This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: July 15th, Enrique Romo and Donn Clendenon

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date.

Donn Clendenon, first baseman for the 1961-68 Pirates. He signed with the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1957 before his 18th birthday, and spent his first two seasons in the low minors, where he put up decent stats. He hit .254 with six homers and 53 walks in 97 games at Class-D in 1957, then hit .265 with 21 doubles, 12 triples and ten homers in 119 games for Grand Forks of the Class-C Northern League. Clendenon broke out in 1959, hitting a combined .358 with 62 extra-base hits between two stops, spending most of the year with Class-C Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League. He moved up to A-ball the next season and hit .335 with 28 homers and 109 RBIs for Savannah of the South Atlantic League. Clendenon moved to Triple-A in 1961, where he hit .290 with 22 homers in 147 games. The Pirates called him up in September and he batted .314 in nine games in the outfield. He made the Opening Day roster in 1962, though he spent part of July back in Triple-A. He saw limited time for the majority of 1962 with the Pirates, getting most of his playing time at the end of the year, while playing more first base than outfield. Despite playing just 80 games (21 off the bench), he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, due in part to his .302 average.

Clendenon became the starting first baseman in 1963 and hit .275 with 15 homers and 57 RBIs in 154 games. He led the National League with 136 strikeouts, but he also set a career high with 22 stolen bases. He had the most putouts and assists among NL first basemen. Clendenon cut back on the strikeouts in 1964, while hitting .282 with 12 homers and 64 RBIs in 133 games. His next season he set many career highs, including games played (162), runs scored (89), hits (184), doubles (32) and triples (14), while batting .301 with 96 RBIs. Except for runs scored, he ranked in the NL top ten in all of those categories. That season also marked the start of a three-year stretch in which he led NL first basemen in errors each year. The following year was the best of his career at the plate. He finished with a .299 average, and set career highs with 28 homers, 98 RBIs and an .878 OPS. Clendenon’s numbers began to drop off in 1967, hitting .249 with 13 homers and a .668 OPS that was a .210 point dip from the previous year. In 1968, a season considered to be the “year of the pitcher”, he struck out 163 times. That was a team record that stood until surpassed by Craig Wilson in 2004. He still had a decent season, especially considering the great pitching that year. Clendenon hit .257 with 17 homers and 87 RBIs.

Clendenon was lost to the Montreal Expos in the 1968 expansion draft. He played just 38 games there before moving on to the New York Mets, where he picked up a World Series ring in 1969. He batted .248 with 16 homers in 110 games that year between both stops. In the World Series, he hit .357 with three homers. Clendenon had one big season left in him. He finished 13th in the MVP voting in 1970, the only year he received any MVP support. He hit .288 with 22 homers and 97 RBIs. In 1971, he batted .247 with 11 homers in 88 games. He finished his career with the 1972 St Louis Cardinals, batting .191 with four homers in 61 games. With the Pirates, he hit .280 with 106 homers and 488 RBIs in 982 games. He was a career .274 hitter in 12 seasons, with 159 homers and 682 RBIs in 1,362 games.

Anthony Claggett, pitcher for the Pirates on October 3, 2009. He was originally an 11th round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2005 out of the University of California Riverside. He debuted in the New York-Penn League as a reliever, posting a 4.03 ERA in 22.1 innings, with 25 strikeouts. In 2006, he posted an 0.91 ERA in 59.1 innings over 51 appearances. He went to the New York Yankees in a trade before the 2007 season and played the year in the Florida State League, where he had a 9-8, 3.69 record in 112.1 innings, making 16 starts and 16 relief appearances. In 2008 he was a reliever in Double-A for the majority of the season, going 4-2, 2.15 in 58.2 innings over 29 appearances. Claggett spent the 2009 season pitching mostly in relief at Triple-A for New York, going 7-7, 3.07 in 82 innings. He was called up twice during the season and he really took one for the team during his first appearance. In a 22-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians, he threw 60 pitches over 1.2 innings, allowing eight earned runs. His next outing was slightly better, giving up only two runs in his one inning of work. The Yankees put him on waivers in late September and the Pirates picked him up on September 24th. Claggett got into one game with the Pirates, giving up a home run in his only inning of work against the Cincinnati Reds on October 3rd. He was with the Pirates organization for two more years in the minors before being released. He spent part of 2010 back in Double-A, while posting a 6.26 ERA in 54.2 innings with Triple-A Indianapolis. In 2011, the majority of the season was spent in Double-A Altoona, where he had a 5-5, 3.75 record in 62.1 innings over 42 appearances. He then pitched independent ball from 2012 until 2015 before retiring, which included three stints with the St Paul Saints of the American Association. Claggett was a starting pitcher for the majority of his independent ball career. He also played winter ball in Hawaii, Venezuela, Mexico and Australia during his career.

