This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: January 3rd, AJ Burnett and Gus Suhr

Nine former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date.

Gus Suhr, first baseman for the 1930-39 Pirates. He is considered by some as the best first baseman in team history. He was with his hometown San Francisco Seals for four full seasons (1926-29) and a few games in 1925, before being acquired by the Pirates. He was acquired by the Pirates after hitting .381 with 51 homers, 62 doubles and 299 hits for San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League in 1929. Those totals are obviously extremely impressive but a little bit misleading. The PCL was a high offense league and they played approximately 200 games per year with Suhr playing in 202 during that season. He debuted at 19 years old in 1925, spending most of the season with Quincy of the Class-B Three-I League, where he hit .282 in 132 games, with 41 extra-base hits. After playing three games for San Francisco in 1925, Suhr was a regular in their lineup in 1926 when he hit .282 in 173 games, with 33 doubles and 14 triples. In 1927, he played 195 games and hit .293 with 42 doubles, nine triples and 27 homers. That type of season seems like it would have got him a shot at the majors, but it still took two more years. Before his huge 1929 campaign, Suhr hit .314 in 191 games in 1928, with 64 doubles, nine triples and 22 homers. On December 7, 1929, the Pirates paid $20,000, plus the rights to first baseman Earl Sheely, to acquire the 23-year-old (almost 24) Suhr from San Francisco.

The 1930 season was one of the highest offense seasons in Major League history, so Suhr broke in at the right time. He hit .286 during his rookie campaign with 80 walks, 93 runs scored, 26 doubles, 14 triples, 17 homers and 107 RBIs. A leg injury cost him part of the 1931 seasons and his numbers really suffered, hitting only .211 in 87 games, with a .642 OPS that was 218 points lower than his rookie season. He was a mainstay in the lineup after that down season, averaging 152 games played per season over the next seven years. He led the National League in games played three times. In 1932, he hit .263 in 154 games, with 78 runs scored, 31 doubles, 16 triples, 81 RBIs and 63 walks. During the 1933 season, he started a streak that is unequaled in Pirates history. He had four straight seasons of 30+ doubles and double digits in triples and homers. That year he batted .267 in 154 games, with 72 runs, 31 doubles, 11 triples, ten homers, 75 RBIs and 72 walks.

Suhr drove in 103 runs during the 1934 season, reaching the century mark for the second of three times in his career. That year he batted .283 in 151 games, with 67 runs, 36 doubles, 13 triples, 13 homers and 66 walks. In 1935, he hit .272 in 153 games, with 68 runs scored, 33 doubles, 12 triples, ten homers, 81 RBIs and 70 walks. He had his best season in 1936, hitting .312 with 95 walks, 111 runs scored and 118 RBIs. Those totals set career highs in all four categories. He had 33 doubles, 12 triples and 11 homers that year, while playing a career high 156 games. He also made his only All-Star appearances that 1936 season, though the All-Star game didn’t start until his fourth season in the league. In 1937, Suhr hit .278 in 151 games, with 69 runs, 28 doubles, 14 triples, 97 RBIs and 83 walks. He followed that up in 1938 by batting .294 in 145 games, with 82 runs scored, 35 doubles, 14 triples, 64 RBIs and 87 walks. During each of his eight full seasons in a Pirates uniform, Suhr finished in the top six in the NL in both walks and triples, although surprisingly (after you hear that fact), he never led the league in either category.

The Pirates traded Suhr to the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle of the 1939 season in exchange for pitcher Max Butcher, who was just 28-46 career at the time of the trade. Despite the stats seemingly making this a one-sided trade, the Pirates actually got the better of the deal, as Butcher went 67-60 in seven seasons in Pittsburgh, while Suhr played 70 games for the Phillies before they released him. Before the deal, he was batting .289 in 63 games, with 31 RBIs and 23 runs scored. After the deal, he batted .318 with the Phillies in 60 games. However, his time in the majors was done after just ten games in 1940. In ten seasons in Pittsburgh, he hit .278 with 276 doubles, 112 triples, 789 RBIs and 689 runs scored over 1,365 games. He ranks eighth in Pirates history in RBIs and eighth in walks with 679. He also ranks 13th in games played, 18th in hits, 19th in runs, 11th in both doubles and triples, and 16th in total bases. He played 822 consecutive games with the Pirates, which was an NL record. His streak only ended when he attended his mother’s funeral during the early part of the 1938 season. He returned to the minors in 1940, playing off and on until 1948. He had a brief stint as a manager in the minors when he was 42 years old. He played pro ball for a total of 21 seasons.

