This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 2nd, Tim Wakefield and a Big Trade with Angels

We have two former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus a major trade.

The Trade

On this date in 1985, the Pirates traded outfielder George Hendrick and pitchers John Candelaria and Al Holland to the California Angels for outfielder Mike Brown and pitchers Bob Kipper and Pat Clements. Brown was 25 years old, in his third season with the Angels, and his first full season in the majors. He was hitting .268 with four homers in 60 games prior to the deal. Kipper had just turned 21, with only two games of Major League experience, both coming that April. He was in the minors at the time, and reported to Triple-A for the Pirates. Clements was a 23-year-old lefty rookie, with a 5-0, 3.34 record in 41 games and 62 innings pitched. Candelaria was in his 11th big league season, all spent with the Pirates, where he went 124-84. He had a high of 20 wins in 1977, but at the time of the trade, he was pitching out of the bullpen all year. The 32-year-old Holland had been acquired earlier in the season for Kent Tekulve. He was a closer for the Phillies in 1983-84. The Pirates used him 38 times, with three saves and a 1-3, 3.38 record to his credit. Hendrick, the veteran outfielder, did not play well in his only season in Pittsburgh, and was not well-liked by the fans for a lack of effort at times. He was a four-time All-Star before joining the Pirates, compiling 31 career WAR prior to 1985.

After the deal, Holland pitched great for the Angels, posting a 1.48 ERA in his 15 appearances. Hendrick played even worse in California, hitting .122 in 16 games. He was also signed for three more years and provided almost no value (-0.5 WAR) during his time with the Angels. Candelaria moved back to a starting role for the Angels and went 7-3, 3.80 in 13 starts. The next season he was even better, going 10-2, 2.55, despite missing nearly half the season. For the Pirates, Mike Brown hit .332 in the last 57 games of 1985, looking like a key future piece for the team for many years to come. That success didn’t last into 1986 however, as he hit .218 with four homers in 87 games. He played just 18 more games after that season, all with the 1988 Angels. Clement had a 3.12 ERA in 92 relief appearances over the 1985-86 seasons for the Pirates before being included in the deal that brought Doug Drabek to the Pirates from the New York Yankees. Kipper was a player to be named later in the deal, not joining the Pirates organization for another two weeks. He stayed around Pittsburgh for seven seasons, compiling a 24-33, 4.22 record in 244 games, 44 as a starter.

The Players

Tim Wakefield, pitcher for the 1992-93 Pirates. He was originally an eighth round draft pick of the Pirates in 1988, taken as a hitter. It was quickly decided that he had a better chance to make it as a pitcher and early in 1989 he made the switch. Wakefield hit .189 with three homers in 54 games as a 21-year-old in the New York-Penn League in 1988. The next year he batted .216 with one homer in 47 games, splitting his time between Low-A and the NYPL. He also had a 3.40 ERA in 39.2 innings for Welland of the NYPL. Strictly as a pitcher the next year, he had a 10-14, 4.73 record in 190.1 innings for Salem of the High-A Carolina League. In his second full season of pitching, Wakefield went 15-8, 2.90 in 183 innings at Double-A. He was up in Triple-A in 1992, where he went 10-3, 3.06 for Buffalo in 135.1 innings over 20 starts before being called up to the Pirates right before his 26th birthday. Wakefield, with his dancing knuckleball, pitched great for the Pirates down the stretch, as they looked for their third straight National League East pennant. He went 8-1, 2.15 in 13 starts, pitching 92 innings. He was just as good in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, throwing two complete game wins. As strong as the 1992 season was for him, the following year was a disaster. His record dropped to 6-11, 5.61 in 128.1 innings and he spent part of the year at Triple-A. He did so poorly in 1994 in Triple-A, going 5-15, 5.84 in 175.2 innings, that the Pirates released him by the following April. The move did not work out well for Pittsburgh, but it turned around Wakefield’s career. He ended up spending 17 seasons in Boston, where he went 186-168, 4.43 in 590 games, 430 as a starter. He pitched over 3,000 innings in his career and finished with exactly 200 wins. Wakefield did not pitch well in the playoffs after leaving Pittsburgh, posting an 8.00 ERA in 54 innings, but he picked up two World Series rings.

