This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: February 5th, Third Baseman Don Hoak

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including a key member of the 1960 World Series champs.

Don Hoak, third baseman for the 1959-62 Pirates. He spent seven seasons in the minors for the Brooklyn Dodgers before he got his first shot at the big leagues in 1954 at 26 years old, then ended up spending 11 straight seasons in the majors, seeing time with five different National League clubs. He debuted in 1947 with Valdosta of the Georgia-Florida League at 19 years old, where he hit .295 in 134 games, with 71 runs scored, 33 extra-base hits, 100 RBIs and 87 walks. In 1948, he played for Nashua of the Class-B New England League. Hoak hit .283 in 120 games, with 86 runs scored, 20 extra-base hits, 78 RBIs and 75 walks. He moved up to A-Ball in 1949, spending the season with Greenville of the South Atlantic League. He hit .231 in 133 games, with 63 runs scored, 22 extra-base hits, 53 RBIs and 60 walks. He mostly played shortstop during the 1948-49 seasons. Hoak moved up to Double-A in 1950, playing with Fort Worth of the Texas League. He .280 in 141 games, with 18 doubles, seven triples and six homers. In 1951, he reached Triple-A, playing with St Paul of the American Association, where he hit .257 in 126 games, with 60 runs scored, 19 extra-base hits and 68 walks. He also played two games with Triple-A Montreal of the International League in 1951, then spent the entire 1952-53 seasons there as well. In 1952, Hoak hit .293 in 144 games, with 109 runs scored, 32 doubles, 16 triples, six homers, 70 RBIs and 81 walks. In 1953, he hit .269 in 138 games, with 84 runs, 39 extra-base hits and 78 walks.

Hoak debuted with the Dodgers in 1954, where he hit .245 in 88 games, with 41 runs scored, 21 extra-base hits and 26 RBIs. In 1955, he batted .240 in 94 games, with 50 runs, 21 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs and 46 walks. He started 133 games between those two seasons, all of them at third base. On December 9, 1955, Hoak was traded to the Chicago Cubs in a five-player deal. In 1956, he batted .215 in 121 games, with 51 runs, 27 extra-base hits, 37 RBIs and 41 walks. In November of 1956, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a five-player deal. It was a great move for Hoak, who made his only career All-Star appearance that year. He also led all National League third baseman in putouts and fielding percentage. Hoak batted .293 that season in 143 games, with 78 runs, a league leading 39 doubles and career highs of 19 homers and 89 RBIs. He also set a high with 74 walks, which he would tie during the 1960 season. He finished 11th in the MVP voting that year, the first of three times that he received MVP votes. In 1958, Hoak hit .261 in 114 games, with 51 runs scored, 30 doubles, six homers and 50 RBIs. Hoak joined the Pirates in a seven-player trade with the Reds on January 30, 1959, which also brought Smoky Burgess and Harvey Haddix to Pittsburgh.

Hoak would lead the National League in games played with 155 his first season in Pittsburgh. He hit .294 with 60 runs, 29 doubles, eight homers, 71 walks and 65 RBIs, while also leading NL third baseman in both putouts and assists. Those stats earned him some MVP consideration for the second time in his career, finishing 17th overall. Hoak hit .282 with 24 doubles, nine triples, 16 homers, 79 RBIs, 74 walks and a career high 97 runs scored in 155 games. The Pirates won the World Series over the New York Yankees that year and Hoak hit .217 with three RBIs in the postseason. He finished second in the NL MVP voting to his teammate, Dick Groat. Hoak received five first place MVP votes and his 5.4 WAR was a career best. In 1961, he hit a career high .298 and posted a .839 OPS in 145 games. He scored 72 runs, with 27 doubles, seven triples, 12 homers, 61 RBIs and 73 walks. Hoak’s stats began to decline in 1962 and he played just 121 games, although he was still able to lead all NL third baseman in fielding percentage. That year he batted .241 with 63 runs, 14 doubles, eight triples, five homers, 48 RBIs and 49 walks.

After the 1962 season, Hoak was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder Ted Savage and infielder Pancho Herrera. The Pirates got very little from their return in the deal, but Hoak hit just .231 with a .605 OPS for the Phillies in 115 games in 1963, then was used six times as a pinch-hitter in 1964 before retiring as a player. He managed two years in the Pirates farm system (1968-69) before passing away of a heart attack at age 41. In his 11-year career, he hit .265 with 214 doubles, 89 homers, 498 RBIs and 598 runs scored in 1,263 games. He posted a career 21.2 WAR, with 13.4 of that number coming during his four years in Pittsburgh. Besides his title with the Pirates, Hoak also picked up a World Series ring with the 1955 Dodgers, winning over the Yankees.

