This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History, September 26th, First (Unofficial) No-Hitter

Nine former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, including a player from the 1991-92 NL East champs. There’s also one game of note at the bottom.

Chris Archer, pitcher for the 2018-19 Pirates. He was a fifth round pick of the Cleveland Indians out of high school in 2006. He struggled with two short-season teams at 17 years old in his first year in pro ball, posting a combined 7.71 ERA in 21 innings. In 2007, he spent the year in the Gulf Coast League and didn’t do much better, putting up a 5.64 ERA in 52.2 innings, along with one start in Low-A in which he allowed four runs in four innings. In 2008, Archer spent the entire year in Low-A and started to get on track, with a 4-8, 4.29 record in 115.1 innings over 27 starts, with 106 strikeouts. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs in December of 2008 and spent the 2009 season in the Low-A Midwest League, where he went 6-4, 2.81 in 109 innings, with 119 strikeouts. The 2010 season was split between High-A and Double-A, with strong results at both levels. Archer combined to go 15-3, 2.34 in 142.1 innings, with 149 strikeouts. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays after the season and spent 2011 in Double-A, with two starts in Triple-A. The two Triple-A starts were outstanding, but he mostly struggled in Double-A, going 8-7, 4.42 in 134.1 innings.

Archer made it to the majors during the 2012 season for two games in June, before coming back in September for four more outings. He had a 3.66 ERA in 25 starts in Triple-A, and a 4.60 ERA in 29.1 innings with the Rays. The 2013 season saw him make ten starts in Triple-A and 23 in the majors. He went 9-7, 3.22 in 128.2 innings with the Rays, which led to a third place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting. Archer followed that up with a 10-9, 3.33 record in 194.2 innings, with 173 strikeouts. He was an All-Star in 2015 when he had a 12-13, 3.23 record in 212 innings over 34 starts, with 252 strikeouts, which ranked second in the American League. He finished fifth in the Cy Young voting that season. In 2016, Archer finished second again in strikeouts (233), doing that despite leading the league with 19 losses, to go along with just nine wins. He had a 4.02 ERA in 201.1 innings. He was an All-Star again in 2017 when he went 10-12, 4.07 in 201 innings, with 249 strikeouts, which ranked third in the American League. He was 3-5, 4.31 in 17 starts before the Pirates traded Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and first round pick to acquire him at the 2018 trade deadline. The Pirates, who also picked up reliever Keone Kela that day, were hoping to not only make a playoff run that season, but Archer had a team friendly contract beyond that season. However, injuries have sidetracked his career since the trade.

In 2018 with the Pirates, Archer made ten starts and went 3-3, 4.30 in 52.1 innings. In 2019, he made 23 starts, despite multiple stints on the disabled list. He went 3-9, 5.19 in 119.2 innings, with 143 strikeouts. He was on the injured list for the entire 2020 season, then the Pirates cut ties with him prior to the 2021 season, buying out his option instead of keeping him for a $9M salary. That proved to be a great decision, as he re-signed with the Rays and has been injured for nearly the entire 2021 season, pitching just 19.1 innings total before landing on the injured list for a second time in mid-September. Through mid-September of 2021, he has a career 61-81, 3.87 record in 1,254.1 innings, with 1,370 strikeouts.

