The trade deadline used to be June 15th, so the Pittsburgh Pirates have completed a lot of trades on this date. We have nine of those deals here, as well as ten former players born on this date. So strap in, this is a long article.
1982: Pirates traded Bill Robinson to the Philadelphia Phillies for Wayne Nordhagen. Robinson was 39 years old and in his 15th season in the majors, eighth with Pittsburgh. He was hitting .239 with four homers and 12 RBIs over 31 games with the Pirates at the time of the trade. For the Phillies, he hit .261 with 19 RBIs in 69 at-bats in 1982, then went 1-for-7 in ten games the following season before being released. Robinson hit .276 with 109 homers and 412 RBIs in 805 games for the Pirates. Nordhagen was with the Pirates for ten days, playing one game in which he went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. He was picked up by the Phillies from the Toronto Blue Jays earlier in the day on June 15th, then traded to the Pirates, who sent him back to Toronto on June 25th, as the player to be named later from an earlier deal. Nordhagen had a back injury that was undisclosed and led to another deal for outfielder Dick Davis. So this trade was basically Robinson for Davis, although the Pirates had to wait those ten extra days to get the latter.
1977: Pirates traded Ed Kirkpatrick to the Texas Rangers for Jim Fregosi. Kirkpatrick was a 32-year-old utility player, who had seen time at catcher, both corner infield spots and all three outfield positions during his career. In four seasons in Pittsburgh, he hit .236 with 12 homers and 74 RBIs in 309 games. He was hitting just .143 in 21 games at the time of the deal. After the deal, he hit .188 in 20 games for the Rangers, who traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers, where he finished his career later that season. Fregosi was a 35-year-old corner infielder at the time of the deal. He was in his 16th season in the majors, hitting .250 in 13 games for Texas. He was a six time All-Star shortstop for the California Angels in the 1960’s, who is famous for getting traded to the New York Mets for Nolan Ryan. Fregosi was with Pittsburgh through the end of May 1978, playing 56 games total with a .263 average in 97 plate appearances. Neither team got much from their new players, but Fregosi stayed around longer.
1966: Pirates traded Don Schwall to Atlanta Braves for Billy O’Dell. Schwall was an All-Star and Rookie of the Year for the Boston Red Sox in 1961, winning 15 games. In the 4 1/2 seasons that followed, the 30-year-old righty went 33-38, with 22 of those wins coming over four seasons with the Pirates. After the deal, he went 3-3, 4.37 in 45.1 innings for the 1966 Braves, then pitched one game for Atlanta in 1967, which was his last big league game. O’Dell was a 33-year-old left reliever in his 12th season in the majors. He had a 2-3, 2.40 record in 24 games for the 1966 Braves, pitching a total of 41.1 innings. He pitched for the Pirates until the end of 1967, going 8-8, 4.44 in 158 innings over 64 games. His last win during the 1966 season was the 100th of his career. He was released by the Pirates after the 1967 season, ending his Major League career.
1961: Pirates traded Gino Cimoli to Milwaukee Braves for Johnny Logan. Cimoli was a 31-year-old outfielder in his sixth season in the majors, second with the Pirates. He was an All-Star in 1957 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He played all seven games of the 1960 World Series, hitting .250 with four runs scored. Cimoli was hitting .299 at the time of the deal, with 67 at-bats in 21 games. After the deal, he hit .197 in 37 games for the Braves. He then went to the Kansas City A’s, where he played full-time for two years. He ended his career by playing 46 games (spread between three teams) over the 1964-65 seasons. Logan was a 34-year-old shortstop, in his 11th season in the majors, all spent with the Braves. He was a four time All-Star, who received MVP votes every season from 1952 until 1957. Logan was hitting .105 (2-for-19) in 18 games for the Braves in 1961. With the Pirates, he lasted until the end of the 1963 season, batting .249 with 26 RBIs in 152 games (69 starts). He played 30 games at third base for the Pirates, the only games in his career spent somewhere else besides shortstop. That 1963 season was the end of his career.
1958: Pirates traded Gene Freese and Johnny O’Brien to St Louis Cardinals for Dick Schofield and cash. Freese was a 24-year-old infielder, playing in his fourth season in the majors, all with the Pirates. He was hitting .167 (3-for-18) in 17 games for the 1958 Pirates. After the deal, he played just 62 games for St Louis before they dealt him to the Philadelphia Phillies. He eventually ended back with the Pirates in 1964, playing in Pittsburgh until an August 1965 sale to the Chicago White Sox. O’Brien played middle infield and pitched for the Pirates over parts of five seasons. He had a .260 average in 283 games and a 5.03 ERA in 24 games. After the deal, he played 12 games for the Cardinals, batting three times and pitching two innings. In the off-season, he was taken by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft. He would be traded to the Milwaukee Braves, where he would finish his career in 1959. Schofield was 23 years old at the time, already in his sixth season in the majors. He had played just 208 games, and his .213 average in 1958 was his highest single season mark at that point. He played eight years in Pittsburgh, playing 2B/SS/3B regularly at various points during that time. He batted .248 in 576 games with the Pirates, driving in 107 runs and scoring 186 times. Schofield was traded for Jose Pagan during the 1965 season and played in the majors until 1971.
1951: The Pirates traded Cliff Chambers and Wally Westlake to the St Louis Cardinals for Joe Garagiola, Dick Cole, Howie Pollet, Ted Wilks and Bill Howerton. Westlake was 30 years old, in his fifth season with the Pirates. He played all three outfield positions and had a .281 average with 97 homers and 378 RBIs in 580 games for Pittsburgh. He played 408 games after the deal, hitting just 30 homers and driving in 161 runs. Chambers was a 29-year-old lefty, in his third season with the Pirates. He pitched a no-hitter just a month earlier. He was 28-28, 4.33 in 81 games for the Pirates. Chambers pitched for the Cardinals until 1953, his last year in the majors, going 18-16, 4.19 in 79 games during his three seasons with St Louis.
