There have been ten former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including two Hall of Famers.
Arky Vaughan, shortstop for the 1932-41 Pirates. Vaughan was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985, exactly 32 years longer than it should have taken him to get elected. He is arguably the second best shortstop of all-time behind Honus Wagner. Vaughan is one of the greatest Pirates players ever, ranking among the top ten in numerous team categories for career stats and single seasons. He is fourth in WAR (64.0) behind only Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Paul Waner, who all played many more games in a Pirates uniform. Vaughan ranks seventh in batting average (.324), third in OBP (.415), ninth in OPS (.887), tenth in runs scored (936), ninth in hits (1,709), ninth in total bases (2,484), tenth in doubles (291), eighth in triples (116), ninth in RBIs (764), sixth in walks (778), tenth in extra-base hits (491), and eighth in times on base (2,527). On the single season lists, his .385 batting average in 1935 is the team record. He also set records that year with his .491 OBP and a 1.098 OPS. We posted an article here titled Pittsburgh Pirates Seasons, which took an in depth look at Vaughan’s 1935 season. The following season he reached base 313 times, which is a team record. He has two top ten offensive seasons in team history, with a 9.2 WAR during his huge 1935 season, and 8.6 WAR during the 1938 season. He made nine straight All-Star appearances (1934-42) and led the league in both OBP and walks for three straight years (1934-36).
Vaughan debuted in pro ball in 1931 at 19 years old and hit from the start, batting .338 in 132 games for Wichita of the Western League. That ended up being all of the minor league time he needed. The Pirates brought him to the majors in 1932 and he batted .318 as a rookie, with 61 RBIs and 71 runs scored in 129 games. His OPS went from .787 to .866 in his second season, as he hit .314 with a league leading 19 triples, to go along with 97 RBIs and 85 runs scored. That OPS continued to go up, getting up to .942 in 1934, when he batted .333 with 41 doubles, 12 triples and 11 homers. He led the league with 94 walks and a .431 OBP. Vaughan also had 94 RBIs and scored 115 runs. After his incredible 1935 season in which he led the league in average, OBP, slugging and walks, while scoring 108 runs and picking up 99 RBIs, Vaughan set a since-broken team record with 118 walks. He batted .335, leading the league with a .453 OBP, as well as leading in walks, runs (122) and games played (156). Even in a down year for him according to WAR, Vaughan still hit .322 in 1937, while leading the league with 17 triples.
Vaughan put up a league best 9.0 WAR in 1938 due partly to his incredible season on defense. He wasn’t a strong defensive shortstop when he joined the Pirates, but he worked hard with Honus Wagner as his mentor and turned into a Gold Glove caliber defender. Vaughan put up 2.8 dWAR that season, to go along with an .876 OPS, 104 walks and 88 runs scored. Just like in 1935, he finished third in the NL MVP voting. Vaughan finished out his time in Pittsburgh with three more .300+ seasons. He hit .306 with 70 walks and 94 runs scored in 1939, then batted .300 in 1940, leading the league in triples (15), runs (113) and games played (156). He had 95 RBIs, 88 walks and 40 doubles. In his final season with the Pirates, injuries started to limit his action, yet he still put up a .316 average.
The Pirates believed that Vaughan was on the downside and they also wanted to protect themselves against player losses due to service in the war. They traded Vaughan to the Brooklyn Dodgers for four warm bodies who they believed were safe from being drafted. They tried to fill needs with bench type players and the trade worked out awful. The only thing that kept the deal from looking worse was that Vaughan quit baseball during the 1944-46 seasons. He ended up playing four years for the Dodgers, two after the war ended. He batted .291 in 406 games in Brooklyn. The Pirates got almost nothing from their returns, and Vaughan likely wouldn’t have left them during the war, since his quitting was partially due to a disagreement with manager Leo Durocher.
