This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: September 6th, Vince DiMaggio and Tommy Thevenow

Today is a popular date for former Pittsburgh Pirates birthdays, nine players have been born on this date.

Frank Brooks, pitcher for the 2004 Pirates. He was originally a 13th round pick in the 1999 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, selected out of St Peter’s University. He debuted strong in the New York-Penn League, going 7-3, 2.91 in 77.1 innings. He moved up to Low-A in 2000 and had a 14-8, 3.44 record in 177.2 innings, with 138 strikeouts. From there it was to Clearwater of the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, where he struggled with a 5-10, 4.71 record in 112.2 innings. Brooks switched to relief in 2002 and spent most of the season back with Clearwater, posting a 3.46 ERA in 35 appearances. He finished the season in Double-A, with a 3.10 ERA in 29 innings. Through mid-2003, he had a 2.30 in 58.2 innings over 34 appearances. Brooks came to the Pirates on July 21, 2003 in exchange for closer Mike Williams. Before he pitched a game at the big league level for the Pirates, Brooks went on a tour of baseball teams around the leagues. After posting a 2.54 ERA in 16 appearances at Triple-A Nashville to finish the 2003 season, he was picked up by the New York Mets in the Rule 5 draft in December of 2003. The Mets then immediately traded him to the Oakland A’s. The A’s put him on waivers during Spring Training of 2004, where he was picked up by the Boston Red Sox. Less than two weeks later, he was back where he started three months earlier, getting returned to Pittsburgh.

Brooks started the 2004 season at Triple-A, where he made eight starts and 34 relief appearances, going 6-3, 4.10 in 83.1 innings. He was called up to the Pirates in late August, making one start and ten relief appearances. His start didn’t go well, allowing five runs in one inning before being pulled. As a reliever, he had a 2.76 ERA in 16.1 innings, with 17 strikeouts. The Pirates put Brooks on waivers that December, where he was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just after the 2005 season started, he was put on waivers again, where he was selected by the Atlanta Braves. Brooks pitched to one batter with the Braves on May 16, 2005, giving up an RBI single to Dave Roberts, who was caught stealing right afterwards. Brooks returned to the minors shortly after that game, where he finished his career three years later. He had a 2.73 ERA in 54 appearances for Atlanta in Triple-A in 2005. He split the 2006 season between Triple-A with the Kansas City Royals and Double-A with the Red Sox. Brooks had the odd coincidence of pitching for Portland at the end of 2006, then signing with the San Diego Padres and pitching in Portland in 2007. The former being the Double-A team in Maine, the latter being the Triple-A team in Oregon. His career finished in 2008 in independent ball with Somerset of the Atlantic League.

Derrek Lee, first baseman for the 2011 Pirates. He had a 15-year career in the majors that saw him collect 331 homers, 442 doubles, 1,081 runs and 1,078 RBIs. That career ended with one partial season in Pittsburgh after he came over from the Baltimore Orioles in a trading deadline deal for minor league first baseman Aaron Baker. Lee was brought in to help the Pirates playoff run, but he ended up playing just 28 games due to a wrist injury that landed him on the disabled list. In his brief time in Pittsburgh, he hit .337 with seven homers and 18 RBIs. Lee was a two-time All-Star during his career, who also took home two Gold Glove awards.

Lee was drafted in the first round (14th overall) out of high school at 17 years old in 1993 by the San Diego Padres. He batted .324 in 15 games at short-season ball, then got skipped to High-A, where he batted .274 with a homer in 20 games against much older competition. In 1994 he spent the entire season in High-A, playing in the high offense California League, where he batted .267 in 126 games, with 29 extra-base hits and 66 runs scored. He repeated the level in 1995 and batted .301 in 128 games, with 25 doubles, 23 homers and 96 RBIs. The entire 1996 season was spent in Double-A, where he hit .280 with 39 doubles, 34 homers, 104 RBIs and 98 runs scored. In 1997 he moved up to Triple-A and batted .324 with 29 doubles, 13 homers and 60 walks in 125 games. He joined the Padres in late April that year for a short stint, then returned in September. He hit .259 with one homer in 22 games. In December of 1997 he was one of three players traded to the Florida Marlins for pitcher Kevin Brown.