Garagiola was a 25-year-old catcher, in his sixth season, all spent with St Louis. He was a .244 hitter in 317 games. With the Pirates, he played 217 games, hitting .262 with 103 RBIs, before being included in the 1953 trade that sent Ralph Kiner to the Chicago Cubs. Cole was a 25-year-old rookie second baseman, hitting .194 in 15 games for the 1951 Cardinals. He played all around the infield for five seasons in Pittsburgh, batting .253 with 104 RBIs in 426 games. Pollet was a 30-year-old lefty pitcher, who had twice won 20 games in a season for the Cardinals. He was 0-3, 4.38 in six games for the Cardinals in 1951. After the deal, he went 14-31, 4.59 in 378.2 innings in 76 games over four seasons with Pittsburgh. He was also included in the Kiner deal, though he eventually returned to the Pirates briefly to finish his career in 1956. Wilks went 17-4, 2.64 in 207.2 innings as a rookie in 1944, then won 42 games the rest of his ten-year career. The 35-year-old went 8-10, 3.19 in 155 innings over 92 games during his two seasons in Pittsburgh. Howerton was a 29-year-old outfielder, who played three seasons with the Cardinals, hitting .279 in 143 games. He played two seasons in Pittsburgh, playing a total of 93 games (56 starts), matching the .279 average and 11 homers that he hit with St Louis. He finished his career with 11 games for the 1952 New York Giants.
1949: The Pirates traded Ed Sauer to the Boston Braves for Phil Masi. The Pirates had just purchased Sauer from the St Louis Cardinals the same day that this deal went down. A native of Pittsburgh, PA., he never got to play for his home team. He played three seasons in the majors for the Chicago Cubs from 1943-45, then spent the next three years in the minors, before returning with the 1949 Cardinals, where he hit .222 in 24 games before joining the Pirates for a partial day. The 30-year-old outfielder hit .266 with 31 RBIs in 79 games for the Braves, in what would be his last season in the majors. Masi was a 33-year-old catcher, in his 11th season in the majors, all spent with the Braves. He was hitting .210 with no homers and six RBIs prior to the trade. He was a .262 hitter, with 34 homers and 314 RBIs in 945 games. He made the All-Star team each season from 1946-48, and in 1947 he led all National League catchers in fielding percentage. For the 1949 Pirates he batted .274 in 48 games, driving in 13 runs. He again led the league in fielding, making just one error while with the Pirates, though it was obviously in limited time. He was sold to the Chicago White Sox prior to the 1950 season, then played three more seasons in the majors.
1943: The Pirates traded pitcher Dutch Dietz to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Johnny Podgajny. Dietz was 31 years old, with four seasons of Major League experience, all for the Pirates. He had a 13-15, 3.51 record in 259 innings over 85 games with Pittsburgh. After the deal, he went 1-1, 6.50 in 21 relief appearances for Philadelphia, in what would be his last season in the majors. Podgajny was in his fourth season in the majors, owner of a 20-33, 4.14 record in 467 innings over 94 games for the Phillies. He was 4-4, 4.22 in 64 innings at the time of the deal. The 24-year-old righty went 0-4, 4.72 in 34.1 innings for the Pirates in 1943, then was traded in the off-season, as part of the deal that returned Preacher Roe to the Pirates. Podgajny pitched just nine innings in the majors after leaving Pittsburgh.
1939: Pirates traded Bill Schuster and cash to the Boston Bees for Elbie Fletcher. Schuster was a 26-year-old infielder, with three games of Major League experience, coming in 1937 for the Pirates. With Boston he played two September games, going 0-for-3 at the plate. He went back to the minors, before returning in 1943 for three seasons with the Chicago Cubs. Fletcher was 23 years old at the time, in his fifth season in the majors with the Braves, and his third year as their starting first baseman. He batted .272 with 48 RBIs and 71 runs scored in 1938, and through 35 games in 1939, he was hitting .245 with just six RBIs and a .264 slugging percentage. For the Pirates, he was their starting first baseman through 1943, before leaving for wartime duty. He returned for two more seasons, beginning in 1946. In 916 games in Pittsburgh, he hit .279 with 509 runs scored and 464 RBIs. He had a .403 on base percentage during that time thanks to 625 walks. He was an All-Star in 1943, led the league in walks twice and on base percentage three times in a row from 1940-42. In 1940, Fletcher drove in 104 runs. We featured that 1940 season here.
Jake Elmore, infielder for the 2019 Pirates. He was a 48th round draft pick of the Florida Marlins in 2007 out of Wallace State Community College, but he decided to return to school. The next year he was taken in the 34th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Arizona State. He reported to short-season ball in the Pioneer League, where he hit .296 with 21 extra-base hits in 53 games for Missoula. He went to Low-A the next season, where he batted .258 with 27 extra-base hits, 61 walks, 62 runs scored and 13 steals for South Bend of the Midwest League. Elmore jumped up to Double-A in 2010 with Mobile of the Southern League, hitting .278 with 64 runs, 20 extra-base hits, 55 walks and 25 steals in 127 games. He repeated the level in 2011 and fell just short of most of those numbers, batting .270 with 58 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 54 walks and 15 steals in 121 games. His OPS dipped just slightly from .719 in 2010 to .711 in 2011. Elmore went to Triple-A in 2012 and had a big season playing in a very hitter-friendly park in Reno of the Pacific Coast League, where he put up a .344 average, 95 runs, 40 extra-base hits, 73 RBIs, 32 steals, 74 walks and a .908 OPS in 108 games. That led to his first taste of the majors, where he batted .191/.247/.250 in 30 games for the Diamondbacks.
