This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: October 28th, Bob Veale and Nate McLouth

Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date.

Bob Veale, pitcher for the  1962-72 Pirates. Veale was signed as a free agent out of college in 1958. The Pirates sent him to the Class-C California League where he struggled with his command, walking 55 batters in 63 innings. He also had 74 strikeouts, but he posted a 5.23 ERA. He was just as wild his second season while with Wilson of the Class-B Carolina League, but he was also much more effective, lowering his ERA by almost two runs from the previous season. He went 12-5, 3.49 in 147 innings, with 126 walks and 187 strikeouts. He then spent the next three seasons in Triple-A with Columbus, making 77 starts before finally earning a permanent spot on the Pirates. Veale went 10-9, 3.51 in 172 innings, with 119 walks and 150 strikeouts in 1960. He followed that up with a 14-11, 2.55 record in 201 innings, lowering his walks to 92, while picking up 208 strikeouts. He started the 1962 season in the big leagues, but lasted just over a month before being returned Columbus, where he had a 3.09 ERA in 134 innings, with 179 strikeouts. He came back up to Pittsburgh in late September to make three more appearances. Veale posted a 3.74 ERA in 45.2 innings during his first season with the Pirates.

In 1963, Veale was used out of the bullpen for most of the season. After an August 14th appearance lowered his season ERA to 0.70, the Pirates moved him to the rotation. He would start seven games that year, throwing complete game shutouts in two of them, and allowing no earned runs in another three starts. In fact, when Veale allowed five earned runs in 3.1 innings to the Dodgers on September 11th, that was more earned runs than he allowed the rest of the entire season (four) in 74.1 innings. He finished with a 1.04 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 34 appearances. He was a regular member of the Pirates rotation for the next seven seasons, making 242 starts over that time. In 1964, Veale posted a career high 18 wins and led the National League in both strikeouts (250) and walks (124). He had a 2.74 ERA in 279.2 innings, with 38 starts and 14 complete games. Veale was a two-time All-Star, making his first appearance in 1965 when he went 17-12, 2.84 in 266 innings and struck out a career high 276 battersm though he also led the league with 119 walks. Here’s an in depth look at his 1965 season. He made the All-Star team again the next year when he went 16-12, 3.02 in 268.1 innings, with 229 strikeouts. It was the third straight year he was among the top three in the NL in strikeouts. In 1967, he had his best win/loss percentage as a starter when he went 16-8. That gave him 67 wins over a four-year stretch. Despite the record, his 3.64 ERA was easily his highest mark during that stretch. He pitched 203 innings, struck out 179 batters, and led the league with 119 walks.

Veale had three straight losing seasons from 1968-70, despite posting a 2.05 ERA in 1968 and a sub-4.00 ERA each of the other two seasons. He went 13-14 in 1968 for a team that finished 80-82. He struck out 171 batters in 245.1 innings, while leading the league with 94 walks. In 1969, the Pirates went 88-74, but he had a 13-14, 3.23 record in 225.2 innings over 38 starts, with 213 strikeouts. He allowed just eight homers all year, giving him the best home run rate in the NL. In 1970, Veale went 10-15, 3.92 in 202 innings, with 178 strikeouts. That was his last season with over 100 innings. He did not pitch during the NLCS loss to the Cincinnati Reds that year. In 1971, he was moved to the bullpen and somehow posted a 6-0 record in 37 games, despite a 6.99 ERA in 46.1 innings. That was the only season that he made it into a postseason game with the Pirates and it ended up being just one game, pitching 2/3 of an inning during the Pirates 11-3 game two loss to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

In 1972, Veale was once again in the Pirates bullpen to start the season, but it did not last long. After just five appearances, he was sent to the minors, where he stayed until the Pirates sold him to the Boston Red Sox on September 2nd. Veale finished his playing career with the Red Sox following the 1974 season, but he saw limited big league time during his 2+ years in Boston, and also spent some time in the minors. With the Red Sox, he went 4-4, 3.45 in 57.1 innings over 56 appearances, with picking up 15 saves. While with the Pirates, he posted a 119-96, 3.06 record with 1,652 strikeouts in 1,868.2 innings. His strikeout total ranks him second all-time in team history, just 30 K’s behind Bob Friend, who pitched over 1,600 more innings with the Pirates. Veale’s 276 strikeouts in 1965 are the most in a season since the franchise moved to the National League in 1887. In franchise history, only Ed Morris had more strikeouts in a single season, and he did that twice times while the team was still in the American Association in 1885-86. Veale turns 86 years old today.