Jordan Luplow, outfielder for the 2017-18 Pirates. He was a third round pick of the Pirates in the 2014 draft out of Fresno State. He went to Jamestown of the New York-Penn League that season and hit .277 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 62 games. In 2015, he spent the season with Low-A West Virginia, where the Pirates moved him from outfield to third base in a failed experiment. He hit .264 with 36 doubles, 12 homers, 59 walks and 74 runs scored in 106 games. He moved up to High-A Bradenton in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League in 2016, where he was back in the outfield. He hit .254 with 23 doubles, ten homers and 60 walks in 104 games. Luplow had a breakout year in the minors in 2017, which led to a call up to the majors in late July. He hit .287 with 15 doubles and 16 homers in 73 games at Double-A Altoona, followed by a .325 average and seven homers in 44 games at Triple-A Indianapolis. In 28 games over two separate stints for the 2017 Pirates, he hit .205 with three homers and 11 RBIs. In 2018, began the year in Triple-A, then joined the Pirates in early July and played 37 games, hitting .185 with three homers. After the season, the Pirates traded him to the Cleveland Indians in a five-player deal. Luplow had a strong 2019 season in a platoon role, batting .276 with 15 homers in 85 games. He posted a .923 OPS. He struggled in the shortened 2020 season, hitting .192 with two homers in 28 games. He didn’t do any better with the Indians in 2021, though his average hid a solid OPS thanks to some power and a decent walk rate. He hit just .173 in 36 games, with seven homers and 21 walks. At the July trade deadline, he was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays, where through mid-September, he was hitting .250 with three homers in 19 games. Through that same point, he had a .225 career average in 233 big league games over five seasons, with 33 homers, 90 RBIs and 88 walks. Luplow’s great-uncle Al Luplow played for the 1967 Pirates.

Daniel McCutchen, pitcher for the 2009-12 Pirates. He came to the Pirates from the New York Yankees in a six-player deal that involved Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. McCutchen was drafted four times before he finally signed with the Yankees in 2006. He was taken in the 47th round of the 2003 draft by the Yankees out of Grayson College. He transferred to the University of Oklahoma in 2004, where he went in the 29th round to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The next year the St Louis Cardinals selected him in the 12th round. He finally signed in 2006 as a 13th round pick of the Yankees. McCutchen pitched well that first year, split between short-season ball and Low-A, posting a 1.86 ERA in 29 innings. He split the next season between High-A and Double-A, with twice as much time at the lower level, but strong results at both stops. He combined to go 14-4, 2.47 in 142 innings. In 2008, he made nine starts in Double-A (2.55 ERA in 53 innings) and 11 starts in Triple-A (3.58 ERA in 70.1 innings) before the July trade to the Pirates. He went to Triple-A Indianapolis after the deal and had a 4.69 ERA in eight starts.

McCutchen spent most of 2009 in Triple-A, where he went 13-6, 3.47 in 142.2 innings. With the Pirates that year, he made six starts and had a 4.21 ERA in 36.1 innings. The 2010 season was split between 13 starts in Triple-A and 28 appearances with the Pirates, with nine starts and 19 relief outings. He had a 6.12 ERA in 67.2 innings with the Pirates. His best season in Pittsburgh was the 2011 campaign when he pitched 73 times in relief and had a 3.72 ERA in 84.2 innings. Most of the 2012 season was spent pitching in relief in Triple-A. He appeared just once with the Pirates, facing two batters in the tenth inning of a loss on August 21st. He walked the lead-off batter, then gave up a two-run walk-off homer. The Pirates released McCutchen after the 2012 season. He spent all of 2013 in the minors with the Baltimore Orioles after pitching poorly during winter ball in the Dominican. He made his final big league appearance for the Texas Rangers in 2014, allowing three runs in 2.1 innings, while spending the rest of the year in the minors (Double-A/Triple-A), where he had an 8.13 ERA in 86.1 innings. He pitched in the minors in 2015-16 for the San Diego Padres before retiring. He actually did well during the 2015 season in a starting role, putting up a 3.60 ERA over 132.1 innings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but he pitched poorly during his final season in pro ball, spending part of the year back in Double-A. In his time with the Pirates, he went 8-11, 4.77 in 188.2 innings over 15 starts and 93 relief appearances.

