Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date.
Melky Cabrera, outfielder for the 2019 Pirates. He signed with the New York Yankees at 17 years old as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic. After playing in the Dominican Summer League in 2002, he came to the U.S. in 2003 and played in the New York-Penn League, where he batted .283 in 67 games. The next year he split the season between Low-A and High-A, hitting .304 with 50 extra-base hits in 127 games. Cabrera spent most of the 2005 season in Double-A, but he played in Triple-A and then the majors for six games. After a great start to the 2006 season in Triple-A, he joined the Yankees in early May and hit .280 in 130 games, with 56 walks and 35 extra-base hits. In 2007 he spent the entire season in the majors and batted .273 with 40 extra-base hits and 73 RBIs in 150 games. The 2008 season saw a drop in his production, with a .641 OPS in 129 games. The Yankees won the World Series in 2009 and he hit .274 with 28 doubles, 13 homers and 68 RBIs in 154 games. During his career he really struggled in the postseason, but he had a great ALCS in 2009, batting .391 in six games. The Yankees traded him to the Atlanta Braves after the season, but he was released after the 2010 season, when he batted .255 with four homers in 147 games.
Cabrera signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2011 and batted .305, while setting career highs with 102 runs scored, 44 doubles, 18 homers, 87 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants after the season and he was an All-Star in 2012 when he finished with a .346 batting average in 113 games. However, his season ended early due to a 50-game PED suspension. He signed a two-year free agent deal with the Toronto Blue Jays and after finishing off his suspension, he hit .279, with a .682 OPS in 88 games in 2013. In 2014, he batted.301 in 139 games, with 35 doubles, 16 homers and 73 RBIs. Cabrera signed with the Chicago White Sox in 2015 and played a career high 158 games. He batted .273 with 36 doubles, 12 homers and 77 RBIs that season. In 2016 he hit .296 with 42 doubles, 14 homers and 86 RBIs in 151 games. The 2017 season was split between the White Sox and Royals. Cabrera batted .285 between both stops, with 30 doubles, 17 homers and 85 RBIs in 156 games. He played for the Cleveland Indians in 2018, where he hit .280 with 17 doubles and six homers in 78 games. He signed with the Pirates as a minor league free agent in 2019 and made the team out of Spring Training. Playing in his 15th season in the majors, he hit .280/.313/.399 in 133 games, with seven homers and 47 RBIs. Cabrera left via free agency after the season and signed with the New York Mets in June of 2020, but never played due to the shortened season. In his big league career, he hit .285/.334/.417 hitter in 1,887 games, with 895 runs scored, 383 doubles, 144 homers and 854 RBIs.
Andrew Lambo, OF/1B for the 2013-15 Pirates. He was a fourth round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007 at 18 years old out of high school in California. He started off on fire in the Gulf Coast League that year, hitting .343 in 54 games, with 21 extra-base hits. The next year he spent most of the season in Low-A, but he finished up in Double-A. Combined, he hit .295 with 35 doubles, 19 homers and 81 RBIs in 131 games. Lambo batted .313 in 17 games in the Arizona Fall League after the season, then spent 2009 in Double-A. There he hit .256 with 39 doubles and 11 homers in 130 games. He reported to the AFL for a second straight fall and batted .330 in 21 games. Through the first four months of the 2010 season, he was back in Double-A, where he put up a .745 OPS in 47 games. Lambo was acquired from the Dodgers on July 31, 2010, along with James MacDonald, in a deal for veteran reliever Octavio Dotel. Lambo finished the 2010 season in Double-A Altoona, then went to the AFL for a third straight season, this time hitting /274 with 23 RBIs in 28 games. He spent part of 2011 in Triple-A Indianapolis, where he struggled mightily, while spending half of the season back in Altoona. He had a .782 OPS in Double-A that year, and a .549 mark in Indianapolis. In 2012, Lambo missed most of the year due to a wrist injury, which limited him to 35 games.