Nate McLouth, outfielder for the 2005-09 and 2012 Pirates. He was a 25th round draft pick of the Pirates out of high school in 2000. He debuted in the minors in 2001 and stole 20+ bases each year until making the majors in late June of 2005. He batted .300+ twice, topping out at .322 in Double-A Altoona in 2004. McLouth batted .285 in 96 games with Hickory of the South Atlantic League in 2001, picking up 34 extra-base hits, 21 steals and 59 runs scored. In 2002, he moved up to High-A with Lynchburg of the Carolina League, where he spent two full seasons. He hit .244 with 36 extra-base hits, 20 steals and 58 runs scored in 114 games in 2002. He was better in 2003, batting .300 with 35 extra-base hits, 40 steals, 55 walks and 85 runs scored in 117 games. In addition to his aforementioned .322 average with Altoona in 2004, McLouth added 40 doubles, eight homers, 73 RBIs, 31 steals and 93 runs scored. He attended the Arizona Fall League after the season. In 2005, he hit .299 in 109 games with Indianapolis, with a .769 OPS and 34 steals. He debuted in the majors in late June, and while he didn’t stick during that first stint, he played 41 games for the 2005 Pirates, hitting .257 with five homers and 12 RBIs.

In 2006, McLouth spent the entire season in the majors. He hit .233 with 16 doubles, seven homers and ten steals in 106 games. He started 55 games in 2007 and played another 82 off of the bench. He hit .258 with 21 doubles, 13 homers and 22 steals in 23 attempts. McLouth had a huge 2008 season, making the All-Star team and winning the Gold Glove. He led the National League with 46 doubles, and he scored 113 runs, while driving in 94 runs. He also had 26 homers and 23 stolen bases in 26 attempts. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in mid-2009 and failed to approach his previous numbers, bouncing around the majors, including the 2012 Pirates, until finishing up his career in 2014. McLouth hit .256 with nine homers in 45 games for the 2009 Pirates, then batted .257 with 20 doubles, 11 homers and 12 steals in 84 games with the Braves. In 2010, he hit .190 with six homers and seven steals in 85 games. He wasn’t much better in 2011, hitting .228 with four homers and four steals in 81 games. When he returned to Pittsburgh in 2012, he was a free agent signing, but he was released by the end of May after hitting .140 with no homers in 34 games. He signed with the Baltimore Orioles to finish out the season and hit .268 with seven homers and 12 steals in 55 games. He was the starting left fielder for the Orioles in 2013 and played 146 games. He hit .258 with 31 doubles, 12 homer, 30 stolen base and 53 walks. He became a free agent and signed with the Washington Nationals where he hit .173 with one homer in 79 games in 2014. He was signed for 2015, but he had right shoulder surgery, which ended his season before it started.

McLouth batted .256 over 515 games with the Pirates, hitting 60 homers and stealing 64 bases in 69 attempts. He was a solid offensive player in the majors, but despite the Gold Glove award, he was well below average defensively. During that award-winning season, he had a -2.1 dWAR, which was only his second worst season. Despite that poor number on defense, he was still well above average overall due to a 4.8 WAR on offense.  He had a career .742 OPS in 1,045 games, though his OPS was .785 with the Pirates. He was a .247 hitter, with 101 homers, 333 RBIs, 133 steals and 521 runs scored. He compiled 5.1 WAR in 515 games with the Pirates and he had 1.4 WAR in his other 530 games.

Corban Joseph, infielder for the 2019 Pirates. He was a 2008 draft pick of the New York Yankees, who selected him in the fourth round out of high school. He batted .277 in the Gulf Coast League during his first season, with 19 extra-base hits and a .793 OPS in 49 games. He moved up to Low-A in 2009, playing with Charleston of the South Atlantic League, where he hit .300 in 100 games, with 29 extra-base hits and 57 RBIs. He spent four months in High-A in 2010 before moving up to Double-A for the last month of the season, where his performance really dropped off. Joseph combined to hit .283 with 46 extra-base hits and 58 walks in 129 games. In 2011, he played the entire year with Trenton of the Eastern League. He hit .277 with 51 extra-base hits and 59 walks in 131 games. He played in the Arizona Fall League after the season and hit .227 with eight doubles and two homers in 25 games. In 2012, Joseph did well in 23 games in Trenton, then spent the rest of the season in Triple-A, where he had an .840 OPS in 84 games. He finished the year with a .276 average and 46 extra-base hits in 107 games.  He played two mid-season games for the Yankees in 2013, which came during a May 13th doubleheader. He actually had two other stints with the team that year without playing. His 2014 season was limited to 70 games at Triple-A due to two stints on the disabled list.

