This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: January 6th, Seven Former Pirates Born on This Date

Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date.

Jimmy Barthmaier, pitcher for the 2008 Pirates. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 13th round out of high at 19 years old in June of 2003 and signed exactly a month later. He pitched for Houston in the minors until the Pirates selected him off waivers in November of 2007. He debuted in the short-season Appalachian League with Martinsville, where he went 1-1, 2.49 in 21.2 innings over three starts and five relief outings. Despite a strong showing, he repeated the Appalachian League in 2004, and put together a 4-3, 3.78 record in 69 innings, with 65 strikeouts. In 2005, Barthmaier spent the season with Lexington of the Low-A South Atlantic League, where he went 11-6, 2.27 in 134.2 innings, with 142 strikeouts. He also made one start for Salem of the High-A Carolina League, where he allowed one earned run in six innings. In 2006, he spent the entire year with Salem, going 11-8, 3.62 in 146.2 innings over 27 starts, with 134 strikeouts. He went 2-9, 6.20 in 90 innings at Double-A Corpus Christi of the Texas League during the 2007 regular season, making 16 starts and eight relief appearances. Barthmaier then followed it up with a poor showing in the Arizona Fall League, where he allowed 14 runs in 13 innings. The Pirates picked him up off waivers just as the AFL season was ending.

Barthmaier began the 2008 season in Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League before getting promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League after his start on May 25th. After five starts for Indianapolis, the Pirates called him up for his big league debut, which was a spot start on June 27, 2008. He gave up seven runs over 2.1 innings to the Tampa Bay Rays. Barthmaier returned to the minors, making 11 more starts for Indianapolis before he was recalled by the Pirates in mid-September for two more starts. He went 0-2, 10.45 in 10.1 innings over his three starts for the Pirates. He had a 4.02 ERA in 25 starts in the minors that year. In 2009 for Indianapolis, Barthmaier pitched to just two batters in his only start before he left the game. He missed the rest of the season due to Tommy John surgery. He returned in early 2010, pitching seven games of rehab work in the minors before being released by the Pirates. Barthmaier signed with the Washington Nationals shortly after being released in mid-June and he remained in their system through the end of the 2012 season, though he never advanced above Double-A. That 2012 season ended up being his final year in pro ball, so his big league career consisted of just those three starts for the Pirates. He had a 3.84 ERA in 743.1 innings in the minors.

Brian Bass, pitcher for the 2010 Pirates. He was a sixth round draft pick out of high school by the Kansas City Royals in 2000. Bass pitched for them in the minors until the end of the 2006 season when he was granted minor league free agency. He debuted in the Gulf Coast League in 2000, where he went 3-5, 3.89 in 44 innings, with 44 strikeouts. He also made one start in Low-A with Charleston of the South Atlantic League. Kansas City moved their Low-A affiliate to Burlington of the Midwest League in 2001 and Bass spent two full seasons there. In 2001, he went 3-10, 4.65 in 139.1 innings. That was followed up by a 5-7, 3.83 record in 110.1 innings over 20 starts in 2002. He moved up to High-A in 2003, playing for Wilmington of the Carolina League, where he had a 9-8, 2.84 record in 152.1 innings over 26 starts. He struggled badly in ten starts for Double-A Wichita of the Texas League in 2004, posting a 7.43 ERA. He spent part of the season back in rookie ball, where he made five starts. In 2005, Bass was back in Wichita, where he went 12-8, 5.24 in 165 innings over 27 starts. He also made six starts in the Arizona Fall League after the season and had a 3.33 ERA in 24.1 innings. He made it to Triple-A for the first time during his final season (2006) with Kansas City and struggled in seven starts, posting a 7.59 ERA in 32 innings. He also saw time back in Wichita and made some starts in rookie ball, throwing a total of 71 innings that year.

