This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: February 5th, Don Hoak

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including a key member of the 1960 World Series champs.

Don Hoak, third baseman for the 1959-62 Pirates. He spent seven seasons in the minors for the Brooklyn Dodgers before he got his first shot at the big leagues in 1954 at 26 years old, then ended up spending 11 straight seasons in the majors, seeing time with five different National League clubs. Hoak played for three teams in five seasons before joining the Pirates in a seven-player trade with the Cincinnati Reds on January 30, 1959, which also brought Smoky Burgess and Harvey Haddix to Pittsburgh. He saw part-time play in his two years in Brooklyn and put up a .715 OPS in 182 games, then moved on to the Chicago Cubs for the 1956 season. Hoak hit just .215 in Chicago, posting a weak .589 OPS in 121 games. His best season came in 1957 during his first season with the Reds, when he led the NL with 39 doubles, while hitting .293 with 74 walks and 89 RBIs. He made his only career All-Star appearance that year. He also led all NL third baseman in putouts and fielding percentage. In 1958 before the trade to the Pirates, he hit .261 with 50 RBIs, but injuries limited him to 114 games.

Hoak would lead the National League in games played with 155 his first season in Pittsburgh. He hit .294 with 71 walks and drove in 65 runs, while also leading NL third baseman in both putouts and assists. Those stats earned him some MVP consideration for the first time in his career, finishing 17th overall, but he would top that in 1960. He again played 155 games in 1960 and hit .282 with 16 homers, 79 RBIs and a career high 97 runs scored. The Pirates won the World Series over the New York Yankees that year and Hoak hit .217 with three RBIs in the postseason. He finished second in the NL MVP voting to his teammate, Dick Groat. In 1961, Hoak hit a career high .298 and posted a .839 OPS in 145 games. His stats began to decline in 1962 and he played just 121 games, although he was still able to lead all NL third baseman in fielding percentage. After the season he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder Ted Savage and infielder Pancho Herrera. The Pirates got very little from their return in the deal, but Hoak hit just .231 for the Phillies in 115 games in 1963, then was used six times as a pinch-hitter in 1964 before retiring as a player. He managed two years in the Pirates farm system (1968-69) before passing away of a heart attack at age 41. In his 11-year career, he hit .265 with 89 homers, 498 RBIs and 598 runs scored in 1,263 games. He posted a career 21.2 WAR, with 13.4 of that number coming during his four years in Pittsburgh. Hoak also picked up a World Series ring with the 1955 Dodgers, winning over the Yankees.

Javier Martinez, pitcher for the 1998 Pirates. He was a third round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs out of high school in Puerto Rico in 1994. Martinez was a starter early in his career, debuting at 17 years old in the Appalachian League. He was in Low-A by age 18, where he had a 3.96 ERA in 104.2 innings over 18 starts. His strikeout rate was very low that year, posting a 4.6 per 9IP mark that was well below his career average (7.7). He repeated the level the next year and showed improvements in his ERA and strikeout rates. Martinez struggled in the low minors in 1997, posting a 5.73 ERA in 26 A-ball starts split between two levels. Despite the numbers and the fact he was still just 20 years old, he was picked by the Oakland A’s in the Rule 5 draft, then immediately purchased from them by the Pirates. He was selected first overall in the draft and the Pirates released pitcher Steve Cooke to clear room on their roster to add him. Martinez spent the entire 1998 season in the majors, posting a 4.83 ERA in 37 relief appearances. He had a high walk rate (7.5 per 9IP) but also struck out 42 batters in 41 innings of work. Martinez returned to the minors in 1999, but again struggled with control and also missed a good portion of the season due to elbow soreness in mid-April. The team originally announced that he would miss the season with surgery, only to have the famous Dr James Andrews say that rest and rehab would be the better approach. He had a 5.00 ERA in 18 innings over 16 outings, mostly spent at Double-A Altoona, then got shutdown late after visiting Andrews again in August. The Pirates released him in late December that year and he ended up playing the next six seasons in the minors before retiring. He pitched just one Triple-A game during his entire pro career, getting a spot start in 2004, in which he allowed four runs in 1.2 innings. After leaving the Pirates, he spent time in the Cincinnati Reds (2000-02) and Baltimore Orioles (2004) organizations, as well as playing summer league ball in Mexico, and two years in independent ball.