Lee hit .233 with 29 doubles and 17 homers in 142 games for the 1998 Marlins. He struggled the next season and spent half of the year back in Triple-A. With Florida in 1999, he hit .206 with five homers in 70 games. In 2000, he hit .281 with 28 homers, 70 RBIs and 63 walks in 158 games. That was followed by a .282 average in 158 games in 2001, with 37 doubles, 21 homers and 75 RBIs. He played all 162 games in 2002 and set a personal best with 98 walks. He hit .270 with 35 doubles, 26 homers and 95 runs scored. The Marlins won the World Series in 2003 and Lee was a big part of that title. He hit .271 with 31 doubles, 31 homers, 88 walks, 92 RBIs, 91 runs scored and a career high 21 steals. He had a rough postseason, yet still managed timely hits, which led to eight RBIs in 17 games. He received mild MVP support that season and won the Gold Glove award.

The Marlins broke up their World Series team after the season and Lee was traded to the Chicago Cubs. He hit .278 with 39 doubles, 32 homers, 98 RBIs and 90 runs scored in 2004. In 2005, he finished third in the National League MVP voting, after leading the league in average (.335), doubles (50) and hits (199), while also hitting 46 homers, scoring 120 times and driving in 107 runs. The doubles, homers, hits, runs and average here all career highs. He was an All-Star for the first time, won his only Silver Slugger award, and he collected another Gold Glove.  He signed a five-year deal just prior to the 2006 season, which was then shortened to 50 games due to a broken wrist. He hit .286 with six homers that year. In 2007, Lee batted .317 with 43 doubles, 22 homers, 82 RBIs and 91 runs scored. He made his final All-Star appearance and won his final Gold Glove that season. In 2008, he batted .291 with 41 doubles, 20 homers, 93 runs scored, 90 RBIs and 71 walks in 155 games. In 2009, Lee hit .306 with 91 runs scored, 36 doubles, 35 homers, 76 walks and a career best 111 RBIs. That led to a ninth place finish in the MVP voting. The 2010 season was split between the Cubs and Atlanta Braves. He batted .260 in 148 games, with 35 doubles, 19 homers, 80 RBIs and 73 walks. With his large contract finished, he signed a free agent deal with the Orioles for 2011. Before his trade to the Pirates, he was hitting .246 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs in 85 games for Baltimore. Lee is the nephew of Leron Lee, who played eight seasons in the majors (1969-76).

Mike York, pitcher for the 1990 Pirates. He was originally a 40th round draft pick of the New York Yankees in 1982 out of high school, who was cut after just one season. He debuted in the New York-Penn League in 1983, where he had an 8.18 ERA and a 2.46 WHIP in 11 innings. York signed with the Chicago White Sox nearly a year later, and didn’t last long there either, posting a 3.68 ERA in 14.2 innings in the Gulf Coast League. Two months later, he signed with the Detroit Tigers, who waited just over a year to become the third team to cut him. He had a 2.37 ERA in 38 innings with Bristol of the Appalachian League in 1985, though that came with a huge total of 34 walks. In 1986, he posted a 5.06 ERA in 74.2 innings of A-Ball. York signed with the Pirates in October of 1986, and had a big first season in their system. Pitching for Macon of the South Atlantic League in 1987, he won 17 games and recorded 169 strikeouts and a 3.04 ERA in 165.2 innings. The next year, he made 13 starts in High-A, and 13 more in Double-A. His Double-A stats weren’t bad, with a 3.72 ERA, but he won nine games prior to his promotion, and none after. Combined between the two stops, York had a 3.19 ERA in 166.1 innings. He pitched much better during his second Double-A trial in 1989, going 11-5, 2.81 in 18 starts, prior to being promoted to Triple-A. Just like his first shot at Double-A, York struggled initially with the jump in levels, posting a 5.93 ERA in 41 innings with Buffalo of the American Association.

In 1990, York went 8-7, 4.20 in 158.2 innings for Triple-A Buffalo, earning a mid-August promotion to the Pirates. His Major League debut was an emergency start on August 17, 1990 against the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of a doubleheader. York threw seven shutout innings that day, then was returned to the minors for two weeks. When he came back in September, he pitched just three times in relief, allowing five runs in 5.2 innings. The next May, while in the minors, York was dealt to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Mitch Webster. He pitched 14 games for Cleveland, four as a starter, in what turned out to be his last season in the majors. He went 1-4, 6.75 in 34.1 innings during his second big league trial. He pitched in Triple-A for the San Diego Padres at the start of the 1992 season, but he ended up back with the Pirates in Buffalo to finish the season. After not pitching during the 1993-94 seasons, he returned to baseball for three more years of minor league ball before retiring, seeing time with the Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers and also independent ball.

