This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 17th, Bill Landrum, Johnny Rawlings and Moose vs Pirates

There have been five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date. We also have one game of note from our Game Rewind series.

Chad Qualls, relief pitcher for the 2012 Pirates. He was originally a 52nd round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997 out of Los Angeles Harbor College. He transferred to the University of Nevada in 2000 and moved up to a second round pick in 2000 by the Houston Astros. He debuted in 2001 in Low-A as a starter and he went 15-6, 3.72 in 162 innings over 26 starts. He was already up in Double-A to begin his second season in pro ball. Qualls went 6-13, 4.36 in 163 innings over 29 starts for Round Rock of the Texas League. He remained in Round Rock in 2003, where he went 8-11, 3.85 in 175.1 innings over 28 starts. He moved up to Triple-A in 2004, and didn’t do particularly well with his 5.57 ERA in 106.1 innings split over 14 starts and 18 relief appearances. He still made it to the majors that year, where he had a 4-0, 3.55 record in 33 innings over 25 relief appearances. He was up in the majors for good at that point, and he made 77 appearances in 2005 for the Astros. Qualls had a 6-4, 3.28 record in 79.2 innings. The Astros went to the World Series that year and he pitched a total of nine times in the playoffs, allowing three runs over 13 innings. In 2006, he went 7-3, 3.76 in 88.2 innings over 81 games. In 2007, Qualls was 6-5, 3.05 in 82.2 innings over 79 games. He picked up five saves that season, after just one in his previous three years combined.

Qualls was part of a three-for-one deal for closer Jose Valverde in December of 2007, going to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the trade. Qualls went 4-8, 2.81 in 73.2 innings over 77 games, with nine saves in 2008. The next year he had a 2-2, 3.63 record in 52 innings over 51 games, as he moved into the closer role. His 24 saves that season ended up being a career high. He got off to a poor start in 2010 and was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays mid-season, where things only got slightly better. Qualls finished with a 7.32 ERA in 59 innings over 70 games, picking up 12 saves, which all came before the trade. In 2011 he signed a free agent deal with the San Diego Padres and bounced back with 6-8, 3.51 record in 74.1 innings over 77 games. His 2012 season saw him play with three different teams during the year. Qualls signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent, then was traded to the New York Yankees on June 1st. He came to the Pirates from the Yankees at the 2012 trading deadline in exchange for Casey McGehee.

Qualls had a 4.60 ERA in 35 games with the Phillies and a 6.14 ERA in eight outings with the Yankees. He made 17 appearances during his two months with the Pirates, going 0-0, 6.59 in 13.2 innings. The Pirates let him go via free agency at the end of the season and he signed with the Miami Marlins three months later. He had a strong 2013 season, going 5-2, 2.61 in 62 innings over 66 games. He returned to the Astros as a free agent in 2014 and also returned to the closer role for a time. He went 1-5, 3.33 in 51.1 innings over 58 games in 2014, picking up 19 saves. He only had four saves in 2015 when he had a 3-5, 4.38 record in 49.1 innings over 60 outings. Qualls moved on to the Colorado Rockies for his final two seasons. He had a 5.23 ERA in 44 games in 2016, and a 5.40 ERA in 19 games in 2017. He was released in early July that year, which ended his pro career. Qualls played 14 seasons in the majors, seeing time with nine different clubs. He went 52-48, 3.89 in 807.1 innings over 844 appearances. All of his big league games came as a reliever.