Javier Martinez, pitcher for the 1998 Pirates. He was a third round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs out of high school in Puerto Rico in 1994. Martinez was a starter early in his career, debuting at 17 years old in the Appalachian League with Huntington, where he went 2-1, 3.55 in 33 innings over eight starts. He was in Low-A by age 18 with Rockford of the Midwest League, where he had a 3.96 ERA in 104.2 innings over 18 starts. His strikeout rate was very low that year, posting a 4.6 per 9IP mark that was well below his career average (7.7) and the 7.6 mark his put up as a rookie. He repeated the level the next year and showed improvements in his ERA and strikeout rates, though he also spent some rehab time down in the Gulf Coast League, and he was limited to 13 starts that year. That was due to shoulder surgery he had late in 1995, which caused him to miss the start of the 1996 season. For Rockford in 1996, he went 4-3, 3.36 in 59 innings, with 53 strikeouts. Martinez struggled in 1997, posting a 3-13, 5.73 record in 130.1 innings over 26 starts split between Rockford (17 starts) and Daytona of the High-A Florida State League. Despite the numbers and the fact he was still just 20 years old, he was picked by the Oakland A’s in the Rule 5 draft, then immediately purchased from them by the Pirates. He was selected first overall in the draft and the Pirates released pitcher Steve Cooke to clear room on their roster to add him. Pirates GM Cam Bonifay said that he saw Martinez pitch winter ball in Puerto Rico shortly before the Rule 5 draft and he was throwing eight MPH harder than back in August, going from 91 MPH to 99 MPH.

Martinez spent the entire 1998 season in the majors, posting a 4.83 ERA in 37 relief appearances. He had a high walk rate (7.5 per 9IP) but also struck out 42 batters in 41 innings of work. The Pirates used him in some close games very early on, but by his third week in the majors, he was basically doing mop-up work in most of his outings. The Pirates had a 5-32 record in his appearances, and two of those wins were one-sided victories. During Spring Training, he was in competition with pitcher Melvin Brazoban, who was a Rule 5 pick taken from the Texas Rangers, but he was returned to Texas and never made the majors. Martinez returned to the minors in 1999, but he struggled with control and also missed a good portion of the season due to elbow soreness in mid-April. The team originally announced that he would miss the season with surgery, only to have the famous Dr James Andrews say that rest and rehab would be the better approach. He had a 5.00 ERA in 18 innings over 16 outings, mostly spent at Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League. Martinez got shutdown late after visiting Andrews again in August. The Pirates released him in late December that year and he ended up playing the next six seasons in the minors before retiring. He pitched just one Triple-A game during his entire pro career, getting a spot start in 2004, in which he allowed four runs in 1.2 innings. After leaving the Pirates, he spent time in the Cincinnati Reds (2000-02) and Baltimore Orioles (2004) organizations, as well as playing summer league ball in Mexico, and two years in independent ball. He spent the 2001 season in A-Ball except for one relief outing in Double-A, in which he gave up six runs while recording one out.

Jack Maguire, infielder for the 1951 Pirates. He was an outfielder most of his brief Major League career, but in the minors, he was mainly used as an infielder. The Pirates used him at second base and third base during his short time in Pittsburgh. He was signed as an 18-year-old amateur by the New York Giants in 1943, although he spent the next two years serving in the military. He got in just 26 games during that first season, though he held his own with a .281 average for Jersey City of the Double-A International League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He returned to pro ball in 1946 and spent most of the year with Trenton of the Class-B Interstate League (two levels lower than before), where he hit .308 with 86 runs, 35 steals and 48 extra-base hits in 123 games. Maguire spent four seasons bouncing around the minors until he had a breakout season in 1949. He played four games for Jersey City during the 1946 season, then spent another five games with the team in 1947. That year was mostly spent with the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association, where he hit .281 in 93 games, with 34 runs, 23 extra-base hits and 32 RBIs. The 1948 season was split between 75 games for Minneapolis and 33 games for Jersey City. He wasn’t playing full-time in Minneapolis despite a .766 OPS and what was called strong defense, so they optioned him to Jersey City in mid-August, where he had a .619 OPS over the rest of the season. He made a name for himself in 1949 by hitting .348 with 88 runs, 45 extra-base hits, 71 RBIs and 97 walks for Minneapolis.