AJ Burnett, pitcher for the 2012-13 and 2015 Pirates. He was already a veteran of 13 big league seasons by the time he joined the Pirates, debuting in the majors at 22 years old with the 1999 Florida Marlins. Just four years earlier, he was an eighth round draft pick of the New York Mets out of high school in Arkansas. The Marlins acquired him in a five-player trade that involved Al Leiter headed to New York. Burnett debuted in the Gulf Coast League in 1995, going 2-3, 4.28 in 33.2 innings, with 23 walks and 26 strikeouts. In 1996, he moved up one step to Kingston of the short-season Appalachian League, where he had a 4-0, 3.88 record in 58 innings, with 54 walks and 68 strikeouts. In 1997, Burnett spent his third season in short-season ball, seeing time in the Gulf Coast League and the New York-Penn League, combining to go 3-2, 4.39 in 55.1 innings with 43 walks and 63 strikeouts. Things clicked once he joined the Marlins system in 1998. He played for Low-A Kane County of the Midwest League, where he went 10-4, 1.97 in 20 starts, with an incredible 186 strikeouts in 119 innings. The Marlins jumped him to Double-A Portland of the Eastern League in 1999, though he had a 6-12, 5.52 record in 120.2 innings, with 121 strikeouts. He still got a shot in the majors that year, going 4-2, 3.48 in seven starts. Burnett played seven seasons with the Marlins, though he had trouble staying healthy.

In 2000, Burnett made three minor league rehab starts and 13 big league starts, going 3-7, 4.79 in 82.2 innings. He threw a no-hitter in 2001 as part of his 11-12, 4.05 record in 173.1 innings over 27 starts. In 2002, he had a big season, going 12-9, 3.30 in 204.1 innings, with five shutouts and 203 strikeouts. Burnett then missed most of the 2003 season (he made four starts) and part of 2004 due to Tommy John surgery, which cost him a chance to be part of their 2003 World Series run. He went 7-6, 3.68 in 120 innings, with 113 strikeouts, after returning in 2004. In 2005, Burnett had a 12-12, 3.44 record in 209 innings over 32 starts, finishing with 198 strikeouts. He went 49-50, 3.73 in 131 starts and 853.2 innings with the Marlins. He signed as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays on December 7, 2005 and spent three seasons there.

Burnett missed time during each of his first two seasons in Toronto, though he was relatively healthy. He went 10-8, 3.98 in 135.2 innings over 21 starts in 2006. That was followed by a matching 10-8 record in 2007, this time with a 3.75 ERA in 165.2 innings over 25 starts. He was healthy for all of 2008 and had a big season, going 18-10, 4.07 in a career high 221.1 innings, with leading the American League with 231 strikeouts, which was also a career high. The New York Yankees signed Burnett to a five-year deal in December of 2008 and he pitched well in his first season, posting a 13-9, 4.04 record in 33 starts and 207 innings. However, his results dropped off during the next two years, posting a 5.26 ERA in 186.2 innings in 2010 and a 5.15 mark in 190.1 innings in 2011. He led the league in hit batters in 2010 and wild pitches in 2011.