His name was Joseph Floyd Vaughan, but he was better known as Arky, a nickname based on being born in Arkansas. His nephew Glenn Vaughan played for the 1963 Houston Colt .45’s (Astros) and Arky’s older brother Kenneth tried out for the 1933 Pirates, playing for the team during Spring Training that year. For more on Vaughan, check out our article from December, where author Frank Garland talks about his book on the life of Vaughan.
Billy Southworth, outfielder for the Pirates from 1918-1920 and a Hall of Fame manager. He started his minor league career in 1912 at the age of 19, and just one year later he made his big league debut for the Cleveland Naps. After one game with Cleveland, he returned to the minors until 1915, when he played 20 more games for the Naps. He next trip to the majors came three years later for the Pirates. After hitting .314 in 67 games for Birmingham of the Southern Association, he joined the Pirates on June 18th when Barney Dreyfuss purchased his contract, as well as his teammates Ralph Comstock and Cy Slapnicka. The Southern Association was closing down for the season due to the war and those players became available earlier. Southworth did great for the Pirates over the rest of the season, debuting on July 2nd and hitting .341 with 43 RBIs in 64 games. The next season the 26-year-old outfielder hit .280 with 61 RBIs, 23 steals and a league leading 14 triples. After hitting .284 with 64 runs scored, 53 RBIs, 17 doubles and 13 triples in 146 games in 1920, the Pirates traded him and two other players (plus cash) to the Boston Braves for future Hall of Famer Rabbit Maranville. Southworth stole 23 bases during the 1920 season, but he also was caught 25 times, which led the league.
Southworth went on to play eight more seasons in the majors and was part of a deal after the 1923 season between the Braves and New York Giants that included two other future Hall of Famers, Casey Stengel and Dave Bancroft. He was limited to 43 games in 1922 due to a knee injury, but he hit .323 in 182 plate appearances, with just one strikeout all season. He returned to bat .319 in 1923, setting career highs with 195 hits, 29 doubles, 16 triples, 61 walks and 153 games played. He struggled after his trade to the Giants, posting a .667 OPS in 94 games in 1924, then rebounded to bat .292 in 1925, while posting a 51:11 BB/SO ratio. During the 1926 season, split between the Giants and St Louis Cardinals, Southworth hit .320 with 16 homers, 99 RBIs and 99 runs scored. He helped the Cardinals to the World Series, then batted .345 in the postseason with a double, triple and homer. He was a .297 career hitter in 1,192 games, with 561 RBIs and 661 runs scored. He stole 138 bases, but was consistently thrown out stealing more times in a season (his caught stealing records aren’t all available). Including his minor league stats, he compiled 2,498 hits. With the Pirates, he hit .294 in 331 games, with 157 runs and 157 RBIs. As a manager he won two World Series titles, taking the crown with the 1942 and 1944 Cardinals. He also had two other WS appearances, winning National League pennants with the 1943 Cardinals and 1948 Boston Braves. During the 1929 season, he served as a player/manager with the Cardinals. He finished with a 1,044-704 record over 13 seasons. He also put in 11 seasons as a minor league manager. Southworth was elected to the Hall of Fame as a manager by the Veteran’s Committee in 2008. Despite that honor, he likely isn’t even the most famous baseball player born on March 9, 1893. Also born that day was Lefty Williams, one of the main players in the 1919 Black Sox scandal made famous by the movie Eight Men Out. Southworth had a cousin also named Billy Southworth, who played in the majors for the 1964 Braves.
