Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, one of them went on to later manage the team. Also one transaction of note.
Kevin Correia, pitcher for the 2011-12 Pirates. He was drafted in the fourth round in 2002 by the San Francisco Giants out of Cal Poly State. The previous year the St Louis Cardinals selected him in the 23rd round, but he decided to return to school. He debuted in the majors just 13 months after being drafted, and that was after putting up a 4.54 ERA in 37.2 innings of short-season ball in 2002. The Giants sent him right to Double-A in 2003, skipping over two levels. He went 6-6, 3.65 in 86.1 innings. He made three starts in Triple-A as well, though some of his minor league time came after his big league debut on July 10th. Correia went 3-1, 3.66 in 39.1 innings with the 2003 Giants. He spent most of 2004 in Triple-A, coming up to the Giants for one start and 11 relief appearances, putting up an 8.05 ERA in 19 innings. The 2005 season was also split between the minors and majors, though he saw more big league time than the previous year. Correia went 2-5, 4.63 in 58.1 innings over 11 starts and five relief outings. He spent the 2006 season in the bullpen for the Giants, posting a 3.49 ERA in 69.2 innings over 48 appearances. He made eight starts and 51 relief appearances in 2007, going 4-7, 3.45 in 101.2 innings. Correia had a starting role in 2008, but things didn’t go well and it ended up being his final season in San Francisco. He went 3-8, 6.05 in 110 innings.
Correia spent his first six seasons in the majors with the Giants, where he had a 14-22, 4.59 record in 398 innings, seeing most of his time in relief. In 2009, he signed with the San Diego Padres and spent two season there as a starter, going 22-21, 4.54 in 343 innings. He had a 12-11, 3.91 record in 198 innings over 33 starts in 2009. He threw his only career shutout during that season. His numbers slipped in 2010 down to a 10-10, 5.40 record in 145 innings. Correia signed with the Pirates in 2011 and he went 12-11, 4.79 in 154 innings. He was elected to the All-Star team for the only time during his career. In 2012 he was 12-11 again, this time with a 4.21 ERA in 171 innings. He left via free agency after the season and spent most of the next two years in Minnesota. He went 9-13, 4.18 in 185.1 innings over 31 starts with the Twins in 2013, then had a 5-14, 4.94 record in 23 starts in 2014 before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August. Correia had an 8.03 ERA in 24.2 innings to finish the season. In 2015, he spent time with the Seattle Mariners, Giants and Philadelphia Phillies. He only appeared in the majors with the Phillies, which ended up being his last big league time. He made five starts in Philadelphia and had a 6.56 ERA. Correia had a career 76-98, 4.62 record in 1,428.2 innings over 221 starts and 137 relief appearances. He was impressively consistent during his career. With the Padres, Giants, Twins and Pirates, he finished with an ERA between 4.49 and 4.59 with each club, throwing between 314 and 398 innings in each place.
Al Bool, catcher for the 1930 Pirates. His minor league career didn’t begin until age 24 in 1922 when he played for Lincoln of the Nebraska State League, where he hit .332 in 83 games. He wanted to play pro ball bad enough at the time that he abandoned his job as a milkman and took a contract to play for $50 per month with Lincoln. He was sold to the St Louis Cardinals in 1923 and appeared briefly for Syracuse of the International League, before heading to Ottawa to finish the season in the Eastern Canada League. In 1924 he played for Fort Smith of the Western Association, where he hit .410 in 51 games. In 1925, he was playing regularly for Quincy of the Three-I League, where he batted .310 with 33 doubles, eight triples and 13 homers in 133 games. The next year he joined Oakland of the Pacific Coast League and spent three seasons there, though his playing time dropped each year, down to 23 games in 1928 when he was traded mid-season to Nashville of the Southern Association. He batted .265 in 120 games in 1926, then followed it up with a .280 average in 92 games in 1927. Bool’s only Major League experience prior to joining the Pirates was two late season games for the 1928 Washington Senators. He joined the Senators after batting .348 in 69 games for Nashville. He was a late cut from Washington’s 1929 Spring Training roster and sent to Baltimore of the International League, where he was rediscovered by big league scouts.
While playing for Baltimore in 1929, Bool had his best minor league season. He hit .322 with 31 homers and 36 doubles in 141 games. Despite the big stats, he almost ruined his chance of getting back to the majors that August. During a series in which many scouts came out to see him play, he struggled at the bat and in the field, going 3-for-15 at the plate and making three errors. The Pirates were still interested and purchased Bool over the off-season. They brought him to camp to battle with Rollie Hemsley and Charlie Hargreaves for the starting catcher job. Hemsley won the starting job, with Hargreaves as his backup, leaving Bool on the bench for the first 22 games. That changed at the end of May when Hargreaves was released to the minors. Bool became a platoon player with Hemsley for the rest of the year, finishing with 51 starts behind the plate. He hit .259 with seven homers and 46 RBIs in 216 at-bats. The Pirates put him on waivers after the season ended, where he was picked up by the Boston Braves. He would hit .188 in 49 games for Boston, in what would end up being his last season in the majors. He played two more seasons in the minors before retiring.
