Nine former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including one who threw a no-hitter. We also have two games of note. Before we get into them, current pitcher Derek Holland turns 34 today.
Starling Marte, outfielder for the 2012-19 Pirates. Marte was originally signed by the Pirates as an international free agent at 18 years old in 2007. He debuted with the Pirates in July of 2012 and homered on the first big league pitch he faced. He hit .257 with five homers and 12 stolen bases in 47 games as a rookie. Marte held down the left field position for the next five years, before moving to center field full-time in 2018. In 2013, he batted .280, with 41 stolen bases and 83 runs scored. That was followed up by a .291 average in 2014, with 13 homers and 30 stolen bases. Marte won his first of two consecutive Gold Glove awards in 2015. He batted .287, with 19 homers, 81 RBIs and 30 stolen bases.
In 2016, Marte had his only All-Star appearance up to this point. He batted .311 with a career high 47 stolen bases. Unfortunately that was followed up with a PED suspension, and he played just 77 games in 2017. In 2018, Marte hit a career best 20 homers, then topped that with 23 in 2019, when he posted a career best .845 OPS. After the season, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who in turn traded him to the Miami Marlins during the 2020 season. Marte hit .287 in 953 games with the Pirates. He had 108 homers, 239 stolen bases, 555 runs scored and 420 RBIs. He ranks 20th in Pirates history in homers and eighth in stolen bases.
Bob Moose, pitcher for the 1967-76 Pirates. He was drafted by the Pirates in the 18th round of the 1965 amateur draft at age 17 and it took him just two years to make the majors. He flew through the minor league system posting a 29-10 record on his way to the majors, making his big league debut 20 days before his 20th birthday on September 19, 1967. In his second career start ten days later he threw a complete game victory over the Houston Astros allowing just one run.
In 1968, Moose started the year in the bullpen, then moved to the starting role in early June and finished the season with an 8-12 record, despite an ERA of just 2.74 over 170.2 innings pitched. At age 21 he led the NL in winning percentage with his 14-3 record, with 19 of his 44 appearances coming as a starter. His ERA was actually 17 points higher in 1969 over the previous season when he had a losing record. On September 20th of that 1969 season, Moose pitched a no-hitter over the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, shutting down the team that went on to win the World Series just a few weeks later.
For the next four seasons, Moose was mostly used in a starter role, and he won at least 11 games each year. In 1974 he missed most of the season due to a blood clot in his right shoulder. In 1975 he suffered a bad thumb injury which required him to spend part of the year in the minors on rehab. The following year he was used almost exclusively in relief, making just two starts and 51 relief appearances. He recorded ten saves that season, one more than his previous nine years combined. Sadly, today is also the anniversary of his death. He died shortly after the 1976 season ended, due to injuries suffered in a car accident on his 29th birthday. Moose finished his career with a 76-71, 3.50 record, starting 160 games and relieving in another 129. He spent all ten of his seasons in the majors as a member of the Pirates.
Jason Jaramillo, catcher for the 2009-11 Pirates. In three seasons with the Pirates, he .235 over 119 games. His batting averages during that time were .252, .149 and .326, while his playing time peaked as a rookie (63 games) and got smaller in each of the following seasons, dropping down to 23 games played in 2011. Jaramillo was a 39th round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies out of high school and didn’t sign, then improved to a second round pick three years later, once again being selected by the Phillies. He spent his first five seasons of pro ball in the minors for Philadelphia before the Pirates acquired him in December of 2008 for Ronny Paulino. Jaramillo was let go after the 2011 season and he ended up playing just two more years of minor league ball, while spending time with five different organizations.
Felix Fermin, shortstop for the 1987-88 Pirates. He batted .265 in 66 games during his two seasons with Pittsburgh, collecting two triples, with no doubles or homers. Fermin played a total of ten seasons in the majors, hitting .259 with four homers in 903 games. The Pirates originally signed him as an international free agent at 19 years old out of the Dominican. It took him just four years to work his way through the system, debuting in the majors on July 8, 1987. He played 23 games and batted .250 that season, while making 19 starts at shortstop. Fermin split the 1988 season between the majors and minors, getting into 43 games with the Pirates. He started 32 times at shortstop, but left often for a pinch-hitter, playing just ten games from start to finish. After the season, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in a deal that landed Jay Bell back in Pittsburgh. Fermin stayed with the Indians until 1993, when he was sent to the Seattle Mariners for Omar Vizquel. Fermin played two years in Seattle and had a very brief stop with the 1996 Chicago Cubs.
Ray Krawczyk, pitcher for the 1984-86 Pirates. Was drafted three times in the first round before signing with the Pirates in 1981. He didn’t live up to those expectations, posting an 8.65 ERA in 24 appearances and 26 innings with the Pirates. He had a career 7.05 ERA in 52.1 innings over five big league seasons, also seeing time with the 1988 California Angels and 1989 Milwaukee Brewers. The Pirates used him four times over an eight-day span in June/July during the 1984 season, but he didn’t pitch with them again until 11 months later. Krawczyk came up for four appearances in May of 1985 and threw just four total innings, while giving up runs in all four games. He returned in mid-September and pitched four more times, allowing five runs in 4.1 innings. He had control issues during his time with the team in 1986, though his stats were acceptable until his final outing of the season. In his last game with the Pirates, he gave up four runs on three hits and three walks in one inning. SHortly after the 1986 season ended, Krawczyk was released.
