This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: November 21st, Hall of Famer Freddie Lindstrom

Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including a Hall of Famer.

Freddie Lindstrom, outfielder for the 1933-34 Pirates. He was a star third baseman for the New York Giants for nine years before coming to the Pirates. A bad back caused him to switch to the outfield in 1931 and he remained there for the rest of his career. While in Pittsburgh, they had an entire outfield that would go on to the Hall of Fame, with Lindstrom and the Waner brothers. He batted .302 in 235 games with the Pirates and he was a .311 career hitter over 1,438 games. He hit .310 during the 1933 season in 138 games, but dropped down to a .290 average in 97 games in 1934. Lindstrom missed time early with a finger injury that season, then missed more time in July with a broken finger. He was hitting .340 on July 12th, but he batted just .257 over the final 56 games of the regular season. He retired from baseball at age 30 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1976. The Pirates acquired Lindstrom in a three-team deal with the Giants and Philadelphia Phillies, which included a total of five players. After his two seasons in Pittsburgh, he was sent to the Chicago Cubs in  another five-player deal, this time with three players returning to the Pirates. During the 1928 season, he led the NL with 231 hits and finished second in the MVP voting after hitting .358 with 62 extra-base hits, 107 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. Lindstrom had an even better season in 1930 (though so did a lot of players) when he batted .379 and drove in 106 runs, while scoring 127 runs. From 1926-30, he averaged 105 runs scored per season. At 18 years old in 1924, he hit .333 during the World Series. He debuted in pro ball at 16 years old in 1922 and he finished his career with three seasons of managing in the minors. Lindstrom’s son Charlie Lindstrom made it to the majors with the 1958 Chicago White Sox.

Brian Meadows, pitcher for 2002-05 Pirates. He was a starter his first season in Pittsburgh, then moved to relief, where he made a total of 160 appearances for the Pirates. Meadows went 8-12, 4.20 in 291.2 innings in Pittsburgh. He pitched a total of nine years in the majors, seeing time with four other clubs. He picked up double digit victories in each of his first three seasons. Meadows was a third round draft pick out of high school in 1994 by the Florida Marlins. He debuted in the majors in 1998 and spent his first two seasons in Florida, where he made 31 starts each year, going 22-28, 5.41 in 352.2 innings. He made 32 starts in 2000, splitting the seasons between the San Diego Padres (22 starts) and Kansas City Royals. Meadows remained in Kansas City for 2001, though he had a 6.97 ERA in ten starts. He was granted free agency after the season and signed with the Minnesota Twins. Meadows was cut at the end of Spring Training in 2002, then signed with the Pirates just two days later. Despite a 1-6 record in 2002, he had a 3.88 ERA in 11 starts. He had a 4.72 ERA in 2003, throwing 76.2 innings over seven starts and 27 relief appearances. He was full-time relief in 2004 and responded with his best season, posting a 3.58 ERA in 78 innings over 68 appearances. He saw his ERA rise exactly one full run in similar work in 2005, before the Pirates parted ways at the end of the season. He was signed and cut by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the spring of 2006, then finished his big league career with the 2006 Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In his career, he went 47-62, 5.05 in 122 starts and 214 relief appearances.

Bill Almon, utility fielder for the 1985-87 Pirates. He played seven positions during his time with the Pirates, seeing time everywhere except pitcher and catcher. In 209 games, he was a .246 hitter with 13 homers and 57 RBIs. He spent 15 years in the majors after being drafted first overall in the 1974 draft out of Brown University by the San Diego Padres. Almon hit .254, with 36 homers and 128 steals over 1,236 career games. The Padres originally drafted him in the 11th round in 1971, but he chose the college route, which paid off well. He played just 39 minor league games before making his big league debut in September of 1974. The first overall pick seemed to be warranted in his first taste of the majors, as he hit .316 in 16 games, just three months after he was drafted. However, he didn’t stick in the majors until 1977, when he put up a .639 OPS in 155 games as the everyday shortstop. Almon saw his playing time drop each of the next two seasons, before he split 1980 with the Montreal Expos and New York Mets, playing just 66 games total. He moved on to the Chicago White Sox for 1981-82 and Oakland A’s in 1983-84 before joining the Pirates as a free agent signing. In Oakland, he began to play a utility role, which would carry over to Pittsburgh. Almon did well in limited time in 1985, hitting .270 in 88 games. He saw a significant drop in his average over the next two seasons and he was traded to the Mets on May 29, 1987 for Scott Little and Al Pedrique. Almon finished up his pro career with a brief stint for the 1988 Philadelphia Phillies.

