Six former Pirates born on this date, plus two games of note.
Jason Bay, left fielder for the 2003-08 Pirates. He was the first Rookie of the Year in team history (2004) and he remains the only one to this day. In 719 games in Pittsburgh, he had an .890 OPS, which ranks as the seventh best in team history. Bay was an All-Star during the 2005-06 seasons. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 22nd round of the 2000 draft out of Gonzaga. He debuted that season in the New York-Penn League, where he hit .304 with two homers and 17 steals in 35 games. The next year was split between 87 games in Low-A and 38 games in High-A. He combined to hit .315 with 14 homers, 25 steals and 66 walks in 125 games. Late in Spring Training in 2002, he was traded to the New York Mets. His stay there was four months before being included in a five-player trade with the San Diego Padres. Bay played 69 games in High-A and 57 in Double-A that season, combining to hit .283 with 21 doubles, 17 homers, 39 steals and 62 walks.
The Pirates acquired Bay from the Padres as one of three players they received in the Brian Giles deal in late August of 2003. Prior to joining the Pirates, Bay had played 91 games in Triple-A and he got into three big league games. After the deal, he briefly played at Triple-A for the Pirates, then joined the big league squad for 27 games in which he hit .291 with three homers and 18 walks. As a rookie in 2004, he batted .282 with 26 homers and 82 RBIs, leading to the Rookie of the Year award. He actually missed the entire first month due to an off-season surgery. Bay played all 162 games in 2005, hitting .306 with 110 runs scored, 44 doubles, 32 homers, 101 RBIs and 21 steals in 22 attempts. That led to his first of back-to-back All-Star game appearances. He was just as good in 2006, batting .286 with 35 homers, 109 RBIs, 101 runs scored and 102 walks. Bay slumped in 2007, batting .247 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs, posting a -0.3 WAR during the season. He had knee surgery after the 2006 season and it seemed to affect him for most of that year.
Bay was part of the six-player deal between the Pirates, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers in July of 2008. He was the only piece given up by the Pirates, who received four players in the deal. At the time of the trade, he was hitting .282 with 22 homers in 106 games. Bay had one full year left before free agency and he did well on his remaining deal with Boston. He hit .293 with 21 extra-base hits in 49 games for the 2008 Red Sox, then hit three homers and drove in nine runs in 11 postseason games. He hit .267 during the 2009 season, with career highs of 36 homers and 119 RBIs, to go along with 94 walks and 103 runs scored. That year he finished seventh in the American League MVP voting, made the All-Star team and won the Silver Slugger award for the only time in his career. He signed a free agent deal with the New York Mets for 2010, but injuries limited his production. Bay batted .259 with 32 extra-base hits and 47 RBIs in 95 games in 2010. He followed that up with a .245 average, 12 homers, 57 RBIs and 59 runs scored in 123 games in 2011. He really struggled in his final season in New York, batting .165 with eight homers in 70 games. Bay didn’t run a lot in New York, but he managed to go 26-for-28 in steals with the Mets.
Bay finished his career with the Seattle Mariners in 2013, hitting .204 with 11 homers in 68 games. He was a career .266 hitter in 1,278 games, with 222 homers, 737 runs scored and 754 RBIs. He stole 95 bases in 112 attempts.
Steve Lombardozzi, pinch-hitter for the 2015 Pirates. He was a 19th round pick of the Washington Nationals out of St Petersburg College in 2008, who made it to the majors just three years later at 22 years old. Lombardozzi played his first season in the Gulf Coast League, where his .693 OPS in 48 games was a production of a .283 average and a high walk rate, though he showed no power. In Low-A in 2009, he hit .296 with 62 walks, 16 steals and 36 extra-base hits in 128 games. The next year was mostly spent in High-A, though he played 27 games in Double-A and had better results at the higher level. Lombardozzi combined to hit .294 with 52 extra-base hits, 90 runs scored and 24 steals in 137 games. After the season, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .293 in 21 games. He had an .820 OPS in 65 games at Double-A in 2011, followed by a .762 OPS in 69 games at Triple-A. He actually hit one point higher at Triple-A (.310 vs .309), but showed more power at the lower level. His season ended with a .194 average over 13 September games with the Nationals. Lombardozzi was a regular in 2012-13, hitting .273 with three homers and 27 RBIs in 126 games the first year, followed by a .259 average, 22 RBIs and 25 runs scored in 118 games in 2013.
Lombardozzi spent three seasons in Washington, hitting .264 with five homers and 50 RBIs in 257 games. Most of his playing time was spent at second base, though he also added some left field, shortstop and third base. He was traded to the Detroit Tigers after the 2013 season, but ended up with the Baltimore Orioles prior to the start of 2014. He batted .288 in 20 games with the Orioles, though it came with a low OPS due to no homers or walks. The Pirates purchased his contract just before Spring Training in 2015 and he spent most of the year in the minors. Lombardozzi played 12 games for the Pirates, 11 as a pinch-hitter and one as a pinch-runner. He went 0-for-10 with a walk and a run scored. He was released after the season and from 2016-19, he played with four different organizations, plus had a stint in winter ball. His only big league experience during that four-year stint was two games for the 2017 Miami Marlins. He didn’t play in 2020, although he played winter ball in Mexico during the 2019-20 off-season. He currently plays independent ball with Long Island of the Atlantic League. His big league stats show a .260 average with five homers, 52 RBIs and 75 runs scored in 291 games. His father, also named Steve Lombardozzi, played six seasons in the majors.
