Six former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus one trade of note. Two of the players have a lot in common in that their time in Pittsburgh didn’t amount to much, yet they still had a long productive careers.
George Hendrick, right fielder for the 1985 Pirates. He had a successful 18-year career in the majors, but his time in Pittsburgh wasn’t among his highlights. Hendrick was the first overall pick in the January phase of the 1968 draft, taken by the Oakland A’s out of high school. He debuted that year in the Class-A Midwest League with Burlington, where he hit .327 with 34 extra-base hits, 58 runs scored and 60 RBIs in 103 games. He moved up to the California League in 1969, playing 86 games for Lodi, where he hit .307 with 47 runs scored and 19 extra-base hits. In 1970, Hendrick split the season evenly between Burlington and Birmingham of the Southern League (Double-A), playing 54 games in each place. He combined to hit .297 with 21 doubles, 18 homers, 67 runs scored and 63 RBIs. He started the 1971 season off strong in Triple-A, hitting .333 with 21 homers for Iowa of the American Association. The A’s called him up in June and he hit .237 with no homers in 42 games. Hendrick saw bench time with the A’s in 1972, hitting .182 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 58 games.
In Spring Training of 1973, Hendrick was part of a four-player trade with the Cleveland Indians, where he got his first chance to play full-time that same year. He hit .268 with 18 doubles, 21 homers and 61 RBIs in 113 games. In 1974, he hit .279 with 23 doubles, 19 homers, 65 runs scored and 67 RBIs, which led to his first All-Star appearance. He was right back in the mid-season classic in 1975 when he batted .258 in 145 games, with 21 doubles, 24 homers, 86 RBIs and 82 runs scored. Hendrick mostly played center field early in his career, then right field later, but in 1976, the Indians had him play 135 games in left field, a position he played just 88 times during his other 17 seasons combined. That season he hit .265 with 20 doubles, 25 homers, 81 RBIs and 51 walks in 149 games. After the season, the was traded to the San Diego Padres for three players.
In 1977, Hendrick hit .311 in 152 games, with 25 doubles, 23 homers, 81 RBIs, 75 runs scored and a career high of 61 walks. He was never a stolen base threat during his career, averaging three per year, but he stole a carer high 11 bases that season. In 1978, he hit .243 with three homers in 36 games for San Diego. He played 1 1/2 season with the Padres before heading to the St Louis Cardinals, where he had his most success. Hendrick had two All-Star seasons in St Louis and he won two Silver Slugger awards. He put up 18.0 WAR in his seven seasons with the Cardinals. On May 26, 1978, the Padres traded him even up for pitcher Eric Rasmussen, who put in decent work before heading back to the Cardinals in 1982. Hendrick finished out the 1978 season by hitting .288 with 27 doubles, 17 homers and 67 RBIs in 102 games with St Louis. In 1979, he hit .300 with 27 doubles, 16 homers and 75 RBIs in 140 games.
Hendrick took things to another level in 1980. He was an All-Star before then, but he really had a strong season in his third year with St Louis, which earned him an All-Star nod, a Silver Slugger award and an eighth place finish in the MVP voting. He hit .302 with career highs of 33 doubles, 25 homers and 109 RBIs. He led all National League right fielders in fielding percentage during the 1979-80 seasons. During the strike-shortened 1981 season, Hendrick batted .284 with 19 doubles and 18 homers in 101 games. The Cardinals won the World Series in 1982 and he helped out by hitting .282 with 44 extra-base hits, 65 runs scored and 104 RBIs in 136 games. During the postseason, he hit .308 in the NLCS, then batted .321 with five runs and five RBIs in the World Series. Hendrick had one big season left in him in 1983, which earned him his fourth All-Star appearance and his second Silver Slugger award, along with an 11th place finish in the MVP voting. He hit .318 with 33 doubles, 18 homers and 97 RBIs in 144 games. In 1984, he hit .277 in 120 games, with 28 doubles, nine homers and 69 RBIs. After the season, the Pirates acquired him in a four-player deal, with John Tudor being the big return piece.
