Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date.
Christopher Bostick, IF/OF for the 2017-18 Pirates. He was a 44th round draft pick of the Oakland A’s in 2011 at 18 years old out of Aquinas Institute (high school) in Rochester, New York. Bostick is the only player to ever be drafted out of that school. He signed with the A’s in late July and played just 14 games of rookie ball in the Arizona League that year, though he put up a .442 batting average during that time. He moved up to the New York-Penn League in his first full year in pro ball, where he put up a mediocre .694 OPS in 70 games with Vermont. He hit .251 with 23 extra-base hits and 12 steals. Bostick moved up to Low-A Beloit of the Midwest League in 2013, where he hit .282 in 129 games, with 75 runs, 47 extra-base hits, 89 RBIs, 51 walks and 25 stolen bases. He was traded to the Texas Rangers after the season. He advanced to High-A Myrtle Beach of the Carolina League in 2014 and saw similar power/speed/walk numbers, though his .251 average led to a 72 point drop in his OPS. Bostick had 81 runs, 31 doubles, 11 homers, 62 RBIs, 47 walks and 24 steals in 130 games that season. The Rangers dealt him to the Washington Nationals almost exactly one year after acquiring him. He split the 2015 season between High-A Potomac of the Carolina League and Double-A Harrisburg of the Eastern League, batting .259 with 57 runs, 22 doubles, eight triples, 12 homers, 58 RBIs and 31 steals between the two stops. After the season, he attended the Arizona Fall League, where he had a .268 average, four homers, six steals and an .883 OPS in 20 games.
Bostick began 2016 in Harrisburg and put up an .818 OPS in 71 games. He was moved up to Triple-A (Syracuse of the International League) in late June and he batted just .203 in 64 games, with a .559 OPS. The Pirates gave up minor league catcher Taylor Gushue to acquire Bostick from the Nationals at the end of the 2016 season. Bostick played briefly with the Pirates during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, seeing more time in 2017, before being sold to the Miami Marlins in August of 2018. He batted .276 in 22 games with the Pirates, with three starts at second base, one in left field and 18 games off of the bench. He did well in 20 games in 2017, putting up a .296 average, but his 2018 time amounted to two at-bats in two games at the beginning of August. He earned those big league shots by showing versatility in Triple-A Indianapolis, while also putting up solid numbers at the plate. He made starts at second base, third base and all three outfield spots in 2017. He hit .294 with 43 extra-base hits in 124 games in 2017, then put up a .295 average in 78 games for Indianapolis before moving on to Miami. Bostick batted .214 in 13 games (3-for-14 with two walks) with the Marlins in 2018, then spent the entire 2019 season in Triple-A as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He hit .258 with 22 doubles, 12 homers, 59 runs scored and a .744 OPS in 106 games that season. He became a free agent after the season and hasn’t played since.
Corey Hart, 1B/RF for the 2015 Pirates. He was an 11th round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers out of Greenwood HS in Kentucky in 2000. It’s a school that has produced just two draft picks ever and Hart is the only one to make the majors. He spent his first two seasons playing for Ogden in the short-season Pioneer League, putting up much better numbers in his second season. He had a decent debut in 2000, hitting .287 in 57 games, though low walk/power numbers led to a .698 OPS. Hart had a .937 OPS in 69 games in 2001, with 11 homers and 14 steals in 15 attempts. He moved up to High-A in 2002, where he played in the high offense environment of the California League, playing in one of the better parks for hitters in league, High Desert. Hart hit .288 with 76 runs, 26 doubles, ten triples, 22 homers, 84 RBIs, 24 steals and a .928 OPS in 100 games. He moved up to Double-A Huntsville of the Southern League to finish the season, hitting .266 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 28 games, then remained there for the entire 2003 season. That year, Hart hit .302 in 130 games, with 70 runs, 40 doubles, 13 homers, 94 RBIs and 25 steals. He made his big league debut with the Brewers on May 25, 2004, though it ended up being just that one game. The rest of the season was spent in Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League, where he hit .281 with 15 homers and an .828 OPS.