Bass signed with the Minnesota Twins for the 2007 season and spent the entire year in Triple-A Rochester of the International League, where he went 7-3, 3.48 in ten starts and 27 relief outings, throwing a total of 103.1 innings. He then went on to play winter ball in Venezuela, where he made nine starts and had a 3.38 ERA. He finally made it to the majors on Opening Day in 2008. He made 44 relief appearances for the Twins that year before they shipped him to the Baltimore Orioles in September. The Orioles put him into the starting rotation and he had a 4.71 ERA in 21 innings. In 49 games total during his rookie season he posted a 4.84 ERA in 89.1 innings. Bass put up similar numbers out of the Baltimore bullpen in 2009, posting a 4.90 ERA in 86.1 innings over 48 appearances. He was released on December 12, 2009 and the Pirates signed him as a free agent one month later. He began 2010 in Triple-A with Indianapolis of the International League before being called up three weeks into the season. He made three appearances for the Pirates and gave up multiple runs in each game. He went back to Triple-A, where he stayed until the end of the minor league season. Bass joined the Pirates in September and made just one appearance before being designated for assignment on September 13th. In his four appearances with the Pirates, he posted a 12.27 ERA over 7.1 innings. The Pirates released Bass back into the free agent waters after the season, where he was caught by the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent the entire 2011 season in Triple-A, going 8-10, 3.81 in 158.1 innings over 28 starts. He was signed by the Houston Astros in May of 2012 and spent part of the year in Triple-A, after beginning the season playing in Korea. Bass signed with the Phillies as a free agent after the 2012 season, but he ended up playing independent ball in 2013, which was the final year of his career. He went 9-7, 5.16 in 183 innings in the majors, with four starts and 97 relief appearances.

Doe Boyland, first baseman for the 1978-79 and 1981 Pirates. Boyland was a second round draft pick of the Pirates in 1976 out of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.He’s just one of eight players from that school to make it to the majors. He hit .269 with a .728 OPS in 71 games with Salem of the Class-A Carolina League in 1976, then moved up to Double-A the following season. Playing for Shreveport of the Texas League in 1977, he hit .330 with 64 runs scored, 22 doubles 11 homers, 60 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 119 games. Boyland followed that up with a .291 average, 64 runs, 37 extra-base hits and 61 RBIs in 113 games with Triple-A Columbus of the International League in 1978, which earned him a big league call-up in September for six games. He missed most of the 1979 season due to injury, suffering a hamstring pull in Spring Training that bothered him throughout the season. He played just 30 games at Triple-A (Portland of the Pacific Coast League) and four September games for the Pirates. He hit well in Triple-A each of the next two seasons, but didn’t get recalled after the 1980 season. That year with Portland, he batted .281 in 120 games, with 77 runs scored, 22 doubles, six triples, 14 homers, 67 RBIs and 26 steals in 31 attempts.

Boyland batted .310 in 68 games with Portland in 1981, earning 11 more games with the Pirates in September, though he failed to get a hit. He was traded away in December 1981 to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Tom Griffin. Doe (first name was Dorian) played just one more season in the minors before retiring. He actually signed with the Minnesota Twins for 1983 and was said to be going to Toledo of the International League, but he never played for the team. He played 21 games for the Pirates altogether, all off the bench, hitting .105 (2-for-19). Along with a few other September call-ups, he received a $250 cash bonus from the Pirates out of the team’s World Series pool. The regulars on the team were voted shares that amounted to just over $28,000 each. During the final game of the 1978 season, Willie Stargell batted lead-off in the bottom of the first inning and collected a single. He left the game for a pinch-runner, with Boyland taking his place on the bases and then in the field at first base. It was the only time that Boyland played in the field in the majors. He handled all eight chances over his eight innings of work. In the fifth inning, he hit an RBI single, which ended up being the only RBI during his big league time. Boyland had nearly 100 days of service time in the majors, all accrued as a September recall. He was blocked by the combo of John Milner and Stargell, followed by the acquisition of All-Star Jason Thompson for the 1981 season. Boyland’s pro career was relatively short for someone who played parts of three seasons in the majors. He played a total of 649 games.