Hendrick batted .230 with two homer and 25 RBIs in 69 games and Pirates fans were on him for his lack of hustle, which earned him the nickname “Jogging George”. The Pirates traded Hendrick away on August 2,1985 in a six-player deal with the California Angels. It turned out to be an addition by subtraction trade for the Pirates, with Hendrick making just under $1,000,000 per season at the time and he had three years left on his contract. He batted just .122 in 16 games with the Angels after the deal, then went 1-for-12 in the ALCS loss to the Boston Red Sox. In 1986, Hendrick hit .272 with 14 homers and 47 RBIs in 102 games. He was a bench player during his final two seasons with the Angels, hitting .241 with five homers and 25 RBIs in 65 games in 1987, then he batted .244 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 69 games in 1988, which turned out to be the end of his career. He played a total of 2,048 career games in 18 years, hitting .278 with 941 runs scored, 343 doubles, 267 homers and he drove in 1,111 runs. He was a four time All-Star. Hendrick has been in baseball since retiring, with many roles to his credit during that time.
Andy Hassler, lefty pitcher for the 1980 Pirates. He was a 25th round draft pick out of high school in 1969 by the California Angels, who brought him to the majors as a teenager in 1971. He only pitched in the fall instructional league in 1969, though stats were kept for those leagues at the time. He had a 4.62 ERA in 37 innings. The Angels put him in the Double-A Texas League in his first full year in the minors. Playing for El Paso, Hassler went 10-7, 3.88 in 22 starts, with 122 strikeouts in 144 innings. In 1971, he debuted in the majors in late May after a Triple-A stint, though he year ended in late June when a pinched nerve in his arm required surgery. His first big league trial saw him go 0-3, 3.86 in 18.2 innings. He spent all of 1972 in Triple-A, going 9-10, 4.40 in 174 innings, with 150 strikeouts. He also spent most of 1973 in Triple-A, going 13-8, 4.20 in 163 innings. With the Angels that year, he went 0-4, 3.69 in 31.2 innings.
Hassler had his first strong season in 1974, though he still ended up making 12 starts in Triple-A. With the Angels, he had a 7-11 record, despite a strong 2.61 ERA in 162 innings. He made 22 starts, with ten complete games and two shutouts. With 2.8 WAR that season, it was the best year of his career, only matched by the 2.8 WAR he put up with the Angels in 1980 after being traded by the Pirates, though that latter year was in a relief role. In 1975, Hassler went 3-12, 5.94 in 133.1 innings over 18 starts and 12 relief outings. He followed that up with 5-12, 3.61 record in 1976, when he split the season between the Angels and the Kansas City Royals, who purchased his contract on July 5th. He actually had much better results after changing teams, with am 0-6, 5.13 record in California and a 5-6, 2.89 record in 99.2 innings with the Royals. In 1977, Hassler went 9-6, 4.20 in 156.1 innings, with 27 starts and two relief outings. In July of 1978, he was sold to the Boston Red Sox. Before the sale, he went 1-4, 4.32 in 58.1 innings. Afterwards, he pitched mainly in relief, posting a 3.00 ERA in 30 innings. He got off to a slow start in 1979 and on June 15th, Boston sold him to the New York Mets, where he went 4-5, 3.70 in 80.1 innings, seeing occasional starts.
Hassler signed with the Pirates as a free agent after the 1979 season. He made just six appearances out of the bullpen before the Pirates sold him to the Angels in early June. Hassler allowed six runs (five earned) over 11.2 innings while in Pittsburgh. He pitched well as a long reliever for the Angels for the next 3 1/2 seasons before being released at the end of Spring Training in 1984. For the 1980 Angels, he went 5-1, 2.49 in 83 innings over 41 games, with ten saves. In the strike-shortened 1981 season, he went 4-3, 3.21 in 75.2 innings over 42 games. Hassler made a career high 54 appearances in 1982. He had a 2-1, 2.78 record and four saves in 71.2 innings. His performance really slipped off in 1983 when he had an 0-5, 5.45 record in 36.1 innings and 42 outings. After being released, he signed with the St Louis Cardinals in May of 1984. He stayed there for two years, but most of the time was spent in the minors. He pitched a total of 12.1 innings over 13 games during the 1984-85 seasons before retiring. Hassler pitched 14 seasons in the majors, making 112 starts and 275 relief appearances. He didn’t make any starts during his final six seasons in the majors. He went 44-71, 3.83 with 29 saves in 1,123.1 innings.