Lambo began 2013 back in Altoona, but he tore through the league, then did the same in Triple-A, combining to hit .282 with 32 homers and 99 RBIs in 120 games. He debuted in the majors with the Pirates in August of 2013 and hit .233 with one homer in 18 games. In 2014, he missed more time with a thumb injury, which limited him to 69 minor league games. However, injuries in the majors got him to the big leagues sooner, as did learning to play first base during the season. He hit .256 in 21 games with the Pirates, though he made just six starts and five were in the outfield. He made the Opening Day roster in 2015, but he was limited to 20 big league games due to a left foot injury. Lambo hit .191/.232/.298 in 98 plate appearances for the Pirates over three seasons, though that includes him going 1-for-25 during the 2015 season. He was lost via waivers to the Oakland A’s in November of 2015 and recorded just one more Major League at-bat. Lambo missed significant time during his career due to a major wrist injury, a suspension and he battled cancer while in Oakland. He retired from baseball after playing independent ball in 2017.
Al Pedrique, shortstop for the 1987-88 Pirates. He was signed by the New York Mets in 1978 as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela at 17 years old. He started out in the New York-Penn League and hit .222 with a .559 OPS in 20 games during his first season. He even spent time back in the NYPL the next year and didn’t do any better, posting a .228 average and a .552 OPS. He saw 19 games in A-Ball that season (1979) and basically hit the same, with a .224 average and a .535 OPS. In 1980, Pedrique played the entire year with Lynchburg of the Carolina League, where he hit .246 in 105 games, with a .567 OPS. He moved through the lower levels of the minors quickly, but then stalled out after reaching Double-A at 20 years old. For a time, it looked like he wouldn’t get past Double-A, spending four seasons there (1981-84) with the Jackson Mets of the Texas League. He played 100+ games every year and his results were much the same as his first three seasons in pro ball. During the 1981-83 seasons, he had an OPS of .556 in 1981, .546 in 1982 and .585 in 1983. The 1984 season was when things first clicked at the plate. Pedrique batted .285, with a .721 OPS in 109 games. He finally made it to Triple-A in 1985, and spent two full years there before making the 1987 Mets roster. In his first season with Tidewater of the International League, he hit .252 with a .644 OPS in 110 games. He saw a slight uptick in offense in 1986, hitting for a much higher average (.293), though the jump in his OPS was smaller (32 points). In five games with the 1987 Mets, one as a starter, Pedrique went 0-for-6 at the plate, with a walk and run scored. He went back to the minors in early May. The Pirates acquired Pedrique, along with outfielder Scott Little, on May 29, 1987 in exchange for veteran infielder Bill Almon. Pedrique joined Pittsburgh the next day and was soon a regular in the lineup, making 68 starts at shortstop over the rest of the season. He played solid defense and hit .301 with 27 RBIs and 23 runs scored in 88 games for the Pirates that year.
In 1988, he began the year as the Pirates starting shortstop, but he was struggling at the plate and was soon benched, then sent to the minors in early June. He returned in August, seeing plenty of action at first, but soon took a bench role when his bat failed to come around. By September he was seldom used. Pedrique was released in November of 1988 and he signed with the Detroit Tigers two weeks later. He played 31 games for the 1989 Tigers, his last stint in the majors. He played pro ball until 1994, finishing with 1,436 games played in the minors. He played in the Oakland A’s system in 1990, rejoined the Mets in 1991, then went to the Kansas City Royals in 1992, before finishing off with the expansion Florida Marlins in 1993-94. After retiring as a player, he has managed during 15 seasons, mostly in the minors. His only Major League experience came with the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks, who went 22-61 under him and 51-111 on the season.
