Six former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date.
Emil Yde, pitcher for the 1924-27 Pirates. He spent three seasons in the minors before making his debut with the 1924 Pirates. He debuted at 21 years old with Cedar Rapids of the Class-B Three-I League in 1921 (no stats available). That was followed by his first of two seasons with Oklahoma City of the Class-A Western League, where he had a 5-5 record in 86 innings pitched, with 58 walks to his credit. His ERA isn’t available, but it’s known that he allowed 6.17 runs per nine innings. Yde had a 28-12 record in 47 games and 339 innings for Oklahoma City in 1923, with 4.09 runs per nine innings. The Pirates purchased him on December 1st and the price was said to be approximately $25,000. While he was being picked up as a pitcher, Yde (pronounced Eed-ee according to the papers) was also a part-time outfielder, who could really hit. He was a switch-hitter, who batted .389 in 93 games in 1923. Pirates scout Chick Fraser saw him pitch just once in a game and once on the side before working an agreement with the Oklahoma City owner that gave the Pirates first crack at him if his contract was going to be put up for sale. Fraser liked the velocity on his fastball, as well as his control of his pitches, but he also saw him do well at the plate. The Pirates would use him sparingly to start the season, but after pitching a shutout in his second start on May 31st, he began to see more time. He would go on to have a terrific rookie season, finishing with a 16-3, 2.83 record in 33 games, 22 as a starter. He led the National League in shutouts with four and in winning percentage with a .842 mark. In 1925 he wasn’t quite as good as his rookie season but the Pirates were a better team. He went 17-9, 4.13 in 207 innings as Pittsburgh won the National League pennant by 8.5 games over the New York Giants. In the World Series, Yde pitched poorly in his only start, losing game four after failing to make it out of the third inning.
Yde split his 1926 season between starting and the bullpen, pitching 37 total games, 22 as a starter. He went 8-7, 3.65 in 187.1 innings, in what would be his last full season with the team. The 1927 Pirates would make it back to the World Series, but Yde contributed very little to that team, pitching just nine games spread out through the year. He had a 9.71 ERA in 29.2 innings. The Pirates traded him and catcher Roy Spencer to Indianapolis of the Double-A (highest level at the time) American Association on December 14, 1927. He won 19 games and threw 280 innings for Indianapolis in 1928, then got the chance to pitch once more in the majors, throwing 29 games for the 1929 Detroit Tigers, mostly in relief. He had a 7-3 record for a sixth place team, though that came with a 5.30 ERA in 86.1 innings. He would pitch the next three years for Hollywood of the Double-A Pacific Coast League, then finish his career in 1933 with St Paul of the American Association. He returned to pro ball in 1940 as a minor league manager. Yde finished with exactly 100 minor league wins (though his first year stats from 1921 are incomplete), and his Major League record was 49-25, 4.02 in 141 games. He wasn’t a strikeout pitcher in the minors and that carried over to the majors. During his big season in Oklahoma City, he recorded just 127 strikeouts in 339 innings. In the majors, he had nearly twice as many walks (292) as strikeouts (160), yet he was still considered to have solid control of his pitches.
Lyle Overbay, first baseman for the 2011 Pirates. He signed with the Pirates as a free agent on December 14, 2010 after spending the previous five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. Overbay was an 18th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the University of Nevada in 1999. He quickly made it to the majors, debuting in 2001, though he didn’t play his first full season in the big league until he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the 2004 season. He debuted in pro ball at 22 years old with Missoula of the Pioneer League, where he hit .343 in 75 games, with 25 doubles, seven triples, 12 homers and an incredible 101 RBIs. In 2000, Overbay played for South Bend of the Class-A Midwest League (71 games) and El Paso of the Double-A Texas League (62 games). He did slightly better at the higher level, combining to hit .342 with 90 runs, 35 doubles, 14 homers and 96 RBIs. In 2001, he spent the entire season with El Paso, where he hit .352 in 138 games, with 82 runs, 49 doubles, 13 homers, 100 RBIs and 67 walks. He got a brief shot with the World Series winning Diamondbacks, pinch-hitting twice after joining the team in September. In 2002, Overbay batter .343 in 134 games for Triple-A Tuscon of the Pacific Coast League. He had 40 doubles, 19 homers and 109 RBIs. He joined the Diamondbacks in September and he was used as a pinch-hitter in all ten of his games, going 1-for-10 at the plate.
