This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: April 28th, Red Lucas, Daniel Moskos and David Freese

Nine former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date and one trade of note.

The Players

Kyle Keller, pitcher for the 2021 Pirates. He was drafted in the 18th round in 2015 by the Miami Marlins, taken out of Southeastern Louisiana University. He played for three teams during his draft year, though he pitched just 27.1 innings total. He started with Batavia of the short-season New York-Penn League and had a 5.19 ERA in 17.1 innings over ten games. He moved up to Greensboro of the Low-A South Atlantic League and posted a 9.35 ERA in 8.2 innings over six games. He finished up with one scoreless appearance for Jupiter of the High-A Florida State League. Keller spent the 2016-17 seasons with Greensboro. He went 3-2, 3.35 in 29 appearances, with 57 strikeouts in 45.2 innings. In 2017, he had a 2-0, 2.28 record in 36 appearances (two starts), with eight saves and 86 strikeouts in 67 innings. The 2018 season saw him return to Jupiter for the first time in three years, then shoot through Jacksonville of the Double-A Southern League, up to Triple-A New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League for five games. On the season, Keller went 2-4, 3.08 in 52.2 innings over 44 appearances. He had nine saves and 78 strikeouts. He went to the Arizona Fall League after the season and had a 4.76 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.

In 2019, Keller made his big league debut in August and pitched ten games for the Marlins. He had a 3.38 ERA in 10.2 innings. He spent the rest of the season in New Orleans (with two games in Jacksonville), where he had a 4.50 ERA and ten saves in 54 innings. He was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in January of 2020 and played just two games during the shortened 2020 season, allowing two runs in 2.1 innings. Keller was sold to the Pirates on April 5, 2021. He pitched 32 games in the majors and 13 games for Triple-A Indianapolis. He had a 1.96 ERA in 18.1 innings with Indianapolis, and a 1-1, 6.48 record in 33.1 innings, with 36 strikeouts. He became a free agent after the season and signed to play in Japan for the 2022 season. Keller has a 1-1, 5.83 record in 44 games, with 48 strikeouts in 46.1 innings.

David Freese, third baseman for the 2016-18 Pirates. He was a ninth round pick by the San Diego Padres in 2006 out of the University of South Alabama. He lasted just over one full year in their system before he was traded to the St Louis Cardinals in an even up deal for Jim Edmonds. He started with Eugene of the short-season Northwest League, where he hit .379 with five homers and 26 RBIs in 18 games. He moved up to Low-A Fort Wayne of the Midwest League and hit .299 with 24 extra-base hits in 53 games. Freese spent the 2007 season in High-A, playing with Lake Elsinore in the high offense California League, where he hit .302 with 54 extra-base hits, 104 runs scored and 96 RBIs in 128 games. After joining the Cardinals, they skipped him right to Triple-A for 2008, where he batted .306 with 83 runs, 29 doubles, 26 homers and 91 RBIs in 131 games with Memphis of the Pacific Coast League. He struggled a bit in winter ball in Venezuela, batting .235 with three homers and a high strikeout rate in 14 games, then spent most of the 2009 season in the minors, though he also missed some time due to injury. He made the Opening Day roster, but lasted just three weeks before being sent down with a .158 average. A month into his stint in Memphis, Freese had to have surgery on his left ankle, which was injured in a car accident over the winter. He returned in mid-July and eventually finished the season back in the majors, where he went 7-for-12 in six late season games. He put up a .931 OPS in 64 minor league games that year, while hitting .323 in 17 games for the Cardinals.

Freese spent the 2010 season with the Cardinals, hitting .296 in 70 games, with 28 runs, 17 extra-base hits and 36 RBIs. He missed time with a right ankle injury that year, then missed time in 2011 with a broken hamate bone. He hit .297 with 16 doubles, ten homers and 55 RBIs in 97 games for the 2011 Cardinals, then helped them to a World Series title by winning the MVP award in both the NLCS and the World Series. That postseason he had eight doubles, five homers and 21 RBIs in 18 games. Freese finally put in a full season in 2012 and he made his only All-Star appearance that year. He hit .293 with 70 runs, 25 doubles, 20 homers, 79 RBIs and 57 walks in 144 games. His .839 OPS was his highest over a season in which he had more than 200 plate appearances. He was slowed by a back strain in 2013 and saw his production drop, putting up a .721 OPS in 138 games. He hit .262 with 53 runs, 26 doubles, nine homers and 60 RBIs. Freese was traded in the off-season to the Los Angeles Angels, where he put up average results over two season. He had a .260 average, 36 extra-base hits, 55 RBIs and a .704 OPS in 134 games in 2014, then put up a .257 average, a career high 27 doubles, 14 homers, 56 RBIs and a .743 OPS in 121 games in 2015. He became a free agent after the season and stayed on the market for quite some time before signing.