Hans Lobert, infielder for the 1903 Pirates. Lobert is a sign of just how good the Pirates were during the early part of the century. He was a very good player, who they had no room for at the time, and he went on to have a strong career elsewhere. Lobert played five late-season games for the 1903 Pirates, the team that played in the first World Series. He went 1-for-15 at the plate and played three games at third base and one each at shortstop and second base. The Pirates were dealing with late-season injuries and Lobert was playing for the Pittsburgh Athletic Club (P.A.C.) at the time. In fact, he was right back with his P.A.C. after the season ended and he played a doubleheader for them just a week after his big league debut. He was with the Pirates in Spring Training of 1904, but did not make the team. He played minor league ball for the first time in 1904, spending most of the season with Des Moines of the Class-A Western League, where he hit .264 with 17 doubles and three triples in 143 games. He also saw time with a team from Johnstown Pa. in the Pennsylvania League that season, then stayed in town in 1905 when Johnstown had a Tri-State League team. He batted .339 with 30 doubles, 12 triples and ten homers in 135 games, then got his second big league shot.
Lobert appeared in the majors in late 1905 with the Chicago Cubs and hit .196 in 14 games. He played another 12 seasons after that and saw success with his third team. He was one of the fastest players during his time, with the ability to circle the bases in under 14 seconds. He was sold to the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 1906 season and served in a utility infielder role that year, hitting .310 with 20 steals and 39 runs scored in 79 games. In 1907 he was the everyday shortstop, hitting .246 in 148 games, with 61 runs scored, 12 triples and 30 steals. He had more triples that year than doubles and homers combined. In 1908, Lobert saw time at third base, shortstop and left field, hitting .293 in 155 games, with 71 runs scored, 17 doubles, 18 triples, 63 RBIs and 47 steals. The games, triples and steals were all career highs. In 1909, he was the everyday third baseman and he saw his average drop to .212, with 50 runs scored, 52 RBIs and 30 steals. In his last season in Cincinnati, Lobert batted .309 with 40 RBIs, 41 steals and 43 runs scored in 93 games. He struck out nine times in 364 plate appearances.
Lobert was part of an eight-player trade between the Philadelphia Phillies and Reds in November of 1910. He hit .285 in 147 games in 1911, leading the league with 38 sacrifice hits. He scored 94 runs, stole 40 bases, hit 20 doubles and nine triples, while setting career highs with nine homers and 72 RBIs. Lobert hit .327 in 65 games in 1912, but he suffered multiple injuries throughout the year. He injured his back in April, injured his knee in May (which cost him two months), then the knee injury knocked him out for the season in late August. He was healthy enough to play 150 games in 1913, when he batted .300 with 41 steals, 11 triples, 55 RBIs and career highs of 98 runs and 28 doubles. Lobert hit .275 in 135 games in 1914, with 83 runs scored, 24 doubles, 52 RBIs and 31 steals. After the season ended, he was traded to the New York Giants for three players. He stayed in New York for his final three seasons in the majors, but he saw less time each year. He played 106 games in 1915, hitting .251 with 46 runs scored and 38 RBIs. The injuries and age clearly took their toll, as he went 14-for-29 in stolen bases. He played 98 games total in his final two seasons, mostly off of the bench, racking up just 144 plate appearances during the 1916-17 seasons.
Lobert was a .274 hitter in 1,317 games over 14 seasons, with 641 runs scored, 481 RBIs, and he stole 316 bases during his career. After his playing days, he managed four years in the minors, then briefly took the helm of the Phillies in 1938. Four years later he managed the team to a 42-109 record in his only full season as a big league manager. His real name was John, but his German ancestry led to the nickname Hans, as well as Honus on occasion. Lobert was signed by the Pirates after playing at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and he came from a big baseball family. His brother Frank Lobert played one year in the majors. His cousin Joe Schultz Sr. played 11 years in the majors, including one year (1916) with the Pirates. Joe’s son Joe Schultz Jr., played nine years in the majors, spending his first three years (1939-41) with the Pirates.
Garrett Olson, pitcher for the 2011 Pirates. He was a first round draft pick out of Cal Poly State by the Orioles in 2005, selected 48th overall. He debuted in the New York-Penn League and finished his first season in High-A, making three starts for Frederick of the Carolina League. He had a combined 1.99 ERA in 54.1 innings, with 59 strikeouts. In 2006, Olson made 14 starts each with Frederick and Bowie of the Double-A Eastern League, with slightly better results at the lower level. He had a 10-9, 3.10 record in 165.2 innings, with 162 strikeouts. In 2007, he made 22 starts in Triple and posted a 3.16 ERA. He debuted in the majors in July and made a total of seven starts for the Orioles, going 1-3, 7.79 in 32.1 innings, with 28 walks and 28 strikeouts. Olson made 26 starts in the majors in 2008, posting a 9-10, 6.65 record in 132.2 inning. In January of 2009, he was traded by the Orioles to the Chicago Cubs. Just ten days later, he and former Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno were dealt together to the Mariners.