Hart spent most of 2005 back in Triple-A (Nashville of the Pacific Coast League), hitting .308 with 29 doubles, nine triples, 17 homers, 31 steals and a .913 OPS. He batted .193 with two homers in 21 games for the Brewers that season. After tearing up the Arizona Fall League after the 2005 season, Hart spent all but a month of the 2006 season in the majors. He hit .283 with 13 doubles, nine homers, 33 RBIs and a .796 OPS in 87 games with Milwaukee. He had a breakout 2007 season, batting .295 with 86 runs, 33 doubles, 24 homers, 23 steals and 81 RBIs in 140 games. His .892 OPS was his career best. He was an All-Star in 2008, even though he saw a 133 point decline in his OPS. Hart batted .268 with 76 runs, 45 doubles, 20 homers, 23 steals and 91 RBIs. Due to a low walk rate, he finished with a .300 OBP. He missed time in 2009 with an appendectomy and a hand injury, limiting him to 115 games. He batted .260 with 64 runs, 24 doubles, 12 homers and 48 RBIs. He bounced back in a big way in 2010. Hart made his second All-Star appearance, hitting .283 with 34 doubles and an .865 OPS, while setting career highs with 91 runs, 31 homers and 102 RBIs. He received MVP votes for the only time in his career, finishing 25th in the voting. In 130 games in 2011, Hart hit .285 with 80 runs, 25 doubles, 26 homers and a career best 51 walks. He finished that year with an .866 OPS.
In his final season in Milwaukee, Hart reached 30 homers for the second time. He hit .270 with 35 doubles, 83 RBIs and tied his career high with 91 runs scored. He played a total of nine seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting .276 with 529 runs, 211 doubles, 154 homers, 508 RBIs and an .824 OPS. Hart had knee surgery and missed the entire 2013 season, then signed with the Seattle Mariners as a free agent in 2014. He batted .203 with six homers and a .590 OPS in 68 games in his only season in Seattle. He then signed with the Pirates prior to the 2015 season. Hart lasted just 35 games in Pittsburgh, with most of that time off of the bench (he made 11 starts), hitting .222 with two homers and nine RBIs. He injured his shoulder in June and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. He played 13 games of rehab in Triple-A, but once the minor league season ended, the Pirates announced that he wouldn’t be activated, effectively ending his time in Pittsburgh. He retired after the season, playing just 103 big league games over his final three seasons. He finished as a .271 hitter in 1,048 games, with 549 runs, 221 doubles, 162 homers and 538 RBIs. He collected his 1,000th hit while with the Pirates.
Gus Dugas, outfielder for the Pirates in 1930 and 1932. After a few years of semi-pro ball, his pro career began in 1930 at 23 years old, playing for Wichita of the Class-A Western League. He hit .349 in 143 games, with 24 doubles, 12 triples and 26 homers. In September, the local Wichita papers noted that the Pirates were interested in Dugas and fellow outfielder Woody Jensen. Days later when the Pirates decided to purchase Dugas, the papers expressed surprise at their decision to take him instead of Jensen. The Pirates eventually got Jensen, who turned out to be the much better big league player. When Dugas joined the Pirates in September of 1930, it was his first shot at the big leagues and he had the unenviable task of trying to break into an outfield that had two Hall of Famers (the Waner brothers) and 24-year-old Adam Comorosky, who hit .313 with 119 RBIs, 47 doubles and a league leading 23 triples that season. His debut in a Pirates uniform came on September 8th when he replaced Lloyd Waner in the fourth inning of an exhibition game against Buffalo, which was a night game, played 4 1/2 years before the first MLB night game. Dugas homered that day, though the Pirates lost 13-3. His official big league debut came eight days later. He hit well in his nine games with the 1930 Pirates, batting .290 with seven walks, but not surprisingly he was back in the minors the following season.
