This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: October 29th, Jim Bibby

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date.

Jim Bibby, pitcher for the 1978-1983 Pirates. Prior to joining Pittsburgh, Bibby had just a 60-69 career record at the age of 33, but he turned that record around while in a Pirates uniform. He was signed as a free agent on March 15, 1978 after going 12-13 3.57 while with the Indians in 1977. He had won as many as 19 games in a season while with the Rangers in 1974 when he made 41 starts. In 1978, he started the year in the Pirates bullpen, but 40 games into the season he moved into the starter role and threw a complete game his first start. He remained in that role until late in the season, throwing a shutout in his last start, before moving back to the pen after a ten-day layoff. He finished 8-7, 3.53 in 34 games.

In 1979, Bibby again started as a member of the bullpen, this time lasting in that role for the first half of the season. When he was moved to the starting role for good on July 10th, he had a 3-2 record. Seven starts later he had a 9-2 record. He ran into a few rough starts later in the year, although his record still ended at 12-4, 2.81. He ended the regular season with two complete games in which he allowed just one total run and struck out 18 batters. Bibby started three postseason games (two in the World Series), and while he didn’t get any decisions, he did pitch well, helping the Pirates to their fifth championship.

In 1980, Bibby had his best overall season with the Pirates, going 19-6, 3.32 in 34 starts. He made his only career All-Star appearance and finished third in the Cy Young voting. For the second straight season he led the National League in win/loss percentage. Bibby made just 14 starts during the strike-shortened 1981 season, going 6-3 2.50, which was his lowest season ERA during his 12-year career. On May 19th against the Atlanta Braves, he allowed a single to lead-off hitter Terry Harper, then retired the next 27 batters in a row. He had already thrown a no-hitter earlier in his career with the Texas Rangers (1973).

Unfortunately for Bibby, he tore his rotator cuff and missed all of the 1982 season. He pitched very poorly when he returned in 1983 and the Pirates let him go following the conclusion of the season. He pitched briefly in the majors with the Texas Rangers and minors with the St Louis Cardinals in 1984 before retiring. Bibby finished with a 50-32 record in a Pirates uniform. Despite his poor record before joining the Pirates, his best season actually occurred in 1973 when he posted a 4.0 WAR with the Texas Rangers.

Dana Eveland, pitcher for the 2010 Pirates. In one start and two relief appearances for the Pirates, he had an 8.38 ERA in 9.2 innings. He pitched 446.1 innings over 11 seasons in the majors, including 2008 when he threw 168 innings for the Oakland A’s. Eveland was a 16th round draft pick out of college by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002. He debuted in the majors three years later as a reliever and posted a 5.97 ERA in 27 appearances. He struggled in brief time during the 2006 season, posting an 8.13 ERA in five starts and four relief appearances. He was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a six-player deal prior to 2007 and saw limited big league time in his one season in Arizona. He was then part of an eight-player deal with the Oakland A’s. Eveland had a 4.92 ERA in 212 innings in Oakland before being sold to the Toronto Blue Jays. After nine starts in Toronto, he was traded to the Pirates for minor league pitcher Ronald Uviedo. The Pirates let him go via free agency after the season. Eveland bounced around for the next seven seasons, changing teams seven times, while topping out at 32.1 innings in a season. He finished with a 20-28, 5.46 record in 61 starts and 126 relief appearances.

Mark “Fido” Baldwin, pitcher for the 1891-1893 Pirates. Baldwin was a Pittsburgh native who attended college at Penn St. The Pirates got him after the Player’s League folded following the 1890 season. He was supposed to return to his 1889 team (Columbus of the American Association), but he signed with the Pirates instead. It was a move that set off a series of lawsuits he dealt with for years. He led the PL in wins, strikeouts, starts, complete games, walks and innings pitched in 1890. Baldwin had a blazing fastball, some say the best of his era, and he was a hard worker on the mound, throwing over 1,000 innings in 1889-90 combined. He led the American Association with 513.2 innings and 368 strikeouts in 1889.

In his two full seasons in Pittsburgh he was still a workhorse, throwing a combined 878 innings. While he pitched well, his record during that time was just 47-55, mostly due to a bad Pirates team in 1891. He retired following the 1892 season when he didn’t like his contract he was offered, but returned to the Pirates by Spring Training. He had troubles off and on during the 1892 season, and despite allowing him to return, the Pirates released him after just one (very poor) start in 1893. Baldwin had a strong spring start that gave the Pirates hope. He threw one-hit ball and hit a homer against a minor league team from Augusta. Five days later however, he allowed seven runs in relief to a team from Montgomery. His only start came on April 28th and he was already released by May 9th. He finished the year with the New York Giants, then played two more years in the minors before retiring for good. Baldwin retired with a 154-165, 3.37 record in 2,802.1 innings.

Solly Hofman, outfielder for the 1903 and 1912-13 Pirates. He was briefly a member of the 1903 Pirates, the first NL team to play in the World Series, and then he rejoined the team in 1912 for parts of two seasons. He played just three games with the Pirates in 1903, making his Major League debut on July 28th. He went 0-for-2 and scored a run during those three appearances off the bench. Before joining the Pirates, Hofman was playing in a semi-pro league in St Louis, where he also worked as a bank clerk. He was then sent to the minors, where the Chicago Cubs were able to sign him in 1904. He stayed in Chicago until May 30, 1912 when the Cubs traded him back to Pittsburgh in a four-player deal that included Tommy Leach, who was in his 13th season with the Pirates. Hofman was seldom used by the Pirates during his second stint, playing just 17 games in 1912 and 28 games in 1913. The Pirates sent him to the minors on June 16th. He spent two seasons in the Federal League (1914-15) and played 11 games total for two teams in 1916, ending his big league career. Hofman was a good player with the Cubs, who played defense all over the field, making at least 25 appearances at seven different positions (everything but pitcher and catcher). With the Pirates in his three partial seasons, he hit just .246 with no homers in 48 games. He actual for name was Arthur and he mostly went by Artie, though he’s now more identified as Solly. Hofman’s nephew Bobby Hofman played seven seasons for the New York Giants (1949-57)