Lee Walls, outfielder for the 1952, 1956-57 Pirates. He was signed as an amateur free agent in 1951 at 18 years old and hit .342 with 23 doubles, 16 triples and 14 homers in 135 games that year in the minors while playing for Modesto of the Class-C California League. Walls made the Opening Day roster in 1952, but after a month of being used strictly as a pinch-hitter, he was sent to the minors to play for Waco of the Class-B Big State League. After batting .308 with 26 doubles and ten homers in 80 games, he returned in August to finish his rookie season in Pittsburgh with a .188 average in 32 games and 80 at-bats. Walls then spent three seasons with Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League, showing slight improvements each year. He batted .268 with 91 runs scored, 30 extra-base hits and 83 RBIs in 178 games in 1953. In 1954, he hit .290 in 162 games, with 88 runs scored, 23 doubles, 16 homers, 93 RBIs, 18 steals and 64 walks. During the 1955 season, he hit .283 with 81 runs scored, 21 doubles, 24 homers and 99 RBIs in 160 games. Walls returned to the Pirates in 1956, and in his first full season in the majors, he hit .274 with 72 runs scored, 20 doubles, 11 triples, 11 homers, 54 RBIs and 50 walks, while playing a career high 143 games. Just eight games into the 1957 season, Walls was traded with Dale Long to the Chicago Cubs for Dee Fondy and Gene Baker.

Walls didn’t do much in 1957 after the deal, but he would go on to have a career year in 1958. He finished the 1957 season with a .237 average in 125 games, with 22 extra-base hits and a .627 OPS. He followed that up by hitting .304 in 136 games in 1958, with 80 runs scored, 19 doubles, 24 homers, 72 RBIs and his only All-Star appearance. He would never approach those lofty numbers over six more seasons in the majors and he moved around a few times before finishing his playing career in the Japanese League in 1965. Walls followed up his big season by hitting .257 in 120 games in 1959, with 43 runs scored, 29 extra-base hits and 33 RBIs. His OPS dropped 129 points from his .864 mark in 1958. He was traded to the Cincinnati Reds after the 1959 season, then the Reds dealt him to the Philadelphia Phillies during the middle of the 1960 season. He combined in both spots to hit .223 in 94 games, with a .625 OPS. For the 1961 Phillies, Walls hit .280 in 91 games, with eight homers and 30 RBIs. He was being used in a utility role, playing five positions that year, while seeing time off of the bench as well.

The Phillies lost Walls in the 1961 expansion draft on October 10, 1961, but before he could play a game in New York for the Mets, he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He took a bench role for the Dodgers for the next three seasons, with his playing time dropping each year. Walls had 121 plate appearances in 60 games in 1962. He hit .266 that year with 17 RBIs. He played slightly more often, getting into 64 games in 1963, but he batted just 94 times. He hit .233 with three homers and 11 RBIs. In his final big league season, he hit .179 in 37 games, going to the plate just 30 times all season. In ten big league seasons, he was a .262 hitter in 902 games, with 331 runs scored, 66 homers and 284 RBIs. He batted .259 with 81 runs scored and 59 RBIs in 183 games with the Pirates.

Phil Masi, catcher for the 1949 Pirates. Masi spent 11 seasons in the majors as a catcher for the Boston Braves before he was acquired by the Pirates in June of 1949. He was a four-time All-Star (1945-48), who debuted in pro ball at 20 years old in 1936. He played for two teams in the Class-D Northern League, where his full stats are unavailable, but his known stats show a .334 average in 96 games, with 32 extra-base hits. In 1937, Masi spent most of the year with Wausau  of the Northern League, where he batted .326 with 25 doubles, eight triples and 31 homers in 113 games. He saw brief action with Springfield of the Class-C Middle Atlantic League that year, then spent the 1938 season with Springfield and hit .308 with 31 doubles, six triples and 16 homers in 127 games. The ended up being his last minor league season until he finished his career with one year in the minors in 1953. Masi batted .254 with a .692 OPS in 46 games for the Braves in 1939. In 1940, he hit just .196 in 63 games, while compiling a .531 OPS. He saw extra playing time in 1941, despite a .222 average. In 87 games, he had 13 extra-base hits, 18 RBIs and a .625 OPS.