Overbay began the 2003 season in the majors, and spent most of the year there, though he was sent back to Tuscon in late July for 35 games. He put up a .276 average in 86 games with the Diamondbacks, picking up 20 doubles, four homers and 28 RBIs. Overbay played a total of 98 games in Arizona during those first three years, then his trade to Milwaukee really opened things up for his career. He broke out with the Brewers in 2004, hitting .301 with 81 walks, 16 homers, 87 RBIs, 83 runs scored and a league leading 53 doubles in 159 games. He saw a slightly drop in his offense during the 2005 season, batting .276 in 158 games, with 80 runs, 34 doubles, 19 homers, 72 RBIs and 78 walks. He was then was part of a five-player trade that sent him to the Blue Jays on December 7, 2005. Overbay had his best year at the plate during his first season in Toronto. He put up a career best .880 OPS, while setting career highs in all three Triple Crown categories, with a .312 average, 22 homers and 92 RBIs. He also had 82 runs scored, 46 doubles, and a career high 181 hits. He saw a large drop in offense the next year, batting .240 with ten homers in 122 games. His .706 OPS that year was the lowest of his career during the ten-year stretch from 2003 through 2012.
Overbay rebounded slightly in 2008 with a .777 OPS in 158 games. He batted .270 with 74 runs, 32 doubles, 15 homers, 69 RBIs and 74 walks. He then really got back on track in 2009 by posting an .838 OPS in 132 games, which was the third best mark of his career. He hit .265 with 35 doubles, 16 homers, 64 RBIs and 74 walks. In the year prior to joining the Pirates, Overbay hit just .243 in 154 games, while setting a career high with 131 strikeouts. He still showed some power, as he reached the 20+ home run mark for the second time and he hit 37 doubles. It was his seventh straight season with 30+ doubles. He signed with the Pirates as a free agent on December 14, 2010. In 103 games for the 2011 Pirates, Overbay hit .227 with 17 doubles, eight homers and 37 RBIs, before being released in early August. He finished the season back with the Diamondbacks, who re-signed him for 2012. In 18 games with Arizona in 2011, he hit .286 and drove in ten runs. He hit .292 in 45 games with the 2012 Diamondbacks before being released on August 5th, exactly one year after the Pirates released him. He finished the year hitting .100 in 20 games as a pinch-hitter for the Atlanta Braves, then signed with the New York Yankees in 2013. He saw full-time work at first base with the Yankees, hitting .240 in 142 games, with 43 runs, 24 doubles, 14 homers and 59 RBIs. He rejoined the Brewers in 2014 as a platoon player and hit .233/.328/.333 in 296 plate appearances over 121 games. Overbay had a career average of .266 with 356 doubles, 151 homers, 675 RBIs and 638 walks in 1,587 games during his 14-year career.
Chris Peters, pitcher for the 1996-2000 Pirates. He wasn’t drafted until the 37th round in 1993, taken out of Indiana University, yet he made it to the majors in just over three years. He didn’t even start off well in the minors, posting a 4.55 ERA and 20 walks in 27.2 innings with Welland of the short-season New York-Penn League in 1993. Peters followed that up with a 4.78 ERA in 64 innings in 1994, spending a large majority of the season with Low-A Augusta of the South Atlantic League. Despite the high ERA, he picked up 12.0 strikeouts per nine innings. His turnaround season was out of nowhere and in a better role, switching from middle relief to the starting role. In 1995 he went 13-5, 2.33 in 158.2 innings over 26 starts, which were split between High-A Lynchburg of the Carolina League and Double-A Carolina of the Southern League. Peters began 1996 back in Carolina, making 14 starts with a 2.64 ERA in 92 innings before being promoted to Triple-A Calgary of the Pacific Coast League, where he dominated in four starts. He had an 0.98 ERA in 27.2 innings with Calgary, which earned him a big league promotion in mid-July of 1996. In 16 games (ten as a starter) that year for the Pirates, he went 2-4, 5.63 in 64 innings. He began 1997 back in Triple-A, then was called up in late April, sent back down in late June, before returning in late August to finish the season. The Pirates used him in the bullpen all year, where he went 2-2, 4.58 in 31 games and 37.1 innings. He average 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings in Calgary that season, but that dropped down to a 4.1 mark in the majors.
The 1998 season was the only full year that Peters spent in the majors. He pitched 39 games, making 21 starts, and he went 8-10, 3.47 in 148 innings, with 103 strikeouts. He did much better in relief, with a 1.54 ERA out of the bullpen, compared to a 3.83 mark as a starter. Peters struggled with the Pirates in 1999, posting a 6.59 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP in 71 innings over his 19 games (11 starts). He ended up pitching 49.1 innings with Nashville of the Pacific Coast League that season. Peters made 11 starts for Nashville and pitched 18 games in relief for the Pirates in 2000 before the team released him in December. That was despite a 2.86 ERA in 28.1 innings with the Pirates that season. He would play for four more organizations, appearing in the majors one more time in 2001 as a member of the Montreal Expos. That season he had a 7.55 ERA in 31 innings over six starts and seven relief appearances. Peters pitched in the minors until 2003, seeing time with the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. He spent his final season playing for three different independent league teams. He finished with a 17-21, 4.57 record in 123 games (43 starts) with the Pirates over five seasons. In 2015, Peters returned to the Pirates as a batting practice pitcher so the team could get work against a lefty.