Freese signed a free agent deal with the Pirates in early March of 2016. He was their starting third baseman that year, while also seeing time at first base. He hit .270 in 141 games, with 63 runs, 23 doubles, 13 homers and 55 RBIs. He followed that up with a .263 average in 2017, collecting 16 doubles, ten homers and 52 RBIs in 130 games. He drew 58 walks, which was his career high. He started the 2018 season with the Pirates, before finishing the year with the Los Angeles Dodgers after an August 31st trade for minor league infielder Jesus Valdez. Freese had an excellent 2018 season, combining to hit .296 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs in 113 games. His .830 OPS was just nine points off of his career high. He finished his career with a strong season for the 2019 Dodgers, though he landed on the injured list twice due to hamstring issues and he appeared off of the bench in 40 of his 79 games. In 186 plate appearances, he had a .315 average, 35 runs, 13 doubles, 11 homers, 29 RBIs and a 1.002 OPS. Freese played 1,184 games over 11 seasons in the majors, hitting .277 with 481 runs, 197 doubles, 113 homers, 535 RBIs and a .775 OPS. With the Pirates he hit .270 with 136 runs, 49 doubles, 32 homers and 149 RBIs in 365 games. He stole eight bases in his career in 19 attempts, and he hit just seven triples. He was an average defensive player during his career, finishing with a 0.4 dWAR. In 69 postseason games, he hit .299 with ten homers and 36 RBIs.

Daniel Moskos, pitcher for the Pirates in 2011. Moskos was a first round pick (fourth overall pick) in the 2007 draft out of Clemson University. He was a reliever during his first season of pro ball, putting up a 3.45 ERA in 13 appearances. He made a brief stop in the Gulf Coast League and had two scoreless appearances, before pitching 12.2 innings with State College of the New York-Penn League. The Pirates placed him in High-A with Lynchburg of the Carolina League in 2008 and gave him a starting role for most of the season, getting 20 starts and nine relief appearances. He went 7-7, 5.95 with 78 strikeouts in 110.1 innings that season. In 2009, he made 25 starts and two relief appearances for Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League, going 11-10, 3.74 in 149 innings. Despite seeing an increase of 39 innings over the previous season, Moskos had a total of 77 strikeouts, falling short of his 2008 mark. He pitched in relief in the Arizona Fall League after the 2009 season and posted a 5.28 ERA in 15.1 innings. He was moved to the bullpen in 2010, where he dominated in Altoona, then got roughed up badly in Triple-A with Indianapolis of the International League. He had a 1.52 ERA in 41.1 innings with Altoona. He had a 10.38 ERA in 17.1 innings in Indianapolis, giving up the same amount of hits in each spot (26), while walking more batters in Triple-A.

Even though he struggled mightily in Triple-A in 2010, Moskos was there for less than a month before he got his first chance in the majors, making his big league debut on April 30, 2011. He had three stints with the Pirates that season, posting a 2.96 ERA in 24.1 innings over 31 appearances. While the ERA looked good, he had a 1.56 WHIP and 11 strikeouts. It ended up being his only season in the majors. He pitched another seven seasons after 2011, though he was with the Pirates for just a short time after putting up a solid ERA as a rookie. Moskos lasted until April 3rd in the battle for an Opening Day bullpen spot, losing out right before the season started. He pitched 14 games at Indianapolis before being designated for assignment on June 26th. He was lost on waivers to the Chicago White Sox , and spent the rest of the season in Triple-A with Charlotte of the International League, where he made 16 more appearances and finished the season with a 4.19 ERA in 34.1 innings. He remained with the White Sox in Triple-A in 2013, though he was limited to 22 appearances before he was released, finishing with a 4.97 ERA in 29 innings. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed him as a free agent for 2014, but they gave up on him after a month at Triple-A Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League, where he had a 6.52 ERA in nine games.