Vince DiMaggio, center field for the 1940-44 Pirates. He was a strong defensive outfielder, who hit for some power and struck out a lot for his era. He led the league in strikeouts six times in his career, including his last three seasons in Pittsburgh. Despite that lack of contact, he was still an All-Star during the 1943-44 seasons, when the league was watered down due to the ongoing war. He debuted in pro ball at 19 years old in 1932, playing five seasons in the Pacific Coast League before making his big league debut. DiMaggio spent half of his first season with Tuscon of the Class-D Arizona-Texas League, where he hit .347 with 56 extra-base hits in 94 games. He joined San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League that season and hit .270 with six homers in 59 games. His full stats from 1933 in the PCL for San Francisco and Hollywood aren’t available, but in 1934 he hit .288 with 45 extra-base hits in 166 games for Hollywood, where he also spent the next season. In 1935, DiMaggio hit .278 with 64 extra-base hits in 174 games. He was with San Diego of the PCL in 1936 and had his best season, which led to his first MLB action. That year he hit .293 with 76 extra-base hits in 176 games.

DiMaggio played two full seasons for the Boston Bees (Braves) in 1937-38, prior to being traded to the New York Yankees. He batted .256 with 13 homers and 69 RBIs in 132 games as a rookie in 1937, while leading the league with 111 strikeouts. He followed it up with a .228 average in 150 games, with 28 doubles, 14 homers and 61 RBIs in 1938. He struck out 134 times that season, which was a Major League record that he held until 1956. In August of 1938, the Bees sent two players and a player to be named later to the Yankees for shortstop Eddie Miller. DiMaggio was the player to be named later, getting sent to New York in February of 1939. He was to be reunited with his brother Joe, but plans changed when Vince was sent to the minors. Before he could play a Major League game for the Yankees, they dealt him to the Cincinnati Reds, who brought him back to the majors that September. He would play just eight late season games in 1939 for the Reds and then two games for them over the first month of the 1940 season. On May 8, 1940, the Pirates traded outfielder Johnny Rizzo to the Reds in exchange for DiMaggio. Pittsburgh put him into center field for the rest of 1940 and through the end of 1944.

DiMaggio batted .289 with 26 doubles, 19 homers and 54 RBIs in 110 games in 1940 after the trade. His first full season in Pittsburgh was his best. He batted .267 in  151 games in 1941, with career highs in runs (73), home runs (21) and RBIs (100). DiMaggio finished 21st in the National League MVP voting that year, but it wasn’t until two years later that he made his first All-Star team. His average dropped to .238 in 1942, and he led the league with 87 strikeouts. He hit 15 homers and drove in 75 runs in 143 games. In 1943, he led the league with 157 games played, making 156 starts in center field. He batted .248 with 15 homers, 88 RBIs and a career high 41 doubles. He set a personal best with 70 walks, but also led the league with 126 strikeouts. DiMaggio’s stats were rather pedestrian during his second All-Star season, hitting .240 with a .707 OPS in 109 games. He drove in 50 runs, scored 41 times and struck out an NL high 83 times.

The Pirates traded DiMaggio to the Philadelphia Phillies on March 31, 1945 in exchange for pitcher Al Gerheauser. DiMaggio had one good season after the deal, driving in 84 runs, with 19 homers in 127 games in 1945, though he wore his fourth straight strikeout crown, going down 91 times. In 1946 he would see a huge dip in his performance. He was traded to the New York Giants on May 1st and played his final big league game five weeks later. He hit .091 in 21 games that year. He returned to the minors that season, where he stayed for the next five seasons until his retirement. DiMaggio finished his ten-year big league career with a .249 average, 125 homers and 584 RBIs in 1,110 games. For the Pirates, he hit .255 with 79 homers and 367 RBIs in 670 games. He played over 1,500 minor league games. He led NL center fielders in putouts three times and assists four times. In 1942 he led all NL outfielders in both putouts and assists. His brother Joe is the Hall of Fame outfielder for the Yankees, while his other brother Dom, was a seven-time All-Star for the Boston Red Sox.

