This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History, September 25th, Tony Womack and Dave Robertson

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, plus we have one game of note.

Vance Worley, pitcher for the 2014-15 Pirates. Worley posted a 12-10 record for the Pirates, with a 3.31 ERA in 182.1 innings, making 25 starts and 16 relief appearances. The Pirates acquired Worley from the Minnesota Twins shortly before the 2014 season started. He had a 7.21 ERA in ten starts in 2013, his only season with the Twins. Prior to that, he spent three years in Philadelphia, where he had a 3.50 ERA in 277.2 innings. The Phillies drafted him out of high school in 2005 and out of college three years later, nabbing him in the third round in 2008. Worley was strong as a starter for the 2014 Pirates, posting a 2.85 ERA in 110.1 innings. He split 2015 between starting and relief, seeing his ERA drop to 4.02 in 71.2 innings. Worley ended up pitching for the 2016 Baltimore Orioles and 2017 Miami Marlins before finishing his career in the minors in 2018.

Tony Womack, second baseman for the 1993-94 and 1996-98 Pirates. He was drafted by the Pirates in the seventh round in 1991 and made his MLB debut two years later. Womack played three partial seasons (1993-94,96) with the Pirates, totaling 37 games, before finally getting a chance to play full-time in 1997. That year he finished ninth in the Rookie of the Year voting and made the All-Star team. Womack stole 60 bases to lead the National League. The following season, he led the NL again with 58 steals. Each of those two seasons he scored 85 runs. Prior to the 1999 season, Womack was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitchers Jason Boyd and Paul Weichard. That year, he led the NL for a third straight season in steals, swiping a career-high 72 bags. He also set a career-best with 111 runs scored. In 2001, he helped the Diamondbacks to a World Series title by providing strong defense at second base. He scored a total of eight runs in the postseason. Despite some big overall numbers with speed, runs scored and a 13-year career, Womack finished with a 2.4 WAR for his career, which includes 3.3 WAR for the St Louis Cardinals in 2004. He ended up playing for seven different big league clubs, with two stints for the Chicago Cubs.

Michael Crotta, reliever for the 2011 Pirates. He had a 9.28 ERA in 10.2 innings over 15 relief appearances during his only big league experience. He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003 out of high school, but he decided to attend Florida Atlantic instead. The Pirates selected him in 2006 in the 17th round, 30 rounds higher than his 2003 spot. Crotta was with the Pirates at the start of the 2011 season, staying with the big league club until mid-May. He returned to the minors, where he remained with the Pirates through the 2012 season, though he was injured for all of 2012. He later pitched in the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers system, with two seasons in Japan in between. Crotta last played in 2016.

Dick Davis, outfielder for the 1982 Pirates. He hit .182 in 39 games for the Pirates, seeing most of his playing time in right field. Davis was acquired in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays on June 22, 1982 for Wayne Nordhagen, who played just one game for the Pirates after he was acquired for Bill Robinson ten days earlier. Davis remained with the Pirates until late in Spring Training of 1983 when he was released. He played with the Philadelphia Phillies in Triple-A in 1983, then spent his final five seasons of pro ball playing in Japan. Davis hit a total of 76 homers during the 1985-86 seasons. He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Milwaukee Brewers out of high school in 1972, and he debuted in the majors with the Brewers five years later. He was a .265 hitter with 27 homers in 403 big league games.

Dave Robertson, outfielder for the 1921 Pirates. While with the New York Giants, he led the National League in homers in 1916 and 1917.  He debuted in the majors with the Giants in 1912, spent 1913 in the minors, then back with the Giants for 1914-17, before serving in the military during the 1918 season. He was back in New York in 1919, though he was traded to the Chicago Cubs mid-season. The Pirates dealt pitcher Elmer Ponder to the Cubs to get Robertson in June, 1921. With Pittsburgh, he hit .322 with 48 RBIs in 60 games, seeing time at all three outfield spots. Robertson held out during Spring Training in 1922 and was released. He went back to the Giants for one final season, before finishing his career in the minors with eight more seasons, including four as a player-manager. He was a career .287 hitter, who ended up with just 47 big league homers, despite the two home run titles.

The Game

On this date in 1960, the Pirates clinched their first National League title in 33 years. They lost to the Milwaukee Braves, but a 5-0 loss to the Cubs eliminated the Cardinals from the playoffs. The Pirates went on to win their third World Series title that year, defeating the New York Yankees in seven games. Here’s the boxscore.