Moskos pitched independent ball in 2015 with Lancaster of the Atlantic League, then spent the winter playing in Mexico. He signed with the San Diego Padres in 2016 and remained in Triple-A for the entire season, posting a 3.39 ERA in 61 innings over 53 appearances with El Paso of the Pacific Coast League. He signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs after the season, but never pitched in their system due to a failed physical, though he wasn’t injured at the time and didn’t miss any time. He played with Lancaster again in 2017, then finished his career in Mexico, with another season of winter ball, followed by his final 44 pro games in 2018. Moskos posted a 1.24 ERA in 43.2 innings during his final season. He had tryouts for teams in 2019, but when that didn’t work out, he took up coaching. He landed a minor league job for two years with the New York Yankees, before becoming the assistant pitching coach in the majors with the Cubs for the 2022 season.

Romulo Sanchez, pitcher for the 2007-08 Pirates. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers just before his 18th birthday as an international amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2002. Sanchez joined the Pirates as a free agent two years later after the Dodgers released him in March of 2004. He pitched for the Pirates in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2004, then went from the Gulf Coast League all the way to Double-A as a starter in his first year stateside with the Pirates in 2005. It was quite a jump considering that he had a 4.70 ERA and only 24 strikeouts in 53.2 innings over ten starts in Low-A with Hickory of the South Atlantic League. Not only that, he skipped over the short-season New York-Penn League and High-A ball to end up in Double-A by the end of the season. Sanchez gave up four runs over ten innings in his two starts with Altoona of the Eastern League that season. Combined on the year, he went 5-3, 4.15 in 73.2 innings. He switched to relief in 2006, starting back at Hickory. Once again he pitched at three levels, including a second stint in Double-A, though he didn’t skip High-A Lynchburg of the Carolina League that year. He had a combined record of 0-3, 5.86 in 58.1 innings over 37 games in 2006, with 30 walks and 39 strikeouts. His best results came in Lynchburg, where he allowed one run over eight relief appearances.

Sanchez spent the 2007 season pitching for Altoona, making 40 relief appearances with a 2.81 ERA in 57.2 innings, with 52 strikeouts. He was called up to the majors for the first time in late August and pitched 16 times for the Pirates, totaling 18 innings, with a 5.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts. Sanchez spent most of 2008 in the minors, getting five appearances with the Pirates prior to September, and then five more once the minor league season ended. He had a 5-1, 3.46 record and four saves in 54.2 innings over 33 appearances with Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League that year. He had a 4.05 ERA in 13.1 innings that season in the majors. The Pirates traded him in May of 2009 to the New York Yankees for pitcher Eric Hacker. At the time of the trade, Sanchez had a 4.38 ERA in ten appearances with Indianapolis. He spent all of 2009 in the minors, getting some time as a starting pitcher after joining the Yankees. For Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the International League, he went 5-5, 4.04 in 64.2 innings over 13 starts and six relief appearances. Combined on the year, he had 79 strikeouts in 77 innings. He played two games in the majors for the Yankees in 2010, one in May and one in late September, throwing 4.1 scoreless innings. The rest of the year was with Scranton/WB, where he went 10-8, 3.97 in 104.1 innings over 14 starts and 17 relief appearances. Sanchez then spent the 2011 season in Japan. Despite last pitching in the majors in 2010, he was still active in winter ball this last season in 2021-22 at 37 years old. He spent the 2012 season in Triple-A for the Tampa Bay Rays, where he had a 6.31 ERA in 51.1 innings. He then played 2013 in Mexico, 2014 in China and 2015 in Italy, which was his last season of summer ball. He has played 15 seasons of winter ball in Venezuela, where he had made a total of 338 appearances. In parts of three big league seasons, he put up a 1-0, 4.04 record and one save in 35.2 innings over 28 appearances.