Randy Kramer, pitcher for the 1988-90 Pirates. He was drafted three times before he signed with the Texas Rangers as a first round pick (tenth overall) in June of 1982 out of San Jose City College. The San Diego Padres took him in 26th round out of high school in 1978. In January of 1982, the Houston Astros selected him in the second round. Kramer pitched just two games in relief during his first season, then spent 1983 in A-Ball, playing in the Midwest League, where he had a 6-8, 5.16 record in 26 starts. He struggled in the Carolina League (A-Ball) in 1984, so once the short-season teams started, he was demoted to Tri-Cities of the Northwest League. He combined to go 7-14, 6.90 in 137 innings that season. In 1985, Kramer was back with Salem in the Carolina League and he did poorly, but the Rangers stuck with him. He went 7-11, 6.71 in 115.1 innings over 24 starts and one relief outing. He switched to relief in 1986 and pitched 25 games in the Carolina League, posting a 4.78 ERA in 43.1 innings, and he had 26 games in Double-A, where he had a 5.08 ERA in 39 innings. Two years before making his big league debut, he was traded to the Pirates in late 1986 for pitcher Jeff Zaske.
Kramer spent the 1987 season struggling in both Double-A and Triple-A. He combined for a 7.62 ERA in 67.1 innings over 35 appearances. After pitching poor for four years in a row, he had an incredible turnaround in 1988. That season he went 10-8, 3.18 in 198.1 innings over 28 starts with Triple-A Buffalo. Kramer would debut in the majors in September of 1988, making one start and four relief appearances. He had a 5.40 ERA in ten innings. He started 1989 off strong in Triple-A and was called up for the duration of the big league season in late April. He made 15 starts and 20 relief appearances for the Pirates that year, going 5-9, 3.96 in 111.1 innings, with two saves. For the 1990 Pirates, he went 0-1, 4.91 in 25.2 innings, making two starts and ten relief appearances. Kramer was traded to the Chicago Cubs late in the 1990 season for minor league pitcher Greg Kallevig, who never played another game after the deal. Kramer played ten games for the Cubs, posting a 3.98 ERA in 20.1 innings, then spent all of 1991 in the minors, seeing time with the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners. He capped off his big league career with four starts for the 1992 Mariners,finishing with a 7.71 ERA in 16.1 innings. He spent 1993 at Triple-A for the Florida Marlins, and he saw brief time at Triple-A for the Montreal Expos in 1994, before spending part of that final season in China. He started 18 games and pitched 34 times in relief over his three seasons in Pittsburgh, going 6-12, 4.22 in 147 innings.
Dennis Ribant, pitcher for the 1967 Pirates. He was signed by the Milwaukee Braves at 19 years old in 1961. His first season of pro ball was outstanding, with an impressive 17-2, 1.86 record in Class-D ball, while also posting a 4-2, 1.17 record in 54 innings with Austin of the Double-A Texas League. He had a total of 201 strikeouts in 209 innings. Ribant spent part of 1962 back in Austin, as well as playing briefly for Louisville of the Triple-A American Association. He combined to go 11-12, 5.04 in 168 innings. In 1963, he played for two different Triple-A teams, spending most of the season with Denver of the Pacific Coast League. He went 15-10, 5.07 in 181 innings. Ribant played in Triple-A in 1964 until an early August trade sent him to the New York Mets. He went right to the majors, where he went 1-5, 5.15 in 57.2 innings, with seven starts and seven relief appearances. He split the 1965 season between Triple-A and the Mets. In the majors that year, he had a 3.82 ERA. He spent the entire 1966 season in the majors, where he went 11-9, 3.20 in 188.1 innings.
Ribant was acquired by the Pirates in a four-player deal from the New York Mets over the 1966-67 off-season. While with the Pirates, Ribant made 22 starts and 16 relief appearances during his only season in Pittsburgh. He went 9-8, 4.08 in 172 innings that year. The Pirates traded Ribant to the Detroit Tigers for veteran pitcher Dave Wickersham following the 1967 season. He pitched for four different big league teams during the 1968-69 seasons, splitting 1968 between the Tigers and Chicago White Sox, followed by one game for the 1969 St Louis Cardinals, then seven more games with the Cincinnati Reds. His 1968-69 seasons both had large splits. With the Tigers he had a 2.22 ERA in 24.1 innings, then that ERA shot up to 6.03 in 31.1 innings with the White Sox. He allowed two runs in 1.1 innings with the Cardinals, then gave up just one run with the Reds. Ribant would be reacquired by the Pirates from the Reds for pitcher Bo Belinsky prior to the 1970 season, but he never played in the majors after 1969. He spent his final four seasons in Triple-A before retiring. In his six years in the majors, he went 24-29, 3.87 in 518.2 innings over 56 starts and 93 relief appearances. He turns 80 years old today.