Yurendell de Caster, infielder for the 2006 Pirates. He was originally signed out of Curacao in 1996 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at 16 years old. He debuted in the Dominican Summer League in 1997, then came to the U.S. in 1998, where he hit .236 in 56 games in the Gulf Coast League. The next year was spent in the Appalachian League, where he hit .257 with 12 doubles and 11 homers in 48 games. The 2000 season was spent in Low-A, where he batted .240 with 21 doubles and seven homers in 69 games. The Pirates acquired de Caster in the minor league portion of the 2000 Rule 5 draft from the Devil Rays. He spent most of the 2001 season with Low-A Hickory, while also getting 13 games at High-A Lynchburg. He combined to hit .267 with 19 homers and 78 RBIs in 110 games. In 2002, de Caster was with Lynchburg for the entire season. He hit .252 in 125 games, with 25 doubles and 15 homers. He remained in Lynchburg the next year and did not do well compared to the previous season. He batted .230 with 24 doubles and 13 homers in 97 games. He made it up to Double-A Altoona in 2004 and played 97 games again, hitting .279 with 18 doubles and 15 homers. In 2005, de Caster moved up to Indianapolis, where he became more of a super utility player, seeing time at five different positions. He hit .282 with 31 doubles and 11 homers in 120 games. During the 2006 season, he hit .273 with 22 doubles and 11 homers in 119 games, but he didn’t spend the entire season in Triple-A.

On May 21, 2006, de Caster made his big league debut as a pinch-runner. He received his first at-bat 15 days later as a pinch-hitter, then pinch-hit again two days later, in what turned out to be his final at-bat. He was with the Pirates for five more days before being sent to the minors when Joe Randa came off the disabled list. He went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in three games for the Pirates, which ended up being his only big league time. In 2007, de Caster hit .280, with a .793 OPS in 120 games for Indianapolis, but didn’t get a second shot. He was let go after the season and played for another eight seasons in the minors/winter ball/independent ball, before retiring, spending his affiliated time with the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees. His 1997 stats aren’t available, but his pro totals at all levels over his other 17 seasons shows a .281 average with 225 homers, 999 RBIs, 405 doubles and 954 runs scored in 1,822 games. He’s also played extensive time with the national team from the Netherlands.

Brian Shouse, pitcher for the 1993 Pirates. The Pirates selected him in the 13th round of the 1990 draft out of Bradley University. He pitched poorly during his debut in the New York-Penn League in 1990, posting a 5.22 ERA in 39.2 innings, but he did much better in 1991, splitting the season between the two A-Ball full-season levels. He combined to go 4-4, 3.06 in 64.2 innings over 43 appearances, with 11 saves. Shouse spent all of 1992 in Double-A, where he posted a 2.44 ERA in 77.1 innings over 59 appearances. He moved up to Triple-A the next year and had a 3.83 ERA in 51.2 innings over 48 games. The Pirates called him up in late July of 1993 and he made his last appearance for the team on August 23rd. During his brief time in Pittsburgh, he gave up four runs over four innings in six relief appearances. In 1994, he spent the year in Triple-A Buffalo, going 3-4, 3.63 in 52 innings over 43 games. He was converted to a starter in 1995, but it was a brief experiment and he never pitched as a starter during his ten-year big league career. That season saw him go 11-10, 4.91 in 154 innings, splitting the season between Double-A and Triple-A, with the Pirates affiliate moving that year to Calgary of the Pacific Coast League.

Shouse started the 1996 season back in Calgary, but he was let go in May and signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles. He ended up pitching 86 games for Rochester of the International League over the 1996-97 seasons without a stint with the Orioles. He signed a free agent deal with the Boston Red Sox for 1998 and ended up pitching eight innings over seven big league appearances. Shouse spent part of that season playing in Japan. The entire 1999 season was spent in Triple-A with the Arizona Diamondbacks, then he split the 2000 season in Triple-A between the Orioles and New York Mets. The entire 2001 season was spent in Triple-A with the Houston Astros and he actually pitched well, posting a 2.89 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He finally made it back to the majors in 2002, though most of the year was spent in Triple-A with the Astros and Kansas City Royals. It was with the Royals where he got his third big league shot. Shouse had a 6.14 ERA in 14.2 innings over 23 appearances. He got another shot with the Texas Rangers in 2003 and this time he stayed in the majors. He posted a 3.10 ERA in 61 innings over 62 games. He was even better in 2004, going 2-0, 2.23 in 44.1 innings over 53 games.