The Pirates acquired Burnett in February 2012 from the New York Yankees for two minor league players who combined to play nine big league games. After joining the Pirates, he went 16-10, 3.51 in 31 starts and 202.1 innings, with 180 strikeouts. It was the second best win total during his career. He actually pitched better the next season, though it didn’t show in his record. He went 10-11, 3.30 in 30 starts, helping the Pirates to their first postseason appearance in 21 years. He had 209 strikeouts in 190 innings. After the season, he signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies, where things did not work out at all. He led the league in losses, earned runs allowed and walks, going 8-18, 4.59 in 213.2 innings. Burnett returned to the Pirates as a free agent in 2015 and went 9-7, 3.18 in 164 innings over 26 starts, helping the team to its third straight playoff appearance. After the season, he decided to retire. He pitched three seasons in Pittsburgh, going 35-28, 3.34 in 87 starts, with 532 strikeouts in 557.1 innings. Burnett won 164 games during a 17-year career, yet he didn’t make an All-Star team until his final season in the majors (2015) at 38 years old. He ranks 38th all-time with 2,513 strikeouts, one spot ahead of the great Christy Mathewson. Just two players on that strikeout list ahead of him pitched for the Pirates, Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven and Jim Bunning. Burnett finished up 164-157, 3.99 in 2,731.1 innings.

Dick Colpaert, pitcher for the 1970 Pirates. He was only in the majors for three weeks, pitching 10.2 innings over eight relief appearances, but he was actually in the Pirates system for ten seasons. He was drafted by the Pirates from the Baltimore Orioles in November 1962 during the first-year draft (which does not exist anymore) and he stayed around until November 1972 when he was sold to the Kansas City Royals.  The Pirates called him up from the minors on July 17, 1970 when Steve Blass went down with an injury that cost him a full month. The were also without Bob Moose for a time, as he was nursing a sore elbow. Colpaert debuted four days later, retiring all six batters he faced in a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros. His only big league win came when he pitched a scoreless eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves in his second game. The Pirates were trailing 5-3 going into the bottom of the eighth and they were able to take the lead with three runs. Dave Giusti came in for the ninth inning and saved the game. Colpaert allowed runs in three of his final six appearances, pitching his last big league game on August 10th when he allowed four runs over 1.1 innings against the New York Mets. The very next day he was sent to the minors to make room for the return of Steve Blass. Colpaert ended up going 12-3, 2.28 in 46 relief appearances at Triple-A during that 1970 season, but never made it back to the majors. Two years later he won 14 games and picked up 21 saves in 61 relief outings. His time with the Pirates ended on September 25, 1972 when he was sold to the Kansas City Royals, and his pro career ended after 12 appearances during the 1974 season. He spent a total of 13 seasons in the minors, going 76-60, 3.37 in 546 games. His big league time saw him post a 5.91 ERA in 10.2 innings.

Colpaert debuted in 1962 at 18 years old, playing for Appleton of the Class-D Midwest League, where he went 5-6, 2.69 in 77 innings over 36 appearances (two starts). He recorded 85 strikeouts, which likely helped draw the attention of the Pirates. In his first season in the Pittsburgh organization, he had a 3.60 ERA in 80 innings with Kinston of the Class-A Carolina League. He also had a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings with Double-A Asheville of the South Atlantic League that year. Asheville moved to the Southern League in 1964 and Colpaert remained with the team, going 4-3, 4.94 in 93 innings over 42 games. He stayed there for the next two seasons as well, going 3-3, 3.87 in 79 innings over 48 games in 1965, followed by an 8-6, 3.64 record in 84 innings over 53 games in 1966. He played for Macon of the Southern League in 1967, but that was just the Pirates changing affiliates, leaving him at the same level for a fifth straight season. Colpaert went 3-2, 1.58 in 74 innings over 45 games in 1967. That still wasn’t enough to get him to Triple-A, though he ended up pitching three games at the level in 1968. He was with the Pirates new Double-A affiliate in York (Eastern League) in 1968, where he went 3-8, 2.52 in 50 innings and 38 appearances. He gave up five runs over four innings in his brief time with Columbus of the Triple-A International League in 1968. The 1969 season was his first year since 1962 that he didn’t spend the majority of the year in Double-A, but he still spent time at the level. In 61 innings over 34 appearances for Columbus in 1969, Colpaert had an 8-2, 2.95 record. His best pitch was a palm ball, which you rarely see today.