Joseph signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent for 2015, but he was released after 40 games in Double-A. He finished the season with the Baltimore Orioles in Double-A, then split the 2016 season between Double-A and Triple-A for the Orioles. Joseph signed with the Washington Nationals as a free agent in 2017 and spent the entire year in the minors, then re-signed with the Orioles for 2018. He began the year back in Double-A, then jumped to the majors for a short time in June, then returned in September. He hit .222 in 14 games for the Orioles. He signed again with the Orioles, who left him unprotected in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, where he was picked up by the Oakland A’s. He hit .371 with a 1.006 OPS with Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League, which is a very hitter-friendly park. The A’s called him to the majors in August. Joseph was picked up by the San Francisco Giants from the A’s on September 3rd, just 13 days before joining the Pirates. On September 16, 2019, the Pirates picked up Joseph off waivers from the Giants. He played nine games for the Pirates, going 2-for-11 at the plate, while seeing time at second base and right field. Despite spending time with three teams in the majors in 2019, Joseph played a total of 28 games in the majors that year, batting .156 with one homer. The Pirates let him go via free agency after the season and he signed with the Chicago Cubs for 2020, though he was released in May before the delayed season started. He signed with the Washington Nationals on May 29, 2021, but he played just 32 games in the minors. In three big league seasons, he has played a total of 44 games for five teams, hitting .170 with one homer and ten RBIs. His brother Caleb Joseph played seven seasons in the majors and they were teammates on the 2018 Orioles.

Bill Wilson, utility player for the 1890 Alleghenys. He was a versatile player for the worst team in Pittsburgh Pirates history. Wilson played six different positions for the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys, a team that finished the season 23-113. He wasn’t much of a hitter, batting just .214 with a team leader 50 strikeouts. He also wasn’t very good defensively, committing 60 total errors, including 35 behind the plate in just 38 games. A few times during the season, he was called on to umpire when the regular umpire was too ill or couldn’t make it to the game. It should come as no surprise that Wilson didn’t play in the majors again after the 1890 season until 1897 when he was with the Louisville Colonels. He was reserved by the Alleghenys after the 1890 season ended for 1891, and he was one of 20 players on their submitted list in early February of 1891, but he was released by manager Ned Hanlon on February 15th. While in Louisville in 1897, he was teammates with two future Pirates Hall of Famers, Fred Clarke and Honus Wagner. Wilson hit his first major league homer that year off a pitcher with a familiar name, Charlie Brown. He was the team’s starting catcher and he hit .213 in 107 games, with 17 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs and 44 runs scored. Wilson also played with the Colonels in 1898, hitting .167 in 29 games through early June, then he bounced around the minor leagues until the age of 40. He also managed for at least two seasons in the minors.

Wilson’s career stats/stops are incomplete, but he debuted in pro ball in 1887 and last played in 1908. Baseball-Reference shows his pro debut as being in the majors with the Alleghenys, but I was able to track him down to the Iowa League in 1887, which isn’t listed as an official minor league. He missed the entire 1888 season due to a fractured hand, then he played with a semi-pro team called the Champlains, where he was signed by the Alleghenys on November 9, 1889, as talk of the Player’s League forming left them scrambling for the best talent before the 1890 season started. Here’s the interesting part of about Wilson’s career stats. After being cut by the Pirates, he signed with Kansas City of the Western League. That season’s stat line is attributed to a player named Willie Wilson, who played regularly during some of the years missing in Bill Wilson’s stats and he was also a catcher. Bill was often called William in print, so you could see the Willie name being used for him as well, which leads me to believe that they are the same player, especially since no bio information exists for Willie.

Percy Jones, pitcher for the 1930 Pirates. Jones had a decent nine-year career, but his time in Pittsburgh was forgettable. He went 0-1, 6.63 in 19 innings for the 1930 Pirates, making two starts and nine relief appearances. That proved to be the end of his big league career. Jones came over from the Boston Braves right at the beginning of the 1930 season in exchange for Hall of Fame pitcher Burleigh Grimes and cash. Grimes was holding out in a salary dispute at the time. There were claims in the paper that the cash part of the deal was “close to $100,000”, which was an incredibly large amount for that time. It was clear that the cash was the main part of the April 9th deal when Jones was unconditionally released on June 23rd. He went to the minors after pitching for the Pirates , finishing out his career in 1930-31 for Columbus of the American Association.