In 2005, Shouse had a 3-2, 5.23 record for the Rangers, with 64 appearances and 53.1 innings pitched. He was traded early in the 2006 season to the Milwaukee Brewers. He went 1-3, 3.99 in 65 appearances, with the Brewers throwing him into a lefty specialist role, which limited him to 38.1 innings. In 2007, he had a 3.02 ERA in 73 games, throwing 47.2 innings. It was more of the same in 2008, with 2.81 ERA in 51.1 innings over 69 games. He signed with the Tampa Bay Rays as a free agent and had a 4.50 ERA in 28 innings over 45 games in 2009. Shouse signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in 2010, but got released before pitching a game. He re-signed with the Rays, but he spent the rest of the year in the minors, which ended up being his final season in pro ball. He ended up pitching 467 games in the majors over ten seasons and 565 games in the minors over 18 years. Shouse went 13-10, 3.72 in 350.2 innings in the majors.

Steve Buechele, third baseman for the 1991-92 Pirates. He was a first round pick in 1979 out of high school, taken ninth overall by the Chicago White Sox, but he decided to attend Stanford and slipped to the Texas Rangers in the fifth round three years later. Buechele went right to Double-A after signing and performed well, hitting .296 in 62 games, with an .808 OPS. In 1983 he spent most of the year in Double-A, with another nine games in Triple-A. He hit .276 that year, with 15 homers, 66 RBIs, 58 walks and 68 runs scored. He spent the entire 1984 season in Triple-A, hitting .264 in 131 games, with 35 extra-base hits, 36 walks, and a .701 OPS. He was back in Triple-A to start 1985, hitting .297 in 89 games, with 36 extra-base hits and 64 RBIs before joining the Rangers in mid-July for the rest of the season. Buechele hit .219 in his rookie season, with six homers and 21 RBIs in 69 games. In his first full season in the majors, he batted .243 with 18 homers, 54 RBIs and 54 runs scored in 153 games. That was followed in 1987 by a .237 average, with 20 doubles and 13 homers in 136 games.

Buechele batted .250 in 155 games in 1988, with 21 doubles, 16 homers, 58 RBIs, 68 runs scored and a career best 65 walks. He put up almost identical power numbers and playing time in 1989, albeit with a much lower OBP. He played 155 games again, with 22 doubles, 16 homers, 59 RBIs and 60 runs scored, but the average dropped to .235 and he had 36 walks. In 1990, he hit .215 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 91 games. The Pirates acquired him on August 30, 1991 from the Rangers for two minor league pitchers. He was batting .267 with 18 homers at the time of the deal. He hit .246 with four homers over the last 31 games with the Pirates. His combined 22 homers and 85 RBIs that season both set career highs. In the playoffs, Buechele hit .304 with four walks. The next year, he was traded in early July to the Chicago Cubs for Danny Jackson. At the time of the deal, he was batting .249 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 80 games. He ended up playing four seasons with the Cubs. Buechele batted .276 in 65 games after the trade, though he managed to hit just one homer. In 1993, he .272 in 133 games, with 15 homers, 65 RBIs and a career high 27 doubles. He was having a typical season in 1994 before the strike halted play in mid-August. He finished with a .242 average in 104 games, with 14 homers and 52 RBIs. He split his final season (1995) between the Cubs and Rangers, hitting just .177 with one homer in 41 games. The Cubs released him on July 6th, and he spent 19 days with the Rangers before they released him on July 31st. Buechele played 1,334 games over his 11-year big league career, finishing with a .245 average, 501 runs scored, 137 homers and 547 RBIs.

Bobby Shantz, pitcher for the 1961 Pirates. He played 16 years in the majors, winning 119 games while spending half of his career as a reliever. He played just one season of minor league ball, going 18-7, 2.82 in 214 innings at 22 years old for Lincoln of the Class-A Western League in 1948. He debuted in the majors in 1949 with the Philadelphia Athletics, going 6-8, 3.40 in 127 innings, with seven starts and 26 relief appearances. In 1950, he was 8-14, 4.61 in 214.2 innings, with 23 starts and 13 relief outings. The next season saw Shantz post an 18-10, 3.94 record in 205.1 innings, making 25 starts and eight relief appearances. He made his first All-Star game and he received mild MVP support. As a full-time starter in 1952, he led the American League with 24 wins (just seven losses) and WHIP (1.05), which led to him winning the MVP award and gaining his second All-Star appearance. He had a 2.48 ERA in 279.2 innings, with 27 complete games and five shutouts. Shantz couldn’t back up that big season with success. He went 5-9, 4.09 in 16 starts in 1953, then pitched just eight innings in 1954. He was injured the rest of the time, which ultimately led to him pitching fewer innings from that point on.