Harry Fisher, pitcher for the 1951-52 Pirates. He was signed by the Pirates in 1947 at 21 years old as an amateur free agent out of Canada. During his first year he won 16 games pitching for the Tallahassee Pirates of the Class-D Georgia-Florida League, which would end up being his career high for victories. He had a 3.15 ERA in 197 innings, with 209 strikeouts that year. In 1948, he spent most of the year with Davenport of the Class-B Three-I League, where he had a 6-12, 4.40 record in 135 innings, with 89 walks and 119 strikeouts. He also saw time with New Orleans of the Double-A Southern Association, posting a 5.35 ERA in 37 innings, with 29 walks and 28 strikeouts. In 1949, Fisher spent the entire season with New Orleans, going 5-8, 6.13 in 113 innings. With Indianapolis in 1951, he had a 6-9, 5.15 record in 131 innings, with more walks (68) than strikeouts (60). He was a decent pitcher who could really swing the bat, occasionally playing outfield during his minor league career. Before he was sent to the minors in 1951, there was talk of switching him from the mound to either first base or the outfield. Fisher was called up to the Pirates late in 1951 and never took the mound, but he did pinch-hit three times. During that time, the talk was that he would either switch to outfield or catcher in 1952.

During the 1952 season, Fisher pitched eight games for the Pirates, three as a starter. While he fared poorly on the mound (1-2, 6.87 in 18.1 innings), he was used seven times as a pinch-hitter, going 5-for-15 at the plate that year. Fisher began that season with Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League. He was recalled on June 12th and debuted nine days later. He remained with the Pirates through August 9th, when they sent him to Toronto of the International League. That would be the end of his big league career. He finished out his career in the minors in 1959 with a 65-79 record in 264 games. During his final three seasons, he saw more outfield time than mound time. He missed time in 1954 due to a sore arm and was voluntarily retired at the time. He also didn’t play pro ball during the 1955 season, though he pitched up in Canada. His minor league highlights as a batter were his back-to-back seasons in which he hit .397 and .423 in 1949-50. Those weren’t just very limited seasons either, as he record 89 hits in 214 at-bats over the two seasons combined.

Kirby White, pitcher for the 1910-11 Pirates. The Pirates acquired White early in the 1910 season from the Boston Doves for pitcher Sam Frock and first baseman Bud Sharpe. There were a few teams after his services at the time and it was said that the Boston owner took his time to make sure he got the best return of young MLB players, refusing to take any minor leaguers or veterans in the deal. White debuted in pro ball just four years earlier at 22 years old in 1906, where he played for Lancaster of the Class-C Ohio-Pennsylvania League. No stats are available for that year, but in 1907 he had a 15-16 record in 34 appearances for Lancaster. Prior to his rookie season in the majors with Boston, he pitched a third season for Lancaster (then of the Class-D Ohio State League), where he won 28 games and pitched 363 innings in 1908. He was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the Chicago Cubs, but he was put on waivers before pitching a game for them, where he was picked up by the Doves. White had a 6-13 record, with a 3.22 ERA in 148.1 innings, as a 25-year-old during his rookie season in 1909. That ERA sounds good, but 1908 was the middle of the deadball era and the league had an average of a 2.59 ERA.

Three starts into the 1910 season, White had a 1-2, 1.38 record for the Doves. He made his last appearance for Boston on April 27th, then debuted in Pittsburgh against the Chicago Cubs seven days later. For the Pirates during the 1910 season, he had a 10-9, 3.46 record in 153.1 innings over 21 starts and nine relief appearances. He wasn’t able to pitch until May of the 1911 season due to an arm injury, and when he finally made a start May 24th he was ineffective, getting pulled from the game early and taking the loss. That was his last Major League game. Just four days later, the Pirates sold him to Indianapolis of the American Association. He saw limited work after leaving the Pirates in 1911 due a summer-long suspension for not being in good enough shape to pitch games. He finished his pro career playing four seasons (1912-15) for the Sioux City Indians of the Class-A Western League. He averaged 260 innings per year during the 1912-14 seasons. White was known for his impressive curve ball, but his control issues kept him from being more effective in the majors. He was said to look tall and athletic, with a free and easy delivery. His actual first name was Oliver, but he preferred to go by his middle name. He was introduced to Pirates fans as “Red White” due to his hair color, though they also shortened his middle name to Kirb.