In 1942, Masi batted 99 times in 57 games, finishing with a .218 average and a .589 OPS. He struck out four times all season. In 1943, he saw his at-bats nearly triple. He batted .273 with nine doubles, two homers and 28 RBIs in 80 games. That led to more time in 1944, when he .275 with 21 extra-base hits, 33 runs scored and 23 RBIs in 89 games. He played in three All-Star games after first being selected to the 1945 game, which was canceled due to wartime travel restrictions. That year Masi hit .272 in 114 games, with career highs of 55 runs and 25 doubles. He also had seven homers, 46 RBIs and 42 walks. The next year he led National League catchers in games and putouts, while batting .267 in 133 games, with career highs of 55 walks and 62 RBIs. He received mild MVP support during both the 1945 and 1946 seasons. While many veteran players saw a drop in their production in 1947 when the league was back to full strength, Masi ended up having the best year of his career, batting .304 with 54 runs, 22 doubles, 50 RBIs and a career best .820 OPS in 126 games. His nine homers and 125 hits were also both career highs. In 1948, the Braves won the National League pennant and he hit .253 in 113 games, with 24 extra-base hits, 44 RBIs and 43 runs scored.

Masi started the 1949 season slowly for the Braves, hitting just .210 with six RBIs in 37 games. The Pirates acquired the 33-year-old veteran backstop in exchange for minor league outfielder Ed Sauer. With the Pirates. Masi split the catching duties with veteran Clyde McCullough over the remainder of the 1949 season. Masi hit .274 in 48 games, and ended up leading National League catchers in fielding % with a .994 mark. He had previously led the league in fielding once before, putting up a .989 mark in 1947. After the season, the Pirates sold him to the Chicago White Sox, where he finished his career three seasons later. Masi had a strong 1950 season, putting up a .756 OPS in 122 games, while posting an 0.6 dWAR. He led the AL with a .996 fielding percentage. The Pirates didn’t suffer with his loss though, as the catching combo of McCullough and Ray Mueller each put up 0.9 WAR. In 1951, Masi hit .271 with 17 extra-base hits and 28 RBIs in 84 games. In his final season in the majors, he played 30 games for the 1952 White Sox and hit .254 with a .658 OPS. His final season of pro ball in 1953 was spent with Dallas of the Class-A Texas League, where he hit .268 with 29 extra-base hits in 106 games. In 1,229 Major League games, Masi hit .264 with 420 runs scored, 47 homers and 417 RBIs. The Pirates were likely eager to acquire him, as he batted .293 in 132 games against them while he was in Boston, well above his .262 average with the Braves. Masi also hit better at Forbes Field (.756 OPS) than he did at Braves Field (.719 OPS).

Chuck Workman, outfielder for the 1946 Pirates. Workman began his pro career in the minors in 1937 at 22 years old and saw very limited big league action in his first six years, despite hitting over .300 four times in the minors. He debuted in 1937 with Springfield of the Class-C Middle Atlantic League, where he batted .277 with 30 extra-base hits in 115 games.  He remained at Springfield to start 1938 and improved greatly, batting .364 in 131 games, with 38 doubles, ten triples and 18 homers. Workman played two games for the 1938 Cleveland Indians as a September call-up, then got in nine more games for the tribe off of the bench in first month of 1941, while spending the in-between time in the minors. A majority of the 1939 season was spent back with Springfield, where he hit .278 with 22 doubles and 16 homers in 77 games. The rest of the year was spent with Wilkes-Barre of the Class-A Eastern League. In 42 games there, he hit .212 with 11 extra-base hits. The entire 1940 season was spent with Cedar Rapids of the Class-B Three-I League. Workman hit .320 with 20 doubles, nine triples and 29 homers in 126 games. After his brief stint with the 1941 Indians, he hit .334 with 30 extra-base hits in 81 games for Nashville of the Class-A Southern Association. He also saw time with Milwaukee of the Double-A American Association, where he hit .122 in 17 games. He would spend all of 1942 with Nashville, putting up a .326 average in 145 games, with 40 doubles, seven triples and 29 homers.