In 1955, Shantz was 5-10, 4.54 in 125 innings. He pitched 101.1 innings over 45 appearances (two starts) in 1956. He finished with a 2-7, 4.35 record, but things were about to turn around. It all started with a 13-player traded that sent him to the New York Yankees. Shantz led the AL in ERA in 1957 with a 2.45 mark in 173 innings, which was easily his highest innings total during his final 12 seasons in the majors. He went 11-5 in 21 starts and nine relief outings that season. He made his third (and final) All-Star appearance that season, and he also received mild MVP support. In 1958, he went 7-6, 3.36 in 126 innings over 13 starts and 20 relief appearances. The next year he started just four of his 33 games, finishing with a 7-3, 2.38 record in 94.2 innings. During the 1960 season, he went 5-4, 2.79 in 42 appearances, which were all in relief.

Prior to joining the Pirates, Shantz pitched against them three times during the 1960 World Series. After the season, they acquired him from the Washington Senators, who had just picked him up in the Expansion Draft. The Pirates worked out a deal with the Senators in which they shared scouting reports in exchange for Washington picking up Shantz. The Pirates then sent three players to Washington in a trade to acquire him. While in Pittsburgh for one year, Shantz went 6-3, 3.32 in six starts and 37 relief appearances, throwing a total of 89.1 innings. He won the Gold Glove award that year. It was his fifth straight Gold Glove win, and he would also take the award during the 1962-64 seasons. Immediately after the 1961 season, he was lost to the Houston Colt .45’s in the Expansion Draft.

After making three starts with Houston, Shantz was traded to the St Louis Cardinals. Those starts ended up being the final ones of his career. He combined to go 6-4, 1.95 in 78.1 innings in 1962. He had a 6-4, 2.61 record in 79.1 innings over 55 appearances in 1963. He pitched for three different teams during the 1964 season, which was his last in the majors. He made 16 appearances with the Cardinals, 20 with the Chicago Cubs, and 14 with the Philadelphia Phillies. Combined, Shantz went 2-5, 3.12 in 60.2 innings. In his 16-year career, he finished up 119-99, 3.38 in 1,166.2 innings over 171 starts and 366 relief appearances. He had 78 complete games, 15 shutouts and 48 saves (wasn’t an official stat during his career). His brother Billy Shantz was a catcher for three seasons in the majors, and all three years were as his teammate (1954-55 and 1960).

Joe Sullivan, lefty pitcher for the 1941 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 19 years old in 1930 in the Arizona State League with a team from Tuscon. He was with Tuscon in 1931 as well, though they played in the Class-D Arizona-Texas League that year. He had a 23-8 record while throwing 279 innings. He played briefly three levels higher for Beaumont of the Texas League that year, then stayed there for the next two seasons. He had a 3-4, 3.60 record in 105 innings in 1932, followed by a 13-15, 3.40 record in 238 innings the next year. He walked 131 batters that season. Sullivan played for Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League in 1934, where he went 25-11, 2.88 in 288 innings. He was with the Detroit Tigers in 1935, going 6-6, 3.51 in 125.2 innings over 12 starts and 13 relief appearances. He struggled with the Tigers in 1936, posting a 2-5, 6.78 record in 79.2 innings, with four starts and 22 relief outings. Sullivan spent 1937 with Toledo of the American Association and 1938 with Toronto of the International League. He threw a total of 448 innings those years, compiling a 32-24 record. He returned to the majors in 1939 with the Boston Bees (changed back to Braves in 1941), going 6-9, 3.64 in 113.2 innings over 11 starts and 20 relief appearances. He followed that up with a 10-14, 3.55 record in 177.1 innings in 1940, making 22 starts and 14 relief outings.