Luis Sojo, infielder for the 2000 Pirates. He was signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela by the Toronto Blue Jays on his 21st birthday in 1986. It took him four years to make the majors, then he lasted just 33 games with Toronto. He debuted in the Dominican Summer League in 1986, then jumped to Low-A to play with Myrtle Beach of the South Atlantic League in 1997. He hit just .211 in 72 games that year, with a .562 OPS. He remained in Myrtle Beach for the 1988 season and improved greatly, with a .289 average, 83 runs scored and 32 extra-base hits in 135 games. He struck out 35 times in 586 plate appearances. In 1989, Sojo jumped to Triple-A Syracuse of the International League. He hit .276 in 121 games, but it came with low power/walk numbers, as well as nine steals in 23 attempts. He improved in 1990, batting .296 in 75 games, with 21 extra-base hits and ten steals in 12 attempts. That earned him time with the Blue Jays, where he hit .225 in 80 at-bats. After the 1990 season, he was part of a six-player trade with the California Angels. Almost two years to the day, the Angels traded him back to the Blue Jays.

In 1991, Sojo spent the entire season in the majors with the Angels, hitting .258 in 113 games, with 38 runs scored, 20 RBIs and a .622 OPS. In 1992, he batted .272 with 22 extra-base hits and 43 RBIs in 106 games, while spending a small part of the season back in Triple-A. He was most a shortstop during his entire time with the Blue Jays, but he saw the majority of the starts at second base for the Angels. In 1993 back with Toronto, he was a utility player and split the season between the majors and Syracuse, while also missing time due to injury. He hit just .170 in 19 games with the Blue Jays. Sojo became a free agent and signed with the Seattle Mariners for the 1994 strike-shortened season. He hit .277 in 63 games that year, with a solid .731 OPS. He saw more playing time in 1995, hitting .289 in 102 games, with career highs of 50 runs, 18 doubles and seven homers. His .751 OPS that year was his career best. Sojo started off 1996 by hitting just .211 with one homer in 77 games, then got selected off waivers by the New York Yankees in August of 1996, which turned out to be the best move of his career. He played a total of seven seasons in New York, compiling just 274 games during that time, but he was a member of the 1996 and 1998-2000 World Series champs. He played just 18 games for the Yankees in 1996, then most of his time there came during the only season in which they didn’t win a title during that span. The 1997 season saw him hit .307 in 77 games, with 27 runs scored and 25 RBIs. In 1998, Sojo hit .231 in the backup utility infielder role. He had a .515 OPS that year and played just one playoff game. In 1999, he hit .252 in 49 games, with one postseason at-bat.

Sojo signed with the Pirates as a free agent in January of 2000. He hit .284 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 61 games for the Pirates before being traded to the Yankees in early August for pitcher Chris Spurling. He played more second base and shortstop during his career, but with the Pirates, all but one game he played on defense was at third base. He remained with the Yankees through 2003, but he played a total of just 76 big league games after leaving Pittsburgh. Sojo played a total of 848 Major League games over 13 seasons, hitting .261 with 300 runs scored, 103 doubles, 36 homers and 261 RBIs. He won four World Series titles while with the Yankees and drove in 15 runs in 43 playoff games.  He has done coaching and minor league managing since retiring in 2003. In nine seasons as a manager in the minors for the Yankees, he has won three league titles. While he spent most of the 1993 season in the minors and he didn’t see any postseason action, the Blue Jays won the World Series title that year, so he has five rings to his credit.