Jewel Ens, Pirates infielder from 1922-25, and manager from 1929-31. He had a 13-year minor league career before he ever played a Major League game, seeing his first action in the majors at age 32 with Pittsburgh. He debuted in pro ball in 1908 at 18 years old, playing for two teams in the Class-C Texas League. In 1910 he showed up back in the Texas League, spending the 1910-12 seasons with Dallas, with the league being reclassified as Class-B during the 1911 season. In 1910, Ens hit .224 with 15 extra-base hits in 134 games. He improved to a .244 average and 22 extra-base hits in 1911, followed by a .270 average with 22 doubles, eight triples and eight homers in 142 games in 1912. The next year he moved up to Providence of the International League, where he hit .214 with very few walks or extra-base hits in 124 games. He was in Providence for part of 1914 as well, but spent a majority of the year back in Class-B ball with Chattanooga of the Southern Association. From their he returned to Dallas of the Texas League, where he would stay for the next five seasons. During that 1915-19 stretch, Ens played a lot of third base and he was a steady hitter throughout the five years. He topped out at .303 during the 1918 season, which was shortened due to the war. In 1916 he had 46 extra-base hits, then added 45 extra-base hits the next season. From Dallas in 1919, he moved to Houston of the Texas League, where he was a player-manager. He didn’t do much at the plate, batting .260 with 17 extra-base hits in 135 games. Despite the mediocre season, he moved up to Syracuse of the International League in 1921 and he batted .335 with 28 doubles, 12 triples and 19 homers in 150 games.
On December 8, 1921, the Pirates purchased Ens from Syracuse, though it was noted at the time that he was property of the St Louis Cardinals at the time, and they sent him to Syracuse for the season. He joined the Pirates in 1922 and got 28 starts at second base while seeing very limited time at the other three infield spots. Ens played well in the role, hitting .296 with 17 RBIs in 47 games. He played three more seasons with the team, but his actual role was as a coach. From 1923 until 1925, he got a total of 46 plate appearances over twenty games played, with his limited time dropping each year, playing 12 games in 1923, five in 1924 and three during the World Series winning season in 1925. Jewel (which was his actual first name) moved into the managerial spot for the Pirates near the end of the 1929 season, leading the team to a 21-14 finish, giving them an 88-65 record, good for second place. He remained on as the manager for two more years, but when the Pirates finished below .500 in 1931, he was relieved of his spot. Ens rejoined the Pirates as a coach in 1935 (until 1939), working under manager Pie Traynor. In 1940, he was hired to coach in the minors for the Cincinnati Reds, eventually spending eight years at the helm for the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. His full name was Jewel Winklemeyer Ens. His brother Anton “Mutz” Ens, played for the 1912 White Sox.
Bill Kelsey, catcher for the 1907 Pirates. His pro career began in 1905 with the Bellingham Gillnetters of the Northwestern League. He batted .214 with 12 extra-base hits that season. In 1906 he played for three different teams in three different league and he hit .205 in 64 games. Before joining the Pirates in 1907, the 26-year-old Kelsey played that season with the Coffeyville Glassblowers of the Oklahoma-Arkansas-Kansas League, where he hit .258 in 94 games. He was recommended to the Pirates and manager Fred Clarke by former Pirates player Bill Stuart, who was his manager at Coffeyville. He would play two October games for the Pirates, which turned out to be his only two Major League games. His first big league game was on October 4th, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds. He caught the who game, which was limited to seven innings (six innings on defense), as the Pirates lost 6-1 and they collected just one hit. Kelsey played his final big league game two days later and it was basically the same scenario. It was the second game of a doubleheader and it lasted just seven innings, with the Reds winning it 13-1. Kelsey went 2-for-3 at the plate, with two singles and a run scored in the second game, after going 0-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch in his debut. That was the final game of the season and he went right to his home after the game, while almost all of the other Pirates headed back to Pittsburgh for a Field Day, followed by a small barnstorming tour to finish out the year. The Pittsburgh papers noted that Kelsey handled himself well behind the plate, while his hometown Cincinnati paper said the complete opposition after his first game. In 1908, he played the first of two seasons for Oklahoma City, where he hit .172 in 122 games. Kelsey then followed that up with a .196 average in 128 games. He moved on to play parts of two years for Houston of the Texas League, before retiring. He also did some managing during his time in the minors. He’s called “Billy” in most sources, but most of his references during his career called him by his first name, which was George. His middle name was William.
On this date in 1930, the Pirates sold pitcher Jesse Petty to the Chicago Cubs. Petty was one of two players that the Pirates got from Brooklyn for star shortstop Glenn Wright. The other player in the deal, infielder Harry Riconda, lasted just eight games with the Pirates, so Petty turned out to be the big return. He went 12-16, 4.55 in 32 starts and 14 relief appearances. Petty threw a total of 225.2 innings with the Pirates. He pitched well for the Cubs in limited time (2.97 ERA in 39.1 innings), but never played in the majors after 1930.