Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date.
Christopher Bostick, IF/OF for the 2017-18 Pirates. He was a 44th round draft pick of the Oakland A’s in 2011 at 18 years old out of Aquinas Institute in Rochester, New York. Bostick is the other player to ever be drafted out of that school. He signed with the A’s in late July and played just 14 games in rookie ball, though he put up a .442 batting average during that time. He moved up to the New York-Penn League in his first full year in pro ball, where he put up a mediocre .694 OPS in 70 games. Bostick moved up to Low-A in 2013, where he hit .282 in 129 games, with 47 extra-base hits and 25 stolen bases. After the season, he was traded to the Texas Rangers. He advanced to High-A in 2014 and saw similar power/speed/walk numbers, though his .251 average led to a 72 point drop in his OPS. Bostick had 50 extra-base hits and 24 steals in 130 games. The Rangers dealt him to the Washington Nationals almost exactly one year after acquiring him. He split the 2015 season between High-A and Double-A, batting .258 with 22 doubles, eight triples, 12 homers and 31 steals between the two stops. Bostick began 2016 in Double-A and put up an .818 OPS in 71 games. He was moved up to Triple-A in late June and he batted just .203 in 64 games. The Pirates gave up minor league catcher Taylor Gushue to acquire Bostick from the Nationals at the end of the 2016 season. Bostick played briefly with the Pirates during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, seeing more time in 2017, before being sold to the Miami Marlins in August of 2018. He batted .276 in 22 games with the Pirates, with three starts at second base, one in left field and 18 games off of the bench. He earned those big league shots by showing versatility in Triple-A Indianapolis, while also putting up solid numbers at the plate. He made starts at second base, third base and all three outfield spots in 2017. He hit .294 with 43 extra-base hits in 124 games in 2017, then put up a .295 average in 78 games for Indianapolis before moving on to Miami. Bostick batted .214 in 13 games with the Marlins in 2018, then spent the entire 2019 season in the minors as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He became a free agent after the season and has not signed for 2021.
Corey Hart, 1B/RF for the 2015 Pirates. He was an 11th round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers out of Greenwood HS in Kentucky in 2000. It’s a school that has produced just two draft picks ever and Hart is the only one to make the majors. He spent his first two seasons playing in the Pioneer League, putting up much better numbers in his second season. Hart had a .937 OPS in 69 games in 2001, with 11 homers and 14 steals in 15 attempts. He moved up to High-A in 2002, where he played in the high offense environment of the California League, playing in one of the better parks for hitters in league, High Desert. Hart hit .288 with 22 homers, 24 steals and a .928 OPS. He moved up to Double-A to finish the season, then remained there for the entire 2003 season. That year, Hart hit .302 in 130 games, with 40 doubles, 13 homers and 25 steals. He made his big league debut with the Brewers on May 25, 2004, though it ended up being just that one game. The rest of the season was spent in Triple-A, where he hit .281 with 15 homers. Hart spent most of 2005 back in Triple-A, hitting .308 with 17 homers and 31 steals. He batted .193 with two homers in 21 games for the Brewers. After tearing up the Arizona Fall League, Hart spent all but a month of the 2006 season in the majors. He hit .283 with nine homers in 87 games with Milwaukee. He had a breakout 2007 season, batting .295 with 24 homers, 23 steals and 81 RBIs in 140 games. He was an All-Star in 2008, even though he saw a 133 point decline in his OPS. Hart batted .268 with 45 doubles, 20 homers, 23 steals and 91 RBIs. He missed time in 2009 with an appendectomy and a hand injury, limiting him to 115 games. He batted .260 with 12 homers. He bounced back in a big way in 2010. Hart made his second All-Star appearance, hitting .283, while setting career highs with 31 homers and 102 RBIs. In 130 games in 2011, he hit .285 with 26 homers and a career best 51 walks.