Elmore was lost on waivers to the Houston Astros after the 2012 season. He split the 2013 season almost evenly between Triple-A Oklahoma City of the PCL and the majors. He had a .299 average and an .815 OPS in 70 games in the minors, and he batted .242 with two homers, six RBIs and a .638 OPS in 52 games with the Astros. He mostly played middle infield, but he actually saw time at all nine positions that year. Once again he changed places via waivers, going to the Chicago White Sox for 2014. Before the season started, he was purchased by the Oakland A’s. Before getting into a big league game that season, Elmore was taken off of waivers by the Cincinnati Reds, where he played just five games that season and he went 2-for-11 at the plate. The rest of the year was split between two Triple-A teams, combining for a .281 average and a .720 OPS in 72 games. Elmore was lost on waivers to the Pirates in November of 2014, but he was let go just three months later. He signed with the Tampa Bay Rays for 2015, where he hit .206 with two homers, 16 RBIs and a .547 OPS in 51 games, while spending the other half of the season in Triple-A.
Elmore signed as a free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2016 and he batted .218/.371/.244 in 59 games, though he had just 99 plate appearances. He split the 2017 season in the minors between the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins, combining to hit .236 in 110 games, finishing with a .605 OPS. The 2018 season was spent back in the minors with the White Sox, where he improved his offense with Charlotte of the International League, hitting .289 in 101 games, with 20 extra-base hits, 55 walks and a .756 OPS. Elmore stayed with Chicago until the Pirates acquired him for cash on March 28, 2019. He played 20 games for the Pirates that season, hitting .213 in 47 at-bats, with a .479 OPS. The rest of the year was spent with Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League, where he compiled a .322 average and an .842 OPS in 109 games. He re-signed with the Pirates for 2020, but he was released prior to the shortened season. He also spent time that year with the Cleveland Indians, but never got into a game. Elmore briefly played winter ball in the Dominican after the 2020 season, then he finished his pro career with 15 games at Triple-A for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2021. He hit .215 with 37 runs, 16 doubles, four homers and 37 RBIs in 217 big league games. He batted .286 in 1,114 minor league games. Despite stealing 166 bases in the minors, reaching double digits in nine seasons, he went 4-for-15 in steals in the majors.
Josh Lindblom, pitcher for the 2017 Pirates. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the third round in 2005, but decided to attend Purdue University, where the Los Angeles Dodgers selected him in the second round in 2008. Lindblom had a 2.12 ERA in 34 innings during his first season of pro ball. He made eight starts for Great Lakes of the Low-A Midwest League, before making it up to Double-A (Jacksonville of the Southern League) for one start. He had a 4.71 ERA in 57.1 innings over 11 starts and three relief appearances with Double-A Chattanooga of the Southern League in 2009, then moved to the bullpen with Albuquerque of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and posted a 2.54 ERA in 39 innings to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2010 season in Albuquerque, where he struggled along with a 6.54 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP in 95 innings, making ten starts and 30 relief appearances. In 2011, Lindblom posted a 2.13 ERA, 17 saves and 54 strikeouts in 42.1 innings while pitching strictly in relief in Double-A Chattanooga. He joined the Dodgers in June of 2011 and had a 2.73 ERA in 29.2 innings over 27 outings.
Lindblom split the 2012 season between the Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies after a mid-season trade. He had a 3.55 ERA, one save and 70 strikeouts in 71 innings over 74 appearances between the two stops. He was traded to the Texas Rangers in the off-season and split 2013 between the minors and majors. He started five big league games and pitched three times in relief that season, putting up a 5.46 ERA in 31.1 innings. He did well in the minors as a starter that year, going 8-4, 3.08 in 108 innings. He was traded to the Oakland A’s in the 2013-14 off-season and spent most of the year with Triple-A Sacramento of the PCL. He ended up pitching just one big league game in 2014, giving up two runs over 4.2 innings in a start. He was picked up by the Pirates on waivers in December of 2014, only to be released 11 days later. Lindblom played in Korea during the 2015-16 seasons, putting together a 23-24 record in 62 starts and 387.1 innings pitched. He signed with the Pirates as a free agent on January 15, 2017 and was briefly with the team in the majors in May of 2017, getting into four games, while posting a 7.84 ERA in 10.1 innings. Lindblom was released in July of 2017 so he could return to Korea. He had a 15-4 record in 2018 and a 20-3 record during the 2019 season, then returned to the U.S. for the 2020 season, signing with the Milwaukee Brewers for three years. He went 2-4, 5.16 in 45.1 innings during the shortened 2020 season. He was designated for assignment after posting a 9.72 ERA in 16.2 innings in 2021. He went down to Triple-A Nashville for the rest of the season and had a 5-4, 3.27 record and 117 strikeouts in 104.2 innings. He has spent the first two months of the 2022 season with Nashville, going 1-3, 3.83 in 51.2 innings through early June. His big league career record stands at 7-12, 4.78 in 209 innings over 134 appearances (16 starts), with one save and 200 strikeouts..
Erik Kratz, catcher for the 2010 and 2016 Pirates. He was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 2002, but didn’t make his Major League debut until the 2010 Pirates called him up in July, a month after his 30th birthday. The Blue Jays selected him in the 29th round out of Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, a school that has produced exactly one big league draft pick. It certainly didn’t seem like Kratz would take so long to make the majors after his first full season. He did well in the low-level Pioneer League in 2002, hitting .275 with a .712 OPS in 44 games with Medicine Hat. The next year he made it all the way up to Double-A, though most of the year was spent in the short-season New York-Penn League with Auburn. He ended up batting .306 with 23 extra-base hits in 58 games that season between three stops, leading to an .892 OPS. His 2004 season saw limited playing time over three levels, though he played in Double-A (New Hampshire of the Eastern League) for a time again, finishing the year with a .299 average in 29 games, with 11 doubles and a homer. He played for Auburn again for part of that year, and also saw time with High-A Dunedin of the Florida State League. Kratz got a chance to play regularly in New Hampshire in 2005, where he hit .205 with ten doubles, 11 homers and a .635 OPS in 91 games. That was followed by a stint in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit just .192 in 16 games. The 2006 through 2008 seasons were all split between New Hampshire and Triple-A Syracuse of the International League, where he hit for a low average each year and a little bit of power.