Alex Cole, outfielder for the 1992 Pirates. He signed as a second round draft pick of the St Louis Cardinals in January of 1985 out of State College of Florida. A year earlier, he passed on signing with the Pirates, who selected him in the 11th round. Cole showed off his impressive speed in his first season, stealing 46 bases and scoring 60 runs in 66 games for Johnson City of the Appalachian League. In 1986 he began the year in the Florida State League and spent the second half of the season in Double-A. In 137 games between both levels, he hit .305 with 101 runs scored, 71 walks and 80 stolen bases, though that came with 35 caught stealing. In 1987, Cole spent the entire year in Double-A and hit .256 in 125 games. He ran a lot again, stealing 68 bases in 97 attempts. In 1988, he spent the entire season in Triple-A, where he batted .232 in 120 games. The low OBP led to fewer stolen base attempts, but he had better success, going 40-for-55 in steals. He also had more triples (eight) than doubles and homers combined (seven). Cole did a much better job at getting on base in his second run at Triple-A, batting .281 with 71 walks in 127 games. He had just 12 extra-base hits all year and he stole 47 bases in 66 attempts. He was traded to the San Diego Padres during Spring Training in 1990, but before he made his big league debut, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians on July 11th.

Cole had a big first season with Cleveland after coming up in late July. He hit .300 with 40 stolen bases in just 63 games. He was a regular in center field the next year and hit .295 in 122 games, but the stolen bases really went down, swiping 27 bags while getting caught 17 times. Cole’s 1992 season started off slow and his playing time became very limited going into July. On July 4, 1992, the Pirates acquired him in exchange for minor league outfielder Tony Mitchell. Cole mostly played left field and center with the Indians, but after coming over to the Pirates, who had Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke in the outfield, he moved over to right field and saw plenty of playing time. In 64 games, he hit .278 with 33 runs scored. In the playoffs, he went 2-for-10 with three walks and two runs scored. After the season, he was lost to the Colorado Rockies in the expansion draft. Cole played a career high 126 games in 1993, hitting .256 with 50 runs scored, 43 walks and 30 steals. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Minnesota Twins, where he hit .296 in 105 games during the strike-shortened 1994 season, with 68 runs scored, 24 extra-base hits and 29 steals in 37 attempts.

After having his best season in 1994, Cole appeared on his way to even better things in 1995. He was hitting .360 on May 30th when he broke his right fibula and dislocated his ankle while attempting to make a play in center field as a late-innings defensive replacement. He signed with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent in 1996, where he hit just .222 in 24 games. That ended up being his last big league season, but he played pro ball until 2001, spending time in the Mexican League and in independent ball. He was also briefly in the Florida Marlins farm system. In seven big league seasons, Cole hit .280 with 148 steals and 286 runs scored in 573 games.

Bill Landrum, reliever for the 1989-91 Pirates. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1980 after going undrafted out of college. Before making it to the majors, he went from the Cubs to the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago White Sox, then back to the Reds. He was 22 years old in the Gulf Coast League in 1980, where he had a 4.14 ERA in 37 innings. With the Reds in 1981, he went 6-8, 3.80 in 83 innings as a starter in the Florida State League. Landrum moved up to Double-A in 1982, where he went 10-6, 4.09 in 112.1 innings over 58 appearances, with two starts and six saves. He missed a little time in 1983, but still split the season evenly between Double-A and Triple-A, combining to go 2-4, 2.09 in 47.1 innings over 32 appearances, with better results at the lower level. The entire 1984 season was spent in Triple-A, where he went 7-4, 3.45 in 130.1 innings split over nine starts and 38 relief appearances. Landrum was a Rule 5 pick of the White Sox in December of 1984, but he was returned to the Reds at the end of Spring Training in 1985. He was in Triple-A for all of 1985 as well, though his team switched from Wichita to the thin air of Denver of the Pacific Coast League. Landrum had a better season while posting a higher ERA due to the high offense in Denver. He went 6-6, 3.98 in 138 innings over 19 starts and ten relief appearances. He returned to Denver in 1986 and switched back to relief, going 1-3, 3.47 in 36.1 innings over 24 games (two starts), picking up eight saves.

