This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: January 28th, Emil Yde and Carlos Bernier

Six former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date.

Emil Yde, pitcher for the 1924-27 Pirates. He spent three seasons in the minors before making his debut with the 1924 Pirates. Yde had a 28-12 record in 47 games and 339 innings for Oklahoma City of the Western League in 1923. The Pirates purchased him on December 1st and the price was said to be approximately $25,000. While he was being picked up as a pitcher, Yde (pronounced Eed-ee according to the papers) was also a part-time outfielder, who could really hit. He was a switch-hitter, who batted .389 in 93 games in 1923. Pirates scout Chick Fraser saw him pitch just once in a game and once on the side before working an agreement with the Oklahoma City owner that gave the Pirates first crack at him if his contract was going to be put up for sale. Fraser liked the velocity on his fastball, as well as his control of his pitches, but he also saw him do well at the plate. The Pirates would use him sparingly to start the season, but after pitching a shutout in his second start on May 31st, he began to see more time. He would go on to have a terrific rookie season, finishing with a 16-3, 2.83 record in 33 games, 22 as a starter. He led the National League in shutouts with four and in winning percentage with a .842 mark. In 1925 he wasn’t quite as good as his rookie season but the Pirates were a better team. He went 17-9, 4.13 in 207 innings as Pittsburgh won the NL by 8.5 games over the Giants. In the World Series, Yde pitched poorly in his only start, losing game four after failing to make it out of the third inning.

Yde split his 1926 season between starting and the bullpen, pitching 37 total games, 22 as a starter. He went 8-7, 3.65 in 187.1 innings, in what would be his last full season with the team. The 1927 Pirates would make it back to the World Series, but Yde contributed very little to that team, pitching just nine games spread out through the year. He had a 9.71 ERA in 29.2 innings. The Pirates traded him and catcher Roy Spencer to Indianapolis of the American Association on December 14, 1927. He won 19 games and threw 280 innings for Indianapolis in 1928, then got the chance to pitch once more in the majors, throwing 29 games for the 1929 Detroit Tigers, mostly in relief. He had a 7-3 record for a sixth place team, though that came with a 5.30 ERA in 86.1 innings. He would pitch the next three years for Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League, then finish his career in 1933 with St Paul of the American Association. He returned to pro ball in 1940 as a minor league manager. Yde finished with exactly 100 minor league wins (though his first year stats from 1921 are incomplete) and his Major League record was 49-25, 4.02 in 141 games. He wasn’t a strikeout pitcher in the minors and that carried over to the majors. During his big season in Oklahoma City, he recorded just 127 strikeouts in 339 innings. In the majors, he had nearly twice as many walks (292) than strikeouts (160), yet he was still considered to have solid control of his pitches.

Lyle Overbay, first baseman for the 2011 Pirates. He signed with the Pirates as a free agent on December 14, 2010 after spending the previous five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. Overbay was an 18th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of college in 1999. He quickly made it to the majors, debuting in 2001, though he didn’t play his first full season in the big league until he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the 2004 season. Overbay played a total of 98 games in Arizona during those first three years, with the majority of time coming during the first half of the 2003 season. He broke out with the Brewers in 2004, hitting .301 with 81 walks, 16 homers, 87 RBIs, 83 runs scored and a league leading 53 doubles. He saw a slightly drop in his offense during the 2005 season, then was part of a five-player trade that sent him to the Blue Jays. Overbay had his best year at the plate during his first season in Toronto. He put up a career best .880 OPS, while setting career highs in all three Triple Crown categories, with a .312 average, 22 homers and 92 RBIs. He saw a large drop in offense the next year, batting .240 with ten homers in 122 games. He rebounded slightly in 2008 with a .777 OPS, then really got back on track in 2009 by posting an .838 OPS in 132 games. In the year prior to joining the Pirates, Overbay hit just .243, while setting a career high with 131 strikeouts. He reached the 20 home run mark for the second time and he hit 37 doubles. It was his seventh straight season with 30+ doubles. In 103 games for the Pirates he hit .227 with eight homers and 37 RBIs before being released in early August. He finished the season with the Diamondbacks, who re-signed him for 2012. He also played for the Atlanta Braves late in 2012, the New York Yankees in 2013 and the Brewers in 2014. Overbay had a career average of .266 with 356 doubles, 151 homers and 675 RBIs in 1,587 games during his 14-year career.

Chris Peters, pitcher for the 1996-2000 Pirates. He was drafted in the 37th round of the 1993 draft out of Indiana University, yet he made it to the majors in just over three years. He didn’t even start off well in the minors, posting a 4.55 ERA in 1993 and a 4.78 ERA in 1994 as a low-level reliever. His turnaround was out of nowhere and in a better role. In 1995 he went 13-5, 2.33 in 26 starts split between high-A and Double-A. He began 1996 back in Double-A, making 14 starts before being promoted to Triple-A, where he dominated in four starts and earned a big league promotion in mid-July. In 16 games (ten as a starter) that year for the Pirates, he went 2-4, 5.63 in 64 innings. He began 1997 back in Triple-A, then was called up in late April, sent back down in late June, before returning in late August to finish the season. The Pirates used him in the bullpen all year where he went 2-2, 4.58 in 31 games and 37.1 innings. The 1998 season was the only full year he spent in the majors. He pitched 39 games, making 21 starts, and he went 8-10, 3.47 in 148 innings. He struggled in 1999, posting a 6.59 ERA in his 19 games, 11 as a starter. Peters pitched 18 games in relief for the Pirates in 2000 before the team released him in December. He would play for four more organizations, appearing in the majors one more time in 2001 as a member of the Montreal Expos. That season he had a 7.55 ERA in 31 innings over six starts and seven relief appearances. Peters pitched in the minors until 2003, seeing time with the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. He spent his final season playing for three different independent league teams. He finished with a 17-21, 4.57 record in 123 games (43 starts) with the Pirates over five seasons. In 2015, Peters returned to the Pirates as a batting practice pitcher so the team could get work against a lefty.