Dugas was actually with the 1931 Pirates on Opening Day, and may have stuck with the team if he didn’t get hurt during workouts before the team’s home opener. During practice, he collided with shortstop Ben Sankey and got knocked unconscious. Dugas was said to have cut his mouth badly and loosened some teeth, and it was later reported that he had a fractured jaw. Once he was able to play, he was sent to the minors on June 14th. He would have to really impress the Pirates to earn a spot back in the majors and he did just that in a short time. Playing for Kansas City of the American Association, he hit .419 in 93 games with 44 extra-base hits. He was with the Pirates the entire 1932 season, playing mostly off the bench. Dugas started only 14 games all year, including five of the last six games of the season. In 55 games he had 97 at-bats and hit .237 with three homers and 12 RBIs.
In December of 1932, the Pirates traded Dugas to the Philadelphia Phillies as part of a three-team deal that saw them acquire Freddie Lindstrom from the New York Giants in return. With Lindstrom in center field for 1933, the Pirates then had three future Hall of Famers in the outfield and another two in the infield, with Pie Traynor and Arky Vaughan on the left side. Dugas played two more seasons in the majors and another ten in the minors before retiring. He had a rough go with the 1933 Phillies, batting .169 in 37 games, with one walk and three doubles. He spent a portion of the year with Albany of the Double-A International League and hit .379 with 12 extra-base hits in 38 games. That time in Philadelphia was better than his 1934 performance for the Washington Senators. Dugas went 1-for-19 in 24 games, with three walks and a double. That year he batted .371 in 57 games for Albany, so it was no surprise that he was getting chances in the majors. He was a .327 minor league hitter in 1,361 total games. After his final big league game, he spent four years playing for Montreal of the International League, and another four years with Nashville of the Southern Association, where his lowest batting average was a .291 mark in 1939. His last year in pro ball was 1946 at 39 years old. He came back for a brief time with Providence of the New England League, after playing semipro ball the previous two seasons. In his big league career, Dugas hit .206 in 125 games, with 27 runs, three homers and 23 RBIs. His great-grandson Andrew Carignan was a relief pitcher for the 2011-12 Oakland A’s.
Pat Veltman, catcher for the 1934 Pirates. He played in the majors for five different seasons prior to joining the 1934 Pirates, but he got into a grand total of just 11 games over that time. Veltman debuted in pro ball in the majors, spending five weeks with the 1926 Chicago White Sox at 20 years old, with only semi-pro experience before his debut. He won a job during Spring Training and played five games for the White Sox. He saw one inning in the field at shortstop, which ended up being the only time he played shortstop in the majors. He went 1-for-4 with a walk. He went to the minors to finish the season, where he hit .289 with 16 doubles and nine triples in 107 games for Lincoln of the Class-A Western League. Veltman spent the 1927-28 seasons with Springfield of the Class-B Three-I League. He hit .312 in 122 games in 1927, with 20 doubles, 17 triples and four homers. In 1928, he batted .343 with 22 doubles, eight triples and 11 homers in 129 games. His second appearance in the majors came as a member of the 1928 New York Giants. On September 30th, in the final game of the season, Veltman started in center field and he went 1-for-3 with a triple, walk and run scored. He spent the 1929 season playing for Bridgeport of the Class-A Eastern League, where he batted .321 in 126 games, with 33 doubles, seven triples and six homers. He returned to the Giants at the end of the year and played two games off of the bench on October 5th and 6th, going 0-for-1 with two walks.
Veltman spent the entire 1930 season back in Bridgeport, where he hit .297 in 136 games, with 38 extra-base hits. He played just one game all season in 1931, getting a pinch-hit at-bat for the 1931 Boston Braves on May 1st. He actually caught an entire game on May 7th, but it was an exhibition game. He was set to rejoin Bridgeport in June, but a back injury prevented his return. Veltman split the 1932 season between Jersey City of the Double-A International League and Winston-Salem of the Class-B Piedmont League, hitting .240 with seven doubles and four homers in 47 games. He then played two early September games with the Giants to finish his 1932 season, getting just one at-bat in his fourth big league trial. Veltman then spent the entire 1933 seasons in the minors with the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League, where he hit .332 with 12 homers and 30 doubles in 144 games during the 1933 season. Pittsburgh took him in the October 1933 Rule 5 draft from Oakland. Veltman, who was 28 years old at the time, was with the Pirates the entire 1934 season, though he barely played. After starting four of the first nine games behind the plate, he played just eight more games all season, and he went to bat just 11 more times. Veltman batted .107 in 28 at-bats for the Pirates and drove in the only two runs of his big league career. One RBI came in his first game of the year and another in his last game. That ended up being his last season in the majors. He returned to the minors for three seasons before retiring, spending two seasons with Los Angeles of the Pacific Coast League, followed by a year as a player/manager for Ponca City of the Class-C Western Association. He went 5-for-38 in the majors during his six seasons and his only extra-base hit was a triple. His real name was Arthur and was often referred to as Art, though Pat is the name most associated with him now.