Landrum broke into the majors on August 31, 1986, pitching ten games that year for the Reds, posting a 6.75 ERA in 13.1 innings. The next season, he made the Opening Day roster, but started off slow and was back in Triple-A by early May. He returned in June and ended up pitching 44 big league games that year, going 3-2, 4.71 in 65 innings. Landrum was dealt to the Cubs at the end of Spring Training in 1988. He missed the start of the season due to injury, then was sent down in June, and then missed more time due to injury. He pitched a total of just 16 games all year, seven in the majors and nine in Triple-A. He had a 5.84 ERA in 12.1 innings with the Cubs. The Pirates signed him as a free agent in January of 1989 and that ended up being his best season in the majors. In 56 appearances, he had a 1.67 ERA, with a career high 26 saves in 81 innings. In 1990, he helped the Pirates to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. Landrum went 7-3, 2.13 in 71.2 innings over 54 games, picking up 13 saves. In the postseason he had two scoreless appearances, retiring all six batters he faced.

In 1991, Landrum pitched in a career high 61 games, posting a 3.18 ERA in 76.1 innings, with 13 saves. He pitched once in the playoffs, giving up a run on two hits and two walks in his only inning of work. He was released by the Pirates in 1992 during the middle of Spring Training after they were unable to trade him, partially due to a high salary. Landrum signed with the Montreal Expos soon afterwards, and really struggled. In 18 appearances, he posted a 7.30 ERA, while spending half of the season in Triple-A. He spent his last big league season with the Reds in 1993, pitching 18 games, with a 3.74 ERA. After a three-year layoff, Landrum pitched one more season of pro ball, playing for the Lubbock Crickets, an Independent League team. He finished his big league career with an 18-15, 3.39 record in 361 innings over 268 games, with 58 saves. With the Pirates he went 13-10, 2.32 in 229 innings, picking up 56 of his career saves. His father Joe Landrum pitched two season (1950 and 1952) for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Johnny Rawlings, second baseman for the 1923-26 Pirates. He played the first three years of his pro career out on the west coast, prior to making his Major League debut with the 1914 Cincinnati Reds. He debuted with Vernon of the Pacific Coast League in 1911, playing one game in which he went 3-for-3 with two doubles. The next year with Victoria of the Class-B Northwestern League at 19 years old, Rawlings batted .209 in 167 games, with 19 doubles, three triples and three homers. He remained in Victoria in 1913 and hit .262 with 30 doubles, six triples and a homer in 167 games, which got him a shot with the Reds. During that first season in the majors, he jumped to the newly formed Federal League (a Major League at the time) playing two years for the Kansas City Packers. He batted .217 in 33 games with the Reds before switching leagues. Rawlings was a light-hitting, good glove shortstop at the time, batting .213 and .216 in his two seasons in Kansas City, with 17 combined extra-base hits. When the Federal League folded after two years, he went to Toledo of the American Association for the 1916 season, where he batted .250 with 28 extra-base hits in 169 games. He was picked by the Boston Braves in the Rule 5 draft after the season ended, becoming Boston’s starting second baseman for most of the 1917 season. He led all National League second baseman in fielding percentage and he showed a big improvement in his batting, hitting .256 in 122 games.

Rawlings moved to shortstop in 1918, and while his defense was strong there, his batting slipped to .207 in 111 games and his playing time took a hit. He played just 77 games in 1919, hitting .255 with 17 extra-base hits and a .607 OPS. He was then was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies during the next year after barely moving from the bench for the first two months, playing just five games and getting six plate appearance. The move to Philadelphia and to full-time duty at second base resurrected his career. Rawlings played everyday for the Phillies at second base until the dealt him to the New York Giants during the middle of the 1921 season. He batted .234 with 24 extra-base hits in 98 games over the last four months of the 1920 season. In 1921 he hit .291 in 60 games with the Phillies and .267 in 86 games with the Giants. Between both stops, he hit .278 in a career high 146 games, setting highs with 60 runs scored, 22 doubles and 46 RBIs. While in New York, he helped them win the 1921 World Series with a .333 average against the Yankees.