Enrique Romo, relief pitcher for the 1979-82 Pirates. He pitched in Mexico until age 29, when the expansion Seattle Mariners signed him to his first contract. Romo skipped over minor league ball in the states, spending six years in the majors before returning to Mexico. While his full stats aren’t available from 11 seasons in Mexico to start his career, his last seven seasons show seven straight years with double-digit win totals as a starter. He won 17 games in 1974 for the Mexico City Reds, followed by a 13-8, 2.34 season in 219 innings in 1975. In 1976 before being signed, Romo went 20-4, 1.89 in 233 innings for Mexico City. For the Mariners as a rookie in 1977, he pitched 58 times, making his only three Major League starts. He went 8-10, 2.83 in 114.1 innings. The next year he had an 11-7, 3.69 record in 107.1 innings over 56 appearances. He had 16 saves as a rookie and added ten more in 1978. The Pirates acquired him on December 5, 1978 in a six-player deal, with three players going each way. Romo immediately became a key member of the bullpen and manager Chuck Tanner used him often. He made 84 appearances in 1979, going 10-5, 2.99 with five saves in 129.1 innings. His games pitched total that season is the sixth highest mark in team history. He pitched twice in each postseason series, allowing 13 base runners in five innings of work, although he didn’t allow a run in either NLCS appearance. Romo would get his share of work again during the 1980 season, pitching 123.2 innings over 74 relief outings. That year he went 5-5, 3.27 with 11 saves. During the strike-shortened 1981 season, he missed some time in late August/early September, and pitched poorly when he came back during the last two weeks, watching his 3.86 ERA rise to 4.54 to end the year. He had a 1-3 record and nine saves in 33 appearances, throwing a total of 41.2 innings. Romo went 9-3, 4.36 in 86.2 innings over 45 games for the 1982 Pirates, but he was fined at the end of the year because he didn’t want to pitch the last week of the season. He was upset over the fine and failed to report to Spring Training the next year. The Pirates tried to trade him, but there were no takers and he was finally placed on the voluntarily retired list, ending his Major League career. He pitched 236 games over four season with the Pirates, going 25-16, 3.56 in 381.1 innings. He had 26 saves with the Mariners and 26 with the Pirates.

Don Bosch, Center fielder for the 1966 Pirates. The Pirates signed him as a 17-year-old in 1960, sending him to the lowest level of the minors, where he hit .210 in 63 games for Kingsport of the Appalachian League. His climb through the farm system was slow, with his first real sign of big league potential showing in 1963. In 1961, he played for Class-D Batavia of the New York-Penn League, where he hit .251 with 23 doubles, 11 homers, 71 RBIs, 15 steals and 78 walks in 123 games. He went to Grand Forks of the Northern League (Class-C) in 1962, hitting .256 with 75 walks and 29 stolen bases. His breakout season in 1963 saw him hit .332, with 65 walks and 32 steals in 114 games while skipping a level to play for Kinston in the Carolina League. The switch-hitting Bosch then spent the next two years at Double-A, playing for Asheville of the Southern Association. He hit .247 with 27 doubles and 15 homers in 1964, then batted .259 with 25 steals and 82 walks in 1965. He posted a .729 OPS in both seasons, with more power the first year and a better OBP in his second trial. Bosch moved up to Triple-A Columbus of the International League for the 1966 season, where he hit .283 with 11 homers, 17 stolen bases and 72 walks. The Pirates called him up in September and he made his debut on the 19th as a pinch-runner. Three days later, he was a defensive replacement for Matty Alou in center field during a 14-1 loss to the Braves. After another two days on the bench, Bosch pinch-hit for pitcher Tommie Sisk, in what would be his last game with the Pirates. That December, he would be traded to the New York Mets along with Don Cardwell for Dennis Ribant and Gary Kolb. Bosch played two years with the Mets and one with the Montreal Expos without any success at the plate. He batted .140 in 44 games in 1967, then hit .171 with three homers in 50 games in 1968. The Expos purchased his contract just after the 1968 season ended. He batted .179 with one homer in 49 games in 1969. He spent the 1970 season in the minors before ending his playing career. In the middle of that season, the Expos traded him to the Houston Astros for reliever Mike Marshall. Bosch hit .164 with 13 RBIs in 146 career big league games.

