This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: September 30th, Clemente Joins the 3,000 Hit Club

Just two former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus two trades of note and one milestone.

The Players

Bryan Bullington, pitcher for the 2005 and 2007 Pirates. He was the first overall pick in the 2002 draft, who battled through injuries to pitch parts of five seasons in the majors, followed by five more seasons in Japan. Bullington made brief appearances with the Pirates in 2005 and 2007, going 0-3, 5.89 in 18.1 innings. He picked up just one Major League win, coming in 2010 with the Kansas City Royals. His big league career numbers show a 5.62 ERA in ten starts and 16 relief appearances. He lost all of 2006 due to shoulder surgery, which cut short his 2005 trial with the Pirates after just one game. He had a 4.00 ERA in 26 starts at Triple-A Indianapolis in 2007, before joining the Pirates for three starts and two relief outings in September. Bullington was pitching poorly in Triple-A in 2008 when he was lost on waivers to the Cleveland Indians in June.

Pat Bohen, pitcher for the 1914 Pirates. He pitched two big league games, one start in the American League and one relief appearance in the National League. Bohen debuted with the Philadelphia A’s on October 1, 1913, the day after his 23rd birthday. He took a tough loss that day, allowing just one run over eight innings, with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch in the eighth. He then pitched for the Pirates in relief on September 6, 1914 and gave up two runs in his only inning of work. His pro career lasted just one more minor league season. Bohen won 20 games for Reading of the Tri-State League in 1914 before joining the Pirates. On August 24th, the Pirates purchased him from Reading for $1,500 and he immediately joined the team. In early December, he was sold back to Reading.

The Trades

On this date in 1946, the Pirates pulled off a six-player trade with the Boston Braves, acquiring Hall of Fame second baseman Billy Herman in the deal. The Pirates lost this trade, despite not only getting the most recognizable name in the deal, they also gave up two players to get four in return. Herman was a player-manager, who did very little playing in his final year in the majors, getting into just 15 games. He didn’t even finish the season as the manager, resigning from the position with one game left on the schedule. Pittsburgh gave up third baseman Bob Elliott in the deal. He would make the All-Star team and win the 1947 NL MVP award, followed by two more All-Star appearances in 1948 and 1951. Boston also received backup catcher Hank Camelli, who lasted one season with the Braves. The rest of the Pirates return included infielder Whitey Weitelmann, who hit .234 over 48 games in his only season with the team. They also got Stan Wentzel, who only played in the minors after the deal, and pitcher Elmer Singleton, who had a 5.54 ERA in 74 appearances with the Pirates.

On this date in 1986, the Pirates traded pitcher Jeff Zaske for pitcher Randy Kramer. While it wasn’t a big win for them, the Pirates got the best of this deal. Zaske pitched for the Pirates briefly in 1984, but never made the majors again. Kramer was a minor leaguer at the time of the deal, who debuted in 1988 and went on to post a 4.22 ERA in 147 innings over three seasons with the club. He was a small contributor to the 1990 NL East championship team.

The Milestone

On this date in 1972, Roberto Clemente collected his 3,000th big league hit off of Mets pitcher Jon Matlack in a 5-0 Pirates win. It would be the final regular season hit for Clemente. Here’s video of the hit, along with an interesting note about the video. Early in the video, they showed a graphic that said that Clemente tied Honus Wagner for most games played in team history. That was thought to be true back then, but later research corrected Wagner’s game total to 2,433 (one more), which Clemente would actually tie three days later in his final big league game.