Despite hitting .282 and leading all second baseman in fielding in 1922, Rawlings was put on waivers, where the Phillies picked him up. He didn’t played for Philadelphia this time though. On May 22, 1923, the Pirates traded Cotton Tierney and Whitey Glazner to the Phillies in exchange for Rawlings and Lee Meadows. For the Pirates, he went right in at second base and batted .284 with 53 runs scored and 45 RBIs in 119 games. In 1924, Pittsburgh moved Hall of Fame shortstop Rabbit Maranville over to second base. Rawlings lost his job and almost became invisible at the end of the bench. He pinch-hit three times all season, as Maranville played nearly every single inning that year. In 1925, the Pirates won the World Series and Rawlings was a seldom used bench player again, for most of the year at least. In mid-August, after playing in 15 of the first 107 games, with just two starts, he started 21 games in a row at second base. An injury to left fielder Max Carey, caused a position shuffle that saw second baseman Eddie Moore go to right field, while right fielder Clyde Barnhart went to left field for Carey, leaving a spot open for Rawlings. Unfortunately for Rawlings, he broke his ankle during a slide on September 5th and was out for the rest of the year. He played 61 games for the Pirates in 1926, before going to the minors for his last four years of pro ball. He was a .272 hitter in 219 games with the Pirates, and he batted .250 in 1,080 career games. After his playing days, he managed for seven seasons in the AAGPBL, the league made famous by the movie League of Their Own.

Arch Reilly, third baseman for the Pirates on June 1, 1917. His stay with the Pirates was short. He reported to the team on May 28, 1917 after finishing up his job as a college math teacher. Four days later, he came into a 9-1 game in the ninth inning with the Pirates on the losing end against the Philadelphia Phillies. Reilly had one play at third base that he handled cleanly and he never got a chance to bat. Two days later, he played an exhibition game and went 1-for-4, while starting at third base. The next day he was released on option, sent to Scranton of the New York State League along with pitcher Marcus Milligan, who never played a game for the Pirates before being sent down. The following year, Milligan was killed in a plane crash at age 22 while training for military service during WWI. Reilly finished the 1917 season in the minors, then returned to one of his alma maters (Marshall University) to coach three different sports, baseball, basketball and football. Prior to joining the Pirates, Arch (first name was Archer) played four years of minor league ball, while also serving as a manager for the 1915 Wheeling Stogies of the Central League. In 1913 at 21 years old, he hit .267 with 31 extra-base hits in 133 games for Springfield of the Central League. His full 1914 stats aren’t available, but he split the year between Springfield and Grand Rapids, also of the Central League. What is known is that in 127 games that season, he had 26 extra-base hits, 67 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. As the player-manager in 1915 for Wheeling, he hit .264 in 118 games, with 17 doubles, four triples, one homer and 29 stolen bases. Still in Wheeling in 1916, he hit .292 in 106 games. Days after he signed with the Pirates on February 19, 1917, there was a dispute between the Wheeling baseball officials and the Pirates over his contract, with Wheeling saying that his contract needed to be purchased, while the Pirates claimed that there was no Wheeling club for the 1917 season, so he was free to sign anywhere. His original contract allowed him to finish the school year before reporting to the Pirates.

The Game

On this date in 1924, the Pittsburgh Pirates played a mid-season exhibition game against a semi-pro team named the Warren Moose. The game included Hall of Famers Max Carey, Kiki Cuyler, Rabbit Maranville and Pie Traynor in the starting lineup, as well as some odd sights among the other players used. In the second half of the game, the Pirates used pitcher Arnie Stone in right field. The catcher during the second half was Grover Land, a scout/coach, who last played in the majors nine years earlier. They also used pitcher Bud Culloton, who pitched three mid-season exhibition games for the 1924 Pirates, but didn’t make his big league debut until the next season. Here’s the full recap with boxscore.

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