Olson made 11 starts and 20 relief appearances for the 2009 Mariners. He went 3-5, 5.60 in 80.1 innings. He switched to full-time relief in 2010 and made 35 appearances, going 0-3, 4.54 in 37.2 innings. The Pirates selected him off waivers from the Mariners in March of 2011. He made the Opening Day roster and pitched four games in relief before being sent to the minors, where he pitched for Triple-A Indianapolis for the rest of the season. Olson gave up one run on two hits and three walks in 4.1 innings with the Pirates. He was released after the season ended. He signed as a free agent with the New York Mets in December of 2011 and pitched one big league game in 2012. In his lone game for the Mets, which ended up being his final big league game, Olson faced five batters. He recorded one out, allowed three hits and issued one walk. All four runs scored, leaving him with a 108.00 for his final season. In parts of six seasons in the majors, he had a 14-22, 6.26 record in 287.2 innings over 104 games, 44 as a starter. After leaving the Mets, he signed with the Oakland A’s as a free agent, but got released during Spring Training in 2013. He finished his career with one season in Korea (2013), where he had a 6.52 ERA in ten starts.
Phil Morrison, pitcher for the 1921 Pirates. He was the older (by a year) brother of Johnny Morrison, a pitcher who went 89-71 in eight seasons with the Pirates. However, when the Pirates signed him, it was believed that Phil was four years younger than his actual age. He got his only Major League game in on September 30, 1921 and faced three batters in relief against the St Louis Cardinals, giving up one hit and retiring the other two batters, one by strikeout. With just two games remaining in the season, he didn’t get a chance to pitch that season. Prior to the 1921 season, the Pirates asked waivers on Morrison so they could send him to the minors for more seasoning. The Cincinnati Reds reportedly claimed him, thinking it was Johnny Morrison, who they saw in 1920. The Pirates had to withdraw the waiver request to keep Phil Morrison. One of the early scouting reports for Morrison said that he had a curve that resembled the one made famous by Hall of Fame pitcher Chief Bender. He was called the best pitcher in the Southern Association by Pirates scout/Birmingham manager Carlton Molesworth when the Pirates completed the deal to purchase him on September 14, 1921. He reported to the team on the 19th, 11 days before his lone big league game. The Pirates reportedly paid a higher price for Phil than they did for Johnny one year earlier, who was also pitching for Birmingham at that time.
Before signing his first pro deal, Morrison spent three years in the Army and also pitched semi-pro ball once he returned. He debuted in pro ball at 25 years old in 1920, pitching three complete games for Birmingham of the Class-A Southern Association. Normally that was a high level to begin a pro career, but his age helped lead to that gig. At the end of the 1920 big league season, Johnny Morrison and Whitey Glazner, both pitchers for Birmingham, joined the Pirates after they were purchased a month earlier. Phil Morrison also joined the Pirates, but only on a trial basis and he didn’t get into any games. Before joining the Pirates in 1921, he spent the season back in Birmingham, where he had a 21-13, 2.88 record in 325 innings pitched over 51 appearances. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates, but got cut on April 10th, two days before Opening Day. After his time with the Pirates, he went 22-15, 3.45 in 300 innings for Birmingham in 1922. The next season was split between Birmingham and Atlanta, also of the Southern Association. He combined to post a 6-20 record and throw 229 innings. His only other pro experience came in 1926 with Indianapolis of the American Association. He played semi-pro ball near his home in 1924. He was suffering from rheumatism and was unable to pitch during the 1925 season. He attempted a comeback during Spring Training in 1926 with the Pirates, who sold him to Indianapolis on April 7, 1926.