Vic Lombardi, pitched for the Pirates from 1948 until 1950. He debuted in pro ball in 1941 at 18 years old, spending most of the year with the Class-D Johnstown Johnnies of the Pennsylvania State Association. He had a 12-3, 1.85 record in 136 innings with the Johnnies. The 1942 season was split between Santa Barbara of the Class-C California League and Durham of the Class-B Piedmont League. He combined to go 13-5, 2.79 in 168 innings, with better results at the higher level. Lombardi lost the 1943-44 seasons while serving during WWII, but when he returned he went right to the majors. He began his big league career with the 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers, going 10-11, 3.31 in 203.2 innings over 24 starts and 14 relief appearances. He followed that up with 13-10, 2.89 record in 1946, making 25 starts and 16 relief appearances, while throwing a total of 193 innings. The next year saw similar results in a little less work. Lombardi went 12-11, 2.99 in 174.2 innings over 20 starts and 13 relief appearances. After the 1947 season, he was traded to the Pirates in a six-player deal that turned out poorly when pitcher Preacher Roe became a star in Brooklyn.
Lombardi won ten games during the 1948 season for the Pirates, but his ERA slipped to 3.70 in 163 innings. The Pirates used him similar to how he was worked in Brooklyn, seeing his share of starts and relief games. He made 17 starts and 21 relief performances in 1948, then had 12 starts and 22 relief games for the 1949 Pirates. He had a 5-5, 4.57 record in 134 innings during that 1949 season. Lombardi mostly pitched out of the bullpen in 1950, where he had an 0-5, 6.60 record in 76.1 innings. That ended up being his final season in the majors. The Pirates cut his $8,000 salary 25% prior to the 1951 season due to his poor performance. That was the maximum amount that teams were allowed to cut salaries one year to the next. He was a holdout during Spring Training, then got sent to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League for the 1951 season. On September 27, 1951, the Pirates sold his contract to Hollywood. In his three seasons in Pittsburgh, Lombardi made 31 starts and 80 relief appearances with Pittsburgh, posting a 4.60 ERA over 373.1 innings. He was small for a pitcher, standing in at 5’7″, 158 pounds. Despite never pitching in the majors after 1950, his pro career was far from over. He pitched for another nine seasons, spending most of his time in the Pacific Coast League.
Red Juelich, infielder for the 1939 Pirates. Despite being just 22 years old in 1939, he already had four seasons of minor league ball before joining the Pirates. He debuted in 1935 with Lincoln of the Class-D Nebraska State League at 18 years old. He hit .282 with 28 extra-base hits in 105 games that season. The next year he moved to Martinsville of the Class-D Bi-State League, where he batted .295 with 39 extra-base hits in 110 games. Juelich moved up four levels to Rochester of the International League, where he spent the 1937-38 seasons. He hit .309 with 32 extra-base hits in 142 games during his first year in Rochester, then batted .262 with 33 extra-base hits, 93 runs scored, 60 RBIs and 69 walks in 156 games in 1958. He was acquired by the Pirates as a Rule 5 draft pick on October 4, 1938. He was set to fight for a job during Spring Training, but he impressed manager Pie Traynor so much early on that local papers on March 13th already declared that he was guaranteed to have an Opening Day spot. He hit .239 in 17 games during his only season in the majors. Despite that low game total, he was with the Pirates for the entire year and he played just six games before September 9th, two as a pinch-hitter, two as a pinch-runner and two starts at third base. Juelich saw regular action at second base over an 11-game stretch, then sat out ten straight games, before playing one inning at third base on September 27th, which ended up being his final big league game. Red (real first name was John, but he mostly went by Jack while in baseball) played a total of seven years in the minors. After his one season in the majors, he finished his pro career with three years playing in Syracuse of the International League. The Pirates sent him to Syracuse on Christmas Eve in 1939 as part of a package (four players and cash) to acquire 6’9″ pitcher Johnny Gee. During that three-year stretch, he never hit higher than .239 in a season and he hit just one homer total.
On this date in 1969, Bob Moose no-hit the New York Mets, the team that went on to win the World Series. You can find the boxscore here, complete with play-by-play. Moose walked three batters in the game. It’s amazing when you look at the two lineups and think that the Mets were somehow the better team at the time.
Exactly 62 years earlier, rookie Nick Maddox threw the first nine-inning no-hitter in team history, defeating Brooklyn by a 2-1 score. The record books list this as the first no-hitter in team history, but that’s only due to a change made many years later that didn’t count shortened games as official no-hitters. I’m not sure what else to call an official complete game with no hits (they called them “no-hitters” for a very long time), but the Pirates had one by Lefty Leifield in 1906 and another by Howie Camnitz less than a month before Maddox pitched his game. So technically it’s the third no-hitter in franchise history. Maddox walked three batters, hit another and the Pirates committed two errors, which helped lead to the Brooklyn run. It was just his third big league start.