Dorn Taylor, pitcher for the 1987 and 1989 Pirates. He signed with the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1981 at 22 years old, and he ended up playing nine seasons in their farm system, while also spending parts of two years in the majors. He put up strong numbers throughout his minor league career, with a 74-60, 2.95 record in 245 games, 169 as a starter. Taylor debuted in the minors in Greenwood of the South Atlantic League in 1982, where he went 9-8, 2.30 in 164.2 innings, with 133 strikeouts. Those were strong numbers, but he ended up back there in 1983, when he had a 7.90 ERA in a partial season with Alexanderia of the Carolina League. He spent the entire 1984 season in the Carolina League (affiliate switched to Prince William), where he went 11-5, 3.40 with 148 strikeouts in 161.2 innings over 25 starts. Taylor moved up to Nashua of the Double-A Eastern League in 1985 and he went 6-9, 4.31 in 112.2 innings, making 17 starts and nine relief appearances. He moved to relief in Nashua in 1986 and did great in that role, with a 1.58 ERA in 62.2 innings. He moved up to Hawaii of the Pacific Coast League and had a 2.01 ERA in five starts. Taylor made it to the majors for the first time at the end of April in 1987, making eight starts and six relief appearances for the Pirates. He went 2-3, 5.74 in 53.1 innings during his first big league stint. In early July he went on the 15-day disabled list, though he was pitching at Double-A on a rehab assignment before the 15 days were up. After his rehab, the Pirates sent him to Triple-A, where he finished the season.
Taylor spent all of 1988 back in Triple-A, where he went 10-8, 2.14 in 22 starts and 139 innings. He made the 1989 Opening Day roster for the Pirates, but he was back in Triple-A after just three games in relief. He remained in the minors until September, then saw action in six more games in relief, all one-inning outings. He had a 5.06 ERA in 10.2 innings with the 1989 Pirates. He went 10-8, 2.58 in 170.2 innings over 25 starts in the minors that season, then he followed it up with a 14-6, 2.91 record in 195 innings over 30 games for Triple-A Buffalo during the next year. Taylor was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on September 5, 1990 as the player to be named later in the June 25, 1990 deal that saw the Pirates acquire pitcher Jay Tibbs. Taylor pitched four games for Baltimore that season, giving up three runs in 3.2 innings, then he never played pro ball again. He was released just a few days after the season ended. The Pirates said that Taylor’s minor league success wouldn’t translate to the majors because he relied heavily on off-speed pitches and batters chasing the ball out of the zone.
Woody Jensen, left fielder for the 1931-39 Pirates. The lefty hitting/throwing outfielder spent his entire 738 game Major League career with the Pirates. He began pro ball in 1927 after playing college ball at Western Washington University, one of just four Major League players to attended that school. He split his first season between two vastly different levels of play, seeing time with Class-C Pocatello of the Utah-Idaho League, as well as time in the Pacific Coast League, three levels higher. He batted .305 in 88 games that year. Jensen did the same exact split in 1928, this time hitting .312 with 52 extra-base hits in 161 games. The next year saw him spend the season in the Class-A Western League, where his full season stats are incomplete. His stats from 1930 in the Western League are available and he hit .354 in 139 games, with 115 runs scored, 41 doubles, 19 triples, 14 homers and 114 RBIs. The Pirates acquired him in a four-for-two player swap with Wichita of the Western League, with catcher Jack Mealey also joining the Pirates, though he played 20 years in the minors without a big league game.
Jensen was with the Pirates on the bench to start the 1931 season. After five appearances over the first month, he was sent to Newark of the International League, before rejoining Pittsburgh in July. That rookie season, Jensen hit .243 with 43 runs scored in 73 games. He made the Pirates Opening Day roster again the next year, though just like the previous season, he was sent back to Newark in May. He hit .345 in 118 games in the minors, but didn’t play for the Pirates again until the following season. Jensen would be a backup outfielder for the 1933 Pirates and for good reason. Their outfield that season had three Hall of Famers starting, Paul and Lloyd Waner, as well as Freddie Lindstrom. Jensen held his own when he played though, batting .296 with just two strikeouts in 210 plate appearances. With the same HOF outfield still intact for 1934, Jensen had the same backup role and his filled it well, hitting .290 in 88 games, although those stats come with an asterisks due to his extremely low total of four walks in 294 plate appearances, which led to a .304 OBP. With the trade of Lindstrom in the off-season, Jensen stepped into the starting spot in 1935 and hit .324 in 143 games with 203 hits, out-hitting both Waner brothers that year. He scored 97 runs and drove in a career high 62 RBIs.
