Just three former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including a very recent one. We also have a significant trade of note.
On this date in 1962 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded first baseman Dick Stuart and pitcher Jack Lamabe to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitcher Don Schwall and catcher Jim Pagliaroni. Stuart played five seasons in Pittsburgh with a .273 average and 117 homers. He had a great 1961 season, hitting .301 with 35 homers and 117 RBIs, but struggled in 1962 and he was horrible defensively at first base. Lamabe was a 25-year-old rookie reliever in 1962, who had a 3-1, 2.88 record in 46 games. Don Schwall was a 26-year-old starting pitcher in 1962. He had a strong rookie season in 1961, posting a 15-7 3.22 record while winning the Rookie of the Year award. His sophomore season was a bust, as he went 9-15, 4.94 in 182.1 innings. Pagliaroni was a 25-year-old catcher who had some pop in his bat, hitting 27 homers combined over 210 games in 1961-62.
Stuart became an instant hitting star with the Red Sox, although his poor defense got even worse. He only played two seasons in Boston, but hit a combined 75 homers while driving in 232 runs. Lamabe pitched well in relief in 1963, then the Sox switched him to the starting role in 1964 and he struggled. He went back to relief in 1965 and pitched even worse, before being traded. Schwall had a 3.33 ERA his first season in Pittsburgh, though poor run support led to a 6-12 record. He missed half of 1964, then was moved to relief where he pitched well for almost two seasons before the Pirates traded him away in June of 1966. Pagliaroni lasted the longest of these players with their new team. He played five seasons in Pittsburgh before he was sold to the Oakland A’s. He batted a career high .295 in 1964, then the following year he had 17 homers and 65 RBIs, both career highs. In 1966 he led NL catchers in fielding percentage with a .997 mark. In terms of WAR, the Pirates got 12.5 WAR from their two players, while Boston got 4.6 WAR from Stuart and Lamabe.
Jeff Locke, pitcher for the 2011-16 Pirates. He was 18 years old when he was selected in the second round of the 2006 draft by the Atlanta Braves. He debuted in the Gulf Coast League, where he went 4-3, 4.22 in 32 innings, with 38 strikeouts. In 2007, he spent the year with Danville of the short-season Appalachian League, where he had a 7-1, 2.66 record in 61 innings, with 74 strikeouts. In 2008, Locke spent the entire year with Rome of the Low-A South Atlantic League, going 5-12, 4.06 in 139.2 innings, with 113 strikeouts. The Pirates picked him up three years after he signed in a three-for-one deal involving All-Star outfielder Nate McLouth on June 3, 2009. Locke was in High-A at the time of the deal, with a 5.52 ERA in ten starts. He improved on that ERA with the Pirates, posting a 4.08 mark in 17 starts with Lynchburg of the High-A Carolina League. He split 2010 between High-A Bradenton of the Florida State League (17 starts) and Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League (ten starts), with very similar results at both levels. He combined to go 12-5, 3.56 in 144 innings, with 139 strikeouts. The 2011 season was split between Altoona (22 starts) and five starts at Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League, before he made his MLB debut on September 10th. He went 8-10, 3.70 in 153.1 innings, with 139 strikeouts in the minors. In the majors, he went 0-3, 6.48 in four starts.
Locke spent most of 2012 in Triple-A, going 10-5, 2.48 in 141.2 innings, with 131 strikeouts. He made six starts and two relief appearances for the Pirates, posting a 5.50 ERA in 34.1 innings, with 34 strikeouts. He had a breakout half year in 2013 when made 30 starts for the Pirates, going 10-7, 3.52 in 166.1 innings. Through early July, he had a 2.15 ERA in 18 starts, which led to an All-Star appearance. After the All-Star break he posted a 6.12 ERA in 12 starts. In 2014, he went 7-6, 3.91 in 131.1 innings for the Pirates, while also making ten minor league starts. The Pirates went 98-64 in 2015, with Locke getting 30 starts. Despite the Pirates playing so well as a team, he had an 8-11 record, with a 4.49 ERA in 168.1 innings. The team was actually above .500 when he was the starting pitcher, going 8-3 in his no-decisions. The craziness of win-loss records carried into 2016 when he went 9-8, 5.44 on a team that finished below the .500 mark. He still had two years of team control before free agency, but the Pirates let him go after the 2016 season, which turned out to be a very wise move. In 110 starts and 13 relief appearances with the Pirates, he went 35-38, 4.41 in 644.1 innings. Locke’s only other big league experience besides his time with the Pirates was seven starts for the 2017 Miami Marlins in which he went 0-5, 8.16 in 32 innings. He missed time due to a left shoulder injury and he was designated for assignment in the middle of the year. He became a free agent at the end of the season and decided to retire.