Daniel Hudson, pitcher for the 2017 Pirates. Hudson was a fifth round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox in 2008, taken out of Old Dominion at 21 years old. He was a starting pitcher during his entire time in the minors. He made 14 starts in short-season ball in 2008, then managed to work his way through all four full-season levels in 2009, pitching so well that he was up in the majors by September for six appearances (two starts). Hudson spent the first half of the 2010 season in Triple-A, before getting three July starts for the White Sox, At the July 31st trading deadline, he was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher Edwin Jackson. Hudson was put right into the Arizona rotation and he went 7-1, 1.69 in 11 outings. In 2011, he made 33 starts, going 16-12, 3.49 in 222 innings. Nine starts into 2012, he had a 7.35 ERA and he needed Tommy John surgery. During his rehab in 2013, Hudson needed a second Tommy John surgery. He returned long enough in 2014 to make just three appearances. The Diamondbacks moved him to the bullpen in 2015, where he made 64 appearances. He had a 3.86 ERA in 67.2 innings. He struggled in 2016, but still made 70 appearances. Hudson posted a 5.22 ERA in 60.2 innings. He became a free agent after the season and signed a two-year deal with the Pirates. In his one year in Pittsburgh, he went 2-7, 4.38 in 71 appearances and 61.2 innings. In February of 2018, the Pirates traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Corey Dickerson. The Rays released him a month later and he signed a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had a 4.11 ERA in 46 innings over 40 games. Hudson signed with the Los Angeles Angels for 2019, but he got cut during Spring Training. He signed three days later with the Toronto Blue Jays and stayed there until he was traded to the Washington Nationals on July 31st. Between both teams, he had a 2.47 ERA in 73 innings over 69 appearances. He helped the Nationals to the World Series by pitching shutout ball in the first three rounds of the playoffs. The Nationals won the series, though Hudson gave up four runs in four innings of work. He pitched 21 games for the 2020 Nationals, posting a 6.10 ERA in 20.2 innings. He’s signed for the 2021 season with the Nationals. Hudson has a career 52-37, 3.90 record, with 27 saves in 400 games (61 starts) and 713.1 innings.
Benito Santiago, catcher for the 2005 Pirates. Santiago signed with the San Diego Padres as an amateur free agent out of Puerto Rico at 17 years old in 1982. He debuted in full-season ball in 1983, then was in High-A in 1984, where he hit .279 with 16 homers and 83 RBIs. He moved up to Double-A in 1985, where he put up a .298 average. That was followed by Triple-A in 1986, where Santiago established himself as a legit prospect, hitting .286 with 17 homers and 19 stolen bases. He came up to the Padres in September and batted .290 in 17 games. He was in the majors for good in 1987, cementing that spot with the Rookie of the Year award and a Silver Slugger award. He batted .300 in 146 games, with 18 homers, 79 RBIs and 21 steals. His OBP was just 24 points higher than his average due to drawing just 16 walks all season. Santiago really slumped in his second season, yet his .248 average and .643 OPS were good enough for his second Silver Slugger award. He also won his first Gold Glove award, despite leading all National League catchers in errors (he led in errors and passed balls as a rookie). Santiago didn’t rebound with the bat in 1989 either (.664 OPS), yet he still picked up his first All-Star appearance and he won his second Gold Glove. While he was limited to 100 games in 1990, his bat came back, which led to an assortment of honors. He had a .270 average and a .741 OPS, which was enough for a third Silver Slugger award. He also made the All-Star team, won the Gold Glove and received mild MVP support. Healthy for 1991, Santiago hit .287 with 17 homers and a career high 87 RBIs. He received his perennial All-Star nod and accompanying Silver Slugger award. He was limited again in 1992, playing 106 games, while putting up a .671 OPS. He made the All-Star club again, making it four years straight for that honor.