Carlos Bernier, outfielder for the 1953 Pirates. He spent five seasons in the minors as a major stolen base threat before he got his first shot at the big leagues. Bernier spent his first three seasons of pro ball (1948-50) playing in the Class-B Colonial League, where he debuted at 21 years old with Port Chester and hit .248 in 104 games, with 72 runs scored, 17 extra-base hits, 24 steals and 54 walks. In 1949, he played for Bristol and finished with a .336 average, 136 runs scored, 45 extra-base hits, 89 steals and 107 walks. He played very briefly for Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association that year, but didn’t reach that level again until 1952. Despite the 1949 success, he was back in the same league the next year. Bernier spent half of the season back with Bristol, and the other half was spent a level lower in the Class-C Provincial League, where he hit .335 with 15 homers in 64 games for St Jean. With Bristol that year, he hit .286 with 21 extra-base hits in 52 games. Bernier had an average season playing for Tampa of the Class-B Florida International League in 1951, batting .271 in 135 games, with 37 extra-base hits, which included 21 triples. While his stats for steals are missing online for 1950-51, he’s credited with 160 stolen bases during those two seasons combined, including 94 during the 1950 season.
Bernier moved up to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League in 1952, which had an open classification at the time, but it was basically Triple-A. That year he hit .301 in 171 games, with 105 runs, 42 extra-base hits, 79 RBIs, 56 walks and a league leading 65 steals. The Pirates purchased his contract on September 30, 1952, along with his teammate, pitcher/outfielder Johnny Lindell. Bernier would play 105 games for the Pirates in 1953, in what would end up being his only season in the majors. He hit just .213, but he drew 51 walks and hit eight triples, one more than the amount of doubles he hit that year. He stole 15 bases, though he also led the league in caught stealing, getting thrown out 14 times. He split his time between all three outfield positions, playing center field the most often. Bernier’s season ended with an eye operation in late September. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1954, but he was sold back to Hollywood on April 6th when he didn’t make the Opening Day roster. He would play another 11 seasons in the minors before retiring, getting into exactly 2,200 games and accumulating 2,291 hits, a .298 average and 200 homers. Including those missing seasons for steals, he finished with just over 600 steals in the minors. Most of that minor league time was spent back in the Pacific Coast League, including the 1954-57 seasons in Hollywood and the 1961-64 seasons with Hawaii. He played his final season of pro ball at 38 years old in Mexico. When he made his Major League debut, Bernier was considered to be just the fifth player even in the majors to be born in Puerto Rico and the first to play for the Pirates. However, the Negro Leagues have now be reclassified as Major League baseball, so he dropped all the way down to 27th on the list of players from Puerto Rico.
Bob Muncrief, pitcher for the 1949 Pirates. He had a slow start in the majors before turning out a decent big league career. His pro career began at 18 years old in 1934 with Paris/Lufkin of the Class-C West Dixie League. He had a 7.92 ERA in 25 innings that year. In 1935, Muncrief pitched for Palestine of the West Dixie League, where he went 15-8, 2.52 in 207 innings. He also pitched twice for San Antonio of the Class-A Texas League, giving up five runs in three innings. In 1936, he spent the entire season with San Antonio, going 9-7, 4.87 in 159 innings. He remained there in 1937 and improved to a 19-13, 4.11 record in 254 innings. Muncrief debuted in the majors at the end of the 1937 season, getting one start for the St Louis Browns. He then spent all of 1938 back in San Antonio, going 8-11, 3.86 in 196 innings. From there he spent 1939 with Hollywood of the Double-A (highest level of the minors at the time) Pacific Coast League, posting an 11-11, 4.31 record in 169 innings. Muncrief returned to the Browns in late September of 1939, where his big league time consisted of two relief appearances, which happened on back-to-back days. From there it was back to the minors for all of 1940, when he won 22 games and posted a 2.45 ERA in 275 innings for San Antonio. That performance helped earn him a spot in St Louis for the next seven seasons.