Cliff Carroll, outfielder for the 1888 Alleghenys. He debuted in the majors at 22 years old in August of 1882 and played just ten games for the Providence Grays that year. Despite a .122 average during that brief time, he was a back in 1883, when he played 58 games and hit .265 with 20 RBIs and 37 runs scored. He became the everyday left fielder for the Grays in 1884, helping them to a first place finish. He hit .261 with 54 RBIs and 90 runs scored in 113 games. His numbers slipped in 1885 when he hit .232 with 40 RBIs and 62 runs scored in 104 games. That season was the last for Providence at the Major League level and Carroll was awarded to the Washington Nationals by the league. He hit .229 in 111 games in 1886, with 73 runs scored and 31 steals. The next year saw him hit .248 with 25 extra-base hits, 40 steals and 79 runs scored in 103 games. He became a free agent after the season and ended up in Pittsburgh in 1888.
Carroll very briefly played for the Alleghenys, but he has a great story linked with that short stint. He was a mediocre player when the Pirates signed him in May of 1888, not a star by any stretch, but not bad either. He played just five games that season for the Alleghenys, and for good reason. He went 0-for-20 with no walks, eight strikeouts and three errors. He said that he didn’t get a fair trial with Pittsburgh because they threw him right into the lineup after signing, knowing that he needed training time before he would be ready. Carroll offered his services to the Alleghenys by letter in early May of 1888, so he didn’t have any type of Spring Training. After that brief stint, he played for a minor league team in Buffalo for a time before quitting baseball after he got married, missing the entire 1889 season. He decided to return to the game in 1890 with the Chicago Colts, when he would not only hit a career high .285 average, but he would score 134 runs and lead the National League in at-bats with 592. He also added 53 walks and 34 steals in 136 games. He didn’t have any other seasons quite like that, but it’s tough not to be impressed by an average player taking a year off from the game (and two years from the majors) only to return to the majors and play at such a high quality of play like he did.
Carroll stayed with Chicago in 1891, when he hit .256 in 130 games, with 87 runs scored, 35 extra-base hits and 80 RBIs. He played for the St Louis Browns in 1892, where he batted .273 with 82 runs scored, 26 extra-base hits and 30 stolen bases. His .739 OPS was the best of his career, 18 points higher than his big season in 1890. Carroll was traded to the Boston Beaneaters prior to the 1893 season, which would be his last in the majors. He batted just .228 that season, though it came with an 88:28 BB/SO ratio, 80 runs scored and 29 steals. Carroll was a career .251 hitter in 991 games over 11 seasons, with 729 runs scored and 423 RBIs. He’s credited with 197 steals, though there are no stolen base numbers available for his first four seasons. He played 52 games and hit .310 for Detroit of the Western League in 1894, which was his last season in pro ball.
On this date in 1973, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies completed a two-player trade, with the Pirates sending second baseman Dave Cash to Philadelphia in exchange for pitcher Ken Brett.
Cash was drafted by the Pirates in the fifth round of the 1966 amateur draft as an 18-year-old. In his first full season of minor league ball in 1967 he hit .335 in 114 games with Gastonia. Just two seasons later he would make his debut in the majors, playing 18 games as a September call-up. After a brief stay in the minors in 1970 Cash was in the majors to stay, and he would hit .314 that year. The next year he played in 123 games, his high while in Pittsburgh. In the postseason against the Giants he would go 8-for-19 (.421) to help the Pirates advance to the World Series. In his five seasons in Pittsburgh he hit .285 in 420 games.
Brett at the time of the trade was coming off a 13-9, 3.44 season with 211 innings pitched as a 24-year-old. He had already pitched four full seasons and three partial seasons in the majors at that point with a career record of 30-36, 4.16 in 136 games, 71 as a starter.
The trade worked out well initially for both teams, Brett basically duplicated his 1973 season, making 27 starts and going 13-9, 3.30 in 191 innings. Cash hit .300 with 20 steals, 206 hits and he lead the National League in at-bats, something he would do for all three seasons in Philadelphia. He was durable for the Phillies, missing just two games during his time there. Brett would play one more season for the Pirates and he missed time during the year with an elbow problem, but pitched well when he was able to go. He finished the season with a 9-5, 3.36 record.
Cash was granted free agency following the 1976 season and he went on to play three years in Montreal, before finishing his career in 1980 with the San Diego Padres. Brett was traded following the 1975 season along with Dock Ellis and Willie Randolph to the New York Yankees for Doc Medich in a deal that was a disaster for the Pirates. Brett finished his career in 1981 playing with the Kansas City Royals alongside his brother, Hall of Famer George Brett.