Jones pitched his first seven seasons in the majors for the Chicago Cubs, where he made his pro debut at 20 years old in 1920. He pitched four times in relief that season and gave up ten runs in seven innings. In 1921, he went 3-5, 4.56 in 98.2 innings, with three starts and 29 relief appearances. That was followed by an 8-9, 4.78 record in 1922, when he pitched 162 innings over 24 starts and 20 relief appearances. Jones spent the next two seasons in the Pacific Coast League, where he had a 16-17, 3.88 record in 267 innings for Los Angeles in 1923, then went 13-11, 4.38 in 218 innings for Seattle in 1924. He returned to the majors in 1925 for the Cubs, where he had a 6-6, 4.65 record in 124 innings over 13 starts and 15 relief appearances. Jones had his best season in 1926, when he went 12-7, 3.09 in 160.1 innings. He made 20 starts, ten relief appearances and he completed ten games, which was a career high. He also set a high with 80 strikeouts. In 1927, he went 7-8, 4.07 in 112.2 innings, with 11 starts and 19 relief outings. The next year saw him go 10-6, with a 4.09 ERA in 154 innings. He started 19 games and pitched 20 times in relief. After the season, he was part of a five-player and cash deal to acquire the great Rogers Hornsby. With his trade for Burleigh Grimes a year later, that meant that he was traded twice for Hall of Fame players. In his lone season in Boston, Jones went 7-15, 4.64 in 22 starts and 13 relief appearances, throwing a total of 188.1 innings. He finished with a 53-57, 4.34 record in 114 starts and 137 relief appearances, throwing a total of 1,026 innings.

Joe Page, relief pitcher for the 1954 Pirates. Page was closer for the New York Yankees, well before the role was popular, and long before it became a one-inning role. He pitched multiple innings many times, surpassing the 100 inning mark in each of his first six seasons, while also occasionally filling in as a starter, something that is unheard of now (except for the “opener”). Page nearly started his career with the Pirates, who gave him a tryout in 1939, but didn’t sign him. He debuted in the minors in 1940 at 22 years old, playing for Butler of the Class-D Pennsylvania State Association, where he went 11-3, 3.67 in 98 innings. He moved up to Class-B in 1941, playing with Augusta of the South Atlantic League, where he went 12-12, 4.39 in 201 innings over 40 appearances. Page was exempt from the draft due to a leg injury as a youth, so he was able to pitch through the war years.  He moved up to Newark of the International League in 1942, which was considered to be Double-A at the time, which made it the highest level of the minors. Page went 7-6, 4.19 in 88 innings over 13 starts and seven relief outings in 1942. The next year he had a 14-5, 3.05 record in 186 innings. He began the 1944 season in the majors, though he finished in back in Newark for the final two months. He went 5-7, 4.56 in 102.2 innings over 16 starts and three relief outings for the Yankees that year. In 1945, Page made nine starts and 11 relief outings for the Yankees, putting together a 6-3, 2.82 record in 102 innings.

In 1946, Page went 9-8, 3.57 in 136 innings, making 17 starts and 14 relief appearances. He moved into more of a relief role in 1947, going 14-8, 2.48 in 141.1 innings over 56 appearances (two starts), while picking up 17 saves. In 1948, Page went 7-8, 4.26 in 107.2 innings, with 16 saves and a league leading 55 appearances. He appeared in a league leading 60 games in 1949 when he had a 13-8, 2.59 record in 135.1 innings, with 27 saves. While that wasn’t an official stat at the time, his 27 saves were an all-time record for a season until 1961. During the 1950 season, his stats began to decline and he was released prior to the start of the next season. He went 3-7, 5.04 in 55.1 innings over 37 games, with 13 saves. Page pitched briefly in the minors in 1952, then didn’t play during the 1953 season. He attempted a comeback with the 1954 Pirates that didn’t go so well. Page made seven relief appearances, allowing 17 runs (12 earned) in just 9.2 innings. He actually started the year with 5.1 shutout innings over three appearances, but things turned disastrous quickly, and on June 1st he was gone. The Pirates released him unconditionally on waivers and no one picked him up, ending his career. He missed nearly three weeks in late April/early May due to a broken finger that reportedly happened during a fall at his home. Though not an official stat at the time, Page was the active saves leader (76) when he retired. He finished with a 57-49, 3.53 record in 790 innings over 285 games (45 starts).