John Scheneberg, starting pitcher for the 1913 Pirates. He started his pro career in the minors in 1909, playing his first three seasons with the Paris Bourbonites of the Blue Grass League, a D-level minor league at the time. There are no pitching stats available from his first season, though partial hitting stats show a .111 average in 25 games. During the 1910 season, he posted a 14-15 record and pitched 261 innings with a 1.03 WHIP. No ERA is available from that year, but we know that he allowed 2.93 runs per nine innings. He began to get noticed his third season with Paris in 1911 when he had a 12-0 record. In 1912, Scheneberg moved up to Savannah of the Class-C South Atlantic League, where he went 12-11 and pitched 178.1 innings. He moved to Norfolk of the Class-C Virginia State League in 1913, where the newspapers shortened his last name to Shenn so it was easier in print. He had a 15-17 record that year and pitched 277 innings.
The Pirates acquired Scheneberg on September 20, 1913 from Norfolk and only used him for one game in late September. That chance only came about when they had five straight doubleheaders and they needed an extra starter. He pitched game one on September 23, 1913 and went six innings, allowing four earned runs on ten hits in a 6-1 loss to the Brooklyn Superbas. On October 2nd, the Pirates sold Scheneberg to Columbus of the Double-A American Association. They needed to get their roster down to the league limit (35 players) and he was cut to reach that mark. His actual time spent with the Pirates was 13 days total. When he was taken in the Rule 5 draft on the recommendation of Pirates scout Billy Murray, it was said that he would get a tryout with the team and that was quite literal it appears. His only other big league experience ended up being two innings in relief for the 1920 St Louis Browns at the end of the year.
Sheneberg spent the 1914-15 seasons with Columbus, then played with four different teams over three years during the 1916-17 season. During those two seasons, he played in Double-A, Class-B and Class-D ball. After spending those four seasons in the minors, he served two years in the military during WWI, before returning to baseball with the 1920 Browns. He pitched the 1920 season with Joplin of the Class-A Western League, where he went 19-13 and he threw 259 innings. While in St Louis, he pitched just one game in relief, almost exactly seven years to the date of his first Major League game. On September 24, 1920, he allowed seven runs in two innings during a 16-8 loss, thus ending his big league career. He went to Spring Training with the Browns in 1921, but he was sent back to Joplin on March 19th. He pitched briefly in the minors in 1921 before retiring as a player. He was often called Jack Shenn during his playing days, but the spelling of his last name was listed numerous different ways, including the somewhat comically long Schennenburger.
George McBride, shortstop for the 1905 Pirates. With the great Honus Wagner in his prime, the Pirates didn’t have much need for a young shortstop in 1905, especially one who didn’t hit much. McBride batted .218 in 27 games for the Pirates, then was traded to the St Louis Cardinals on July 4, 1905 for third baseman Dave Brain. McBride went on to play a total of 16 seasons in the majors, mostly with the Washington Senators (1908-20) and he is considered one of the best defensive shortstops in the history of the game. He compiled a 23.3 dWAR (28th best all-time) in 1,627 games, four times leading the league in defensive WAR, and eight times he finished among the top four in the league. McBride was strong enough defensively at shortstop to gain MVP recognition in four straight seasons (1911-14). That was despite hitting between .203 and .235 in each of those seasons, with just two homers total, plus he failed to score 60 runs or pick up 60 RBIs in any season during his career.
