

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

Jason Bay, left fielder for the Pirates from 2003 until 2008. He was the first Rookie of the Year in team history (2004) and he remains the only one to this day. In 719 games in Pittsburgh, he had an .890 OPS, which ranks as the seventh best in team history. Bay was an All-Star during the 2005-06 seasons.

The Pirates acquired Bay from the San Diego Padres as one of three players they received in the Brian Giles deal. Prior to joining the Pirates, Bay had played just three big league games. He was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos, but he was traded twice before joining the Pirates, going from Montreal to the New York Mets to San Diego.

As a rookie in 2004, he batted .282 with 26 homers and 82 RBIs, leading to the Rookie of the Year award. He actually missed the entire first month due to an off-season surgery. Bay played all 162 games in 2005, hitting .306 with 110 runs scored, 44 doubles, 32 homers, 101 RBIs and 21 steals in 22 attempts. He was just as good in 2006, batting .286 with 35 homers, 109 RBIs, 101 runs scored and 102 walks. Bay slumped in 2007, batting .247 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs, posting a -0.3 WAR during the season. He had knee surgery after the 2006 season and it seemed to affect him that year.

Bay was part of the six-player deal between the Pirates, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was the only piece given up by the Pirates, who received four players in the deal. At the time of the deal, he was hitting .282 with 22 homers in 106 games. Bay did well on his remaining deal with Boston, including the 2009 season in which he finished seventh in the AL MVP voting, made the All-Star team and won the Silver Slugger award. He signed a free agent deal with the New York Mets for 2010, but injuries limited his production. He finished his career with the Seattle Mariners in 2013. Bay was a career .266 hitter in 1,278 games, with 222 homers, 737 runs scored and 754 RBIs.

Steve Lombardozzi, pinch-hitter for the 2015 Pirates. He was a 19th round pick of the Washington Nationals, who made it to the majors just three years later. Lombardozzi spent three seasons in Washington, hitting .264 with five homers and 50 RBIs in 257 games. Most of his playing time was spent at second base, though he also added some left field, shortstop and third base. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers after the 2013 season, but ended up with the Baltimore Orioles prior to the start of 2014. He batted .288 in 20 games with the Orioles, though it came with a low OPS due to no homers or walks. The Pirates purchased his contract just before Spring Training in 2015 and he spent most of the year in the minors. Lombardozzi played 12 games for the Pirates, 11 as a pinch-hitter and one as a pinch-runner. He went 0-for-10 with a walk and a run scored. He was released after the season and from 2016-19, he played with four different organizations, plus had a stint in winter ball. His only big league experience was two games for the 2017 Miami Marlins.

Randy Kramer, pitcher for the 1988-90 Pirates. He started 18 games and pitched 34 times in relief over his three seasons in Pittsburgh. Kramer was drafted three times before he signed with the Texas Rangers as a first round pick in 1982. Before making his big league debut, he was traded to the Pirates in late 1986 for pitcher Jeff Zaske. Kramer would debut with Pittsburgh in September of 1988, making one start and four relief appearances. He started 1989 off strong in Triple-A and was called up for the duration of the big league season in late April. He made 15 starts and 20 relief appearances, going 5-9, 3.96 in 111.1 innings, with two saves. For the 1990 Pirates, he went 0-1, 4.91 in 25.2 innings, making two starts and ten relief appearances. Kramer was traded to the Chicago Cubs late in the 1990 season for minor league pitcher Greg Kallevig, who never played another game after the deal. Kramer played ten games for the Cubs, spent all of 1991 in the minors, then capped off his big league career with four starts for the 1992 Seattle Mariners. He played pro ball until 1994, spending part of that final season in China.

Dennis Ribant, pitcher for the 1967 Pirates. He was acquired in a four-player deal from the New York Mets over the 1966-67 off-season. While with the Pirates, Ribant made 22 starts and 16 relief appearances during his only season in Pittsburgh. He went 9-8, 4.08 in 172 innings that year, after posting a 3.20 ERA in 188.1 innings for the 1966 Mets. The Pirates traded Ribant to the Detroit Tigers for veteran pitcher Dave Wickersham following the 1967 season. He pitched for four different big league teams during the 1968-69 seasons. Ribant would be reacquired from the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher Bo Belinsky prior to the 1970 season. He never played in the majors after 1969, pitching in Triple-A from 1970-73, before retiring. In his six years in the majors, he went 24-29, 3.87 in 518.2 innings.

Vic Lombardi, pitched for the Pirates from 1948 until 1950. Lombardi began his career with the 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers, going 10-11, 3.31 in 203.2 innings as a 22-year-old rookie. He followed that up with 13 wins in 1946 and 12 wins in 1947, posting a sub-3.00 ERA each season. After the 1947 season, he was traded to the Pirates in a six-player deal. He won ten games during the 1948 season, but his ERA slipped to 3.70 in 163 innings. It was part of a downward trend for Lombardi, who never pitched in the majors after the 1950 season. He had a 4.57 ERA in 1949, then mostly pitched out of the bullpen in 1950, where he had an 0-5, 6.60 record in 76.1 innings. Lombardi made 31 starts and 80 relief appearances with Pittsburgh, posting a 4.60 ERA over 373.1 innings. He was small for a pitcher, standing in at 5’7″, 158 pounds. Despite never pitching in the majors after 1950, his pro career was far from over. He pitched for another nine seasons, spending most of his time in the Pacific Coast League. Lombardi lost the 1943-44 seasons while serving during WWII.

Red Juelich, infielder for the 1939 Pirates. He hit .239 in 17 games during his only season in the majors. Despite that low game total, he was with the Pirates for the entire year and he played just six games before September 9th, two as a pinch-hitter, two as a pinch-runner and two starts at third base. Juelich saw regular action at second base over an 11-game stretch, then sat out ten straight games, before playing one inning at third base on September 27th, which ended up being his final big league game. Red (real first name was John) played a total of seven years in the minors. Despite being 22 years old in 1939, he already had four seasons of minor league ball before joining the Pirates. He was acquired as a Rule 5 draft pick following the 1938 season. After his one season in the majors, he finished his pro career with three years playing in Syracuse of the International League. The Pirates sent him to Syracuse as part of a package (four players and cash) to acquire 6’9″ pitcher Johnny Gee.

The Games

On this date in 1969, Bob Moose no-hit the New York Mets, the team that went on to win the World Series. You can find the boxscore here, complete with play-by-play. Moose walked three batters in the game. Amazing when you look at the two lineups and think that the Mets were somehow the better team at the time.

Exactly 62 years earlier, rookie Nick Maddox threw the first nine inning no-hitter in team history, defeating Brooklyn by a 2-1 score. The record books list this as the first no-hitter in team history, but that’s only due to a change made many years later that didn’t count shortened games as official no-hitters. I’m not sure what else to call an official complete game with no hits (they called them “no-hitters” for a very long time), but the Pirates had one by Lefty Leifield in 1906 and another by Howie Camnitz less than a month before Maddox pitched his game. So technically it’s the third no-hitter in franchise history. Maddox walked three batters, hit another and the Pirates committed two errors, which helped lead to the Brooklyn run. It was just his third big league start.