In his final season in Milwaukee, Hart reached 30 homers for the second time. He hit .270 with 83 RBIs and tied his career high with 91 runs scored. He played a total of nine seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting .276 with 154 homers and 508 RBIs. Hart had knee surgery and missed the entire 2013 season, then signed with the Seattle Mariners as a free agent in 2014. He batted .203 with six homers in 68 games. He then signed with the Pirates prior to the 2015 season. Hart lasted just 35 games in Pittsburgh, with most of that time off of the bench (he made 11 starts), hitting .222 with two homers and nine RBIs. He injured his shoulder in June and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Hart played 13 games of rehab in Triple-A, but once the minor league season ended, the Pirates announced that he wouldn’t be activated, effectively ending his time in Pittsburgh. He retired after the season, playing just 103 big league games over his final three seasons.
Gus Dugas, outfielder for the Pirates in 1930 and 1932. His pro career began in 1930, playing for Wichita of the Western League. He hit .349 in 143 games, with 62 extra-base hits. When he joined the Pirates in September of 1930 at 23 years old, it was his first shot at the big leagues and he had the unenviable task of trying to break into an outfield that had two Hall of Famers (the Waner brothers) and 24-year-old Adam Comorosky, who hit .313 with 119 RBIs, 47 doubles and a league leading 23 triples that season. His debut in a Pirates uniform came on September 8th when he replaced Lloyd Waner in the fourth inning of an exhibition game against Buffalo. He homered, though the Pirates lost 13-3. His official big league debut came eight days later. Dugas hit well in his nine games, batting .290 with seven walks, but not surprisingly he was back in the minors the following season. Dugas was actually with the Pirates on Opening Day and may have stuck with the team if he didn’t get hurt during workouts before the team’s home opener. During practice, he collided with shortstop Ben Sankey and got knocked unconscious. Dugas was said to have cut his mouth badly and loosened some teeth, and it was later reported that he had a fractured jaw. Once he was able to play, he was sent to the minors on June 14th. Dugas would have to really impress the Pirates to earn a spot back in the majors and he did just that in a short time. Playing for Kansas City of the American Association, he hit .419 in 93 games with 44 extra-base hits. He was with the Pirates the entire 1932 season, playing mostly off the bench. Dugas started only 14 games all year, including five of the last six games of the season. In 55 games he had 97 at-bats and hit .237 with three homers and 12 RBIs.
In December of 1932, the Pirates traded Dugas to the Philadelphia Phillies as part of a three-team deal that saw them acquire Freddie Lindstrom from the New York Giants in return. With Lindstrom in center field for 1933, the Pirates then had three future Hall of Famers in the outfield and another two in the infield, with Pie Traynor and Arky Vaughan on the left side. Dugas played two more seasons in the majors and another ten in the minors before retiring. He had a rough go with the Phillies, batting .169 in 37 games, with one walk and three doubles. That was better than his 1934 performance for the Washington Senators. Dugas went 1-for-19 in 24 games, with three walks and a double. He was a .327 minor league hitter in 1,361 total games. He spent four years playing for Nashville of the Southern Association, where his lowest batting average was a .291 mark in 1939. His last year in pro ball was 1946 at 39 years old. He came back for a brief time with Providence of the New England League, after playing semipro ball the previous two seasons. His great-grandson Andrew Carignan was a relief pitcher for the 2011-12 Oakland A’s.
Pat Veltman, catcher for the 1934 Pirates. He played in the majors for five different seasons prior to joining the 1934 Pirates, but he got into a grand total of just 11 games over that time. Veltman debuted in pro ball in the majors, spending five weeks with the 1926 Chicago White Sox. He played five games and saw one inning in the field at shortstop, which ended up being the only time he played shortstop in the majors. He went 1-for-4 with a walk. He went to the minors to finish the season, then next appeared in the majors as a member of the 1928 New York Giants. On September 30th, in the final game of the season, Veltman started in center field and he went 1-for-3 with a triple, walk and run scored. He spent the 1929 season playing for Bridgeport of the Eastern League, where he batted .321 in 126 games. He returned to the Giants at the end of the year and played two games off of the bench on October 5th and 6th, going 0-for-1 with two walks. Veltman spent the entire 1930 season back in Bridgeport, where he hit .297 in 136 games. In 1931, he played just one game all season, getting a pinch-hit at-bat for the 1931 Boston Braves on May 1st. He actually caught an entire game on May 7th, but it was an exhibition game. He was set to rejoin Bridgeport in June, but a back injury prevented his return. Veltman played two early September games with the Giants in 1932, then spent the entire 1933 seasons in the minors.