Pat Meares, shortstop/second baseman for the Pirates from 1999 until 2001. He played six seasons for the Minnesota Twins (1993-98) before signing with the Pirates as a free agent. Meares was a 12th round draft pick of the Twins out of Wichita State in 1990. He debuted in A-Ball, hitting .239 with four homers in 52 games for Kenosha of the Midwest League. In 1991 he played in the California League for Visalia, where he hit .303 with 31 extra-base hits and 15 steals in 89 games. He was in Double-A the next season, hitting .253 with .640 OPS in 81 games. Despite those mediocre results, Meares played just 18 games in Triple-A in 1993 before making his big league debut in early May. He became the Twins everyday shortstop and hit .251 in 111 games, with a lowly .575 OPS due in part to no homers and seven walks all season. In the strike-shortened 1994 season, he hit .266 with two homers in 80 games. Meares batted .269 in 116 games in 1995, a season that was shortened slightly due to the strike from 1994. He hit 19 doubles, 12 homers and stole a career high ten bases. In 1996, Meares batted .267, with 41 extra-base hits, including career highs of 26 doubles and seven triples. He drove in 67 runs and set a personal best with 66 runs scored. The 1997 season saw him hit .276 with 23 doubles, ten homers, 60 RBIs and 63 runs scored. In his final season with the Twins, he hit .260 with 26 doubles, nine homers, a career high 70 RBIs, and 56 runs scored in 149 games.

Before playing his first regular season game with the Pirates, Meares signed a four year extension for $15M, added to his one-year contract. A Spring Training injury to his hand, plus two other hand injuries before the end of May, caused him to miss nearly the entire 1999 season. He did well in the brief time he was healthy, hitting .308 in 21 games. In 2000, he played the only full season of his five-year contract. That year he hit .240 with 13 homers and 47 RBIs in 132 games. In 2001, he switched over to second base and played 87 games, batting just .211 with a .548 OBP. Meares ended up missing all of 2002 with his injured hand, then the Pirates reached a settlement with him that he would spend all of 2003 on the disabled list so he got his pay, but he wouldn’t travel with the team. He contended at the time he was healthy enough to play. Eventually the Pirates received some of the money back (through their insurance company) that they paid out to Meares. He never returned to baseball, ending his career with .258 average, 58 homers and 382 RBIs in 982 games. For the Pirates, he played a total of 240 games, hitting .238 with 17 homers and 79 RBIs.

Jack Phillips, first baseman for the 1949-52 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 21 years old in 1943 with Norfolk of the Class-B Piedmont League, where he hit .284 in 119 games. He moved up to Newark of the International League in 1944, just one step from the majors, but like many players at that time, he was called into service. Phillips played just seven games that season, then missed all of 1945 in the Navy. He returned to Newark in 1946, where he hit .251, with a .706 OPS in 101 games. In 1947, he batted .298 with 40 extra-base hits in 122 games for Newark. He got a 16-game trial with the New York Yankees, hitting .278 with one homer. He split the 1948 season between Newark and Kansas City of the American Association, while playing one game for the Yankees at the end of the season. In 1949, he was a bench player for the Yankees for four months, hitting .308 in 45 games. On August 6, 1949, the Pirates purchased Phillips from the Yankees. He was leaving a team that won two World Series titles during two of his three years in the majors. He was coming to a Pirates team that was on a downswing, losing 83 games in 1949, then 90 or more each of the next three seasons, peaking with a 112 loss 1952 season.

