There have been seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date.
Aki Iwamura, second baseman for the 2010 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball in 1998 at 19 years old, playing in his home country of Japan until he was 28 years old, then joined the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on December 15, 2006 after his contract was purchased from the Yakult Swallows. He put up some big numbers in eight full seasons in Japan, including a .320 average with 35 doubles and 23 homers in 2002, a .300 average with 44 homers and 103 RBIs in 2004, a .319 average with 30 homers in 2005, and a .311 average with 32 homers in 2006. After the 2006 season, he was posted by his team in Japan, which allowed MLB teams to bid on the rights to sign him. The Devil Rays won with a $4.5 M bid, then signed him to a three-year deal with a buyout/option for a fourth year. While he never approached those type of numbers he reached in Japan while playing in the U.S., he did well in his rookie season with the 2007 Devil Rays. He batted .285 with 82 runs, 38 extra-base hits and 58 walks in 123 games, resulting in a .770 OPS. That was followed in 2008 by a .274 average, 45 extra-base hits (30 doubles), 70 walks and 91 runs scored in 152 games. The Rays went to the World Series that season and he did well in the postseason, putting up a .752 OPS in 16 games, with eight runs and five RBIs. His 2009 season was sidetracked by a torn ligament in his knee, which occurred during a collision on the field on May 24th. He had what was called season-ending surgery days later, but he ended up returning to play on August 29th. He batted .290 and had a .745 OPS, though he was limited to 69 games. The Pirates acquired him from the Rays in a trade on November 3, 2009 for pitcher Jesse Chavez.
Iwamura was a .281 hitter over three seasons in the majors with the Rays, posting a .747 OPS in 344 games, but he was done as a productive player by the time he joined Pittsburgh. He mostly played third base as a rookie, but he switched over to second base during his second season and didn’t start another game elsewhere until after his time was up in Pittsburgh. With the Pirates, he hit .182 in 54 games, then was sent to Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League after his final game on June 15th, where he batted .264 in 50 games. He was released by the Pirates on September 10th after clearing waivers (they used his roster spot for September call-ups), and finished the season with the Oakland A’s, who signed him three days later. Iwamura hit .129 in ten games in Oakland, then got released the day after the season ended. In 2011, he returned to Japan for his final four seasons of pro ball, playing two years with Rakuten before returning to his original Yakult team. In his big league career, he hit .267 with 222 runs, 74 doubles, 16 homers and 117 RBIs in 405 games. In 13 seasons in Japan, he was a .287 hitter with 635 runs, 653 RBIs and 200 homers, collecting more than half of those home runs (106) during the big three-year stretch in 2004-06. He was a below average defender during his time in the majors (-0.9 dWAR), though he put up a strong 0.8 dWAR during the 2008 season.
Eddie Solomon, pitcher for the Pirates from 1980-82. He began his MLB career in 1973, and played for four teams prior to coming to the Pirates in a March 1980 trade for minor league pitcher Greg Fields. Solomon was originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent at 18 years old in 1969. He pitched just 21 innings that first year for Ogden of the short-season Pioneer League, where he had a 6.00 ERA, 14 walks and 21 strikeouts. By age 19, he put up a 2.37 ERA in 156 innings for Daytona Beach of the Class-A Florida State League. He made 22 starts that year, completed 11, while throwing three shutouts. Moving up to Double-A Albuquerque of the Dixie Association in 1971, he had an 11-9, 3.02 record in 182 innings, with 130 strikeouts. He cut his walk rate from 6.0 per nine innings as a rookie, down to 4.2 in 1970, then dropping to 2.8 in his third season. In 1972, Solomon struggled between Double-A El Paso of the Texas League and Triple-A, which oddly enough was Albuquerque again, this time in the Pacific Coast League. He combined to go 4-13, 5.39 in 127 innings, with slightly better results at the high level. He then had a 9-12, 4.25 record in 187 innings for Albuquerque in 1973, which earned him a September call-up to the majors. He would get brief trials with the Dodgers during the 1973-74 seasons, but it amounted to just eight appearances and 12.1 innings, with basically the same amount of time each year.