Luis Marquez, outfielder for the 1954 Pirates. Though they both played for the 1954 Pirates, Joe Page (see above) and Marquez were never teammates. Marquez came over from the Chicago Cubs in a trade on June 14th in exchange for outfielder Hal Rice. He played 14 games for the Pirates and went to the plate 14 times. He went 1-for-9 at the plate, with four walks, three runs scored and a sacrifice bunt. Marquez saw action at all three outfield positions during his brief time in Pittsburgh. On July 17th, he was outright released to Toledo of the American Association, ending his big league career. Marquez played a total of 99 games in the National League, but he had a long pro career, and his Major League stats recently increased when the Negro Leagues were reclassified as Major League Baseball. He played 14 seasons in the minors and three years in the Negro Leagues, seeing his final action in Mexico in 1963. He hit .305 in 1,799 minor league games, .335 in the Negro Leagues and .182 in the National League.

With the Negro Leagues now considered to be the majors, Marquez, who was born in Puerto Rico, began his pro career in the majors in 1946 with the Homestead Grays (38 games) and the Baltimore Elite Giants (two games). While noting that stats from the Negro Leagues are incomplete, he is credited with batting .326 with 26 RBIs and 28 runs scored in 40 games that season. In 1947, he batted .317 in 60 games for the Grays. In his final season in the Negro Leagues, he batted .282 with 30 runs scored in 39 games in 1948. Marquez played 150 games in Triple-A in 1949, batting .288 with 43 extra-base hits, 35 stolen bases and 100 runs scored. Most of that time was spent with Portland of the Pacific Coast League, where he played the entire 1950 season. He hit .311 in 194 games that year, with 69 extra-base hits, 136 runs scored, 86 RBIs and 38 runs scored. Marquez was taken by the Boston Braves in the 1950 Rule 5 draft From Portland, then batted .197 in 68 games during the 1951 season. He had a successful season with Milwaukee of the Triple-A American Association in 1952, hitting .345 with with 62 extra-base hits, 99 RBIs and 24 steals in 136 games. He played for Toledo of the American Association in 1953, where he batted .292 with 28 doubles, 13 homers, 81 RBIs and 37 steals. The Chicago Cubs picked him in the 1953 Rule 5 draft, and he went 1-for-12 at the plate in 17 games before his trade to the Pirates.

Gair Allie, shortstop for the 1954 Pirates. He was signed by the Pirates out of Wake Forest University in 1952 at 20 years old. He went right to New Orleans of the Double-A American Association, where he hit .216 with 18 doubles and nine homers in 155 games. That was an advanced placement for someone debuting in pro ball, so it’s no surprise that he didn’t put up great numbers that season. Allie played just 32 games for New Orleans in 1953, missing a majority of the season due to a broken leg. He batted .242 with three extra-base hits during that short time. In 1954, he made the Pirates Opening Day roster and started 92 games at shortstop and another 18 at third base. Allie hit .199 in 121 games, driving in 30 runs and scoring 38 times. He had 17 extra-base hits and he drew 56 walks, but also finished third in the National League with 84 strikeouts. After the season, he returned to the minors, where he played until 1961. Not many players have played 121+ games in their only season at the big league level (Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson played 152 games in his only season in the majors).

Allie went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1955, but he was cut nearly three weeks before Opening Day. He was competing with Dick Groat for the starting shortstop job, after Groat returned from a two-year stint (1953-54) in the military. Allie went to New Orleans in 1955, where he hit .275 with 25 doubles, 15 homers, 77 RBIs and 105 walks. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1956, but got cut even earlier that year, getting sent to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League on March 23rd. He batted .292 in 69 games, with a .786 OPS. Allie missed the 1957 season while serving in the military, then went to camp with the Pirates in 1958, but got cut on April 1st. That was despite teams being able to carry extra players who were returning from the military without them counting against their 25-man roster limit. He went to Columbus of the International League and hit .248/.354/.354 in 107 games. On October 13, 1958, the Pirates traded Allie to Columbus for two players. He ended up playing for four different teams (none of them were Columbus) during his final three seasons of pro ball. Allie was one of the last Pirates players to wear the uniform #8 before Willie Stargell got it in 1962.

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