Sullivan started off 1941 with a 2-2, 4.13 record in 52.1 innings with the Braves, starting just two of his 16 appearances. He was purchased by the Pirates mid-season from the Braves in 1941 and went 4-1, 2.97 in 39.1 innings over four starts and 12 relief appearances. After the 1941 season, Sullivan was sent to minors and played another seven years without returning to the big leagues. He was actually with the Pirates on Opening Day in 1942 (April 14th), but his contract was sold outright to Toronto of the International League four days later, ending his time with the Pirates. Sullivan went 30-37, 4.01 in 588 big league innings over 55 starts and 95 relief appearances. His pro career spanned 19 seasons from 1930 to 1949. He missed the 1945 season while working as a fireman in a Naval shipyard. According to his SABR bio, he only pitched home games during the 1946-49 seasons, while retaining his job as a fireman. His minor league records, which are not complete, show that he had at least 147 wins and 2,109 innings pitched in 13 seasons. During his only season in Pittsburgh, the Pirates got money from the league for their fourth place finish, which was standard for the time. Of the 38 players for the 1941 Pirates, 23 received full shares of $361.08 as part of the bonus pool. Sullivan was one of two players who received half shares, while 13 others didn’t receive anything.

Bob Coleman, catcher for the 1913-14 Pirates.  He spent the first four years of his pro career playing for a team in Davenport, Iowa in the Three-I League. He spent part of his first season in 1910 at 19 years old with Springfield in the same league. Full stats aren’t available during that time, but his records show a .221 average in 116 games in 1911, followed by a .286 average in 139 games in 1912. Before joining the Pirates, he had a .250 average in 45 games. The Pirates purchased his contract in June of 1913 and he batted .180 in 24 games during his rookie season. Coleman joined the Pirates on an emergency basis, as they had injuries to all three of their catchers (George Gibson, Bill Kelly and Mike Simon), so owner Barney Dreyfuss wired all around baseball to get a catcher as soon as possible and Coleman was the first available one he could find who could jump right into big league action. He played his first game almost immediately (within hours) of arriving to the team from Davenport. After the catching ranks were healthy again in Pittsburgh, his contract was sold to Columbus of the American Association on September 12, 1913. However, on February 2, 1914, the Pirates purchased him back from Columbus for the 1914 season.

Coleman spent all of the 1914 season with the Pirates, hitting .267 in 73 games. He didn’t start his first game until the 59th game of the season, but he ended up making 45 starts over the final 100 games of the season. On February 27, 1915, he was sold to Columbus again, this time going there along with pitcher Dixie McArthur. Coleman hit .245 with one homers, 23 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 97 games during his time in Pittsburgh. His only other big league time was a brief stint with the 1916 Cleveland Indians, after they acquired him in August in a trade with Columbus. He batted .214 in 19 games with the Indians. Coleman played minor league ball until 1927 and he caught over 1,300 minor league games. He managed a total of 38 seasons in pro ball, starting in 1919. His first eight years were as a player-manager. Coleman spent three of those 38 years in the majors, at the helm of the Boston Braves, compiling a 128-165 record in one full season and two partial years. His lone home run in the majors was a bounce home run, which by today’s standards would be a ground rule double. He hit it on September 18, 1914 at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia over the center field wall 408 feet away. That rule changed in 1930 in the National League.

The Game

On this date in 1906, Pirates pitcher Lefty Leifield threw the first no-hitter in franchise history. During the second game of a doubleheader, Leifield no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies. The game was limited to six innings due to darkness. He hit one batter and walked two others. In game one, Hall of Fame pitcher Vic Willis threw a 5-0 shutout. Here’s the boxscore for Leifield’s game. At one time Leifield’s game was considered to be an official no-hitter, but a rule change around 20 years ago eliminated any shortened games from being official. Regardless of the change, he threw a complete game with no hits, it’s a no-hitter.