Solomon was back in Triple-A in 1975 when the Dodgers traded him in May to the Chicago Cubs. He didn’t get much of a chance with his new team either, pitching six games and 6.2 innings in 1975, before getting traded to the St Louis Cardinals in late July. The Cardinals didn’t bring him to the majors until 1976, but he finally got his first legit shot at the majors that year. In 26 games (two starts), he had a 4.86 ERA in 37 innings. That was the extent of his stay in St Louis. He was traded for a third time in three years, this time heading to the Atlanta Braves in May of 1977. He saw regular work for the Braves, getting a starting role in 1977, a swing role in 1978 (eight starts and 29 relief outings), following by a return to the rotation full-time in 1979. Solomon went 6-6, 4.57 in 88.2 innings over 16 starts and two relief outings in 1977. The next year he had a 4-6, 4.08 record in 106 innings. He went 7-14, 4.21 in 186 innings over 30 starts during his final year in Atlanta, playing for a team that finished with a 66-94 record. His 96 strikeouts that year were a season high.
Prior to the trade to the Pirates, Solomon had an 18-27, 4.27 career record in 126 games pitched, 56 as a starter, but he was going from a team that finished in last place in their division, to the team that won the World Series. For the Pirates in 1980, he was used in both the relief role and as a starter for a stretch, going 7-3 2.69 in 100.1 innings over 12 starts and 14 relief appearances. He had a similar role the next year with similar results, posting a record of 8-6, 3.12 in 127 innings, with 17 starts and five relief appearances. He was actually getting much more work in 1981, but the mid-season strike shaved 50 games off of the schedule. In 1982, he began the year in the starting rotation and struggled, posting a 6.90 ERA in ten starts before the Pirates traded him to the Chicago White Sox for infielder Jim Morrison. The White Sox released him in July after just six relief appearances. He pitched briefly in the minors in 1983 with the New York Yankees, while also spending some time playing in Mexico, before retiring as a player at 32 years old. Solomon went 36-42, 4.00 in 718 innings over 95 starts and 96 relief appearances in ten seasons at the big league level. With the Pirates, he had a 3.58 ERA in 274 innings. Sadly, he passed away at age 34 due to injuries he suffered in a car accident in January of 1986.
Jim Campanis, catcher for the 1973 Pirates. He was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent out of high school in 1962 and worked his way up through their system, making his Major League debut in late 1966. He didn’t get off to a great start, hitting .234 with a .609 OPS in 102 games in 1962, playing in the Florida State League, which was a Class D level of play that year (equal to short-season ball now). He quickly got on track to the majors though, batting .302 with nine homers in 89 games in A-Ball in 1963 with Salem of the Northwest League. He hit .301 with 16 homers in 90 games with Salem in 1964, then got a promotion to Double-A Albuquerque of the Texas League, where he hit .240 with a .596 OPS in 28 games. Campanis spent the 1965 season in Albuquerque, hitting .255 with 39 runs, 21 extra-base hits and 41 RBIs in 93 games. He then moved up to Triple-A in 1966, playing in the Pacific Coast League with teams from Spokane and Seattle. He hit .284 in 107 games that year, with 23 doubles and seven homers. His performance earned him a late season trial with the Dodgers, though that amounted to one at-bat in one game.
Campanis was with the Dodgers for the entire season in 1967, batting .161 in 41 games. He made just nine starts all year and six of those games came in September. He was back in Spokane in 1968, hitting .259 with a .654 OPS before returning to the Dodgers in mid-September for four games. Campanis played parts of three seasons with Los Angeles, but hit just .149 in 46 total games. On December 15, 1968, the Dodgers sent him to the Kansas City Royals, where he was the backup catcher for two seasons. His batting average was even lower there, hitting .146 in 61 total games. He spent about half of each season in the minors while with the Royals, getting into 30 big league games in 1969 and 31 in 1970. The Pirates acquired him in a December 2, 1970 trade that involved six players, including Bob Johnson and Jackie Hernandez coming to Pittsburgh, with Freddie Patek among the players headed to the Royals. Campanis spent all of the 1971-72 seasons in the minors, most of that time in Double-A. He struggled with Triple-A Charleston of the International League in 1971, hitting .206 in 51 games. He played the rest of the year with Waterbury of the Eastern League, where he had a .273 average, yet his OPS (.699) was just eight points higher than in Charleston. The Pirates affiliate moved to Sherbrooke of the Eastern League in 1972 and Campanis spent the entire year there, hitting .294 in 132 games, with 24 doubles, 16 homers and 76 RBIs.