Kratz played 71 games for New Hampshire in 2006 and 12 games for Syracuse, combining to hit .228, with 46 runs, 12 doubles, seven homers and 34 RBIs. In 2007, he played 49 of his 84 games with New Hampshire. That season he hit .235 with 17 doubles, 13 homers, 49 RBIs and a .748 OPS. In 2008, he played 40 of his 73 games with Syracuse, hitting .239 that year, with 35 runs, 16 doubles, 16 homers, 43 RBIs and an .819 OPS. Kratz was signed by the Pirates in January 2009 as a minor league free agent, after spending his first seven years in the Toronto system. He hit .273 with 30 doubles, 11 homers and an .807 OPS in 93 games at Triple-A Indianapolis in 2009, then played winter ball in the Dominican over the off-season, where he batted .065 in 16 games. Kratz batted .274 with 22 doubles, nine homers, 41 RBIs and an .875 OPS in 70 games for Indianapolis in 2010. He was a Triple-A All-Star selection both seasons, finally getting his call to the majors during the middle of the All-Star game in 2010. With the 2010 Pirates, he hit .118 in nine games, going 3-for-34 at the plate. All of that big league time was during a two-week stretch in the second half of July. He left via free agency after the season, signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Kratz played just two games in the majors in 2011 before finally getting an extended look in 2012, ten years after he was drafted. He did great in Triple-A that season with Lehigh Valley of the International League, hitting .288 in 103 games, with 19 doubles, 15 homers and an .838 OPS. Kratz hit .248 with nine homers, 26 RBIs and an .809 OPS in 50 games for the 2012 Phillies. The next year he hit .213 in 68 games, while matching the home run and RBI totals from the previous season, though his OPS dropped 143 points, down to a devilishly mediocre .666 mark. He was traded to the Blue Jays after the 2013 season, then got traded to the Kansas City Royals during the middle of the 2014 season. Between the two stops that season, he hit .218 with five homers, 13 RBIs and a .634 OPS in 47 games. Kratz was selected off waivers by the Boston Red Sox in June of 2015, but he was released just eight days later without playing a game, and he signed with the Seattle Mariners. His stay there lasted just 13 days and he ended up back with the Phillies after being released. Kratz played just 16 big league games that season between his four teams, four with the Royals and 12 with the Phillies. He batted .192 with a .484 OPS.
Kratz was a member of six different organizations during the 2016 calendar year. He signed a free agent deal with the San Diego Padres, who traded him to the Houston Astros just before Opening Day. He was released in late May and signed with the Los Angeles Angels. He returned to the Pirates for 18 games after being purchased from the Angels in early June. He was released by the Pirates in late July after he hit .107 in 57 plate appearances. He signed with the Blue Jays to finish the year, then signed a free agent deal with the Cleveland Indians on December 1st. Kratz hit .094 in 32 games that season, only seeing big league time with the Astros and Pirates. He spent the start of 2017 in the minors, remaining there until the New York Yankees purchased his contract in August and got him into four big league games. He remained with the Yankees as a free agent signing for 2018, but that May he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. Kratz ended up hitting .236 with six homers and 23 RBIs in 67 games that season, with all of that big league time coming in Milwaukee. The Brewers traded him to the San Francisco Giants in late March of 2019. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in May, released in June and returned to the Yankees, though his only big league time came with the Giants and Rays. He hit .102 in 21 games that season. Kratz re-signed with the Yankees for the 2020 season and he hit .321 in 16 games during the shortened season. He decided to retire after the season. In 11 years in the majors, he hit .209 with 76 runs, 36 doubles, 31 homers and 105 RBIs in 335 games. He hit 165 homers over 1,394 games in pro ball.
Lance Parrish, catcher for the 1994 Pirates. He had a big league career that deserves Hall of Fame consideration. Parrish was an eight-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger winner and three-time Gold Glove recipient. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers out of high school in the first round in 1974, selected 16th overall. His career didn’t get off to a great start, with a .213 average and 92 strikeouts in 68 games for Bristol of the short-season Appalachian League in 1974. That was followed in 1975 by a .220 average, five homers and a .602 OPS in 100 games for Lakeland in the Class-A Florida State League. The Tigers still pushed him quickly through the system, and he was in Double-A by 20 years old, where he batted .221 with 14 homers, 55 RBIs and a .681 OPS in 107 games for Montgomery of the Southern League. Parrish broke out in 1977 in Triple-A with Evansville of the American Association, hitting .279 with 74 runs, 21 doubles, 25 homers, 90 RBIs, 56 walks and an .885 OPS in 115 games. He got a September look in the majors, where he hit .196 in 12 games, which was enough to earn him a spot on Opening Day in 1978. He played 85 games that season, hitting .219 with 14 homers, 41 RBIs and a .687 OPS. Parrish was the everyday catcher by 1979, when he hit .276 with 65 runs, 26 doubles, 19 homers, 65 RBIs, 56 walks and an .800 OPS in 143 games. He had his first All-Star season in 1980, while also picking up his first Silver Slugger award. Parrish hit .286 with 79 runs, 34 doubles, 24 homers, 82 RBIs and an .825 OPS in 144 games. During the strike-shortened 1981 season, he hit .244 with 18 doubles, ten homers and 46 RBIs in 96 games.
