This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: May 27th, Four Former Players Born on This Date

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date.

Tanner Anderson, pitcher for the 2018 Pirates. He was a 20th round draft pick out of Harvard in 2015 as a senior. He was a regular for all four years on the Harvard staff, but he pitched a total of just 143.1 innings during that time. It took Anderson three years to make his big league debut. He pitched for two short-season clubs in 2015 after signing, going 5-0, 2.83 in 28.2 innings over five relief appearances. He split the 2016 season evenly between Low-A and High-A, with similar results at each level. He went 3-3, 3.58 in 88 innings that season, mostly pitching in long relief. That fall he pitched in the Arizona Fall League, where he had a 3.76 ERA in seven starts, though he pitched just 26.1 innings, so it was a limited pitch count each game. In 2017, he was a starter at Altoona for most of the season. Anderson was 10-8, 3.38 in 133.1 innings spread over 19 starts and 11 relief appearances. He spent most of 2018 in Triple-A, where he had a 2.64 ERA in 39 relief appearances. He came up to the majors for a time in July, then returned in September. He pitched six games in relief for the 2018 Pirates, posting a 6.35 ERA in 11.1 innings. Anderson was traded over the 2018-19 off-season to the Oakland A’s for minor league pitcher Wilkin Ramos. He made five starts for the A’s in 2019, going 0-3, 6.04 in 22.1 innings. In Triple-A that season, he had a 6.00 ERA in 96 innings, though that’s not as bad as it sounds because he was playing in the ultra hitter-friendly Las Vegas, where the team ERA was 5.20 that season. During the shortened 2020 season, Anderson played for Sioux Falls in the independent American Association on loan from the A’s. Through the first month of 2021, he has been pitching at Triple-A for the A’s. Anderson has a deceptive delivery with a high leg kick and he pitched with a lot of command and throws to contact, which limits his pitch counts. In 407.1 minor league innings between 2015-2019, he had 113 walks and 280 strikeouts.

Jacob Brumfield, center fielder for the 1995-96 Pirates. He was signed by the Chicago Cubs at 18 years old as a seventh round pick out of Hammond HS in Louisiana in the 1983 draft. That’s a school that has produced just three draft picks and Brumfield is the only one to make the majors. He batted .257 with three homers in 42 games while playing in the Appalachian League during his first season. He missed all of the 1984 season due to injury, then was released in April of 1985. It wasn’t until August of 1986 that he signed with another team. Brumfield was picked up by the Kansas City Royals and spent six seasons in their system before becoming a free agent in October of 1991. Playing most in High-A in 1987, he had a .732 OPS in 123 games, with 45 stolen bases. He batted just .226 in 128 games at Double-A in 1988, but he had 47 steals in 54 attempts. He repeated Double-A in 1989, and he hit .228 in 104 games. He had a better OBP due to a higher walk rate, but his slugging dropped to .289, giving him a lower OPS than the previous year. His stolen bases dropped to 28 and he was caught stealing 12 times. Brumfield ended up spending most of the 1990 season back in High-A, where he hit .336 and stole 47 bases. The 1991 season was his final year with the Royals and he spent it at Triple-A Omaha, where he hit .267 with 38 steals and a .683 OPS in 111 games. He signed with the Cincinnati Reds a month after reaching free agency and he made their 1992 Opening Day roster, making his Major League debut on April 6, 1992. He spent three seasons in Cincinnati, playing a total of 195 big league games. As a rookie in 1992, he hit .133 in 24 games, getting just 33 plate appearances. The next year saw him make it to the majors on May 19th and he remained with the Reds for the rest of the season. Brumfield hit .268 with six homers and 20 steals in 103 games (63 starts). He was with Cincinnati for the entire strike-shortened 1994 season, hitting .311, with a .906 OPS in 68 games.

On October 13, 1994, the Reds traded Brumfield to the Pirates in exchange for minor league outfielder Danny Clyburn. Brumfield would step in and take over the center field job during that 1995 season, playing 116 games, with a .271 average, 22 stolen bases and 64 runs scored. Brumfield held that spot at the beginning of 1996, but in mid-May, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league prospects, D.J. Boston. Brumfield was hitting .250 with two homers in 29 games before the trade to Toronto. After the deal, he hit .256 with 12 homers and 12 steals in 90 games. He played a career high 119 games that season. His 14 homers and 60 RBIs were more than double his totals from any other season in the majors, yet he didn’t set a career best with runs scored, which happened with the 1995 Pirates. During the 1997 season, he batted just .207 with two homers in 58 games. Brumfield then spent 1998 in Triple-A for the Florida Marlins, where he hit just .167 in 95 games. He spent the 1999 season in the majors, split between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Blue Jays, before returning to the minors to finish his career in 2001. He hit .241 with two homers in 80 games during his final big league season. He played in the Chicago White Sox system in 2000 and he was in independent ball in 2001. He was a .257 career hitter in 568 Major League games, with 32 homers, 162 RBIs, 260 runs scored and 74 stolen bases. He played 1,570 games of pro ball and stole 351 bases.