Pittsburgh took him in the October 1933 Rule 5 draft from the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League after he hit .332 with 12 homers and 30 doubles during the 1933 season. Veltman, who was 28 years old at the time, was with the Pirates the entire 1934 season, though he barely played. After starting four of the first nine games behind the plate, he played just eight more games all season, and he went to bat just 11 more times. That was his last season in the majors. He returned to the minors for three seasons before retiring, spending two seasons with Los Angeles of the Pacific Coast League, followed by a year as a player/manager for Ponca City of the Western Association. Veltman batted .107 in 28 at-bats for the Pirates and drove in the only two runs of his big league career. One RBI came in his first game of the year and another in his last game. He went 5-for-38 in the majors during his six seasons and his only extra-base hit was a triple. His real name was Arthur and was often referred to as Art, though Pat is the name most associated with him now.
Mike Mowrey, third baseman for the 1914 Pirates. He was a Pennsylvanian native, who debuted in pro ball in 1904 at 20 years old, splitting the season between two independent minor league teams from his home state. Mowrey spent the 1905 season playing for Class-C Savannah of the South Atlantic League, where he hit .285 in 120 games. In late September, he joined the Cincinnati Reds for seven games. After getting three at-bats through the first 39 games of the 1906 season, the Reds sent him to Baltimore of the International League. He returned to Cincinnati in late August and batted .340 in 17 games. Mowrey was the starting third baseman for the 1907 Reds, while also seeing occasional starts at shortstop, In 137 games, he hit .252 with a homer and 44 RBIs. He saw limited time in 1908, batting .220 with no homers in 77 games, while seeing some utility work, playing four different positions. Mowrey split the 1909 season between the Reds and St Louis Cardinals. He hit just .191 in Cincinnati, then played just 12 games after the trade. Despite the poor season, Mowrey became the starting third baseman for the Cardinals and he responded by hitting .282 with 67 walks, 69 runs scored and 70 RBIs. He led National League third basemen in assists and double plays, but also in errors. He put up a .714 OPS in 137 games in 1911, then saw another dip in production in 1912, when he batted .255 in 114 games. Mowrey’s OPS dropped for a third straight season in 1913, down to a .660 mark in 132 games. That December, he was part of an eight-player trade between the Pirates and Cardinals, where owner Barney Dreyfuss gave up too much to acquire first baseman Ed Konetchy, who he was after for a long time. The deal was a poor one to begin with, but got much worse when Konetchy jumped after one year from the Pirates to the Pittsburgh Rebels of the newly-formed Federal League, which had Major League status for two seasons. Mowrey hit just .254 in 79 games with the Pirates, putting up his fourth straight season with a lower OPS (.640). He was put on waivers in early August and no teams put in a claim, so on August 17th, he received his unconditional release. Some papers said he had a knee injury that was bothering him and resulted in the poor play, while others claimed that he just quit on the team. He was playing with a local team just a week after being released, then joined his teammate Konetchy on the Pittsburgh Rebels for the 1915 season. He had a solid season and proved his knee was okay by batting .280 with 49 stolen bases in 151 games. He was sold to the Brooklyn Robins prior to the 1916 season and played two final seasons in the National League, batting .234 over 227 games with Brooklyn. Mowrey was a .256 hitter in 1,276 games, with 461 RBIs and 485 runs scored. He stole 167 bases. He led all Federal League third basemen in fielding percentage in 1915, then repeated the feat with Brooklyn in 1916. He continued to play minor league ball until 1923, the final four years as a player-manager.