Campanis finally earned a call-up with the Pirates in 1973 after hitting .304 with 18 homers in 104 games at Charleston. In six late-season pinch-hit at-bats for the 1973 Pirates, he went 1-for-6 with a single. That would be his last time in the majors. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1974, but after being cut on March 30th, he spent the entire season back in Charleston, where he hit .277 with 19 doubles and 18 homers in 129 games, before retiring as a player. He started 42 games total over five seasons in the majors. He hit .147 with 13 runs, four homers and nine RBIs in 113 big league games. He is the son of Al Campanis, who played for the 1943 Dodgers. His son Jim Campanis Jr was a minor league catcher for six seasons.
Roy Mahaffey, pitcher for the 1926-27 Pirates. He began his minor league career in 1925, and by the end of next year he impressed the Pirates enough to give him his first taste of the big leagues as a reliever late in the 1926 season. He didn’t even start off well either, posting a 5.78 ERA in 123 innings as a 21-year-old playing for Columbia of the Class-B South Atlantic League. During the 1926 season, he didn’t do any better for the same team, going 10-21, 5.83 in 241 innings, with 136 walks, which came with a much higher walk rate than his first season. The Pirates purchased three players from Columbia on August 6, 1926, Mahaffey, catcher Thomas Farr and a young outfielder named Lloyd Waner. All three were scheduled to join the Pirates at the end of the minor league season according to the initial reports, but the Pirates requested Mahaffey join them on August 23rd to be used in a relief role. On his way to meet the team, he was robbed of $70 during the train ride into Pittsburgh. In four games with the Pirates that season, he pitched 4.2 innings, allowing four runs (all unearned). In 1927 they let him start the third game of the season. While he picked up the win, he allowed five runs and seven walks in 6.1 innings and did not make another start. Mahaffey pitched just once more for the Pirates, which came two weeks after his start. That second saw him allow three runs in three innings of mop-up work. He was back in the minors on May 20th, sent to New Haven of the Class-A Eastern League on an optional agreement that allowed the Pirates to call him up with 24 hours notice. He went to Spring Training with the 1928 Pirates, but on April 7th, he was released outright back to his original team in Columbia, officially ending his time with the Pirates. Mahaffey ended up going 21-19, 3.47 in 329 innings with Columbia in 1928, with a much better walk rate than he had back in 1926. In 1929, he played for Portland of the Double-A Pacific Coast League, going 21-25, 4.01 in 370 innings.
Mahaffey returned to the majors with the Philadelphia Athletics to start the 1930 season, splitting his time between starting and relief. He had a 5.01 ERA in 152.2 innings, though 1930 was a huge year for offense all around baseball, so that ERA isn’t that bad. Mahaffey had a 15-4 record in 1931, despite a 4.21 ERA, as offense was still fairly high in the league for that season. He won 13 games each of the next two seasons, but his ERA rose each year from 1932-34 as offense around baseball settled down. He went 13-13, 5.09 in a career high 222.2 innings in 1932, with 28 starts and nine relief appearances.His 106 strikeouts that year were a career high, 40 more than he compiled in any other season. In 1933, Mahaffey had a 13-10, 5.17 record in 179.1 innings over 23 starts and ten relief appearances. He saw his workload cut in 1934, as he went 6-7, 5.37 in 129 innings, with 14 starts and 23 relief outings. Despite the downward trend, he managed to have a solid 1935 season, going 8-4, 3.90 in 136 innings over 27 games (17 starts). Mahaffey finished his big league career with a rough season for the 1936 St Louis Browns, posting an 8.10 ERA in 60 innings. He played baseball in the Textile Leagues for five seasons after his minor league career ended in 1936. He finished with a 67-49, 5.01 record in nine seasons, with 1,056 innings pitched over 129 starts and 95 relief appearances. He threw 45 complete games, but failed to record a shutout.