Yoslan Herrera, pitcher for the 2008 Pirates. Herrera was born in Cuba and played at the highest level there for four seasons (2001-04). He defected from Cuba in June of 2005 and the Pirates signed him as an amateur free agent at 25 years old on December 18, 2006, giving him a three-year deal worth $1.92 M. He was said to have a fastball that reached 92 MPH, along with command of his pitches and a five-pitch mix. The Pirates initially said that he would begin the 2007 season in Triple-A with Indianapolis of the International League, but he spent his first year pitching for Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League, where he made 25 starts, going 6-9, 4.69 in 128.2 innings, with 70 strikeouts. He began the 2008 season at Altoona as well and had a 6-9 record again, this time with a much better 3.46 ERA, pitching 114.1 innings over 21 starts, while striking out 69 batters. Herrera made one spot start for Indianapolis in late June and gave up two runs over seven innings. The Pirates returned him to Altoona, but then two weeks later he made his Major League debut on July 12, 2008. In five starts with the Pirates over the next month, he went 1-1, 9.82, giving up 20 runs and 48 base runners in 18.1 innings. After his start on August 4th, he was sent back to Altoona for the rest of the season. Herrera returned to Altoona for 2009, going 11-1, 3.23 in 97.2 innings over 23 outings (15 starts). He also made two brief stops in Indianapolis, one in April and another in September, putting together a 2.30 ERA in 15.2 innings. The Pirates released him on October 30, 2009, and then he went on to pitch winter ball in Venezuela.

For a time it appeared like Herrera finished his career during the 2010 season with the Minnesota Twins, while playing for Rochester of Triple-A International League, where he made just six starts and had a 6.08 ERA in 26.2 innings. However, Herrera returned after two seasons off and played independent ball in 2013 for Lancaster of the Atlantic League. He was signed after a tryout recommended by Hall of Famer Tony Oliva, in which Herrera was throwing 92-93 MPH, while displaying above average breaking balls. He went 2-1, 3.74 in 59 games for Lancaster, with 11 saves and 54 strikeouts in 53 innings. He then pitched winter ball in Mexico and had a 2.72 ERA, 14 saves and 42 strikeouts in 36.1 innings. He returned to affiliated ball when he signed with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2014 season. Herrera put up a 2.52 ERA in 41 appearances with Salt Lake City (a very hitter-friendly park) of the Pacific Coast League. He made 20 appearances for the Angels, posting a 2.70 ERA in 16.2 innings. The first called him up when the bullpen needed fresh arms in April and he responded with a 4.50 ERA in six appearances. He returned in late August and allowed two runs in his first appearance, then threw shutout ball over his final 13 games. He signed to play in Japan in 2015 and did well there in his first season, with a 2.96 ERA in 51.2 innings over 52 games, but his career in pro ball was done after just two games in Japan in 2016. He gave up six runs in 1.1 innings during that last season.

Pedro Ramos, pitcher for the 1969 Pirates. Ramos originally signed with the Washington Senators in 1953 out of Cuba when he was 18 years old. He debuted in Class-D ball with Morristown of the Mountain States League, where he went 7-6, 6.26 in 138 innings. He was in the same league the next year, though it was reclassified as Class-C. He pitched for both Morristown and Kingsport, while also seeing time with Hagerstown of the Class-B Piedmont League. His full stats aren’t available for that year, though he’s credited with a 19-6 record and 210 innings pitched. Despite being four levels from the majors at his peak in 1954, Ramos was with the Senators for all of 1955, when he went 5-11, 3.88, with five saves in 130 innings, making nine starts and 36 relief appearances. He had just 34 strikeouts all season. He had a lot of support on offense in 1956, which was almost never the case during his time with the Washington/Minnesota Twins franchise. That second season he posted a 5.27 ERA in 152 innings for a team with a 59-95 record, yet he somehow ended up with a 12-10 record. The Senators went 9-9 in his 18 starts, plus he pitched 19 times in relief.

Ramos made 30 starts and 13 relief appearances in 1957, throwing a total of 231 innings. He went 12-16 with a 4.79 ERA. He led the league with 43 homers allowed, which stood as an American League record for 30 years. The previous record was 33 allowed by his teammate Camilo Pascual one year earlier. The 1958-61 stretch saw Ramos put in an average of 259 innings per year and he led the American League in losses each season. His team’s best finish during that stretch was 73-81 in 1960, the year before the team transferred to Minnesota. Ramos went 14-18, 4.23 in 259.1 innings in 1958. He led the league in hits allowed, earned runs and homers allowed. Despite all of those negative stats, he set a career high with four shutouts, while also picking up three saves. He had a 13-19, 4.13 record in 233.2 innings in 1959 when he made his only All-Star appearance. He had a 10-8, 4.14 record on July 14th, but he picked up the loss in his next six appearances, with his ERA only going up to 4.28 during that time. He was 11-18 in 1960, despite a 3.45 ERA in 274 innings. He led the league with 36 starts, and also pitched seven more times in relief. Ramos set a career high with 14 complete games, while also setting a temporary high with 160 strikeouts, which ranked second in the league.