Phillips batted .232 with three RBIs in 18 games with the 1949 Pirates. He saw limited time during his two full seasons (1950-51) with the team, and the 1950 season was easily his best. He hit .293 in 69 games that year, hitting five homers and driving in 34 runs. He was not a home run hitter by any means, in fact, in his nine-year major league career, he hit a total of nine homers. However, on July 8th, he did something that no one else had ever done. He hit the majors first pinch-hit walk-off grand slam with a team trailing by three runs. In 1951, he batted .237 with no homers and 12 RBIs in 70 games. After playing just one April game in 1952, he was sent to the minors, where he would remain for the Pirates until a September 4, 1954 trade sent him to the Chicago White Sox.  Phillips played 158 games for Pittsburgh, hitting .264 with five homers and 49 RBIs.  Phillips never played in the majors for the White Sox, but he ended up playing parts of three seasons (1955-57) for the Detroit Tigers. He hit .316 with one homer and 20 RBIs in 55 games in 1955. He followed that up with a .295 average, one homer and 20 RBIs, in 67 games in 1956. He played just one late April game in 1957, before being sent to the minors, where he finished his career in 1959. That was the third time in nine seasons in the majors that he played just one game. In 343 big league games, he batted .283 with nine homers, 101 RBIs and 111 runs scored.

Johnny Lanning, pitcher for the 1940-43 and 1945-46 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 21 years old in 1932, playing for three teams in different leagues/levels. Combined between those stops in Class-B through Class-D, he went 6-8 in 20 games, with 129 innings pitched. His full ERA isn’t available, but he had a 4.81 ERA in 88 innings with Springfield of the Class-C Western Association. Springfield moved to the Class-A Western League in 1933 and Lanning went with the club, though his records show just one game played that entire season. A search of the newspapers shows that he was playing semi-pro ball in North Carolina that year. In 1934, he played for two teams in the Class-B Piedmont League, where he had an 11-7 record and he threw 149 innings. In 1935, Lanning was with Knoxville of the Class-A Southern Association, putting up a 13-13, 3.84 record in 237 innings. That led to an Opening Day job with the 1936 Boston Bees (Braves). As a rookie in 1936, he had a 7-11, 3.65 record in 153 innings, with 20 starts and eight relief outings. The next year he 5-7, 3.93 in 116.2 innings, making 11 starts and 21 relief appearances. In 1938, Lanning was 8-7, 3.72 in 138 innings over 18 starts and 14 relief appearances. His lowest ERA with Boston came during his last season in 1949, when he went 5-6, 3.42 in 129 innings, with six starts and 31 relief outings.

In four years with the Bees, Lanning went 25-31, 3.67 in 536.2 innings over 129 games, 55 as a starter.  On December 6, 1939, the Pirates traded pitcher Jim Tobin to the Bees to acquire Lanning, who was used mostly in relief during his time in Pittsburgh, starting 49 of his 146 games with the team. In his first season with the Pirates, he went 8-4, 4.05 in 115.2 innings, with seven starts and 31 relief games. His best season with the Pirates came when he was used 23 times as a starter. In 1941, he went 11-11, 3.13, with a career high 175.2 innings pitched. Lanning started off 1943 by going 4-1, 2.33 in 12 games (two starts) through the end of June, when he was called into active duty during WWII. He missed all of 1944 and most of 1945, returning for one game in September in which he gave up eight earned runs in two innings of work. In 1946, he went 4-5, 3.07 in 91 innings over nine starts and 18 relief outings. Lanning was released during Spring Training in 1947, leading to him signing back in Boston with the Braves for his last season. He lasted just three appearances and 3.2 innings during that second stint with Boston. He played minor league ball through the 1949 season, spending his last year as a player-manager for Marion of the Western Carolina League. With the Pirates, he went 33-29, 3.44 in 530.2 innings. His brother Tom Lanning pitched for the 1938 Philadelphia Phillies.

Tommy Thevenow, infielder for the Pirates from 1931 until 1935, then again in 1938. He was the definition of a light-hitting middle infielder, with just two Major League homers to his credit over his 15-year career. Both of those homers came in the same season (1926 for the St Louis Cardinals), both were inside-the-park homers and they occurred just five days apart. He went another 12 seasons without another home run, including all 1,837 plate appearances for the Pirates.