In 1936, Jensen played a career high 153 games, leading the National League in at-bats and plate appearances. He had 54 extra-base hits, scored a career high 98 runs and fell just short of his second straight 200-hit season. Jensen had the highest fielding percentage among NL left fielders in 1935, but in each of the next two years, he led the position in errors. In 1937, he began to see a decline in his playing time and by 1938, he was again in the backup role with the emergence of Johnny Rizzo in left field, who set the Pirates single season home run record that year. Jensen played 124 games in 1937, hitting .279 with 37 extra-base hits and 77 runs scored. He was down to 68 games in 1938, and just 18 of those games were starts. He batted .200 in 129 plate appearances and had just one walk and three strikeouts all year. He played just 12 games for the Pirates in 1939 before they sold him to the New York Giants in June. He was sent to the International League and never returned to the majors, retiring 2 1/2 years later.
Jensen hit .285 in 738 games with the Pirates, driving in 235 RBIs and scoring 392 runs. He put the ball in play as much as any player at the time, drawing only 69 walks and striking out an even 100 times in 2,869 plate appearances. His 696 at-bats during the 1936 season was a Major League record until 1969 when the Pirates Matty Alou recorded 698 at-bats. Alou had the benefit of the expanded schedule, which went into effect during the 1961 season. Jensen’s real first name was Forrest (hence the Woody nickname). His middle name is a unique name in baseball history. It was Docenus.
Walter Barbare, infielder for the 1919-20 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball in 1912 at 20 years old, playing in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, where he was in the Class-D Carolina Association. He batted just .230 in 114 games that season. In 1913 he remained in Class-D ball, playing for Asheville of the North Carolina State League, where he hit .273 with 30 extra-base hits in 116 games. Barbare moved up three levels to New Orleans of the Southern Association in 1914 and he hit .296 with 36 doubles and 47 steals in 150 games. In mid-September he joined the Cleveland Indians, where he spent three seasons (1914-16), getting into 105 games, with a .214 average and no homers over that time. His debut was much stronger than the rest, with a .308 average in 15 games. That average dropped down to .191 in 77 games in 1915, then he played just 13 games for the Indians in 1916 before spending the rest of the season back in the Southern Association with Little Rock. Barbare spent all of 1917, and most of 1918 in the minors, seeing three weeks of action in July of 1918 with the Boston Red Sox, where he hit .172 in 13 games. The Pirates picked him up that off-season and gave him extended work at third base in 1919, getting 77 starts. Barbare responded with a .273 average, along with 34 runs and 34 RBIs in 85 total games. The next season he saw time at SS/2B/3B, hitting .274 in 57 games. His runs (nine) and RBI (12) totals that year were especially low for a player with 199 plate appearances and a decent average.
On January 23, 1921, the Pirates traded Barbare, Billy Southworth (HOF manager who was a player at that time) and Fred Nicholson, plus cash, to the Boston Braves in exchange for Hall of Fame shortstop Rabbit Maranville. Barbare had a big first season in Boston, hitting .302 in 134 games, but his average fell off to .231 that next year and by 1923 he was in the minors for his final three seasons of pro ball. He also managed for the first of four seasons in the minors in 1925, which was also his last year as a player. He then went on to umpire before retiring from baseball. In his eight years in the majors, he hit .260 with one homer, 156 RBIs and 173 runs scored in exactly 500 games. That one homer came September 11, 1919 with the Pirates against Lee Meadows, who won 19 games during the 1925 and 1927 seasons, leading the Pirates to the World Series both year. Barbare’s homer was an inside-the-park homer.