Mike Mowrey, third baseman for the 1914 Pirates. He was a Pennsylvanian native, who debuted in pro ball in 1904 at 20 years old, splitting the season between two independent minor league teams from his home state. No stats are available for his time that year with Chester of the Pennsylvania League and Williamsport of the Tri-State League. Mowrey spent the 1905 season playing for Class-C Savannah of the South Atlantic League, where he hit .285 in 120 games. In late September, he joined the Cincinnati Reds for seven games and hit .267 with six RBIs. After getting three at-bats through the first 39 games of the 1906 season, the Reds sent him to Baltimore of the Class-A Eastern League, where he batted .265 with 17 extra-base hits in 68 games. He returned to Cincinnati in late August and batted .340 in 17 games. Mowrey was the starting third baseman for the 1907 Reds, while also seeing occasional starts at shortstop. In 137 games that year, he hit .252 with 43 runs, 16 doubles, six triples, a homer and 44 RBIs. His .629 OPS was below average even in the deadball era, but it got worse the next season. He saw limited time in 1908, batting .220 with no homers and a .534 OPS in 77 games, while seeing some utility work, playing four different positions. Modern metrics rate him as average defensively during his first four seasons, with two years of 0.1 dWAR and two with -0.1 dWAR.
Mowrey split the 1909 season between the Reds and St Louis Cardinals. He hit just .191 in Cincinnati, then played just 12 games after the trade on August 22nd that sent him to St Louis. He combined to hit .201 in 50 games, with six doubles and 24 walks, giving him a decent .315 OBP and a low .243 slugging percentage. Despite the poor season, Mowrey became the starting third baseman for the Cardinals in 1910 and he responded by hitting .282 with 69 runs scored, 24 doubles, 70 RBIs, 21 steals and 67 walks. He led National League third basemen in assists and double plays, but also in errors. His .744 OPS was a career high for a full season. He put up a .714 OPS in 137 games in 1911, finishing with a .268 average, 59 runs, 29 doubles, seven triples, 61 RBIs, 15 steals and 59 walks. He then saw a dip in production in 1912, when he batted .255 in 114 games. His OPS dropped 39 points to .675 that year, as he scored 59 runs, drove in 50, and stole 19 bases. Mowrey’s OPS dropped for a third straight season in 1913, down to a .660 mark in 132 games. He scored 61 runs and had 53 walks, but he had just 33 RBIs and he wasn’t too successful in the stolen base department, going 21-for-36.
In December of 1913, Mowrey was part of an eight-player trade between the Pirates and Cardinals, where owner Barney Dreyfuss gave up too much to acquire first baseman Ed Konetchy, who he was after for a long time. The deal was a poor one to begin with, but got much worse when Konetchy jumped after one year from the Pirates to the Pittsburgh Rebels of the newly-formed Federal League, which had Major League status for two seasons. Mowrey hit just .254 in 79 games with the Pirates, putting up his fourth straight season with a lower OPS (.640). He was put on waivers in early August and no teams put in a claim, so on August 17th, he received his unconditional release. Some papers said he had a knee injury that was bothering him and resulted in the poor play, while others claimed that he just quit on the team. He was playing with a local team just a week after being released, then joined his teammate Konetchy on the Pittsburgh Rebels for the 1915 season. Mowrey had a solid season and proved his knee was okay by batting .280 with 49 stolen bases in 151 games. His .725 OPS was his best since his career year in 1910.