Mark Dewey, pitcher for the 1993-94 Pirates. The San Francisco Giants selected him in the 23rd round of the amateur draft out of Grand Valley State in 1987. He debuted at 22 years old in the short-season Northwest League in 1987, where he went 7-3, 3.30 in 84.2 innings, with ten starts and nine relief appearances. In 1988, Dewey played A-Ball for Clinton of the Midwest League, where he had a 10-4, 1.43 record in 119.1 innings over seven starts and 30 relief appearances. The next season was spent with San Jose of the Class-A California League, where he went 1-6, 3.15 in 68.2 innings, with 30 saves in 59 appearances. The 1990 season saw him advance quickly through the system. He started with Double-A Shreveport of the Texas League and had a 1.88 ERA and 13 saves in 38.1 innings over 33 games. He moved up to Triple-A Phoenix of the Pacific Coast League and had a 2.67 ERA in 30.1 innings. Dewey debuted in the majors in late August of 1990 and did well, posting a 2.78 ERA in 22.2 innings over 14 appearances. Despite that brief success, he spent the entire 1991 season in the minors, mostly with the New York Mets, after joining them as a waiver pickup in early May.

Dewey didn’t pitch poorly for the 1991 Giants in Phoenix, so it was a bit surprising that they moved on. He finished the 1991 season with a 13-5, 3.43 record in 76 innings over 58 games, with 13 saves. He made it back to the majors with the Mets in 1992 for a 4.32 ERA in 33.1 innings over 20 appearances, seeing multiple stints with the club throughout the season. The Pirates picked Dewey up off waivers from New York in May of 1993. He actually retired earlier that season after learning that the Mets were going to send him to the minors on April 3rd. He reconsidered five weeks later and New York was hoping to sneak him through waivers, but it didn’t work. He had a 2.36 ERA in 26.2 innings over 21 appearances during the 1993 season, then saw more action in 1994, when he posted a 3.68 ERA in 51.1 innings. In 66 games for the Pirates, he had a 3-3, 3.23 record with eight saves.

Dewey became a free agent after spending his two seasons with the Pirates and signed with the Giants, where he spent the final two years of his big league career. He had a 3.13 ERA in 31.2 innings over 27 appearances in 1995, then finished off his big league career with 78 appearances for the 1996 Giants, going 6-3, 4.21 in 83.1 innings. He pitched 205 career games in the majors (all in relief) and those eight saves with the Pirates were the only ones that he recorded during his career. He went 12-7, 3.65 in 249 big league innings. Dewey made a comeback in 2001 after five years of retirement, pitching 11 games for the Pirates in Triple-A. He played again six years later in Independent ball in 2007 (he was also the team’s pitching coach), but he lasted just 18 games before cutting short that final comeback. Dewey has been a pitching coach coach off and on since 2000.

Michael Restovich, outfielder for the 2005 Pirates. He was a second round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 1997 draft out of Mayo High School in Rochester, Minnesota. In took him five years to make it to the majors as a September call-up in 2002. He debuted in pro ball in 1998, hitting .369 with 25 doubles, 13 homers, 70 RBIs, 77 runs scored and 58 walks in 76 games, mostly spent in the short-season Appalachian League with Elizabethton. Baseball America rated him as a top 100 prospect in all of baseball four times, starting in 1999 when he hit .312 in Low-A ball with Quad City of the Midwest League. He had 91 runs scored, 30 doubles 19 homers, 107 RBIs and 74 walks in 131 games. He had a down year in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League (High-A) in 2000, batting .263 in 135 games, with 27 doubles, eight homers, 19 steals and 61 walks. Restovich bounced back in Double-A with New Britain of the Eastern League, batting .269 with 33 doubles, 23 homers, 84 RBIs, 15 steals and 54 walks in 140 games. He earned his first big league trial after batting .284 with 95 runs, 32 doubles, 29 homers, 98 RBIs and 53 walks in  138 games for Triple-A Edmonton of the Pacific Coast League in 2002. He batted .308 in eight games in September. Restovich saw big league time in 2003 and 2004 with the Twins, though it was limited to a total of 115 plate appearances over 54 games. His numbers in Triple-A also fell off each year, though that was partially due to the Minnesota affiliate moving from the hitter-friendly PCL to the more neutral International League (Rochester). He went from an .896 OPS in Triple-A in 2002, down to .811 in 2003, then dropping to .740 in 2004. Despite not getting an extended look from his hometown team, he had an .807 OPS in 61 games with the Twins.