Ross Baumgarten, pitcher for the 1982 Pirates. He was a 20th round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox in 1977. Despite the late draft status, it took him just over a year to make the majors. He went right to full-season ball after the draft, posting a 3-6, 3.75 record in 84 innings for Appleton of the Midwest League. Baumgarten started the 1978 season in A-ball, going 9-1, 1.82 in ten starts. He was moved to Double-A and it took just 25 innings and a 3.24 ERA before the White Sox promoted him to Triple-A. He made nine starts for Iowa of the American Association, going 5-4, 3.27 in 66 innings, before getting his third promotion of the season, joining the White Sox in mid-August. He went 2-2, 5.87 in four starts and three relief appearances for the White Sox over the final six weeks of the season. Between the minors and majors, he threw 188 innings total. The next year he was a regular in the Chicago starting rotation, going 13-8, 3.54 in 190.2 innings over 28 starts, finishing fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. His ERA dropped to 3.44 in 136 innings the next year, but his record suffered due to the poor play of Chicago, as they finished 70-90. Baumgarten had a 2-12 record, and that was despite winning his first start of the year. The White Sox scored 0-3 runs in 21 of his 23 starts that year. After going 5-9, 4.07 in 101.2 innings over 19 starts in the strike-shortened 1981 season, the Pirates acquired Baumgarten on March 21, 1982, along with pitcher Butch Edge, in exchange for pitcher Ernie Camacho and infielder Vance Law. For the Pirates, he made ten starts and two relief appearance, going 0-5, 6.55 in 44 innings. He missed part of the early season with two fractured fingers on his throwing hard. He was released at the end of Spring Training in 1983. Baumgarten signed with the Detroit Tigers and had a 12.10 ERA in seven outings for their Triple-A club. His career finished later that 1983 season pitching in Triple-A for the Oakland A’s, where he had a 5.63 ERA in 24 innings. He retired after the season to take up a job in financial management. His time in Pittsburgh had a bit of a controversial ending. He filed a grievance (along with infielder Jim Morrison) against the club looking to be reimbursed for some flights that he took without the team during the season. At the time, certain clubs (including the Pirates) had a rule that said players had to pay for their own flights if they decided not to travel with the team. As far as I can tell, the decisions were never announced.

George O’Donnell, pitcher for the 1954 Pirates. He spent five seasons in the minors before having his contract purchased by the Pirates in October of 1953. He was originally a member of the St Louis Browns organization, signing in 1949, before moving on to the Pirates four years later. He played for three different Class-D clubs during his first two seasons of pro ball. That was the lowest level of the minors at the time. In 1949 he had a 3.49 ERA in 188 innings for two teams. In 1950, he was with Appleton of the Wisconsin State League, where he was 12-12, 2.50 in 241 innings. In 1951, O’Donnell won 22 games for Class-B Waco of the Big State League, while posting a 3.67 ERA in 243 innings. He split the 1952 season between Class-A Charleston of the South Atlantic League and Double-A New Orleans of the Southern Association. He had a combined 14-10, 2.71 record in 209 innings. O’Donnell went 20-12, 3.61 in 281.1 innings in 1953 for the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. His big league career lasted just three months of the 1954 season, but he saw plenty of action for the Pirates over that time, making ten starts and eleven relief appearances. He went 3-9, 4.53 in 87.1 innings. He walked 21 batters, which wasn’t a bad percentage, but he was only able to pick up eight strikeouts. O’Donnell never had more than one strikeout in any game and on May 29th he pitched a complete game against the Philadelphia Phillies without a strikeout. It should have been expected though, as he compiled just 67 strikeouts in 281.1 innings in the minors in 1953. O’Donnell still pitched in bad luck, despite the inability to miss bats. The Pirates were shut out in five of his nine losses. He was sent to Hollywood on July 30th on option, where he finished the season. O’Donnell was recalled by the Pirates without reporting in early September, but on September 26th he was traded to Hollywood as part of a five-player deal with cash. It was a deal in which the Pirates landed three outfielders. He would end up pitching another seven seasons in the minors before retiring, finishing with a 127-93 record in 530 games, while throwing 1,840 innings. O’Donnell is the only pitcher in Pirates history with 4+ losses, who has more career losses than strikeouts.