Parrish started an impressive run of five straight All-Star seasons in 1982. He batted .284 that season, with 75 runs, 19 doubles, 32 homers and 87 RBIs in 133 games, which led to a 13th place finish in the MVP race and his second Silver Slugger award. His .867 OPS was his career high. In 1983, he hit .269 with 27 homers and set career highs with 42 doubles, 80 runs scored and his only 100+ RBI season (114). He had a ninth place MVP finish, his first Gold Glove and third Silver Slugger. Despite the accolades, his OPS dropped 71 points, though it was still a very solid season. In 1984, Parrish batted .237 with 75 runs, 16 doubles, and he set a career high with 33 homers, while also picking up 98 RBIs. That was good enough for a 16th place MVP finish, while he added another Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. Parrish had set the American League record for homers by a catcher in a season in 1982 (32), but he hit just 27 of his homers in 1984 while catching. That record was broken the next season by Carlton Fisk, who hit 33 of his 37 homers while catching. While his home run record was getting beat in 1985, Parrish plugged along with a .273 average, 64 runs, 27 doubles, 28 homers and 98 RBIs. He picked up his third straight Gold Glove award. In 1986, he was limited to 91 games due to a back injury. He batted .257 with 22 homers and won his fifth Silver Slugger, to go along with his fifth straight All-Star appearance. In 1987, Parrish signed a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. He hit .245 with 21 doubles, 17 homers, 67 RBIs and a .712 OPS in 130 games during his first season in Philadelphia, then made the All-Star game in 1988, despite a .215 average and a .663 OPS in 123 games. He hit 15 homers and drove in 60 runs that year.
Parrish was traded to the California Angels in 1989 and remained there until early in 1992. He hit .238 with 48 runs, 12 doubles, 17 homers and 50 RBIs in 124 games during his first season back in the American League. That was followed by his final All-Star appearance and sixth Silver Slugger award. He hit .268 with 54 runs, 14 doubles, 24 homers and 70 RBIs in 133 games in 1990. His .789 OPS was his highest mark over his final nine seasons in the majors. His average dropped to .216 in 1991, though he still hit 19 homers and drove in 51 runs in 119 games. That was the last season in which he played 100+ games. Parrish was traded to the Seattle Mariners during the early stages of the 1992 season. He hit .233 with 13 doubles, 12 homers and 32 RBIs in 93 games that year. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent in 1993, but never played for them. He was released in May and signed with the Cleveland Indians, though they released him after ten games in three weeks and he didn’t play for the rest of the year. He hit .200 with a homer and a .733 OPS that season.
Parrish signed a free agent deal for 1994 with the Tigers, who had him in Triple-A when he was purchased by the Pirates on April 30th. Parrish hit .270 with five doubles, three homers, 16 RBIs and a .744 OPS in 40 games for the Pirates that season, which was cut sort by the strike in August. He signed with the Kansas City Royals for 1995, but he was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays before the season started. In his final big league season, he batted .202 with nine doubles, four homers and 22 RBIs in 70 games. Parrish signed as a free agent with the Pirates in 1996, but he was released after hitting .190 during Spring Training. He retired as a player to become a catching instructor for the Royals. In his 19-year big league career, Parrish hit .252 with 856 runs, 305 doubles, 324 homers and 1,070 RBIs in 1,988 games played. He ranks fifth all-time in home runs by catchers, trailing four Hall of Famers, Fisk, Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra. He caught 1,818 games, 13th most all-time. He finished with 15.3 dWAR, which ranks him just outside of the top 100 players of all-time. Despite those numbers and his awards, he lasted one year on the Hall of Fame ballot and received just 1.7% of the votes.
Bruce Dal Canton, pitcher for the 1967-70 Pirates. He was already 25 years old when he signed his first pro contract in 1966 with the Pirates. It didn’t even take two full seasons for him to work his way to the majors, debuting as a September call-up in 1967. He actually spent half of his first season in pro ball in Triple-A (Columbus of the International League), where he had a 3.82 ERA in 33 innings, pitching mostly in relief. The rest of the year was spent with Asheville of the Double-A Southern League, where he went 2-1, 3.44 in 34 innings over five starts. The 1967 minor league season was spent in Double-A (Macon of the Southern League) as a starter. He had a 5-5, 3.10 record in 93 innings over 13 starts and a relief appearance.. Dal Canton pitched 15 games over his first two seasons with the Pirates, posting a 1.98 ERA in 41 innings. He had a 1.88 mark in 24 innings in 1967, yet he still ended up spending half of the 1968 season back in Double-A (York of the Eastern League). The problem was that he went 0-4, 8.25 in 24 innings with Columbus that year, so he had to get on track with York, where he had a 2.28 ERA in 11 starts. His big league time in 1968 was once again relegated to September, where he had a 2.12 ERA in 17 innings.
In 1969, Dal Canton made the Pirates out of Spring Training and was a key member out of the bullpen, making 57 appearances with eight wins, five saves and a 3.34 ERA in 86.1 innings. He struggled a bit in 1970, though he ended up with a 9-4 record. He finished with a 4.57 ERA in 84.2 innings over six starts and 35 relief outings. After the season, he was part of a six-player deal with the Kansas City Royals, in which the Pirates acquired Bob Johnson and Ramon Hernandez. Dal Canton took up a starting role with the Royals in 1971, going 8-6, 3.44 in 141.1 innings, making 22 starts and three relief appearances. He was 6-6, 3.40 in 132.1 innings in 1972, making 16 starts and 19 relief appearances. He was almost exclusively a reliever in 1973, going 4-3, 4.81 in 97.1 innings, with three starts, 29 relief appearances and three saves. That was followed by a career high in innings in 1974 when he went 8-10, 3.13 in 175.1 innings. He set a career high with 96 strikeouts that year. He led the league with 16 wild pitches, but his home run rate of 0.3 per nine innings was the lowest in the league.
After a very rough start to 1975, giving up 18 runs in 8.2 innings, Dal Canton was traded to the Atlanta Braves, where he posted a 2-7, 3.36 record in nine starts and 17 relief appearances, throwing a total of 67 innings. He made just one start in 1976, going 3-5, 3.56 in 73.1 innings over 42 appearances. He was released in Spring Training of 1977 and signed with the Chicago White Sox, where he pitched his final eight big league games, posting a 3.75 ERA in 24 innings. Dal Canton finished his 11-year career with a 51-49, 3.67 record in 316 games, 83 as a starter, with 931.1 innings pitched. With the Pirates he went 20-8, 3.57 in 113 games, pitching 212 innings. He went by his middle name. His first name was John.