The first year in Minnesota was just as rough for Ramos, going 11-20, 3.95 in 264.1 innings. He led the league in hits and homers allowed, while setting a career high with 174 strikeouts, which was good for sixth most in the league. Ramos was traded to the Cleveland Indians prior to the 1962 season. He went 10-12, 3.71 in 201.1 innings during his first season with the Indians, making 27 starts and ten relief appearances. It was his sixth straight season with 200+ innings, though it was also the final time he eclipsed that mark. Ramos went 9-8, 3.12 in 184.2 innings over 22 starts and 14 relief appearances in 1963. He finished ninth in the league with 169 strikeouts, though his strikeout rate of 8.24 per nine innings was the second best mark in the league. He had a rough 1964 season that ended on a high note. He was 7-10, 5.14 in 133 innings in a swing-man role for the Indians (19 starts and 17 relief appearances), before being traded to the New York Yankees on September 5th. He pitched out of their bullpen over that last month and posted a 1.25 ERA in 21.2 innings. He became the closer for the Yankees during the 1965-66 seasons, though the role back then wasn’t defined as a closer and the save didn’t become an official stat until he was in Pittsburgh. Ramos went 5-5, 2.92, with 18 saves in 92.1 innings over 65 appearances in 1965. He was 3-9, 3.61 in 89.2 innings over 52 games (one start) in 1966, picking up 13 saves.

Ramos was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 1966 season, but his stay there was short. He was released in early June of 1967  after allowing eight runs in eight innings over six appearances. He pitched two games in the minors that year, but he pitched just 15 innings total that season. He signed with the Pirates as a free agent prior to the 1968 season, then spent the entire year at Triple-A Columbus of the International League, where he had a 5.09 ERA in 76 innings over 29 appearances. Ramos began the 1969 season back in Columbus for the Pirates, earning a promotion one month into the season. He pitched five games in relief for the Pirates, allowing four runs in six innings. Pittsburgh released him on June 5th and he signed with the Cincinnati Reds less than a week later. He finished the season by putting up a 5.16 ERA in 66.1 innings over 38 appearances, while also seeing some more Triple-A time. Ramos played briefly with the Senators (now Texas Rangers) in 1970, pitching four times in relief in early April, before finishing the rest of the season in Mexico. He then returned to the minors, where he played for three different teams during the 1971-72 seasons. He then returned to Mexico for part of 1972, followed by three more years in Mexico before he retired. He had a career record of 117-160, 4.08 in 582 major league games (268 starts). He threw 2,355.2 innings, finishing with 73 complete games, 13 shutouts and he picked up 54 saves.