Carlos Bernier, outfielder for the 1953 Pirates. He spent five seasons in the minors before he got his first shot at the big leagues after hitting .301 in 177 games with 65 steals in 1952 for Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League. Bernier spent his first three seasons of pro ball (1948-50) playing in the low level Colonial League, where he debuted as a .248 hitter his first year, then quickly improved with a .336 average, 136 runs scored, 45 extra-base hits, 89 steals and 107 stolen bases in 1949. Despite the success, he was back in the same league the next year. Bernier had an average season playing for Tampa of the Florida International League in 1951 before moving on to Hollywood in 1952. The Pirates purchased his contract on September 30, 1952, along with his teammate, pitcher/outfielder Johnny Lindell. He would play 105 games for the Pirates in 1953 in what would end up being his only season in the majors. He hit .213 but drew 51 walks and hit eight triples, one more than the amount of doubles he hit that year. He stole 15 bases, but also led the league in caught stealing, getting thrown out 14 times. He split his time between all three outfield positions, playing center field the most often. Bernier’s season ended with an eye operation in late September. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1954, but he was sold back to Hollywood on April 6th when he didn’t make the Opening Day roster. He would play another 11 seasons in the minors before retiring, getting into exactly 2,200 games and accumulating 2,291 hits, a .298 average and 200 homers. Most of that minor league time was spent back in the Pacific Coast League. He played his final season of pro ball at 38 years old in Mexico. When he made his Major League debut, Bernier was just the fifth player even in the majors to be born in Puerto Rico and the first to play for the Pirates.

Bob Muncrief, pitcher for the 1949 Pirates. He had a slow start in the majors before turning out a decent big league career. Muncrief debuted at the end of the 1937 season, getting one start for the St Louis Browns. He then spent all of 1938 in the minors, before returning to the Browns in late September of 1939, where his big league time consisted of two relief appearances, which happened on back-to-back days. From there it was back to the minors for all of 1940, when he won 22 games and posted a 2.45 ERA in 275 innings for San Antonio of the Texas League. That performance helped earn him a spot in St Louis for the next seven seasons. Muncrief was a steady force in the rotation for the Browns during the war years, averaging 184 innings per year from 1941-45, with a low ERA of 2.72 in 1945 and a high of 3.89 in 1942 during that stretch. He was an All-Star during the 1944 season. When the war ended and many players returned to the majors, Muncrief saw a rise in his ERA. He went from 2.72 in 1945 up to a 4.99 mark in 1946. The next year wasn’t any better, with a 4.90 ERA in 176.1 innings in 1947. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians prior to the 1948 season. He was already ten seasons into his big league career when the Pirates purchased him from the Indians for $20,000 following the 1948 season. He won a career high 13 games in four different seasons prior to joining the Pirates, the last time coming in 1945, which was the third straight season in which he accomplished that feat. In 1948 he went 5-4, 3.98 in 21 games (nine starts) for an Indians team that won the World Series, which is still their last title to this date. Muncrief did not fare well during his only season with the Pirates, making four starts before he was moved to the bullpen, where he would end up allowing eight runs over six appearances and 3.2 innings. After his last appearance on June 4th he was put on waivers and immediately picked up by the Chicago Cubs, where he finished the season. He had a 4.56 ERA in 75 innings for the 1949 Cubs. He pitched the next six seasons in the minors, except for a two-game stint with the New York Yankees in 1951. Muncrief finished his Major League career with an 80-82, 3.80 record in 288 games. He won 126 minor league games during a career that spanned from 1934 until 1955.

Alf Anderson, shortstop for the Pirates in 1941-42 and 1946. Anderson was in his third season of minor league ball when the Pirates traded longtime infielder Pep Young to the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association on September 30, 1940 in exchange for his contract. Anderson was originally acquired by the Pirates on August 19th for cash (said to be approximately $19,000) and a player to be named later, though he was slated to finish the 1940 season with Atlanta. He hit .351 with 41 doubles in 148 games during that 1940 season. Before he played a game for the Pirates, he was a holdout during Spring Training due to a salary dispute. He started six of the first 11 games of the 1941 season at shortstop for the Pirates, then went 47 games straight without a start before taking over the starting shortstop job for the rest of the year when Hall of Fame shortstop Arky Vaughan got injured in late August. Anderson played a total of 70 games, hitting .215 with 32 runs scored and his defense was below average, making 19 errors in 58 games at shortstop. In 1942, Anderson was expected to help replace Vaughan, who was traded away during the off-season. Instead he was the backup shortstop for most of the year, getting a majority of his games in early June and in September. In 54 games he hit .271 and drew 18 walks. He spent the next three seasons working a wartime job in the states, before joining the Navy. He returned to the Pirates in 1946 after the war, but only appeared as a pinch-hitter twice before they released him on option to the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League, where he finished his playing career later that year. He battled an illness in the off-season and then in early March he decided to retire from baseball to help run an auto parts business that he owned. Anderson managed a local team that season, but never returned to pro ball. The nickname Alf is just a shortened version of his first name, Alfred.