Wakefield’s first season in Boston was easily his best. He went 16-8, 2.95 in 195.2 innings, finishing third in the Cy Young voting and 13th in the American League MVP voting. It was the only year that he received votes in either category. In 1996, he went 14-13, 5.14 in 211.2 innings. It was the first of five times that he would exceed 200 innings in a season. In 1997, Wakefield had a 12-15, 4.25 record in 201.1 innings. That loss total led the AL. In 1998, he went 17-8, 4.58 in 216 innings. The 1999 season saw him switch to the closer role for a short time after doing poorly as a starter. He went 6-11, 5.08 in 17 starts and 32 relief appearances, with 14 saves and 140 innings pitched. In 2000, Wakefield switched between starting and middle relief, pitching 51 times that season, with 34 relief appearances. He had a 6-10, 5.48 record in 159.1 innings. He had a similar role each of the next two seasons, though he picked up three saves each year. Wakefield went 9-12, 3.90 in 168.2 innings over 17 starts and 28 relief outings in 2001. In 2002, he was 11-5, 2.81 in 163.1 innings, with 15 starts and 30 relief appearances.

During the 2003 season, Wakefield returned to starting full-time and finished the year going 11-7, 4.09 in 202.1 innings. He set a career high with 169 strikeouts. The Red Sox broke their long World Series drought in 2004 and he had a 12-10, 4.87 record in 188.1 innings. He started one World Series game and took a no-decision with five runs over 3.2 innings. In 2005, Wakefield went 16-12, 4.15 in a career high 225.1 innings. That year he lost his only postseason start. During the 2006 season, he had a 7-11, 4.63 record in 140 innings. The Red Sox won the World Series again in 2007. He had a 17-12, 4.76 record in 189 innings. His only postseason appearance was a loss in game four of the ALCS, in which he allowed five runs over 4.2 innings against the Cleveland Indians. The 2008 Red Sox lost in the ALCS, as Wakefield went 10-11, 4.13 in 181 innings during the season. Once again he had one appearance in the postseason and it was a loss in the ALCS. In 2009, the 42-year-old Wakefield went 11-5, 4.58 in 129.2 innings. During his final two big league seasons, he saw time in relief and as a starter. He went 4-10, 5.34 in 140 innings in 2010 and he finished up with a 7-8, 5.12 record in 154.2 innings in 2011.

Bucky Veil, pitcher for the 1903-04 Pirates. His real named was Fred, but the baseball world knew him as Bucky, a nickname he got because he attended Bucknell University. He had played briefly in the low-level of the minors (Class-C) in 1900-01, while also seeing time with a team from Punxsutawney after being released during the second half of the 1900 season. His 1901 season was shortened due to an arm injury. After graduating college, Veil played independent ball in Altoona until the Pirates signed him on October 21, 1902. He joined a strong Pirates team that had already won two straight National League pennants. He made six starts and six relief appearances during that 1903 season, as the Pirates easily won their third straight title with a 91-49 record. Veil went 5-3, 3.82 in 70.2 innings. In the first modern day World Series, he came in to relieve Sam Leever in game two, after Leever gave up two runs in the first inning. The Pirates lost, but Bucky threw the last seven innings of the game, allowing just one run. He pitched just one game for the 1904 Pirates, giving up three runs in 4.2 innings. It was said that he was sick that day, but begged into the start. After pitching well for two innings, he weakened and lost his control. He was removed in the fifth inning after losing the lead, but the Pirates came back to win 6-5 over the Cincinnati Reds. It ended up being his last Major League game. Right after his lone start, Veil said he planned to rest a while, then show the Pirates why they needed him on their team. Not long after he said that, he was pitching for the Altoona Mountaineers of the independent Tri-State League. The Pirates released him on May 2nd and four days later he was the Opening Day starter for Altoona. It was reported by a few papers in early September of 1904 that Veil was approached by Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss to return to Pittsburgh, but he reportedly said that he liked it just fine in the Tri-State League, where he also played for the Williamsport club that season.. In the minors in 1905, he won 21 games for Columbus of the American Association, while throwing 283 innings. The next year he had a 17-11 record and threw 203 innings, though he missed some time due to shoulder soreness. Despite pitching well at a high level of the minors for two seasons, he actually dropped down to Class-B ball in 1907-08, and then finished up with an independent league team in 1909.