Tom Sturdivant, pitcher for the 1961-63 Pirates. He spent ten seasons in the majors (1955-64), playing for seven different teams along the way. Sturdivant signed with the New York Yankees in 1948 at 18 years old out of Capitol Hill HS in Oklahoma City, OK. He was an infielder during his first three seasons of pro ball (1948-50), spending most of that time with Quincy of the Class-B Three-I League. His records show him pitching one game during that time. He hit .276 in 57 games in 1948, while also seeing time with Norfolk of the Class-B Piedmont League. In 1949 with Quincy, he hit .256 in 109 games, with 29 extra-base hits and 41 runs. Sturdivant batted .246 in 1950, with 19 extra-base hits in 68 games. He lost the entire 1951 season and part of 1952 serving in the military. When he returned to the minors in 1952 he was a pitcher full-time. Sturdivant went 3-3, 3.56 in 86 innings in 1952 while playing with Beaumont in the Double-A Texas League. He was with Birmingham of the Double-A Southern Association in 1953, where he went 10-7, 2.98 in 139 innings. He pitched mostly in relief during his first two seasons on the mound, then switched to a starting role in 1954 with Kansas City of the Triple-A American Association. Sturdivant was 8-9, 3.57 in 169 innings that year. He made the Yankees on Opening Day in 1955 as a reliever, making 33 appearances as a rookie, posting a 3.16 ERA in 68.1 innings. The Yankees made the World Series and he had two appearances in the series loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Between the 1956-57 seasons, Sturdivant won 32 games for the Yankees, winning 16 games each year. He had a 16-8, 3.30 record in 1956, with 110 strikeouts in 158.1 innings pitched. He made 17 starts, 15 relief appearances, and had two shutouts and five saves. He pitched twice (one start) in the World Series that year, giving up three runs in 9.2 innings. In 1957, he went 16-6, 2.54 in 201.2 innings, with a career high 118 strikeouts. All 28 of his appearances that year were as a starter. He had one relief appearance and one start in that World Series, allowing four runs in six innings. Despite those strong back-to-back seasons, he won just 26 more games in his career and never reached double figures again. Sturdivant saw limited time in 1958, making ten starts and five relief appearances. He went 3-6, 4.20 in 70.2 innings. He pitched at least once in every month that year, but a poor start to the year led to sporadic work. He split the 1959 season between the Yankees and Kansas City Athletics, who acquired him in a five-player deal on May 26th. Combined between both clubs that year, he went 2-8, 4.73 in 97 innings over six starts and 37 relief appearances. On December 3, 1959, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. In 1960, he posted a 4.97 ERA in 101.1 innings over 40 appearances (three starts). After the 1960 season, he was taken by the Washington Senators (current day Texas Rangers) in the expansion draft. The Pirates acquired him from the Senators in exchange for pitcher Tom Cheney on June 29, 1961. Sturdivant had a 2-6, 4.61 record in 80 innings prior to the trade.

For the 1961 Pirates, Sturdivant went 5-2. 2.84 in 85.2 innings, making 11 starts and two relief appearances. In 1962, he made 12 starts and 37 relief appearances for the Pirates, finishing with an overall record of 9-5, 3.73 in 125.1 innings. Less than a month into the 1963 season, after just three relief outings in which he allowed six runs in 8.1 innings, the Pirates sold him to the Detroit Tigers. He had a 3.76 ERA in 55 innings over 28 games with the Tigers. Sturdivant finished the 1963 season with the Kansas City Athletics, who purchased his contract on July 23rd. He compiled a 3.95 ERA over 114.1 innings with his three teams that season. He then split his final year in the big leagues between the A’s and New York Mets, posting a 6.40 ERA in 32.1 innings over 19 appearances. The A’s released him on May 10th that season and he signed that same day with the Mets. New York released him on June 27th and he finished the season and his career with Oklahoma City of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He finished his ten-year big league career with a 59-51, 3.74 record in 1,137 innings over 335 games, 101 as a starter. He had 22 complete games, seven shutouts and 17 saves. With the Pirates he was 14-7, 3.49 in 219.1 innings over 23 starts and 42 relief appearances.

Red Lucas, pitcher for the 1934-38 Pirates. Before joining the Pirates, Lucas had 11 seasons of big league experience already, spending the last eight years with the Cincinnati Reds. For Cincinnati, he went 109-99, 3.64 in 257 games, 202 as a starter. Three times from 1929 until 1932, he led the National League in complete games and he received MVP votes four times from 1927 to 1933 . Lucas debuted in pro ball in 1920 at 18 years old, playing for Class-D Rome of the Georgia State League (no stats available). He won 16 games and pitched 230 innings the next season while playing with three different clubs, including two teams in the Class-D Mississippi State League. He also saw brief time in Class-A with Nashville of the Southern Association. He played the 1922 season for Nashville, where he went 20-18, 4.63 in 282 innings. Lucas made the New York Giants out of Spring Training in 1923, but he lasted just three relief appearances before finishing the season with San Antonio of the Class-A Texas League, where he had an 18-9, 4.05 record in 211 innings. He gave up five runs with the Giants in 5.1 innings, but they were all unearned. He spent the entire 1924 season with the Boston Braves, mostly pitching in relief. Lucas went 1-4, 5.16 in 81.2 innings over 27 games, with four starts. He batted .333 with five RBIs and a .717 OPS in limited at-bats.