Wally Hood, outfielder for the 1920 Pirates. He started his pro career in the Class-B Northwestern League, playing for Vancouver in 1916 at age 21, where he hit .216 in 52 games. He was actually a pitcher during his first year and it didn’t go so well with a huge walk rate, going 10-16 with 168 strikeouts in 221 innings pitched, so the following season he transformed more into an outfielder role, occasionally taking the mound. He actually improved his walk rate by a good amount and gave up two fewer runs per game (ERA isn’t available either year), though it came with a 2-7 record in 69 innings pitched. He batted .263 with 13 extra-base hits in 198 at-bats. After two seasons for Vancouver, he missed the 1918 season while serving in the military during WWI. He returned in 1919, playing in Vancouver again, though in a different league (Class-B Northwest International League). He also spent part of the season playing for Moose Jaw of the Class-C Western Canadian League, where he hit .316 in 67 games. Hood made the Brooklyn Robins roster to start the 1920 season. After seven games in which he hit .143, he joined the Pirates on May 27th and was used twice as a pinch-hitter. He made an out in his first plate appearance, but walked, stole a base and scored a run in his second. The Pirates picked him up on waivers right after playing a series against Brooklyn in which he didn’t appear in a game. He then he returned to Brooklyn via waivers on June 9th. The Pirates had Carson Bigbee returning from a dislocated shoulder and they no longer needed Hood as the backup outfielder. It was said that the Pirates put him on waivers with the intentions of using him in a trade, but Brooklyn put a claim on him. While he is known as “Wally” now, at the time he was referred to by his full first name, Wallace.
After leaving Pittsburgh, Hood was sent to the minors for the rest of the season without getting into a game during his second stint in Brooklyn. He went to Salt Lake City of the Pacific Coast League (Double-A, which was the highest level of the minors at the time), where he batted .307 with 24 doubles, eight triples and one homer in 111 games. He spent the 1920-21 winter playing on a three-month baseball tour that went to Japan, China and Hawaii. He rejoined Brooklyn in 1921 and was a seldom used bench player, mostly pinch-hitting. He made seven starts all season, none after June 3rd. He was then used as a pinch-runner twice during the first few weeks of the 1922 season. He scored runs during both of those games, which ended up being his last games in the majors. He was soon sent out to Seattle of the Pacific Coast League, where he played out the 1922 season, hitting .316 with 26 doubles, 11 triples and 11 homers in 134 games. He remained in the PCL in 1923, moving to Los Angeles, where he played for the next six season.
Hood played minor league ball until 1930, moving around a lot over his final two seasons. He had a .309 average in 1,593 games over his 13 minor league seasons, which included seven seasons hitting over .300, and one season just under (.298 in 1927). It’s surprising that he never made it back to the majors, though for some players it was a personal choice, as they could get paid better to be a star in the PCL over being a bench player in the majors. In 1923, he hit .340 with 59 doubles, ten triples and 21 homers. In 1924, he hit .338 with 48 doubles, 17 triples and 22 homers. He followed that up with a .327 average in 1925, with 63 doubles, 13 triples and 27 homers. He also had 50+ extra-base hits and an average near .300 over each of the next three seasons. For some context, he averaged 182 games played per season during that stretch. His son Wally Hood Jr. made it to the majors for one season, pitching for the 1949 New York Yankees.
Hi Ladd, outfielder for the 1898 Pirates. Ladd played one game for the Pirates (the team was actually named the Patriots in 1898), coming in to pinch-hit on July 12, 1898 during a 4-1 loss to Brooklyn. Six days later he played his second (and last) Major League game, this time as a member of the Boston Beaneaters. He collected a single in four trips to the plate and scored a run. That second game with Boston was played at home against the visiting Pirates, with Vic Willis on the mound in his rookie season. The Hall of Fame pitcher ended up with the Pirates in 1906 and put together four straight 20+ win seasons. The Pirates actually released Ladd that same day that he played for Boston. It was said that the Beaneaters were giving him a trial. A story that appeared in the July 29, 1898 Brooklyn Times Union said that Ladd was offered a spot with Boston after his one game, but they told him that they couldn’t pay him. He apparently received nothing for his only game with the team, not even the usual expenses that teams paid players back then, for travel/room/food. He ended up returning to his home after the game. It all worked out well for Ladd, who signed with Scranton of the Atlantic League a few months later for the 1899 season, in which he was paid “a good salary and a neat sum in advance”.
Ladd debuted in the majors at 28 years old, playing his seventh season of pro ball. He debuted in 1892 with Woonsocket of the Class-B New England League, then spent part of the 1893 season with Charleston of the Class-B Southern Association, where he hit .264 in 17 games. He spent the 1893-98 seasons playing for the Fall River Indians of the New England League, finishing off the 1893 season with .322 average, 83 runs, 43 extra-base hits and 46 steals in 86 games. Stats aren’t available for the 1894-95 seasons, which is unfortunate for his career stats, since those were big years for offense in baseball. In 1896, he hit .322 in 106 games, with 102 runs, 28 doubles, six triples and 14 homers. That was followed in 1897 with a .331 average in 103 games, with 83 runs, 41 extra-base hits and 19 steals. In 1898, the Fall River team went under in early July, and then on July 7th it was announced that Ladd would be joining the Pirates three days later, meeting the team in New York. The Pirates also picked up his teammate Jack Cronin, who made four starts that season in Pittsburgh. Ladd was hitting .320 at the time, with 50 runs, 25 extra-base hits and 12 steals in 56 games. In 1899, he played his only season in Class-A ball (he never played higher in the minors) and hit .349 with 21 extra-base hits in 87 games, while splitting the season between Worcester of the Eastern League and Paterson of the Atlantic League. The very next season was spent in Class-F ball with the Derby Angels of the Connecticut State League, which was as far as you can get from the majors and still be in pro ball.