Thevenow debuted in pro ball at 19 years old in 1923, playing for Joplin of the Class-C Western Association, while also seeing some brief time with Class-A Little Rock of the Southern Association. In 125 games for Joplin that year, he hit .286 with 37 extra-base hits. Most of the 1924 season was spent with Syracuse of the International League, where he hit .271 with 23 doubles and nine triples in 140 games. He broke into the big leagues that same year, hitting .202 with seven RBIs in 22 games with the St Louis Cardinals. He spent most of 1925 back in Syracuse, hitting .290 in 112 games. Thevenow still saw plenty of time with the Cardinals in 1925, hitting .269 with 17 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 50 games. He took over as the starting shortstop for St Louis and helped lead them to a World Series title. He finished fourth in the MVP voting, based strictly off of an amazing season on defense that saw him rack up 3.9 dWAR. That numbers ranks tied as the 27th best season for any position in baseball history. He batted .256 with 63 RBIs and 64 runs scored in 156 games. His batting really dropped in 1927, when he ended up playing just 59 games. He had a .194 average and a .484 OPS, with four RBIs. He only rebounded slightly the next season when he hit .205 with 13 RBIs and 11 runs scored in 69 games. In 1929, he posted a .550 OPS, with a .227 average, 35 RBIs and 30 runs scored in 90 games.

Like many players from that era, Thevenow had his best season on offense during the 1930 campaign, when baseball was at one of its top three highest points for offense. He batted .286 that year, well over his career average, with a season high 78 RBIs. He led all National League shortstops in putouts and assists, although he also led the league in errors. Following that season, the Pirates acquired Thevenow on November 6, 1930, along with pitcher Claude Willoughby, for shortstop Dick Bartell. He would try to replace the young Bartell at shortstop, and while the bat fell well short, Thevenow was much better defensively in 1931 when Bartell would lead the league in errors. They would even out on defense in the following years, before Bartell’s defense eventually surpassed him. Thevenow hit .213 with a .513 OPS in 120 games in 1931.

Thevenow’s batting was slightly better the next year, but he lost his starting spot to a rookie named Arky Vaughan. He hit .237 and saw a 34 point jump to his OPS, but his games played dropped from 120 down to 59 in 1932. In 1933-34, Thevenow spent most of his time at second base. He was able to hit .312 in 73 games during 1933, though it was an empty average, as his OPS was .660, with just six extra-base hits and three walks. With Pie Traynor slowing down in 1935, Thevenow got 82 starts at third base. He hit .238 with 47 RBIs and a career high nine triples that season. That December, he was sold to the Cincinnati Reds. He had a typical Thevenow year in 1936 for the Reds, hitting .234 with 36 RBIs in 106 games, then moved on to Boston, where he barely played for the Bees, hitting .118 in 21 games. After being released in February of 1938, he signed back with the Pirates. He played 15 games over the entire season, which ended up being his last in the majors. He was a player-manager in the minors during the 1940 season. Thevenow hit .251 with 201 RBIs in 499 games for the Pirates. In his 15-year career, he hit .247 with 456 RBIs and 380 runs scored in 1,229 games.

Bill Gleason, second baseman for the 1916-17 Pirates. He played four years in the minors before getting a shot with the Pirates. He debuted in 1913 at 18 years old with Meridian of the Class-B Eastern Association, where he hit .240 with 28 extra-base hits in 108 games. In 1914, he played 18 games for Springfield of the Eastern Association, and another 55 games for Reading of the Tri-State League. He combined to hit .237 in 73 games. The next two years were spent playing in Lynn, Massachusetts, for a team that played in two different leagues. In 1915, Lynn was in the New England League. He batted just .220 with 17 extra-base hits in 120 games that season. The team moved to the Eastern League during the following season. Gleason was drafted by the Pirates on September 15, 1916, after he hit .271 in 124 games for Lynn. He played just one game over the last two weeks of the 1916 season for the Pirates and didn’t even start. On September 25, 1916, he came in to play the second half of the game at second base, replacing Paddy Siglin, who only played 23 games for the Pirates over parts of three seasons. Gleason went 0-for-2 at the plate and cleanly handled his only two plays in the field. In 1917, he was with the Pirates through the end of May, before being sent to Chattanooga of the Southern Association. On May 21st, the Pirates acquired infielder Jake Pitler from Chattanooga for Gleason and $3,750 in cash. Gleason hit .167 in 13 games for the Pirates, scoring three runs, but failing to drive in a run. After missing the 1918 season during WWI, Gleason returned to baseball in 1919, remaining in the minors for nearly all of the next 13 seasons. He had just one other trial in the majors, hitting .257 in 26 games for the 1912 St Louis Browns. Gleason played nearly 2,000 minor league games and had over 2,000 hits during his 19 years down on the farm. He switched teams often after his time with the Pirates, playing for ten different minor league teams.