In 1925, Lucas was the Opening Day second baseman for the Braves, but that experiment lasted just six games and he was soon sent to the minors. After spending nearly the entire 1925 season pitching in the Pacific Coast League with Seattle (9-5, 2.83 in 121 innings), he returned to the majors with the Reds, where he would quickly become a star. Lucas went 8-5, 3.68 in 154 innings in 1926, making 11 starts and 28 relief appearances. He also put up an .844 OPS in 91 plate appearances. He took more of a starter role in his second season in Cincinnati, going 18-11, 3.38 in 239.2 innings, while batting .313 with 28 RBIs. He completed 19 of his 23 starts, throwing four shutouts. He pitched in relief 14 times, pinch-hit 38 times, and played a handful of games in the field as well. He finished 11th in the NL MVP voting. In 1928, he was 13-9, 3.39 in 167.1 innings and led the league with four shutouts. He started 19 games and pitched eight times in relief. He also batted .315 in 73 at-bats. Lucas finished sixth in the MVP voting in 1929, thanks to a 19-12, 3.60 record in a career high 270 innings. He completed 28 of 32 starts and his 1.20 WHIP was the best in the league. He had a .293 average in 140 at-bats.

The 1930 season was a huge year for offense in baseball and Lucas had a 5.38 ERA, which wasn’t that much above league average. He went 14-16 and threw 210.2 innings. He also managed to hit .336 that season in 113 at-bats, with 17 walks and four strikeouts. Offense settled down from that one-year peak and Lucas went 14-13, 3.59 in 238 innings. He led the league with 24 complete games. That led to a 14th place finish in the MVP voting. He had a 2.94 ERA in 1932, while throwing 269.1 innings and a league leading 28 complete games. The Reds finished 60-94 and it showed up in his 13-17 record. He hit .287 that year with a career high 11 doubles, while driving in 18 runs. In 1933, he went 10-16, 3.40 with 219.2 innings pitched, while completing 21 of his 29 starts. He received MVP support for the fourth time in his career. The Reds traded Lucas and outfielder Wally Roettger to the Pirates on November 17, 1933 in exchange for second baseman Tony Piet and outfielder Adam Comorosky.

Lucas pitched over 200 innings in a season six times with the Reds, but he never topped the 175 mark for the Pirates. He was still a valuable pitcher for the team, four times finishing with a record over .500 on the season, and twice winning in double figures. He went 10-9, 4.38 in 172.2 innings in 1934, making 22 starts and seven relief appearances. Lucas was 8-6, 3.44 in 125.2 innings in 1935, making 19 starts and one relief appearance. He batted .318 that year, with an .801 OPS. His best season with the Pirates came in 1936 when he went 15-4, 3.18 in 175.2 innings over 22 starts and five relief appearances. After losing the team’s fourth game of the season, Lucas didn’t pick up another loss until over three months later, and that second loss was a 1-0 game. He was 8-10, 4.27 in 126.1 innings over 20 starts in 1937. The Pirates released him after the 1938 season, when he went 6-3, 3.54 in 13 starts and 84 innings pitched. That ended his big league career, but he played five more seasons in the minors before retiring as a player, including two years as a player-manager. He finished his Major League career with a 157-135, 3.72 record in 2,542 innings over 396 games. He made 302 starts in his career and threw 204 complete games, including 22 shutouts. Lucas had a 47-32, 3.77 mark in 684.1 innings while with Pittsburgh. He was a strong fielding pitcher, committing just 12 errors while on the mound (he made four while playing other positions). He occasionally played in the field on his off-days early in his career. At the plate, Lucas was a great hitter for a pitcher, batting .281 with 190 RBIs in his career. He hit over .300 in six of his 14 full seasons. He was used nearly 500 times as a pinch-hitter. During the 1931 season alone, he pinch-hit 67 times. His actual first name was Charles.

Walt Woods, pitcher for the Pirates on April 27, 1900. He spent 20 seasons in pro ball from 1895-1914, playing all nine positions over the years. Woods began his career as an outfielder/pitcher, played middle infield frequently early on, then spent a long stretch as a third baseman, before finishing his career as a catcher. He played just three seasons in the majors, and during one of those seasons, he played just one game before going down to the minors. He debuted in pro ball at 20 years old, splitting the 1895 season between Portland of the Class-B New England League and Haverhill of the New England Association. No stats are available for that year, but we know that he hit .293 in 70 games for Portland in 1896, while going 5-10, 3.56 in 134 innings over 15 starts, completing all 15 games. In 1897, he moved up to Springfield of the Class-A Eastern League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He went 17-11, 2.34 in 250 innings, with 26 complete games in 29 starts. That led to his first big league opportunity.