Roy Thomas, outfielder for the 1908 Pirates. He was in his tenth season with the Philadelphia Phillies when his contract was purchased by the Pirates on June 1, 1908. At 34 years old, his skills had somewhat diminished but he was adept at getting on base and using his speed to score runs. Thomas had led the National League in walks during seven of his nine full seasons in Philadelphia. The other two seasons he finished second and third in the league. As a rookie in 1899, with no minor league experience, he hit .325 with 115 walks, 42 steals and 137 runs scored in 150 games. That was followed by a .316 average in 1900, while leading the league with 115 walks and 132 runs scored. Thomas began his career with six straight 100+ walk seasons. He scored 80+ runs in each of his first eight seasons. He batted over .300 five times and stole 228 bases with the Phillies, though he saw his batting average drop to .254 in 1906 and then down to .243 in 1907, while playing a career low (at the time) 108 games. He had played just six games in 1908 prior to coming to the Pirates, but after joining Pittsburgh he went right into the everyday center field spot. Thomas would hit .256 with 49 walks and 52 runs scored in 102 games for the Pirates that 1908 season. He led all NL outfielders in fielding range in 1908, something he also did three times with the Phillies. The Pirates released him in the middle of 1909 so he could sign with the Boston Doves. He wasn’t with the Pirates early in the year because he got a head coaching job for the University of Pennsylvania. He had an agreement with Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss that he didn’t need to report until June 15th when the college season was over. He was unconditionally released by the Pirates on June 18th. Thomas batted .263 in 82 games for Boston in 1909. He signed a three-year deal to coach at the University of Pennsylvania that off-season. During the 1910-11 seasons, he joined the Phillies after the college season ended. Thomas retired as a player in 1911, though he did some managing in the minors during the 1921-23 seasons, which led to him playing 11 games at age 48 in 1922. He was a career .290 hitter in 1,470 games, with 1,537 hits, 244 stolen bases and 1,042 walks. His .413 OBP is the 29th best mark in baseball history. He led the league in OBP twice and finished second another three times. He hit just seven homers in his career and five of them were inside-the-park homers. The other two came five days apart in 1904. His younger brother Bill Thomas was his teammate for a brief time on the 1902 Phillies, his only big league experience.
Al Lawson, pitcher for the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He started his big league career with the Boston Beaneaters on May 13, 1890, facing off against future Hall of Fame pitcher Mickey Welch of the New York Giants. Welch walked away with the 7-2 win and Lawson allowed 12 hits and four walks. Boston had apparently seen enough and two weeks later he was pitching for Pittsburgh. The 1890 Alleghenys went 23-113, the worst record in franchise history, but their start wasn’t nearly as bad as you would think with that overall record. They were 8-16 when Lawson joined the team for his first game. They used a total of 46 players during the season and he was the first of 28 players added after the season started. He was signed on May 27th and he was the starting pitcher the next day. In the first game of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 28th, he lost a 12-10 slugfest. Just five days later, the Chicago Colts (Cubs) knocked Lawson out of the game, going on to win 14-1. It would be his last game in the majors. The next day (June 3rd) it was announced that he was released, though he never actually signed with the Alleghenys. Teams were allowed to keep players for a short time who weren’t on contract, so they moved on from him before requiring his signature on a piece of paper. Lawson may not have actually had a chance to succeed with Pittsburgh. Owner J. Palmer O’Neil hired James Randall to watch the players to make sure they weren’t drinking, but he was also a scout hired to acquire new talent. Lawson was his first signing and it was said that the players weren’t happy about Randall. The team committed at least 12 errors in Lawson’s second start (some sources say 14 errors), leading one to believe that they phoned it in that day as a bit of a payback. He played minor league ball from 1889 until 1895 and also managed a few seasons in the minors, during and after his playing days. In his final season as a player, he played for four different teams in three different leagues. Lawson played for 19 teams in his seven seasons of pro ball and never lasted more than a year with one team.