Considering the fact he played just two Major League games, it may be hard to believe that Ladd had a long productive minor league career. He played 20 seasons in the minors, and although his stats are incomplete, the 17 seasons that are available show that he had a .324 average in 1,747 games. Ladd apparently liked staying in the same place, back when players would often jump to new minor league teams yearly. Not only did he spend six seasons with Fall River early in his career, he spent the 1902-11 seasons with Bridgeport of the Class-B Connecticut State League. He retired as a player after hitting 292 in 120 games at 41 years old in 1911. His real first name was Arthur, but he was called Hiram, or Hi, during his time in Fall River and the nickname stuck.
Sumner Bowman, pitcher for the 1890 Alleghenys. He went to the University of Pennsylvania and was the first player from that school to play for the Alleghenys. An 1889 article noted that he was a fine player and took care of second base for the school’s varsity nine. A later article in mid-1890 said that he was a catcher for a team from Waynesboro “several years ago”. A day before his first big league game on June 11, 1890, it was announced ahead of time that he would pitch on June 10th, only to get pushed back a day. The problem was that a large crowd of friends and local fans showed up to watch him pitch, which did not go over well with the crowd, despite a 6-1 victory. At 23 years old, he made his Major League/pro debut on June 11, 1890 for the Philadelphia Phillies, allowing seven runs over eight innings in a game that Philadelphia won 8-7, though he received no decision. He joined Pittsburgh five days later, getting signed by scout James Randall, who briefly had the job of trying to acquire talent in the Philadelphia area for the Alleghenys, which often didn’t work out well. The Alleghenys used Bowman for the first time a week later, as the team’s record stood at 12-35 at that point. It would get much worse the rest of the way. Bowman made seven starts and two relief appearances for Pittsburgh, making his last start exactly a month after his first one with the team. He was 2-5, 6.62 in 70.2 innings during that time, allowing 100 hits and 50 walks. Bowman won his debut thanks to support from the bats, collecting a 12-8 victory. The next day he was forced into center field for seven innings after one of Randall’s signings failed miserably and needed to be replaced.
Bowman lost 6-0 to Hall of Famer John Clarkson in his second start on June 26th. Six days later, Bowman picked up his second win against Hall of Fame Amos Rusie in a 16-2 rout, which included two hits from Bowman. His control faltered in his next two starts, leading to 17 walks total and two losses to Brooklyn on back-to-back days in different cities, back when trains got teams from place to place. Bowman was released on July 16th while the team was in Philadelphia, four days after giving up 18 runs to the New York Giants. Despite being released, the teams back then held player’s rights for ten days unless they were released unconditionally. As it turned out, Bowman pitched one more game for the team on July 23rd when they were back in Philadelphia and he lost 17-6, which officially ended his time with the club. He finished the season with the Harrisburg Ponies of the Atlantic Association, though records show that he made just one start in August. After the season, he returned to college to continue his law studies. He played one more season in the majors, making eight starts for the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association in 1891. He went 2-5, 3.44 in 68 innings during that time.
The American Association was no longer a Major League after the 1891 season, severely cutting into the amount of big league jobs available. Bowman remained with the Philadelphia Athletics though, following the team to the Eastern League for 1892. He made five starts that season, which appears to be the end of his pro baseball career, though he is known to have pitched for various teams into the 1900 season, with most of his time spent practicing law. On August 17, 1900, the Pittsburgh Press noted that Bowman came in to pitch in relief and on his first pitch, his “arm snapped in two places”, which ended his baseball career. The Press called him the greatest pitcher ever at the University of Penn, a lefty who possessed great speed on his fastball. He became a lawyer in April of 1892 and was still practicing law when he passed away in January of 1954, just short of his 87th birthday.