Red Oldham, pitcher for the 1925-26 Pirates. He had 172 minor league victories over 15 seasons and won another 39 games over seven Major League seasons. He debuted in pro ball for York of the Class-B Tri-State League at 17 years old in 1911. After pitching just seven games, he remained in the league with Trenton for the 1912-13 seasons and put up strong win-loss stats (the only stats currently available). He went 17-10 in 1912 and he won 20 games in 1913. He pitched for Providence of the Eastern League (Double-A) in 1914, posting a 14-7 record in 183 innings. While his ERA isn’t available, it’s known that he allowed 3.00 runs per nine innings. Oldham made his Major League debut with the Detroit Tigers in August of 1914, pitching 26 games over two seasons. He had a 3.38 ERA in 45.1 innings in 1914 and followed it up with a 2.81 ERA in 57.2 innings in 1915.

He was in the minors the next two years, pitching for San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League, where he went 10-13, 2.89 in 262 innings in 1916, and 18-19, 2.88 in 343.2 innings in 1917. He then served in the Army during WWI, missing the entire 1918 season. He returned to the minors in 1919 with Portland of the Pacific Coast League, where he was 21-23, 2.82 in 370 innings. He then came back to the Tigers for three more seasons. Oldham went 8-13, 3.85 in 215.1 innings in 1920, making 22 starts and 17 relief appearances. In 1921, he made 28 starts and 12 relief appearances, throwing 229.1 innings. He had an 11-14, 4.24 record. He saw even more games in 1922, though his ERA continued to rise. In 212 innings over 28 starts and 15 relief appearances. Oldham went 10-13, with a 4.67 ERA. The Tigers initially traded him in December of 1922 to Salt Lake City of the Pacific Coast League, but he decided to play semi-pro ball instead, which kept him as Tigers property. He played winter ball in California that off-season, which was against the rules of baseball and led to his suspension, which cost him the 1923-24 season. He pitched semi-pro ball in  California in 1923 and for a short time he pitched in the minors under an assumed name. Red (first name was John) was reinstated in early 1925 and the Tigers immediately sold him to Vernon of the Pacific Coast League. He went 4-7, 4.19 in 73 innings for Vernon before they sent him to Des Moines of the Western League. After he won six games in a row for Des Moines and pitched well in front of Pirates scout Chick Fraser, Pittsburgh decided that they needed another lefty on their pitching staff and purchased his contract on August 10th. From the middle of August until the end of the season, he pitched 11 times, four as a starter, with three complete games. Oldham went 3-2, 3.91 in 53 innings.

The Pirates went to the World Series that year and had a hard-fought seven-game series against the Washington Senators. Oldham didn’t get to pitch during the first six games and it looked like he wouldn’t pitch game seven either. The Pirates trailed 7-6 going into the bottom of the eighth at home. Against the greatest pitcher ever, Walter Johnson, Pittsburgh scored three runs to take a 9-7 lead. Red was surprisingly called in to finish the game, and he did just that. He struck out two Hall of Famers, Sam Rice and Goose Goslin, to secure the victory and second title for the Pirates franchise. The next year he was a bullpen arm for Pittsburgh until July, going 2-2, 5.62 in 41.2 innings over 17 appearances, when he was sent to the minors. On July 21, 1926, he was sent to Kansas City of the American Association, in a move that ended his Major League career. The Pirates needed to make room on their active roster for Hall of Famer Joe Cronin, who was just 19 years old at the time. Oldham pitched another five full years in the minors before retiring following the 1931 season. He struggled badly with Kansas City in 1927, then finished his career with four years in the Southern Association, which would be the same as being sent to Double-A now. He pitched 230+ innings in each of his final three seasons of pro ball, posting a 42-42 record during that time. In his big league career, he had a 39-48, 4.15 record over seven seasons, with 854.1 innings in 93 starts and 83 relief appearances. Including his minor league time (but not the 1923-24 seasons), he threw over 3,000 innings in pro ball