Freddie Patek, shortstop for the 1968-70 Pirates. He hit .244 in 292 games with the Pirates, then went on to play another 11 seasons in the majors, including nine with the Kansas City Royals. He was a career .242 hitter, who stole 385 bases. The Pirates drafted him in the first amateur draft, which was held in 1965. Patek was a 22nd round pick. It took him just three years to make it to the majors and he never returned to the minors, playing until 1981. He’s one of the smallest players in baseball history, standing in at 5’5″, 148 pounds. He still managed to hit for a little power, collecting over 300 extra-base hits in his career, including 41 homers. The Pirates included him in a 3-for-3 swap with the Royals after the 1970 season. That deal gave the Pirates Bob Johnson and Jackie Hernandez, two solid pieces for the 1971 World Series champs. While he didn’t get a World Series title during his career, the move helped Patek. He was a three-time All-Star in Kansas City, who led the league in triples in 1971 and stolen bases in 1977. He had back-to-back 50+ steal seasons in 1976-77.
Jack Tising, pitcher for the 1936 Pirates. He debuted in the majors at 32 years old and lasted just one season, putting up a 4.21 ERA in 47 innings over six starts and four relief appearances. He wasn’t with the Pirates long, debuting on April 24th and pitching his final game on May 30th. He was released just two days later, sent back to Louisville, where he played in 1934-35. Tising spent 20 seasons in pro ball, and even played some semi-pro ball in the middle of his career. The Pirates had big plans for him in 1936, as he came advertised as the “strikeout king” of the American Association. For the record, he had 142 strikeouts in 269 innings in 1935, though batters were more concerned about putting the ball in play, used bigger bats and they choked up with two strikes, so strikeout totals were low. Tising debuted in 1924 in pro ball, with a 1-9 record, playing for three teams in D league ball. That’s a long way from the majors and a poor showing, which just shows how he battled to get to the majors 12 years later.
Arnie Stone, pitcher for the 1923-24 Pirates. The 6’0″ lefty didn’t make his debut in the majors until after his 30th birthday. The Pirates brought him up mid-season in 1923 from Hartford of the Eastern League, where he had a 2.01 ERA and 8-1 record in 112 innings. Stone was originally with the Pirates in Spring Training and made the Opening Day roster in 1923, but failed to make an appearance before being sent to Hartford. He joined the Pirates in late July and pitched nine games in relief, posting an 8.03 ERA in 12.1 innings. He was mostly used in a mop-up role, appearing in just one game that the Pirates won.
In 1924, Stone started off strong, once they actually decided to use him. He threw 2.2 perfect innings during his season debut on April 27th, then tossed one-hit ball over five innings on May 3rd. That got him more time on the mound and eventually he made two starts. On July 5th, he pitched a complete game victory over the Reds, allowing just one earned run. Stone finished with a 2.95 ERA in 64 innings that season, despite being one of the most contact-oriented pitchers in history. In his 35 career appearances, he recorded more than one strikeout just once, racking up two against the St Louis Cardinals during a three inning outing in 1924. After that 1924 season, he never pitched in the majors again, finishing his career in the minors the next year. He went by the nickname “Lefty” and his real first name was Edwin (Arnold was his middle name). He played independent ball before signing his first pro deal. Stone was said to be 25 years old when he signed with the Pirates, but he was actually 30 at the time.
Al Maul, outfielder, first baseman and pitcher for the 1888-89 Pittsburgh Alleghenys, who rejoined the team during the 1891 season. Maul began his Major League career in 1884 as an 18-year-old, pitching one game in the Union Association, a one-season Major League that folded as soon as the season ended. Maul spent the next two years as a pitcher/outfielder in the minors, returning to the big leagues with the 1887 Philadelphia Quakers. The Alleghenys purchased his contract on January 3, 1888 for $1,000. Maul batted .304 in limited time in 1887, but he hit just .208 in 74 games for the Alleghenys during his first season with the team. He also struggled during his limited time on the mound, going 0-2, 6.35 in 17 innings. The next season, Maul was even worse on the mound, posting a 9.86 ERA in 42 innings. However, his batting came around in 1889, as he hit .276, with 16 extra-base hits and 44 RBIs in 68 games.
Most of the good players in the National League, left for the newly formed Player’s League for the 1890 season. When that season ended, the league folded and most players returned to their former teams. Maul finally pitched well with the Pirates in 1891, posting a 2.35 ERA in 39 innings, but his batting fell well off, hitting .188 in 47 games. He had to return to the minors in 1892 to work his way back to the majors. Maul ended up making it back in 1893 and sticking around until 1901. In 1898, for the Baltimore Orioles, he won 20 games. He finished his career with a 84-80, 4.43 record in 187 games and a .241 batting average in 410 games, with 179 RBIs and 193 runs scored.
On this date in 1960, the Pirates beat the New York Yankees in game four of the World Series by a 3-2 score in front of 67,812 fans in Yankee Stadium. Vernon Law started for the Pirates and pitched 6.1 innings allowing two runs and getting the win. Elroy Face pitched the final 2.2 IP for the save. He retired all eight batters he faced including the final two hitters of the seventh, taking over with two inherited runners on base. Law drove in the Pirates first run of the game with a fifth inning doubl,e and he scored the eventual winning run one batter later on a two-run single by Bill Virdon. Here’s the boxscore.
On this date in 1972, the Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS by a 3-2 score to give them a 2-1 lead in the five-game series. Bruce Kison picked up the win in relief of starter Nelson Briles and Manny Sanguillen picked up two RBIs including a solo home run in the fifth inning. Roberto Clemente went 1-for-3 with a walk. He would play just two more games in his career after this game. Here’s the boxscore