Mowrey was sold to the Brooklyn Robins prior to the 1916 season and played two his final seasons in the majors back in the National League. He hit .244 in 144 games in 1916, with 57 runs, 22 doubles, six triples, 60 RBIs and 50 walks. The next seasons saw him hit just .214 in 83 games, with 20 runs and 25 RBIs. Mowrey was a .256 hitter in 1,276 games, with 183 doubles, 54 triples, seven homers, 461 RBIs and 485 runs scored. He stole 167 bases. He led all Federal League third basemen in fielding percentage in 1915, then repeated the feat with Brooklyn in 1916. He continued to play minor league ball until 1923, the final four years as a player-manager. Despite the Pirates being a strong team for most of his career, his best hitting came against them. He had a .700 OPS in 154 games against Pittsburgh, his highest mark against any National League team.
Roy Thomas, outfielder for the 1908 Pirates. He was in his tenth season with the Philadelphia Phillies when his contract was purchased by the Pirates on June 1, 1908. At 34 years old, his skills had somewhat diminished but he was adept at getting on base and using his speed to score runs. Thomas had led the National League in walks during seven of his nine full seasons in Philadelphia. The other two seasons he finished second and third in the league. He got a late start in pro ball due to playing college ball at the University of Pennsylvania and semi-pro ball in 1898. In 1896, the New York Giants tried to sign him, but he said at the time that he wasn’t ready for pro ball. As a 25-year-old rookie in 1899, with no minor league experience, he hit .325 with career highs of 115 walks, 42 steals and 137 runs scored in 150 games. His .819 OPS ended up being his career high, though he almost matched it four years later. He was trying to win the first base job in Spring Training that year, but he ended up playing 135 games in center field instead. That rookie year was followed by a .316 average in 140 games in 1900, while leading the league with 115 walks, 132 runs scored and 675 plate appearances. He hit just seven extra-base hits that season and didn’t collect his first big league homer until his third year. He stole 37 bases that year, then never reached the 30+ steal mark again.
Thomas batted .309 in 129 games in 1901, with 102 runs scored, a league leading 100 walks and 27 steals. Once again the power numbers were extremely low, with eight extra-base hits, including an inside-the-park homer in game 137 of a 140-game season. He led all center fielders with a .967 fielding percentage. In 1902, he hit .286 in 138 games, with a league leading 107 walks, which in turn helped him lead the league with a .414 OBP. He scored 89 runs that year and stole 17 bases. He led all National League center fielders with 23 assists. He had quite a 1903 season as far as getting on base. His .327 average was his career best, while a league leading 107 walks led to a league best .453 OBP. He scored 88 runs, stole 17 bases, and his .818 OPS was one point off of his career high. He led all National League outfielders in putouts that year, and he led all NL center fielders in assists.
In 1904, Thomas hit .290 with 92 runs, 28 steals and 102 walks in 139 games. He led NL center fielders in assists and fielding percentage, and he led NL outfielders in putouts. That was his fifth straight year of leading the league in walks, a streak that got snapped in 1905. He reached base 251 times in 1904 to lead the league for the fifth time in six years, and despite missing out on the walk crown in 1905, he led the league by reaching base 275 times that season. He hit .317 in 1905, with 118 runs, 23 steals and 93 walks, resulting in a .775 OPS in 147 games. He had 27 assists, which led NL center fielders for a fourth straight season, and he led all center fielders with a .983 fielding percentage. Thomas led all NL outfielders with a .986 fielding percentage in 1906. He also took back his walk crown for the first of two straight years, hitting .254 in 142 games, with 81 runs, 22 steals and 107 walks. In 1907, he hit .243 in 121 games, with 83 walks and 70 runs scored.
