Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, starting with the most recent one first:
Radhames Liz, pitcher for the 2015 Pirates. Liz pitched for the Baltimore Orioles for three seasons from 2007-09, posting a 7.50 ERA over 110.1 innings, while making 21 starts and seven relief appearances. Most of his playing time came during the 2008 season. After spending five full seasons in the minors, Liz showed huge improvements during the 2014-15 winter playing ball in the Dominican, which earned him a deal with the Pirates. He would make 14 appearances in 2015, posting a 4.24 ERA in 23.1 innings. Liz had excellent results as a starter at Triple-A Indianapolis, posting a 1.40 ERA in 64.1 innings. That time with the Pirates ended up being his last big league experience. Since his stint in Pittsburgh, he has played in China, Japan, winter ball in the Dominican and even spent some time in Triple-A for the Milwaukee Brewers. Liz originally signed with the Baltimore Orioles as an international free agent out of the Dominican in 2003.
Joel Hanrahan, reliever for the 2009-12 Pirates and current minor league coach in the system. He was acquired mid-season in 2009 from the Washington Nationals and moved into the closer role for the Pirates full-time in 2011. During his two final seasons (2011-12) with the Pirates, he made the All-Star team each year and picked up a total of 76 saves. After the 2012 season, he was part of a six-player deal with the Boston Red Sox that brought Mark Melancon to Pittsburgh. Hanrahan had a 2.59 ERA in 229.1 innings with the Pirates. He had just one full season and two partial seasons in the majors at the time of his acquisition by the Pirates. Hanrahan debuted in the majors in 2007 as a starting pitcher for the Nationals, posting a 6.00 ERA ( yet a 5-3 record?) in 51 innings. After the deal with Boston, he lasted just nine games in the majors, putting up a 9.82 ERA in 7.1 innings. Hanrahan had to have a pair of Tommy John surgeries, one in mid-2003 and another in 2005, which kept him from pitching again. Despite losing their closer, the 2013 Red Sox still won the World Series. Hanrahan is currently a minor league pitching coach for the Pirates, working his way up the system to Altoona this past year.
Jeff Zaske, pitcher for the 1984 Pirates. He was a 27th round pick in 1978 and spent just a few weeks total in the majors six years later. Zaske tossed a total of five shutout innings in his only three big league appearances. He was called up on July 13th, though he didn’t debut until the 21st. He last played on July 28th, though he wasn’t sent back to Triple-A until August 5th. So he got in just over three weeks at the majors, but all of his pitching came during an eight-day stretch. After spending the 1985-86 seasons in the minors, the Pirates used him to acquire pitcher Randy Kramer, who pitched three years for the Pirates. Zaske never made it back to the majors. Two years after he was drafted, Zaske was throwing batting practice against Bill Madlock and had a crazy run-in. Madlock took a swing at a pitch and then told Zaske to throw harder. Dave Parker first, then other Pirates, yelled at Zaske to hit him with the next pitch for saying that. He apparently listened to the crowd, which led to Madlock coming to the mound and taking a swing (and connecting) at him. Despite the incident, the sidearm throwing Zaske still got his 15 minutes of fame,
Gene Clines, outfielder for the Pirates from 1970 until 1974. He was drafted by the Pirates in the sixth round of the 1966 draft. He played four seasons in the minors, making it up to Double-A, before getting promoted to the Pirates mid-season in 1970. Being used mostly as a pinch-hitter, he batted .405 in 31 games. That earned him a spot for the following season, which turned out to be the fourth World Series winning season for Pittsburgh. During that 1971 season, Cline batted .308 over 97 games. He saw most of his playing time in center field, though he also got occasional starts in left field and right field. The next year he hit .334 in 107 games and received some mild MVP consideration. He mostly split his time in 1972 between the two corner outfield spots, though the 1973-74 seasons saw him spend more of his time in center field. After hitting just .225 during the 1974 season, he was traded to the New York Mets for catcher Duffy Dyer. Clines batted .287 in 459 games with the Pirates, with 51 stolen bases and 179 runs scored. He was a career .277 hitter in 870 big league games and managed to collect just five homers total, three coming with the Chicago Cubs in 1977. Clines only homered in two parks, hitting all three in 1977 at Wrigley Field, while his two with the Pirates came at Dodger Stadium two years apart.
Tom Padden, catcher for the Pirates from 1932 until 1937. He was a platoon starter for three seasons and backup for the three other years while in Pittsburgh. The Pirates purchased him out of the minors from the New York Yankees in late May of 1932 for $7,500. They also needed to loan two players to Newark of the International League, where he was playing at the time. Padden was in the middle of his fifth season in pro ball at the time of the deal. He playing sparingly in the his first two years in Pittsburgh, then batted .321 over 82 games during the 1934 season. He played a career-high 97 games in 1935. Despite being known as a solid defender, he led the NL in errors and stolen bases allowed in 1935. The Pirates used Padden in 1937 as part of a package that included three players and cash, to acquire outfielder Johnny Rizzo from the St Louis Cardinals. Rizzo went on to set a Pirates single-season record for homers as a rookie. Padden spent the 1938-42 seasons in the minors, before coming back for a brief stint with the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Senators in 1943, playing a total of 20 games. That ended up being his only big league experience outside of his time with the Pirates. He hit .272, with two homers and 109 RBIs in 329 games with the Pirates.
Pat Duncan, outfielder for the 1915 Pirates. After debuting mid-season with the 1915 team and going 1-for-5 in three games, Duncan didn’t see the majors again until four years later. He would end up hitting .307 in 724 games with the Cincinnati Reds. He had 80+ RBIs in a season three times and 90+ runs scored twice. Duncan played a total of 18 years in pro ball, debuted in the minors in 1912, the spending another five seasons in the minors after his final big league game. In all, he compiled over 2,300 career hits. The Pirates acquired him from Battle Creek of the South Michigan League on July 8th, where he hit .323 with 27 stolen bases in 61 games in 1915. After spending three weeks with the Pirates, he was released to Grand Rapids of the Central League on July 28th, where he hit .295 in 30 games. His actual first name was Louis, but he went by the nickname Pat.
Eddie Burke, outfielder for the 1890 Alleghenys. He hit .210 over 31 games for the worst team in franchise history. Burke was a .280 hitter over eight seasons in the majors and three times he scored over 120 runs in a season. He had 293 stolen bases and scored 747 runs in 855 games. The Alleghenys acquired him in August in a two-for-one swap with the Philadelphia Quakers. Pittsburgh got Bill Day and Burke (and cash), while Philadelphia got star outfielder Billy Sunday. It was a move made out of necessity for a team that was trying to scrape by to make it through the end of the season. However, the Alleghenys would have made out much better on the deal if they decided to keep Burke after the season because Sunday decided to retire before the 1891 season.
As a rookie in 1890, Burke was hitting .263 with 38 steals and 85 runs scored in 100 games prior to being acquired by Pittsburgh. Despite the youth and success before joining the Alleghenys, he was let go after the season and signed with Milwaukee of the American Association. He had his first bit of success in 1892, when he stole 44 bases and scored 87 runs in 104 games. In 1893, he led the league in games played (135) and hit-by-pitches (25), while scoring 122 runs, stealing 54 bases and picking up 80 RBIs. He scored in 1894, then after playing just 95 games in 1895, he hit .340 with 120 runs scored in 122 games in 1896. Despite the success one year earlier, the 1897 season turned out to be his last in the majors. He played another four years in the minors before retiring. Before making his MLB debut in 1890, he played four seasons in the minors, so his career started just how it ended and was almost evenly split between the majors and minors.