Muncrief was a steady force in the rotation for the Browns during the war years, averaging 184 innings per year from 1941-45, with a low ERA of 2.72 in 1945 and a high of 3.89 in 1942 during that stretch. In his first full season in the majors in 1941, he went 13-9, 3.65 in 214.1 innings over 24 starts and 12 relief appearances. He saw a little less work in 1942, going 6-8, 3.89 in 134.1 innings, with 18 starts and six relief appearances. Muncrief had a strong 1943 season, putting up a 13-12, 2.81 record in 205 innings over 27 starts and eight relief appearances. He was an All-Star during the 1944 season and helped the Browns to the World Series, which was the only postseason appearances in the 52 seasons that the current-day Baltimore Orioles franchise spent in St Louis. That year he went 13-8, 3.08 in 219.1 innings, then allowed one run in 6.2 innings in the World Series. During both the 1943 and 1944 seasons, he finished with identical stats of 27 starts, 12 complete games and three shutouts. In 1945, Muncrief had a 13-4, 2.72 record in 145.2 innings, leading the American League with a .762 winning percentage. He made just 15 starts that year, but he completed ten games, while also pitching 12 times in relief.
When the war ended and many players returned to the majors, Muncrief saw a rise in his ERA. He went from 2.72 in 1945 up to a 4.99 mark in 1946. He went 3-12 that season in 115.1 innings spread out over 14 starts and 15 relief appearances. The next year wasn’t any better, with an 8-14, 4.90 record in 176.1 innings in 1947. Muncrief was traded to the Cleveland Indians prior to the 1948 season. He did solid work in limited action that year, going 5-4, 3.98 in 72.1 innings over nine starts and 12 relief appearances. The Indians won the World Series that year, which is still their last title to this date. He made one scoreless two-inning appearance in the postseason. He was already ten seasons into his big league career when the Pirates purchased him from the Indians for $20,000 following the 1948 season. Muncrief did not fare well during his only season with the Pirates, making four starts before he was moved to the bullpen, where he would end up allowing eight runs over six appearances and 3.2 innings. After his last appearance on June 4th he was put on waivers and immediately picked up by the Chicago Cubs, where he finished the season. He went 1-5, 6.31 in 35.2 innings for the Pirates. He had a 4.56 ERA in 75 innings for the 1949 Cubs. He pitched the next six seasons in the minors, except for a two-game stint with the New York Yankees in 1951. He actually pitched both games of a doubleheader on April 20th, then didn’t appear again. The Yankees won the World Series that year, making him a member of three World Series teams in three different cities. Most of that minor league time was spent with San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League. Muncrief finished his Major League career with an 80-82, 3.80 record in 1,401.1 innings over 288 games. He made 165 starts, threw 67 complete games, and he had 11 shutouts. He won 126 minor league games during a career that spanned from 1934 until 1955.
Alf Anderson, shortstop for the Pirates in 1941-42 and 1946. Anderson was in his third season of minor league ball when the Pirates traded longtime infielder Pep Young to the Atlanta Crackers of the Class-A Southern Association on September 30, 1940 in exchange for his contract. Anderson was originally acquired by the Pirates on August 19th for cash (said to be approximately $19,000) and a player to be named later, though he was slated to finish the 1940 season with Atlanta. Anderson debuted in pro ball at 24 years old in 1938 with New Bern of the Class-D Coastal Plain League. He batted .368 that year, with 39 doubles and ten homers in 98 games. Most of 1939 was spent with Savannah of the Class-B South Atlantic League, where he hit .331 in 126 games, with 34 doubles, four triples and four homers. He also played 14 games with Atlanta, hitting .283 with three doubles in his limited time. Anderson was with Atlanta for all of 1940. He hit .351 with 199 hits, 41 doubles and 11 triples (no homers) in 148 games during that season.
Before Anderson played a game for the Pirates, he was a holdout during Spring Training in 1941 due to a salary dispute. He started six of the first 11 games of the 1941 season at shortstop for the Pirates, then went 47 games straight without a start, before taking over the starting shortstop job for the rest of the year when Hall of Fame shortstop Arky Vaughan got injured in late August. Anderson played a total of 70 games, hitting .215 with 32 runs scored, ten extra-base hits and ten RBIs. His defense was below average that year, making 19 errors in 58 games at shortstop. In 1942, Anderson was expected to help replace Vaughan, who was traded away during the off-season. Instead, he ended up being the backup shortstop for most of the year, getting a majority of his games in early June and in September. In 54 games, he hit .271, with 24 runs, five extra-base hits, and he drew 18 walks. Anderson spent the next three seasons working a wartime job in the states, before joining the Navy. He returned to the Pirates in 1946 after the war, but only appeared as a pinch-hitter twice before they released him on option to the Hollywood Stars of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he finished his playing career later that year. He battled an illness in the off-season and then in early March he decided to retire from baseball to help run an auto parts business that he owned. Anderson managed a local team that season, but never returned to pro ball. He hit .238 in 126 big league games, with 56 runs, one homer and 17 RBIs. His only homer was an inside-the-park home run. The nickname Alf is just a shortened version of his first name, Alfred.