Gene Baker, infielder for the 1957-58 and 1960-61 Pirates. He began his pro career in 1948, playing in the Negro Leagues. Due to the new ruling by MLB over the designation of the Negro Leagues as a Major League, that season now marks his first season in the majors. He hit .249 in 86 games for the Kansas City Monarchs, leading the league with seven triples. He played with Kansas City again in 1949, though the league is only considered to be Major League ball from 1920-1948. Baker spent the 1950 season playing for three different minor league teams, spending the majority of the year with Los Angeles of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League (100 games), while also getting in 49 games with Des Moines of the Class-A Western League. Between all three stops, he hit .290 with 33 doubles, 11 triples, two homers and 64 runs scored in 152 games. He spent the entire 1951-52 seasons and almost all of 1953 with Los Angeles, where he had a .278 average, 101 runs, 40 extra-base hits, 62 RBIs, 60 walks and a .723 OPS in 168 games in 1951. That was followed by a .260 average, 93 runs, 32 doubles, 15 homers, 73 RBIs and a .699 OPS in 174 games in 1952. During the 1953 season, Baker hit .284 with 89 runs, 26 doubles, 20 homers, 99 RBIs and 78 walks in 162 games with Los Angeles. The Cubs brought him to the majors that September for seven late-season games. He hit .227 with a .534 OPS during that big league trial.
Baker was the starting second baseman for the Cubs for much of 1954, hitting .275 with 68 runs, 32 doubles, 13 homers, 61 RBIs and a career best .758 OPS in 135 games. He played all 154 games in 1955, hitting .268 with 82 runs, 29 doubles, 11 homers, 52 RBIs, 49 walks and a .715 OPS. He earned his only All-Star appearance that season and received mild MVP support, finishing 21st in the voting. In 1956, he hit .258 with 65 runs, 23 doubles, 12 homers, 57 RBIs and a .686 OPS in 140 games. Baker hit .250 in 12 games for the 1957 Cubs before coming to the Pirates, along with Dee Fondy on May 1, 1957, in exchange for Dale Long and Lee Walls. Baker hit .268 with 180 RBIs and 220 runs scored in 448 games during his time with the Cubs. He played 111 games for the 1957 Pirates, splitting his time between 2B/SS/3B, hitting .266 with 25 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs and 36 runs scored. He played 29 games in 1958 before a knee injury caused him to miss the rest of the year and the entire 1959 season. He was hitting .250 with no homers and seven RBIs at the time of the injury. He returned in 1960, seeing very limited time in a bench role, getting three starts and playing 33 games total. He had a .518 OPS in 40 plate appearances. Baker batted three times in the World Series without a hit. In 1961, he played nine early season games before returning to the minors, where he finished his playing career the next year. He went 1-for-10 with three walks during that final big league stint. He managed/coached in the minors during his last two seasons as a player, then coached with the 1963 Pirates, before returning to the minors for one more season as a manager with Batavia of the New York-Penn League. He batted .263 in 676 big league games, including his one season in the Negro Leagues. Baker finished with 304 runs, 118 doubles, 42 homers and 255 RBIs.
Bud Stewart, outfielder for the 1941-42 Pirates. He was a Rule 5 draft pick of the Pirates in 1940, after spending his first four seasons of pro ball playing in the Double-A Pacific Coast League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He appeared briefly for San Diego in 1937 at 21 years old, getting into nine games (eight at-bats) without a hit. He then hit .270 in 94 games in 1938, with 33 runs, eight doubles, two triples, no homers and 15 RBIs. Part of the 1939 season was spent in the Class-B Western International League, while the rest came with San Diego, which was two levels higher. Between the two stops, Stewart hit .315 with 46 extra-base hits in 135 games, playing equally well in both spots. During his last year in San Diego, he hit .320 with 50 extra-base hits in 179 games. Stewart played 73 games as a rookie in 1941 for the Pirates, hitting .267 with 27 runs, seven doubles, no homers and ten RBIs in 187 plate appearances. He saw starts at all three outfield spots. In 1942, he hit .219 with 21 runs, 12 extra-base hits and 20 RBIs in 82 games. That season, he played 16 games in the infield (ten at third base and six at second base), which was the only time that he played a position other than outfield in his nine-year Major League career.
Stewart spent all of the 1943-44 seasons serving in the military. He returned to baseball in 1945, playing for the Hollywood Stars of the PCL for two seasons. He hit .323 in 63 games in 1945, with 38 runs, nine extra-base hits, 34 RBIs, nine stolen bases and a .770 OPS. In 1946, the PCL reclassified as Triple-A (first year for the level) and Stewart hit .285 in 83 games, with 43 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs and a .751 OPS. The Pirates released him to Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association on September 28, 1946, though he ended up playing for Kansas City of the American Association in 1947, where he was picked up by the New York Yankees. He hit .358 in 145 games in 1947, with 107 runs, 33 doubles, 17 triples, seven homers, 102 RBIs and a .942 OPS. Stewart played just six games for the 1948 Yankees before he was traded to the Washington Senators on May 13th. He was able to see regular playing time with Washington, getting into exactly 118 games during each of his three seasons with the team. He batted .279 with 37 extra-base hits and a career high 69 RBIs in 1948, to go along with an .800 OPS. He then batted a career best .284 in 1949, while also setting highs with 23 doubles, 58 runs, and tying his high of 49 walks, which he set the previous year. His .793 OPS was just short of the previous year’s total.