When the war opened up Major League spots for career minor leaguers, Workman took advantage of his chance, playing 432 games for the 1943-45 Boston Braves. During that first full year in the majors, he hit .249 in 153 games, with 71 runs scored, 17 doubles, ten homers, 67 RBIs and 53 walks. In 1944, he hit just .208 in 140 games, with 46 runs, 18 doubles, 11 homers and 53 RBIs. He had a big season in 1945, hitting .274 with 77 runs scored, 25 homers, 87 RBIs and 51 walks. He ranked second in the National League in homers that year, finishing three behind his teammate Tommy Holmes. Workman had the better home run rate though, leading the league with one homers every 20.6 at-bats. In 1946 he struggled to open up the season, hitting .167 through 25 games. The Braves then traded him to the Pirates in early June for Johnny Barrett, an outfielder with a very similar story to Workman. For the Pirates, Workman hit .221 with 16 RBIs in 58 games to finish off the 1946 season. He was sold outright to Indianapolis of the American Association on December 5, 1946. Workman returned to the minors in 1947, where he finished out his playing career in 1951. During the 1948 season, he hit .353 with 52 homers for Nashville of the Southern Association. The following year he hit 41 homers and drove in 122 runs for Minneapolis of the American Association. He hit a total of 230 homers over 11 minor league seasons. He was a career .242 hitter in 526 big league games, with half of his 50 career homers coming during the 1945 season. He scored 213 runs and picked up 230 RBIs in the majors. Workman didn’t live long after his final minor league game, passing away three days short of his 38th birthday in January of 1953. It was said that he passed away due to ulcers, which is what prevented him from serving during WWII.

George Grant, pitcher for the 1931 Pirates. His big league debut came at the end of his first season in pro ball. Grant went 6-7 in 143 innings over 21 games with Terre Haute of the Class-B Three-I League in 1923. His ERA isn’t available from that league, but he’s credited with allowing 2.90 runs per nine innings. He made his big league debut at age 20 in September of 1923, pitching parts of three season for the St Louis Browns, where he posted a 1-4, 6.13 record in 38 games. During an era when full-time relievers weren’t common, he made just two starts during those three seasons. His big league debut didn’t exactly go smoothly. His first shot in the majors saw him allow seven runs on 15 hits in 8.2 innings over four appearances. In 1924, Grant got into 22 games for the Browns, spread throughout the entire season. He had a 6.31 ERA in 51.1 innings. The 1925 season saw him make all of his appearances by the middle of June. He had a 6.06 ERA in 16.1 innings. He was sent to Toledo of American Association to finish the season, where he went 5-12, 5.39 in 137 innings. Grant played part of 1926 with Tulsa of the Class-A Western League, but the majority of the season was spent back with Terre Haute, where he went 13-8, 4.05 in 180 innings.

After spending the entire 1926 season in the minors, Grant returned to the majors for three seasons with the Cleveland Indians in 1927. He began that year with Terre Haute, going 10-3, 1.83 in 123 innings. After joining the Indians, he had a 4-6, 4.46 record in 74.2 innings over 25 appearances (three starts). Despite a 5.04 ERA in 155.1 innings during the 1928 season, Grant posted a 10-8 record, while making 18 starts and ten relief appearances. He saw a huge drop in his production in 1929, as offense started to take off in the majors. He went 0-2, 10.50 in 24 innings over 12 relief outings with Cleveland through early July, then spent the rest of the year with Jersey City of the Double-A International League. He went 11-14, 4.58 in 39 starts split between International League teams in Rochester and Jersey City in 1930.  The Pirates acquired him via the minor league draft (old Rule 5 draft rules) on October 14, 1930. He came highly recommended by a Pirates scout who saw him pitch well in the minor league postseason.

Grant was used mostly in the mop-up role with the 1931 Pirates, making 11 relief appearances over a three month span before the Pirates sent him to the minors on July 18th. He was sent to Buffalo of the International League, with the Pirates still holding an option on his contract. He returned to the Pirates on September 12th, but didn’t appear in any of the final 15 games of the 1931 season. On February 2, 1932 Pirates sold him outright to Fort Worth of the Class-A Texas League, which would be his last team in the pros. He retired after the year ended to take up umpiring in the minors. He had an 0-0, 7.41 record in 11 games and 17 innings with the Pirates. His big league record stood at 15-20, 5.65 in 347.1 innings over 114 appearances, 23 as a starter.

MORE FROM THIS SECTION

Menu