The Florida Marlins came into existence in 1993 and Santiago signed with them as a free agent. He had an identical .671 OPS as his previous season, though he played 139 games. He did even better during the strike-shortened 1994 season, putting up a .746 OPS in 101 games. He signed with the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent for 1995 and had a career best .836 OPS in 81 games. Santiago moved on the Philadelphia Phillies for one year and nearly matched his career best OPS, falling one point short, though he played 136 games. He hit a career high 30 homers, 12 more than his second best season. He signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in 1997 and was limited to 112 games over two years, with most of that time coming in 1997, where he hit .243 with 13 homers. Santiago continued to move around, signing one-year deals with the Reds in 1999 and the Chicago Cubs in 2000, before moving on to the San Francisco Giants for the 2001-03 seasons. He had a rough first season with the Giants, but regained some past glory in 2002 by making the All-Star team for the first time in ten years. He batted .278 with 16 homers and 78 RBIs in 126 games. He saw less playing time in 2003, but still managed to put up a .753 OPS. The next year he signed with the Kansas City Royals, getting a two-year deal for $4.3 M. He was limited to 49 games in 2004 due to a fractured hand suffered in June. The Pirates acquired the 40-year-old Santiago from the Royals in December of 2004 for the pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez (Juan Carlos Oviedo) and cash. He played just six games in Pittsburgh before he was placed on the disabled list, then got released on May 8th before he ever made it back to the majors, ending his 20-year Major League career. He signed with the New York Mets in June, but got released in July without playing a big league game. Santiago went 6-for-23 with a double and triple in his brief time with the Pirates. He was a five-time All-Star, who won four Silver Slugger awards and three Gold Gloves. He finished with 1,917 games caught, which ranks 12th all-time, and fell one short of tying Pirates catcher Al Lopez for 11th place. In 1,978 big league games, Santiago hit .263 with 217 homers and 920 RBIs.
Terry Mulholland, pitched for the 2001 Pirates. Mulholland pitched 20 years in the majors and saw time with 11 different teams. He threw over 2,500 innings in the majors and had 124 big league wins, and that’s with spending more than half of his time in the bullpen. Mulholland was a first round pick in 1984 by the San Francisco Giants, taken 24th overall out of Marietta College. He was traded seven times during his career between 1989 and 2002. He debuted in the majors almost exactly two years to the day he was drafted. For the 1986 Giants, he made ten starts and five relief appearances, going 1-7, 4.94 in 54.2 innings. He went back to the minors in 1987 and didn’t return until a brief stint in May of 1988, followed by six starts in July. Mulholland started the 1989 season in the minors before coming up in late May for five games. The Giants traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he got regular starts for the rest of the season, despite a 5.00 ERA. He was a full-time starter for the Phillies over the next four seasons. He had a losing record in 1990, despite a 3.34 ERA. In 1991, he set career bests with 16 wins and 232 innings pitched. Mulholland went 13-11, 3.81 in 229 innings in 1992, leading the National League with 12 complete games. He was an All-Star for the only time in his career in 1993, when he went 12-9, 3.25 in 191 innings. He was traded to the New York Yankees in February of 1994 in a five-player deal. During the strike-shortened 1994 season, he went 6-7, 6.49 in 19 starts and five relief appearances. He signed with the Giants as a free agent for 1995 and struggled there as well, going 5-13, 5.80 in 24 starts and five relief outings. He returned to the Phillies in 1996, though his stay was somewhat brief, as they dealt him to the Seattle Mariners in July. He made a total of 33 starts that year, going 13-11, 4.66 in 202.2 innings. He actually had a 4.66 ERA in Philadelphia and a 4.67 mark in Seattle. He signed with the Chicago Cubs in 1997 and stayed there until August when he was lost on waivers to the Giants, his third stint with the club. Mulholland made 27 starts and 13 relief appearances, going 6-13, 4.24 in 186 innings. After the season, he re-signed with the Cubs and switched to relief, which was a highly successful move. He had a 2.89 ERA in 112 innings over 70 appearances. The Cubs traded him to the Atlanta Braves mid-1999. He saw starting and relief work in both spots, but he pitched much better in Atlanta (2.98 ERA vs 5.15 in Chicago). Mulholland had the swing role again in 2000 with Atlanta and did not do well, posting a 5.11 ERA in 156.2 innings, making 20 starts and 34 relief appearances.