Thomas played just six games in 1908 prior to being purchased by the Pirates, but after joining Pittsburgh he went right into the everyday center field spot. He would hit .256 with 49 walks and 52 runs scored in 102 games for the Pirates during that 1908 season. He led all NL outfielders in fielding range in 1908, something he also did three times with Philadelphia. The Pirates released him in the middle of 1909 so he could sign with the Boston Doves. He wasn’t with the Pirates early in the year because he got a head coaching job for the University of Pennsylvania. He had an agreement with Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss that he didn’t need to report until June 15th when the college season was over. He was unconditionally released by the Pirates on June 18th. Thomas batted .263 in 82 games for Boston in 1909. He signed a three-year deal to coach at the University of Pennsylvania that off-season. During the 1910-11 seasons, he joined the Phillies after the college season ended, playing a total of 44 games between the two seasons. Thomas retired as a player in 1911, though he did some managing in the minors during the 1921-23 seasons, which led to him playing 11 games at age 48 in 1922. He was a career .290 hitter in 1,470 games, with 1,011 runs, 1,537 hits, 244 stolen bases, 299 RBIs and 1,042 walks. His .413 OBP is the 29th best mark in baseball history. He led the league in OBP twice and finished second another three times. He hit just seven homers in his career and five of them were inside-the-park homers. The other two came five days apart in 1904. His younger brother Bill Thomas was his teammate for a brief time on the 1902 Phillies, which was his only big league experience.
Al Lawson, pitcher for the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He was born in London, England and debuted in pro ball at 20 years old with Bloomington of the Illinois-Indiana League in 1889. It was said at the time that he played his first ball with a team from Frankfort, Indiana in 1887, then saw time with a local club in Goshen, Indiana in 1888. No pro records are available for his 1889 season, but the papers noted that between Bloomington and a team from Appleton, Wisconsin, he won 33 of his 35 starts that year. He played the early part of the 1890 season with Wilmington of the Atlantic Association, where he didn’t do well, but he was being pursued by Frank Selee, the Hall of Fame manager of the Boston Beaneaters, after he pitched two strong Spring Training games against big league teams. One of those teams was the Chicago Colts (current day Cubs), who also tried to purchase his contract afterwards. The interesting note here is that the owners of Wilmington said that Lawson wasn’t for sale for any price during the spring, but just weeks later, one day after losing 11-1 and a week after getting knocked out of a game early, they changed their tune. He started his big league career with the Beaneaters on May 13, 1890, facing off against future Hall of Fame pitcher Mickey Welch of the New York Giants. Welch walked away with the 7-2 win and Lawson allowed 12 hits and four walks. Boston had apparently seen enough and two weeks later he was pitching for Pittsburgh.
The 1890 Alleghenys went 23-113, the worst record in franchise history, but their start wasn’t nearly as bad as you would think with that overall record. They were 8-16 when Lawson joined the team for his first game. They used a total of 46 players during the season and he was the first of 28 players added after the season started. He was signed on May 27th and he was the starting pitcher the next day. In the first game of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 28th, he lost a 12-10 slugfest. Just five days later, the Chicago Colts (Cubs) knocked Lawson out of the game, going on to win 14-1. It would be his last game in the majors. The next day (June 3rd) it was announced that he was released, though he never actually signed with the Alleghenys. Teams were allowed to keep players for a short time who weren’t on contract, so they moved on from him before requiring his signature on a piece of paper. Lawson may not have actually had a chance to succeed with Pittsburgh. Owner J. Palmer O’Neil hired James Randall to watch the players to make sure they weren’t drinking, but he was also a scout hired to acquire new talent. Lawson was his first signing and it was said that the players weren’t happy about Randall being around. The team committed at least 12 errors in Lawson’s second start (some sources say 14 errors), leading one to believe that they phoned it in that day as a bit of a payback.
Lawson’s big league career was over exactly one month after he was purchased by Boston. He had already played for three teams that year and he ended up playing for three more before it was over, a sign of things to come in his seven-year career. He played minor league ball until 1895 and also managed a few seasons in the minors, during and after his playing days. He played for four teams in four different leagues in 1891. You could say that he settled down during the 1892-94 seasons, playing for “just” five teams total in three years, including just one team in 1893 (Sandusky of the Ohio-Michigan League), though that might be due to the fact that he allowed 70 runs in his 61 innings of work. In his final season as a player, he played for four different teams in three different leagues. Lawson played for 19 teams in his seven seasons of pro ball and never lasted more than a year with one team. He managed Pottsville in 1894, though they weren’t one of the two teams he played for that season. He moved around almost as much as a manager, taking the helm of six teams from 1900 through 1907, never spending more than a year with one team.