Jack Maguire, infielder for the 1951 Pirates. He was an outfielder most of his brief Major League career, but in the minors, he was mainly used as an infielder. The Pirates used him at second base and third base during his short time in Pittsburgh. He was signed as an 18-year-old amateur by the New York Giants in 1943, although he spent the next two years serving in the military. He returned to pro ball in 1946 and spent most of the year with Trenton of the low-level Interstate League, where he hit .308 with 35 steals and 48 extra-base hits. Maguire spent four seasons bouncing around the minors until he had a breakout season in 1949, hitting .348 with 71 RBIs for the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association. During that minor league stretch from 1943-49 (five years total), he saw time with Minneapolis during three seasons, Jersey City in four seasons, and a year each for two other teams. He was with the Giants all of 1950, yet he played just 29 games and started only six of them, hitting .175 in 45 plate appearances. After July 25th, he played a total of four games and had three at-bats. Maguire was again being used in the reserve outfield role in 1951 when the Giants put him on waivers in late May, despite hitting .400 in 20 at-bats. He had a 1.155 OPS over 16 games at the time. The Pirates picked him up on May 28th and used him eight times off the bench in just over a month before they too put him on waivers, where he was picked up by the St Louis Browns on July 7th. He hit .244 in 41 games for the Browns before returning to the minors for one final season in 1952. He went 0-for-5, with a walk and run scored while with the Pirates. To make room on the 25-man roster for Maguire, the Pirates sent Dale Long to the minors. Maguire’s father Gordon was a scout for the Giants and St Louis Cardinals, and he was with the Giants when his son was signed, though he passed away in 1946 before his son made the majors.

Charlie Hautz, first baseman for the 1884 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He made his Major League debut in 1875 while playing in the National Association, the first recognized Major League, and a league that helped pave the way for the National League in 1876. Hautz played first base for the St Louis Red Stockings, a team that existed for all of 19 games and won just four of those games. He batted .301, etching his name into the baseball record books as the franchise’s all-time leader in hitting. The next and only other time he played in the majors was late in the season for the 1884 Alleghenys. In mid-August, new manager Horace Phillips made wholesale changes to a team that was playing very poorly. He sent three players on their way and added four players of his own at the same time, including Hautz, who stepped right into the lineup at first base.

Hautz is credited with hitting .208 in seven games with three walks and no runs scored during his stint in Pittsburgh. However, he played a total of nine games and the final two contests seem to be missing, with a slight asterisk. Hautz debuted with Pittsburgh on August 15th in a 5-3 win over Baltimore and he had an 0-for-4 day. That game somehow got erased from team history, even though his stats still remain from that debut. That’s based on his .208 average coming from his first seven games, and it doesn’t work with either of his final two games included, or any other combo of seven games. It was his only 0-for-4 game, so his stats don’t work without that game included. He played the next day against New York and he went 1-for-3 in the game. His third game on August 18th was a wild 1-0 game in which the opponents (New York Metropolitans) protested the game because the Alleghenys didn’t wait ten full days after Hautz and Tom Forster were released by their minor league team in Saginaw before they played, as per the rules of the day. The problem was that Saginaw folded, so the club no longer held their rights. They had no trouble with him playing the prior day when they won the game, so the protest didn’t work. Hautz was also knocked down in that third game by catcher Charlie Reipschlager, who was fined $25 due to the dirty play. Hautz played first base on August 18th, then he was in center field for the Alleghenys on August 22nd and 23rd, then didn’t play again until a string of four straight games at first base on September 1-4, with the last day being his final big league game. He went 1-for-4 with a double and handled all 11 plays in the field that day. His actual average with Pittsburgh works out to .219 (7-for-32). He actually scored a run in the first game he played, so he should be credited with one run for the Alleghenys.

Hautz was an above average player who jumped around the minors his entire career and even turned down multiple offers to play in the National League throughout his playing career, which stretched from 1874 until 1886. His name was often spelled incorrectly in the papers, usually “Houtz”, making it a bit difficult to find information on him.