Stewart hit .267 with 25 extra-base hits, 35 RBIs, 46 walks and 46 runs scored in 1950. He OPS dropped to a .719 mark. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox after the season, and played his final four big league seasons there. He was a bench player the entire time, seeing a bit more action during his first two years, before taking a limited role in 1953-54. He had 600 plate appearances over 258 games in Chicago, with a .267 average, 13 homers and 83 RBIs. Stewart had a 74:31 BB/SO ratio during that time. He did well in 1951, posting a .276 average in 95 games, with an .832 OPS, which was his career high. However, he started just 48 of those 95 games. Stewart started 52 of his 92 games in 1952, finishing with a .267 average, 23 runs, ten doubles, five homers, 30 RBIs and a .728 OPS. He played just 53 games in 1953, with eight starts all season. He had an .818 OPS in 73 plate appearances. He went 1-for-13 with three walks in 18 games during his final season. He played his final big league game on June 2, 1954 and finished his pro career in the minors later that year. He was a .268 hitter, with 96 doubles, 32 triples, 32 homers, 260 RBIs and 288 runs scored in 773 games over nine seasons in the majors. He has the name “Bud” now, but he was referred to as “Eddie” (first name Edward) during his time in Pittsburgh. There was another sports star during that time with the name/nickname Bud Stewart.
Babe Dahlgren, first baseman for the 1944-45 Pirates. He broke into pro ball at 19 years old in 1931, splitting his first season between Mission of the Double-A Pacific Coast League (highest level of the minors at the time) and Class-D Tuscon of the Texas-Arizona League, which was the lowest level at the time. He batted .305 with 23 extra-base hits in 156 games that year, though he had much better results at the lower level as you would expect. The next three seasons were spent with Mission, where Dahlgren showed a solid average and some power. He hit .287 in 188 games in 1932, with 40 doubles, four triples and 11 homers. In 1933, he batted .315 in 189 games, with 28 doubles, nine triples and six homers. In his final season with Mission, he hit .302 in 186 games, with 32 doubles, ten triples and 20 homers. Dahlgren broke into the majors with the Boston Red Sox in 1935 as their everyday first baseman. He hit .263 with 77 runs, 27 doubles, seven triples, nine homers and 63 RBIs in 149 games as a rookie. The next two years were spent most in the minors, where he had a lot of success, but it translated to just 17 big league games. He hit .318 with 68 extra-base hits in 155 games for Syracuse of the Double-A International League in 1936. That led to a September trial with the Red Sox in which he hit .281/.359/.421 in 16 games. He then batted .340 with 63 extra-base hits in 125 games in 1937 with Newark of the International League. He joined the New York Yankees that season, though just for one game.
In 1938, Dahlgren was a bench player for the Yankees and saw very little time, batting .186 in 43 at-bats over 27 games. He hit .235 with 71 runs, 18 doubles, 15 homers, 89 RBIs, 57 walks and a .689 OPS in 144 games in 1939, After taking over for Lou Gehrig when he retired. The Yankees won the World Series in four games and Dahlgren went 3-for-14 with two doubles and a homer. In 1940, he led the American League with 155 games, while hitting .264 with 51 runs, 24 doubles, 12 homers, 73 RBIs and a .709 OPS. The Yankees sold him to the Boston Braves prior to the 1941 season and the Braves sold him to the Chicago Cubs during the season. Dahlgren hit .267 that year, with 70 runs, 28 doubles, and career highs of 23 homers and 59 walks, while driving in 89 runs. His .802 OPS that year was the best of his career. He received mild MVP support, finishing 28th in the voting. His 1942 season was an odd one, as he started with the Cubs, was sold to the St Louis Browns, only to be returned a week later. That same day he returned, he was sold to the Brooklyn Dodgers. He played just 36 games that year, seeing time with all three clubs. He hit .169 with a double, eight walks, six runs and six RBIs.
The Philadelphia Phillies acquired Dahlgren from the Dodgers in exchange for Lloyd Waner just prior to the start of the 1943 season. He hit .287 with 19 doubles, five homers, 56 RBIs, 50 walks and 55 runs scored in 136 games that year, earning his first (and only) All-Star selection. He got mild MVP support, finishing 29th in the voting. The Pirates acquired him from the Phillies on December 30, 1943 for catcher Babe Phelps. Dahlgren had his best season of his 12-year major league career in 1944, hitting .289 with 67 runs, 28 doubles, seven triples, 12 homers and a career high 101 RBIs. He started every game of the season at first base, 158 total, thanks in part to five ties throughout the season that were replayed, yet still counted in the final stats. Dahlgren finished 12th in the National League MVP voting, gaining one of the 24 first place votes. In 1945, he hit .250 with 57 runs, 24 doubles, eight triples, five homers, 75 RBIs and 51 walks in 144 games. He led NL first baseman in fielding percentage (.996) that year, just one season after leading the league in errors. Just as the 1946 season was starting, the Pirates sold him to the St Louis Browns, where he finished his career later that year, batting .175 in 28 games. Dahlgren was a .261 career hitter, with 470 runs, 174 doubles, 82 homers and 569 RBIs in 1,137 games. His real name was Ellsworth Tenney Dahlgren.
Peek-A-Boo Veach, first baseman for the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He came up to the majors in 1884, playing 27 games in the short-lived Union Association with the Kansas City Cowboys. The level of player in that league was subpar, as it was considered the third Major League of the time behind the National League and American Association. The league was also filled with minor league players, so most quality players dominated like no other season in their career. Veach did not play well in the league despite the low quality of play, hitting .134 in 27 games and going 3-9 on the mound. He was actually a decent pitcher that season, posting a 2.42 ERA, but his team finished 16-63. His pro experience prior to that first big league stint appears to be limited to four games with Evansville of the Northwestern League in 1884. In 1885, he split the year between Kansas City of the Western League and Macon of the Southern League. He hit .285 with 34 runs and eight extra-base hits in 63 games that year, with much better results in Macon. He pitched well in both spots, combining to go 26-18, 1.25 in 382 innings, with 42 complete games in 46 starts. Veach played for Toronto of the International League in 1886, where he went 20-19, 1.74 in 352.2 innings, completing all 40 of his starts. On the hitting side, he batted just .234 with 36 runs and 13 extra-base hits in 59 games.