Mulholland was signed as a free agent by the Pirates prior to the 2001 season. He pitched 22 games (one start) and posted a 3.72 ERA in 36.1 innings before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31st in exchange for Mike Fetters. He had a 5.83 ERA in 19 appearances after the deal. He struggled with the Dodgers in 2002 as well, posting a 7.31 ERA in 21 games, before being traded to the Cleveland Indians. In 1 1/2 seasons in Cleveland, Mulholland went 6-6, 4.81 in 146 innings, making six starts and 55 relief appearances. He signed with the Minnesota Twins for 2004-05, getting 15 starts and 24 relief outings in 2004, before pitching strictly in relief in 2005. He went 5-11, 4.89 in 182.1 innings with Minnesota. Mulholland wrapped up his big league career with five relief appearances for the 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks at 43 years old. He finished with a 124-142, 4.41 record in 332 starts and 353 relief games, throwing a total of 2,575.2 innings.
Ed Acosta, pitcher for the 1970 Pirates. He signed his first pro deal out of Panama in 1965 at 21 years old with the Pirates, but he was released before he debuted, despite staying around for two seasons. The Houston Astros then signed him prior to the 1967 season. Acosta pitched two years of A-Ball in the Houston Astros system before they released him. Pitching for Cocoa of the Florida State League in 1968, he went 8-12, 2.56 in 158 innings, yet they got rid of him instead of promoting him to Double-A. Acosta pitched for an independent team in Quebec City in 1969, convinced by the team owner to sign after he had already returned home to Panama, planning to give up pro ball. He was scouted by the Pirates again, who signed him to a minor league contract in September of 1969. He began the 1970 season by making five starts in Double-A, then was promoted to Triple-A on June 1st, where he pitched mainly out of the bullpen, posting a 5-2, 2.96 record in 82 innings. Acosta was called up on August 31st to make his MLB debut after the Pirates failed to acquire a veteran pitcher to replace the injured Dock Ellis. Acosta pitched three games in September, allowing four runs over 2.2 innings. He debuted on September 7th and served up a home run to Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins during his first inning of work. Acosta was dropped from the submitted 25-man playoff roster on September 28th to make room for Dock Ellis returning from the disabled list, but he still made two regular season appearances after that day. After not making the club out of Spring Training, Acosta spent most of the 1971 season in Triple-A for the Pirates, where he went 12-11, 2.72 in 172 innings. On August 17, 1971, the Pirates sent him and Johnny Jeter to the San Diego Padres in exchange for pitcher Bob Miller, who was acquired seven days earlier for two players to be named later. Both players had to pass through waivers before they could be traded. Acosta spent the rest of 1971 and all of 1972 with the Padres in the majors, posting a 3.87 ERA in 135 innings. He then played two seasons in the minors for the Padres before finishing his career in the Mexican League in 1976. When he was first called up to the majors, the local papers tried to get information on him and none of the big league players knew anything about him, which multiple players saying that they never heard the name before.