In September of 1897, the Chicago Colts (Cubs) selected Woods in the Rule 5 draft. As a rookie with the Chicago (then called the Orphans in 1898 after manager Cap Anson left), he went 9-13, with a 3.14 ERA in 215 innings over 22 starts and five relief appearances. He tossed 18 complete games and three were shutouts. He pitched for the Louisville Colonels of the National League in 1899, going 9-13, 3.28 in 186.1 innings over 21 starts and five relief appearances. He tossed 17 complete games that season. He came into his time in Pittsburgh with a decent amount of big league experience. However, after his debut with the Pirates, Woods never played in the majors again. Woods was part of the infamous Honus Wagner trade that turned the Pirates into a powerhouse during the 1901-03 seasons. When Barney Dreyfuss became owner of the Pirates in December of 1899 and the Louisville team (eventually) folded, Woods was one of 13 players to join the Pirates that day, while six players and cash went to Louisville (it’s sometimes referred to as a 12-for-4 deal, but it was originally 19 players). The Pirates ended up with much more of the deal when Louisville folded early in 1900.

On April 27, 1900 the Pirates were playing their eighth game of the season, facing the Cincinnati Reds that day. Jesse Tannehill was on the mound for Pittsburgh. He won a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons, but on this day he gave up eight runs in the first two innings before Woods replaced him on the mound.Woods lasted three innings, giving up seven runs in the fifth inning before being pulled. On May 12th, he was released to Springfield on option. On Christmas Day in 1900, it was announced that Woods was one of three players sent to Syracuse of the Eastern League in exchange for pitcher Lewis “Snake” Wiltse. Woods played another fourteen years in the minors before he finished his career with the Troy Trojans of the New York State League as a 39-year-old catcher in 1914. In 1901, he posted an 11-17 record for Syracuse/Brockton of the Eastern League. He then had an 8-4 record for Jersey City of the Eastern League in 1902. He became strictly a position player after the 1902 season, and he spent the 1902-09 seasons with Jersey City, where he had just one season in which he batted over a .231 mark (1903 when he hit .268). While some stats are missing, he had just one season in which he collected more than 20 extra-base hits (25 in 1903).

There was an interesting note from Woods’ time in Louisville under manager Fred Clarke, who was also his manager in Pittsburgh. Woods was feeling sick after one particular game and seemed weak so Clarke advised him to drink beer to help him replenish his system. Drinking beer in season was against team rules, so Woods initially wouldn’t follow his instructions. Once Clarke assured him that it was okay, Woods put some liquor in his system and then started pitching much better immediately afterwards, leading them to believe the two things were connected.

The Trade

On this date in 1910, the Pirates traded pitcher Sam Frock and first baseman Bud Sharpe to the Boston Doves for pitcher Kirby White. Sharpe had once played for Boston in 1905, but he was in the minors by mid-season, and stayed there up until that 1910 season. The Pirates had acquired the 28-year-old Sharpe as a Rule 5 draft pick in September of 1909. Frock was 27 years old and had also played previously with Boston, making his debut in the majors with the 1907 Doves. He pitched 36.1 innings for the World Series winning 1909 Pirates, posting a 2.48 ERA. White was 26 years old, and he had a 7-15, 2.94 record in 174.1 innings with Boston between the 1909-10 seasons. He had already made three starts in 1910, and despite two losses, he had a 1.38 ERA.

After the trade, White pitched 153.1 innings for the 1910 Pirates, going 10-9 with a 3.46 ERA. He threw three shutouts and had a streak of 32 consecutive scoreless innings during the second half of the season. He wasn’t healthy in 1911 when he reported to the team, and after a poor outing in late May, he was sent to the minors and never returned to the big leagues. Frock suffered nearly the same fate as White. He was used very often by Boston, pitching 255.1 innings in 1910 after the trade, going 12-19, 3.21 in 29 starts and 17 relief appearances. He didn’t even last a month in the majors in 1911 before his contract was sold to a minor league team, and just like White, he too never returned to the majors. Sharpe was Boston’s everyday first baseman after the trade, hitting .239 with no homers and 29 RBIs in 115 games. His contract was sold to a minor league team before the 1911 started, putting all three players out of the majors by the end of May 1911.