Peek-A-Boo (real name was William) next appeared in the majors in 1887, pitching one early season game for the Louisville Colonels of the American Association. He took the loss and allowed six runs (four earned) in nine innings. He did very little pitching in his career after that season. He spent the rest of the 1887 season in the minors, seeing time with Des Moines of the Northwestern League and Memphis of the Southern League. He combined to go 8-6, 2.54 in 117 innings, while hitting .297 with 51 runs, 18 extra-base hits and 29 steals in 74 games. Veach played for St Paul and Sioux City of the Western League in 1888. He’s credited with hitting .262 in 103 games that season, with 58 runs, 18 doubles, seven triples, nine homers and 23 steals. He went out west in 1889, playing for Sacramento and Oakland of the California League (no records available). Three years after his last big league game, he made his National League debut, playing first base for the Cleveland Spiders to start the 1890 season. He struggled at the bat, hitting .235 in 64 games, though he had 33 walks and 32 RBIs. Pittsburgh picked him up in mid-July, giving him eight games at first base. He batted .300 with two homers, five RBIs and eight walks. The Alleghenys signed him to allow first baseman/manager Guy Hecker to return to pitching full-time. In a bit of a twist, Hecker and Veach were teammates during his brief time in Louisville, with Hecker pitching two days before and two days after Veach’s lone start. Veach was released by Pittsburgh on July 26th so he could return home to be with his ailing wife. The move drew the ire of the local sportswriters, who felt he was playing too well at the time to let go, despite the circumstances of his departure and the fact that Pittsburgh was already 34.5 games out of first place at the time.
Despite the success in his last big league trial, Veach returned to the minors for good, ending his career in 1897. After leaving Pittsburgh to be closer to home, he played for Sacramento and San Francisco of the California League to finish out 1890. He was out of pro ball in 1891, though he played in California. In 1892, he split the season between Macon and Chattanooga of the Class-B (two levels from the majors) Southern Association. Veach has no pro stats for 1893, and there was word that he became a fireman. He played for Quincy of the Western Association in 1894 and the start of 1895, before on to St Joseph of the same league to finish out 1895. His last pro experience came with Minneapolis of the Class-A Western League in 1897.
His big league career consisted of exactly 100 games, with a 3-10, 2.55 record in 113 innings over 13 starts, and a .215 average, with 39 runs, 51 walks and three homers, two of which were hit during his brief time in Pittsburgh. Veach hit his last Major League homer off of Phenomenal Smith, another great nickname of the day, and a player who would join the 1890 Alleghenys shortly after the departure of Veach. In a pro career that lasted 11 seasons between 1884 and 1897, Veach moved around a lot. Besides his four big league teams, he also played for 14 minor league teams in seven different leagues.
There have been two explanations of his unique Peek-A-Boo nickname circulating. The first came from his delivery, where he kept his back to the batter until the last second. The other was from his minor league days, when a manager devised a plan to signal him for pick-off throws that eventually involved someone waving a scorecard in the stands. It was said that Veach looked around the park all the time with runners on base, as the person sending the signal would change so the opposing team couldn’t figure out who was giving it to him. The true origin was told by Veach many years after he stopped playing. He won his big league debut 4-2 over Cincinnati, a team that finished 40 games ahead of Kansas City in the standings. His manager gave him the nickname Peek-A-Boo after the game and got it from a very popular ragtime song from the day called “Peek-A-Boo, Come From Behind That Chair”. Veach said that manager Ted Sullivan was impressed by how well he followed his signals, leading to a victory over a much better team.
Ed Glenn, left fielder for the 1886 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. His big league career has an odd start to it. Glenn was playing his first season of pro ball for his hometown team (Richmond of the Eastern League) in 1884, hitting .264 in 61 games through early August. The Washington Nationals of the American Association dropped to a 12-51 record on August 2, 1884, and then they disbanded because they were losing too much money. The Richmond Virginians of the Eastern League became a Major League club three days later, after the league asked them to finish out Washington’s schedule. So everyone who was playing for Richmond at the time, became MLB players without leaving their minor league team. They were barely any better than Washington (not surprisingly), going 12-30 over the rest of the season. Glenn hit .246 with 26 runs and seven extra-base hits over 43 games in his first shot at the majors. Richmond returned to the Eastern League for the next season and he batted .232 with 68 runs and 15 extra-base hits in 83 games, though his defense was considered to be strong out in left field, so it made up for the low average/power numbers. That was enough to get him a shot with the Pittsburgh Alleghenys. Glenn’s signing was announced on November 14, 1885. In 71 games with Pittsburgh in 1886, he hit .191, with a .490 OPS, 19 steals, 32 runs scored and 26 RBIs.
Glenn was released by Pittsburgh on August 14, 1886 and he went home to Richmond that night. On August 22nd it was announced that he signed with Kansas City of the National League, though his only experience after leaving the Pirates came as a brief stint with Syracuse of the International League, where he hit .280 in seven games. Glenn played for Charleston of the Southern League in 1887, where he hit .373 in 103 games, with 34 steals and 126 runs scored. He was back in the majors for part of 1888, seeing time with the Kansas City Cowboys of the American Association and the Boston Beaneaters of the National League. He batted just .137 in 23 games between both stops, in what ended up being his final big league time. Glenn played back in Charleston for part of 1888, then moved on to Sioux City of the Western Association for his final two seasons. His 1890 stats aren’t available, but he batted .331 in 105 games in 1889, with 43 extra-base hits and 49 steals. He became ill in 1891 and passed away at 31 years old in early 1892. He has the nickname “Mouse” now, but the first mention I could find of that nickname seems to come from a story being told 40 years later about the Richmond club he played for in the Eastern League.