Ron Kline, pitcher for the Pirates in 1952, 1955-59 and 1968-69. Pittsburgh signed him as an amateur free agent prior to the 1950 season. In his first full season of pro ball, he posted an 18-4, 2.33 record in 209 innings for Bartlesville of the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League (KOML). He also got four starts for New Orleans of the Southern Association, a huge jump in competition from the KOML. He made his Major League debut with the Pirates in 1952 and went 0-7, 5.49 in 27 games, 11 as a starter. Kline spent seven weeks in the middle of the season back in the minors, pitching for Burlington-Graham of the Carolina League. After spending the next two years (1953-54) serving in the military, he rejoined the Pirates in 1955 and posted a 6-13, 4.15 record in 19 starts and 17 relief appearances. In 1956, he had a 3.38 ERA in 264 innings, but the Pirates lost 88 games that year and his record showed, going 14-18. Kline’s 18 losses that year led the National League, a stat he would lead in again just two years later when he went 13-16 for the 1958 Pirates, a team that finished with an 84-70 record. He also lost 16 games in 1957, though his 4.04 ERA was more in line with his record that season. He actually pitched well in 1958, despite the losing record for a second place team. Kline had a 3.53 ERA in 237.1 innings, with both stats ranking second among Pittsburgh starters. Kline had a rough 1959 season, going 11-13, 4.26 in 186 innings. At the end of December 1959, the Pirates traded him to the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Tom Cheney and outfielder Gino Cimoli. His stay there lasted one disastrous season, with a 6.04 ERA in 117.2 innings. It was made worse by the fact that the Pirates won the World Series that year. He moved on to the Detroit Tigers for two seasons, where he mostly pitched in relief and saw a total of 133.2 innings of work. He was sold to the Washington Senators prior to the 1963 season and he had a 2.79 ERA in 62 appearances. Kline went ten seasons in the majors without a winning record before he went 10-7 for the 1964 Washington Senators. He was used strictly in relief and managed to also pick up 14 saves, while posting a 2.32 ERA. He would then reel off five straight seasons with a winning record, including 1968 for the Pirates when he went 12-5, with a 1.68 ERA in 56 relief appearances. Kline pitched four years total in Washington, posting a 2.54 ERA and 83 saves in 364.2 innings over 260 appearances. Though not an official stat at the time, his 29 saves led all American League pitchers. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins in December of 1966, then the Pirates acquired him 364 days later in exchange for first baseman/outfielder Bob Oliver. After his big 1968 season mentioned above, the Pirates traded Kline to the Giants for pitcher Joe Gibbon on June 10, 1969. Kline also pitched two months with the 1970 Atlanta Braves before ending his 17-year big league career. His pro career ended in Triple-A for the California Angels later that season. He had a record of 114-144 with 108 saves in 736 games pitched and 2,078 innings. During his eight seasons in Pittsburgh, he went 66-91, 3.77 in 161 starts and 127 relief appearances, throwing 1,251.1 innings
Paul Martin, pitcher for the 1955 Pirates. He pitched just seven games for the Pirates before tearing a ligament in his arm which ended his career. He was signed as an amateur free agent, and due to the rules of the time his large signing bonus meant he had to stay on the Major League roster that first season (and the next), so Martin never pitched in the minors. His stats were forgettable, allowing 30 base runners in seven innings of work and finishing with a 14.14 ERA. His appearances spanned from July 2nd until August 16th included two games in which he failed to record an out, and just one game without a run allowed. In his debut, he threw two shutout innings, despite giving up two hits and three walks. The Pirates won 8-7 and he pitched the seventh and eighth innings. They didn’t win in any of his other six outings. In his next outing he faced four batters, walking three and hitting the other. Martin’s third appearances consisted of five hitters, four walks and one strikeout. His final game was four hits, four walks and five runs in two innings. He was actually healthy for the rest of 1955, but did not appear in any games. He was with the team in Spring Training seeing normal work through March 16th until he revealed a sore arm that he injured while playing winter ball in the Dominican. On March 30th, he put himself on the voluntary retired list because he felt he would be no use to team. The Pirates held his rights, but he never returned. Martin was working towards becoming an ordained minister, who at 23 years old decided to give baseball a try with no experience outside of sandlot ball because his family needed money. The deal he signed with the Pirates covered three years, with a $30,000 bonus and $6,000 in salary per year, which made him a Bonus Baby. He was discovered by former Pirates pitcher Ron Necciai, who said that Martin threw fast, which was enough to get multiple teams interested. Before signing with the Pirates on June 27, 1955, he worked out with the team in May as both a pitcher and a hitter. He was scheduled to work out with the Milwaukee Braves the day after the Pirates decided not to let him pass and signed him up. Martin, who was listed at 6’6″, 240 pounds when he signed, was also said to have tremendous raw power at the plate, but he was groomed as a pitcher due to his velocity.
