This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: September 27th, Pirates Clinch Third Straight Division Title

Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, including a member of the 1909 World Series champs.

Alan Storke,  infield for the Pirates from 1906 until 1909. He wasn’t around during the World Series, as Pittsburgh traded him to the St Louis Cardinals in August for third baseman Bobby Byrne. Storke was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds the following February, right before tragedy struck. During a lung operation in March, he passed away at the age of 25. He hit .255 in 218 games for the Pirates, and he batted .282 in his 48 games with the Cardinals. The Pirates acquired him in the 1906 Rule 5 draft after he batted .290 in 57 games for Providence of the Eastern League. That 1906 season was his first year in pro ball and he finished the year playing five games for the Pirates. Storke was a utility infielder for the 1907 Pirates, playing 112 games when seeing time at all four infield spots. He batted .258 with a .612 OPS. He had similar results at the plate in 1908, though his playing time was cut in half. He was playing sparingly at the time of his 1909 trade.

Vin Mazzaro, pitcher for the 2013-14 Pirates. He was a third round pick of the Oakland A’s out of high school in 2005. It took him four seasons to reach the majors and he was a starter during his first two years with the A’s, going 10-17, 4.72 in 213.2 innings. Mazzaro was traded to the Kansas City Royals before the 2011 season and spent two years there, splitting his time between starting and relief. He had a 6.72 ERA in 72.1 innings. Mazzaro was outstanding in his first year with the Pirates, but barely pitched during his second year, spending most of the season in Triple-A. He had a 2.89 ERA in 84 innings over 62 appearances with the Pirates during his two seasons. Despite the success, he was let go after the 2014 season. He pitched a total of eight seasons in the majors, seeing time with five teams. Mazzaro’s last big league outing was with the San Francisco Giants in 2016, but he was still active in independent ball in 2019.

Pedro Ciriaco, shortstop for the 2010-11 Pirates. He was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the 2010 trade deadline in a five-player deal. Ciriaco made his Major League debut five week after the trade and played eight September games for the Pirates. He spent most of 2011 in the minors, getting into 23 games in Pittsburgh. He went back-and-forth between Indianapolis during the season, seeing at least one big league game in every month from May until September. He hit .333 in 31 games during his two seasons in Pittsburgh. Ciriaco was released after the 2011 season and he signed quickly with the Boston Red Sox, where he had his best season in 2012. He hit .293 in 76 games, with 16 stolen bases. Ciriaco saw his most big league time in 2015 with the Atlanta Braves (84 games) which also ended up being his final big league season. He played with five teams over six seasons in the majors, hitting .268 in 272 games. He remained in pro ball through the winter of 2017-18.

Dave Wickersham, reliever for the 1968 Pirates. Had a 3.48 ERA in 20.2 innings over 11 appearances during his only season in Pittsburgh. Wickersham was originally signed by the Pirates as an amateur in 1955. They lost him in the 1959 minor league draft to the Kansas City Athletics. He was reacquired after the 1967 season for pitcher Dennis Ribant. Shortly after the 1968 season ended, the Pirates sold him to the Kansas City Royals. He won 68 games over ten seasons in the majors, beginning his MLB career with the Kansas City Athletics in 1960 and ending with the Kansas City Royals in 1969. During the 1964 season, he went 19-12, 3.44 in 254 innings for the Detroit Tigers. He pitched 237.2 innings in 1963 and 195.1 innings in 1965.

Dick Hall, outfielder for the 1952-55 Pirates and pitcher for the 1955-57 and 1959 Pirates. Hall was signed as a position player in 1951 and debuted in the majors at 21 years old in 1952. Hall spent parts of three seasons trying to make it as a position player before he was shifted to the mound in 1955. With the 1954 Pirates, he batted .239 with two homers in 112 games. As a pitcher in 1955, Hall went 6-6, 3.91 in 13 starts and two relief appearances. The Pirates may have had second thoughts about the switch in 1956 when he went 0-7, 4.76 in 62.1 innings and he hit .345 in his limited time at the plate. Hall saw limited mound time in 1957 and then missed the entire 1958 season due to illness. He returned to the majors briefly in 1959, pitching two games. After the season, the Pirates sent him to the Kansas City A’s in a four-player trade. Hall pitched until 1971, going to the World Series four times with the Baltimore Orioles. His last big league appearance was in the 1971 World Series and came almost 20 years to the day he signed with the Pirates. He had a 4.57 ERA in 23 starts and 21 relief appearances while with the Pirates. Hall pitched 175.1 innings for Pittsburgh and 1,259.2 innings over his 19-year career. He was a career .210 hitter in 821 plate appearances. Hall turns 90 years old today.

Dick Lanahan, lefty pitcher for the 1940-41 Pirates. In eight starts and 39 relief outings with the Pirates, he had a 4.35 ERA. Most of that time came during the 1940 season, when he set a career high with 108 innings. The Pirates sold him to the Chicago White Sox in May, 1941, though he never played in the majors again after leaving the Pirates. Lanahan debuted with the Washington Senators in 1935, making three starts. He pitched for them again in 1937, throwing a total of 11.1 innings. After spending all of 1938-39 in the minors with the Senators, the Pirates acquired him in the 1939 winter Rule 5 draft. He played for Chattanooga of the Southern Association in 1939, going 19-11, 2.95 in 232 innings. , which was by far his best minor league season. Lanahan debuted in pro ball during the 1935 season and played until 1948.

Marty Lang, lefty pitcher for the 1930 Pirates. In two games with the Pirates, he had a 54.00 ERA, giving up 10 runs in 1.2 innings. He debuted during a July 4th doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs and allowed six runs in the ninth inning. It was a 4-1 game when he came in and reliever Leon Chagnon had to come on to get the final out.  Ten days later, Lang got his second chance in the sixth inning against the Brooklyn Dodgers. He came in with the Pirates down 8-3 and allowed four runs. The Pirates actually rallied later, but still lost 12-8. Lang spent eight seasons in the minors, debuting in 1927. He pitched until 1933, but he returned for the 1938 season, before retiring for good. He had a 14-9 record in the Western League in 1929 before joining the Pirates. The Pirates returned Lang to Wichita of the Western League shortly after his time in the majors.

Doug Baird, utility player for the 1915-17 Pirates. Baird began his career playing independent ball. He spent the 1912-13 seasons playing for Springfield in the Three-I league, then moved on to Souix City of the Western League in 1914. The Pirates purchased his contract in September of 1914, and he debuted with the club the next season. Baird was the starting third baseman in 1915, hitting .219 with 53 RBIs and 29 stolen bases. He led the NL with 88 strikeouts as a rookie. He played more of a utility role in 1916 and had similar results at the plate with a .216 average and one homer. His batting picked up early in 1917, hitting .259 in 43 games. Baird was traded to the St Louis Cardinals in June of 1917 for pitcher Bob Steele. He would go on to play three more seasons in the majors, seeing time with four different clubs during those 3 1/2 years. While with the Pirates, he hit .223 in 316 games, spending time at five different positions.

The Game

On this date in 1992, the Pittsburgh Pirates won their third straight National League East title. Danny Jackson helped the Pirates to a 4-2 win over the Mets, as they moved to 93-63 on the season. Jay Bell drove in two runs and Barry Bonds collected his 101st RBI of the season. Here’s the boxscore.