Darryl Patterson, pitcher for the 1974 Pirates. In 21 innings over 14 relief appearances with the Pirates, he had a 7.29 ERA. He debuted in the majors by posting a 2.12 ERA for the World Series winning Detroit Tigers in 1968. Patterson had a 7-1 record for the 1970 Tigers, yet he finished his career with an 11-9 record over five seasons in the majors. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed him as an amateur free agent in 1964, a year before the current amateur draft system started. The Dodgers lost him later that season in the First Year draft to the Tigers. It took him four years to make the majors, debuting with the Tigers in April of 1968. After his strong rookie season, he was limited to 22.1 innings in 1969 due to spending time in the Army reserves. Despite the 7-1 record in 1970, he had a 4.85 ERA in 78 innings. He split the 1971 season between the Tigers, Oakland A’s and St Louis Cardinals, posting a 4.97 ERA in 41.2 innings total. He spent 1972 in the minors for the A’s, joined the Pirates system in 1973, which was spent at Triple-A. He was also in Triple-A to start 1974, but he was called up on June 14th to replace young Kent Tekulve on the roster when he was sent back to the minors. In mid-July, the Pirates and Cincinnati Reds had a brawl and Patterson received bite wounds from Reds pitcher Pedro Borbon. Patterson was sent down for a time in August, but returned to the Pirates on September 5th and he made one appearance during his final month in the majors. He finished his career in the minors in 1975 with the Pirates.

Billy Clingman, third baseman for the 1895 Pirates. Prior to the start of the 1895 season, the Pirates picked up Clingman in the Rule 5 Draft from the Milwaukee Brewers of the Western League. He hit .332 in 1894 with Milwaukee, collecting 40 extra base hits, 32 stolen bases and he scored 128 runs in 126 games. That was a huge year for offense all around baseball, but those were still above average numbers. For the 1895 Pirates, Clingman hit .256 in 107 games, with no homers, 45 RBIs and 69 runs scored. His defense was slightly above average that year, though later in his career he was known for his strong glove. In 1897 he led all NL third baseman in fielding percentage, and four years later he led all AL shortstops in the same category, while also leading in assists. Clingman was dealt to the Louisville Colonels on May 2, 1896 for catcher Eddie Boyle and outfielder Joe Wright. He was with the Pirates for the first 11 games of the 1896 season, but he failed to get into a game. Clingman still had seven more seasons ahead of him in the majors after the trade, including four seasons in Louisville (1896-99), and one year each with the 1900 Chicago Orphans (Cubs), the 1901 Washington Senators and the 1903 Cleveland Naps (Indians). Prior to joining the Pirates, he had played seven games for the Cincinnati Reds in 1890 and one game for Cincinnati of the American Association in 1891.

Alex Beam, pitcher for the 1889 Alleghenys. His big league career started on May 25, 1889 and ended four days later. Beam only pitched twice for the Alleghenys due to major control issues. In two complete game starts, he walked a total of 15 batters (disputed number) while recording just one strikeout. Beam was a strong pitcher from the area and the Alleghenys scooped him up so Hall of Fame manager Harry Wright couldn’t pick him up for his own Philadelphia Phillies team. Beam’s big league debut was a successful 3-1 win over Washington, despite issuing nine walks (some sources say eight walks) and only picking up one strikeout. His second start was a double failure for the 19-year-old pitcher. He faced Harry Wright’s club and got battered, losing 15-4. He’s credited with nine walks in this game and 17 walks total by most sources from the day. Not only was that his last game with Pittsburgh, it also left a bad impression with Wright. It was said in multiple reports that he threw a lot of off-speed pitches early, but after the Phillies put up 11 runs, he looked much better throwing only fastballs. Beam was supposed to pitch for the Alleghenys on June 5th, but the game was rained out with numerous friends and family in attendance to watch the game. The Alleghenys went on a three-city road trip the next day and he wasn’t with the team (it was common practice to leave some players behind due to travel costs). Beam pitched minor league ball until 1892. He saw time with a minor league team in Altoona in 1890, doing more work in the outfield than in the pitcher’s box. He was small for a pitcher by today’s standards, standing in at 5’9″, 155 pounds.

Henry Youngman, infielder for the 1890 Alleghenys. The 1890 Pittsburgh club was the worst in team history and it isn’t even close. They went 23-113, and used numerous players for a short time to get through the season. It was during a time when teams regularly used 15-20 players over a full season, but the Alleghenys used 46 players that year. Youngman had a decent minor league career between 1888 and 1899, but his brief time in the majors was unsuccessful. In 13 games split between third base and second base, he hit .128 and made 16 errors. Not surprisingly, that was his only chance in the majors. Perhaps the most surprising part was his big league debut, in which he had two hits and his defense at third base was praised. The team actually expected good things from him after a strong showing in Spring Training. Youngman made the 1890 Opening Day roster and his final game came on May 23rd. Local papers speculated about his release in early May, saying that team president J. Palmer O’Neil was looking for a regular shortstop and Youngman would likely be the man to go when that happened. The Alleghenys actually cut star infielder Fred Dunlap first and it was noted that his salary of $3,500 was too much, while Youngman was doing comparable work for $1,050 for the season. Youngman was one of three players released by the Alleghenys on June 1st after they completed a 33-day road trip.