Joe Dawson, pitcher for the 1927-29 Pirates. He served in the military before starting his baseball career, finally making his pro debut at the age of 25 in the minors in 1922. He started off at a high level, pitching his first two seasons for Kansas City of the American Association. He saw time with Kansas City and Louisville of the AA in 1924, while also making four July starts for the Cleveland Indians, his first experience in the majors. It was said that Dawson was a spitball pitcher, which was outlawed in the majors, so he had to develop into a fastball pitcher before he worked his way back to the majors. He next appeared in the majors as a member of the Pirates on June 17, 1927. Dawson found a home with the Louisville team, pitching for them for all of 1925-26, as well as the first part of the 1927 season. He went 11-8, 3.75 in 187 innings in 1925, then had a 17-7, 3.27 record in 215 innings in 1926. When he joined the Pirates, he was 5-3, 4.35 in 60 innings according to stats on Baseball-Reference, though newspaper articles from the day before note that he was on a consecutive shutout streak of 30 innings. His contract was purchased on June 15th (reportedly for $25,000) and he debuted two days later, giving up two runs in three innings of relief work. Dawson replaced veteran pitcher Bullet Joe Bush, who was released unconditionally that same day. The Pirates made the World Series that year, so they were obviously a strong team, but Dawson managed just a 3-7 record in his 20 appearances, seven of them as a starter. He pitched one scoreless inning against the Yankees in the World Series. Dawson spent the entire 1928 season with the Pirates, his only full season in the majors. He made seven starts and 24 relief appearances, going 7-7, 3.29 in 128.2 innings. The next year he had two very poor relief outings to begin the year, then after getting a start on May 31st that he lost, he did not pitch again in organized baseball until reappearing in the minors in 1932. He went 11-10 that year in 27 games for Kansas City of the American Association, but never played pro ball again. On June 8, 1929, the Pirates sold Dawson outright to the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. At the time, the local papers said that he was considering retirement because he had recently established an aviation school. He announced three days later that he was retiring after he couldn’t convince owner Barney Dreyfuss to give him a percentage of his purchase price by Baltimore. His real name was Ralph Fenton Dawson, but he was referred to a majority of the time in Pittsburgh as Joe.
Tom Delahanty, shortstop for the 1896 Pirates. He played for four different teams in the majors over three seasons, yet played just 19 total games, 16 of them with one team. He played one game at second base for the Philadelphia Phillies during his first season of pro ball in 1894, then one for the Pirates in 1896, before playing his final game for the Louisville Colonels in 1897. Delahanty left the Colonels right before Honus Wagner joined the team for his Major League debut. In his only game for the Pirates on September 17th against Louisville, Delahanty batted second and he went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an error in the field. He began that 1896 season with the Cleveland Spiders, but joined the Pirates via purchase in mid-May after hitting .232 with four doubles and eight walks. He was immediately loaned to Toronto of the Eastern League. In August, he received praise for “putting up a fine game at short” for Albany of the Eastern League (Toronto folded and the team finished in Albany). That was despite multiple people saying early in 1896 that he was a fine second baseman, who was out of place at shortstop (and third base in one quote). After the 1896 season ended, Pirates catcher/manager Connie Mack became the player-manager for Milwaukee of the Western League. Delahanty was still Pirates property until Mack completed a purchase for his contract in late November of 1896.
Delahanty played a total of 13 seasons in the minors, including the 1902 season when he hit .350 in 137 games for Denver of the Western League. He moved around a lot as well, playing for 15 different minor league teams. He is from a family that produced five brothers who all made the majors, including Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who was his teammate on the 1894 Phillies. A quote by veteran teammate Patsy Tebeau in Cleveland in 1896 said that “Tom will be equal to his elder brother”. He was referring to Ed, who was five years old. They had a brother named Jim, who was between them in age, but he didn’t debut in the majors until five years later. Jim Delahanty gets lost in his brother’s shadow, but he was a .283 hitter in 13 big league seasons.