Maguire was with the New York Giants all of 1950, yet he played just 29 games and started only six of them, hitting .175 in 45 plate appearances. After July 25th, he played a total of four games and had three at-bats. Maguire was again being used in the reserve outfield role in 1951 when the Giants put him on waivers in late May, despite hitting .400 in 20 at-bats. He had a 1.155 OPS over 16 games at the time. The Pirates picked him up on May 28th and used him eight times off the bench in just over a month before they too put him on waivers, where he was picked up by the St Louis Browns on July 7th. He hit .244 in 41 games for the Browns before returning to the minors for one final season in 1952. He went 0-for-5, with a walk and run scored while with the Pirates. To make room on the 25-man roster for Maguire, the Pirates sent Dale Long to the minors. Maguire’s father Gordon was a scout for the Giants and St Louis Cardinals, and he was with the Giants when his son was signed, though he passed away in 1946 before his son made the majors. Jack Maguire played just one season in the minors after his big league time ended, hitting .258 in 72 games for Portland of the Pacific Coast League in 1952. He was traded to San Antonio of the Texas League in February of 1953, but he was found later that year playing semi-pro ball instead.

Charlie Hautz, first baseman for the 1884 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He made his Major League debut in 1875 while playing in the National Association, the first recognized Major League, and a league that helped pave the way for the National League in 1876. Hautz played first base for the St Louis Red Stockings, a team that existed for all of 19 games and won just four of those games. He batted .301, etching his name into the baseball record books as the franchise’s all-time leader in hitting. The next and only other time he played in the majors was late in the season for the 1884 Alleghenys. In mid-August, new manager Horace Phillips made wholesale changes to a team that was playing very poorly. He sent three players on their way and added four players of his own at the same time, including Hautz, who stepped right into the lineup at first base.

Hautz is credited with hitting .208 in seven games with three walks and no runs scored during his stint in Pittsburgh. However, he played a total of nine games and the final two contests seem to be missing, with a slight asterisk. Hautz debuted with Pittsburgh on August 15th in a 5-3 win over Baltimore and he had an 0-for-4 day. That game somehow got erased from team history, even though his stats still remain from that debut. That’s based on his .208 average coming from his first seven games, and it doesn’t work with either of his final two games included, or any other combo of seven games. It was his only 0-for-4 game, so his stats don’t work without that game included. He played the next day against New York and he went 1-for-3 in the game. His third game on August 18th was a wild 1-0 game in which the opponents (New York Metropolitans) protested the game because the Alleghenys didn’t wait ten full days after Hautz and Tom Forster were released by their minor league team in Saginaw before they played, as per the rules of the day. The problem was that Saginaw folded, so the club no longer held their rights. They had no trouble with him playing the prior day when they won the game, so the protest didn’t work. Hautz was also knocked down in that third game by catcher Charlie Reipschlager, who was fined $25 due to the dirty play. Hautz played first base on August 18th, then he was in center field for the Alleghenys on August 22nd and 23rd, then didn’t play again until a string of four straight games at first base on September 1-4, with the last day being his final big league game. He went 1-for-4 with a double and handled all 11 plays in the field that day. His actual average with Pittsburgh works out to .219 (7-for-32). He actually scored a run in the first game he played, so he should be credited with one run for the Alleghenys.

Hautz was an above average player who jumped around the minors his entire career and even turned down multiple offers to play in the National League throughout his playing career, which stretched from 1874 until 1887. His online stats don’t show any minor league experience, but he played for a few pro teams over the years, as well as semi-pro and amateur teams. His name was often spelled incorrectly in the papers, usually “Houtz”, making it a bit difficult to find information on him. Knowing that though, you can find a separate Baseball-Reference page for “Charlie Houtz” with six years of minor league experience, and it matches up to his career, including the 1883-84 seasons with Grand Rapids, his time with Lincoln of the Western League in 1886 and Birmingham of the Southern League in 1887. He’s also listed with Indianapolis of the League Alliance in 1877 (first year of minor league ball) and Springfield of the International Association in 1878, which I was able to confirm was the same player (aka Charles Hautz). Prior to the start of the 1878 season, it was said that Hautz was being pursued by the Pittsburgh Allegheny of the International Association to be a pitcher/first baseman. During his pro career, he umpired a total of 29 games over three seasons, including three games in the National League in 1876, 15 NL games in 1879, and 11 games in the American Association in 1882.