Minnesota lost Restovich on waivers to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the end of Spring Training in 2005. Just six days later, without playing a game for them, the Devil Rays lost him on waivers to the Colorado Rockies. Before joining the Pirates, he hit .290 in 14 games for Colorado. The Pirates picked him up from the Rockies in May of 2005 for future considerations. Over 52 games in Pittsburgh, Restovich hit .214 with two homers and five RBIs in 84 at-bats. He was released following the 2005 season, then spent the next two seasons bouncing between the minors and majors, seeing time with the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals. His big league time was limited to 13 plate appearances over ten games with the 2006 Cubs and 29 plate appearances over 15 games with the 2007 Nationals. Restovich originally signed with the Philadelphia Phillies after the 2007 season, but they released him 16 days later so he could spend 2008 in Japan. He then played another three years in the minor leagues without making it back to the majors, spending that time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks. He had a .239/.313/.377 line in 152 Major League games over six seasons.

Carlos Maldonado, catcher for the Pirates during the 2006-07 seasons. He was signed as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela by the Seattle Mariners in 1995, and he ended up playing a total of 20 seasons in pro ball. He debuted in the Arizona Summer League in 1996, where he batted .220 with two homers in 29 games. He was up in A-Ball in 1997 at 18 years old, hitting .190 with ten extra-base hits in 97 games for Wisconsin of the Midwest League. Most of the 1998 season was spent a level lower in short-season ball, but he played briefly for Wisconsin again, as well as a three-game stint with Triple-A Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League. He combined to bat .258 with five homers and 25 RBIs in 52 games. He spent the entire 1999 season back with Wisconsin, where he hit .308 in 92 games, with 13 doubles (no triples or homers) and a 43:32 BB/SO ratio. Maldonado was traded to the Seattle Mariners during Spring Training in 2000 and they skipped him up to Double-A Round Rock of the Texas League. He batted .270 with 31 extra-base hits and 52 RBIs in 116 games in 2000. In 2001, he hit .286 with 14 doubles and four homers in 76 games. The 2002 season was mostly spent with Round Rock, though he got a shot at Triple-A with New Orleans of the PCL. Maldonado hit .237 that year, with a .698 OPS in 59 games total. He became a free agent and signed with the Chicago White Sox, where he spent the 2003-04 seasons with Double-A Birmingham of the Southern League. He hit .262 in 120 games in 2003, with 24 doubles, six homers and 63 RBIs. He followed that up by hitting .265 in 108 games, with 30 doubles and 12 homers.

The Pirates signed Maldonado as a free agent shortly after the 2004 World Series ended. Maldonado was in the Pirates system from 2005 through 2008, splitting most of his time between Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League and Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League. When he was called up in September of 2006, it was called a reward for the hard work he put in that season in the minors, as well as giving a shot to someone who was in his 11th season of pro ball without a big league appearance. He batted .282 in 108 games (103 with Indianapolis), with 18 doubles, six homers and 47 RBIs. The Pirates added a third catcher in September just like every other team in baseball and Maldonado filled that role, getting 19 at-bats over eight games, including six games as a starter. He spent slightly more time with the Pirates in 2007, coming up in mid-August when Ryan Doumit was placed on the disabled list. Maldonado remained in the majors through the end of the season, playing 13 games total, eight as a starter. During his two seasons in Pittsburgh, he hit .163 with two homers in 43 at-bats. After leaving the Pirates via free agency after the 2008 season, he spent the 2009 season in the minors for the Boston Red Sox. After that, Maldonado spent four seasons with the Washington Nationals, briefly appearing in the majors in both 2010 and 2012, playing four games each year. He retired after playing winter ball in Venezuela for the tenth year during the 2015-16 off-season. He was a .159 hitter with three homers in 29 big league games. He played over 1,600 games in his pro career.