McBride debuted in pro ball at 20 years old the majors in 1901 with the Milwaukee Brewers, which is the current day Baltimore Orioles. His action that season was limited to just three games at shortstop. His next big league appearance was with the Pirates four years later. He remained in Milwaukee in 1902, playing in the American Association, while also seeing time with Kansas City of the same league. He batted .238 with 19 extra-base hits in 110 games between the two stops. He spent the 1903-04 seasons playing for the St Joseph Saints of the Class-A Western League. Stats are very limited for the 111 games he played in 1903, and the 1904 season has just a little more available, showing a .256 average in 139 games. The Pirates purchased his contract from St Joseph on August 1, 1904 for $1,000, though he didn’t report to the club until the following spring. Owner Barney Dreyfuss offered St Joseph extra money for the immediate release of McBride, but the Saints were in a playoff race and refused to part with him until their season was completed. A dispute in the final cost for McBride lasted until December 10th when the Pirates made their final payment. He made a few starts at shortstop early in the season, then ran off ten straight starts at third base in early May. From May 15th until his departure to St Louis seven weeks later, he made nine starts between third base and shortstop, while playing four other games off of the bench. After the trade, McBride hit .217 with a .520 OPS in 81 games for the Cardinals to finish out the 1905 season.
For the 1906 Cardinals, McBride batted just .169 in 90 games, posting a .422 OPS. His defense was above average by then though, so he was able to play more than you would expect with that offense. He was traded to Kansas City of the American Association late in the season, where he remained through the end of the 1907 season when he hit .269 with 31 extra-base hits in 151 games. He was purchased by the Washington Senators and remained there for the next 13 seasons. In 1908, he played his first of seven straight years with 150+ games. McBride hit .232 with a .566 OPS, 47 runs scored and 41 walks. He stole 12 bases, which is significant because it started a stretch of eight straight years with at least ten steals, though he never stole more than 17 bases in one season. In 1909, he had nearly an identical season at the plate as 1908, finishing with a .560 OPS, with his average, OBP and slugging all within eight points of the previous season. He also had 16 extra-base hits both years and picked up 34 RBIs each season. McBride’s batting average dropped to .230 in 1910, but he drew more walks and showed a little more power, leading to a .609 OPS in 154 games, which was his career high for OPS, and the only season in which he topped the .600 mark. His career was played during the deadball era, so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds compared to a modern shortstop, but it was still below average. He set a career high with 61 walks in 1910, while adding 54 runs scored and 55 RBIs.
In 1911, McBride led the league with 154 games played. He drew 52 walks, and set career highs with 58 runs scored and 59 RBIs. He finished 22nd in the MVP voting. In 1912, he hit .226 with 56 runs scored and 52 RBIs, while setting a high with seven triples, and tying his high with 17 stolen bases. That led to a 21st place finish in the MVP voting. In 1913, McBride batted .214 with 18 doubles, seven triples, 52 runs scored and 52 RBIs. He improved to a 14th place finish in the MVP voting, his best showing. While he played a career high 157 games in 1914, his offense dropped from already low standards. He hit .203 with a .516 OPS, which was his low to that point, but just a start in the drop. He was credited with a strong 3.0 dWAR that season, which led to an 18th place finish in the MVP voting, the last time that he received MVP votes, though that’s a bit misleading because there was no MVP award from 1915-1921, so there was no chance to get votes. In 1915, McBride hit .204 in 146 games, with 54 runs scored and 30 RBIs. For the fourth straight season, modern metrics credits him with being the best defensive player, with his 2.3 dWAR. His total dWAR from 1912-15 is 11.6, which alone would rank him among the top 200 defensive players all-time.
In 1916, McBride played 100+ games for the final time. He hit .227 in 139 games, with 36 runs and 36 RBIs. Over his final four seasons in the majors, all spent with the Senators, he played a total of 96 games. He was basically serving as a player-coach during this time, which led to a managerial role. After his playing days, he managed the 1921 Senators to an 80-73 record, but an injury caused him to retire from the game for a short time, though he came back to coach for a few years in 1925, until retiring permanently. In his 16 seasons in the majors, he played 1,660 games, hitting .218 with 566 runs scored, 194 extra-base hits, 447 RBIs and 133 stolen bases. He hit just seven homers in his career and three were inside-the-park homers. Another was a bounce homer, which would be a ground rule double now, but back then it counted as a homer. They were rare occurrences, but they happened before the rule change. He led the league in fielding percentage for shortstops five times, double plays six times, putouts three times and assists once. His .968 fielding percentage in 1915 broke Honus Wagner’s single season record for fielding percentage at shortstop, though McBride held that title for just three years.