This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: June 19th, Jerry Reuss and Bill Swift Headline a Busy Day

Ten former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including two top pitchers of their era. Before we get into them, current catcher Tyler Heineman turns 31 years old today.

Jerry Reuss, pitcher for the 1974-78 and 1990 Pirates. He was signed as a second round draft pick of the St Louis Cardinals in 1967 out of high school in St Louis. That first year in pro ball, the Cardinals gave the 6’5″ lefty 65 innings in the low minors, calling the 18-year-old up to Triple-A at one point, where he allowed six runs in his only inning of work. He gave up six runs in seven innings with their Gulf Coast League affiliate, then followed with a 1.86 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 58 innings for Cedar Rapids of the Class-A Midwest League. In 1968 he was in Double-A, going 7-8, 2.17 with 86 strikeouts in 112 innings with Arkansas of the Texas League. He made his return to Triple-A in 1969 with Tulsa of the American Association, going 13-11, 4.08 in 186 innings of work, with 116 walks and 151 strikeouts. Reuss made his Major League debut at the end of the 1969 season, pitching seven shutout innings in his one start for the Cardinals. He was back in Tulsa to begin 1970, before getting recalled in June for 20 starts to finishing out the season, posting a 7-8, 4.10 record in 127.1 innings, while throwing two shutouts. Reuss made 35 starts in 1971 for the Cardinals, going 14-14, 4.78 in 211 innings, which was well above the team average for an ERA on a pitching staff with Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton. He had seven complete games, two shutouts and 131 strikeouts. Reuss would be traded to the Houston Astros in the off-season, in a deal that netted the Cardinals two pitchers who threw a total of 17 games in St Louis.

Reuss had a 9-13, 4.17 record in 192 innings during his first year in Houston. He completed just four of his 30 starts (along with three relief appearances), but he struck out 174 batters, which was the second highest mark of his career. He was a workhorse for the 1973 Astros, making a league leading 40 starts. He went 16-13, 3.74, while throwing a career high 279.1 innings. He set a career high with 177 strikeouts, though he also led the league with 117 walks. On October 31, 1973, the Pirates traded catcher Milt May to the Astros to acquire Reuss. The trade was a steal for the Pirates. Reuss stepped into the Pirates rotation and went 16-11, 3.50 in 35 starts that first year, pitching a total of 260 innings. He had that success despite the fact that he nearly walked as many batters (101) as he struck out (105). He was even better in 1975, winning a career high 18 games (with 11 losses), finishing with a 2.54 ERA in 237.1 innings, which was nearly a run lower than any previous year. He tossed 15 complete games, which was a career high, and he set a personal best with six shutouts, which he would later tie. His 131 strikeouts that year were his high with the Pirates. He was selected to his first All-Star team that season and he finished 23rd in the MVP voting. His ERA and win total placed him fourth in the National League in each category. Despite the 34 wins over his first two seasons in Pittsburgh, Reuss had trouble in the playoffs. He lost all three of his starts and the Pirates couldn’t make it past the NLCS either year.

Reuss had another strong season in 1976, with a 14-9, 3.53 record in 209.1 innings. He completed 11 games, tossed three shutouts and even picked up saves in both of his relief appearances. Hee slipped down to a 10-13, 4.11 record in 1977. He topped the 200-inning mark again (208), while completing eight of his 33 starts. It was his only losing season in Pittsburgh and his highest ERA since joining the team. The 1978 season turned out to be even worse for him, as shoulder problems limited his usage and effectiveness. He pitched 82.2 innings with a 4.90 ERA, making just twelve starts. It broke a string of five straight 200 IP seasons and seven straight years in which he made at least thirty starts. Reuss wasn’t happy about his role for the upcoming 1979 season and asked to be traded. The Pirates dealt him on April 7, 1979 to the Los Angeles Dodgers even up for pitcher Rick Rhoden. Both teams made out well in the deal, as they each got great production from their new starting pitcher.

Reuss was used in a swing role for the Dodgers in 1979, making 21 starts and 18 relief appearances. He went 7-14, 3.54 in 160 innings, picking up three saves. He then had what was perhaps his best season in 1980. He went 18-6, with a 2.51 ERA in 229.1 innings, and he had a league leading six shutouts. He finished second in the Cy Young voting that year to former teammate Steve Carlton, and he made his second All-Star appearance. He also received mild MVP support, finishing 20th in the voting. In 1981, Reuss went 10-4, 2.30 in 152.2 innings over 22 starts during the strike-shortened season. He also picked up a World Series ring, as the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees that year. He won game five of the series. He would win 18 games in 1982 (with 11 losses), matching his career high from both 1975 and 1980. He had a 3.11 ERA and pitched 254.2 innings that season. He had 37 starts, eight complete games and four shutouts.

Reuss went 12-11, 2.94 in 223.1 innings in 1983, completing seven of his 31 starts. He struck out 143 batters, the last season in which he topped the century mark in strikeouts. He split the 1984 season between starting and relief, putting up a 5-7, 3.82 record in 99 innings over 15 starts and 15 relief appearances. He bounced back in 1985, going 14-10, 2.92 in 212.2 innings, with 33 starts, five complete games and three shutouts. It was the last season in which he pitched over 200 innings. Reuss saw limited work in 1986, making 13 starts and six relief appearances. He was 2-6, 5.84 and he pitched just 74 innings, while failing to complete any games. The 1987 season was split between the Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and California Angels. He had trouble in all three spots, combining to go 4-10, 5.97 in 119 innings over 23 starts and two relief outings. He had another bounce back season, this one with the Chicago White Sox in 1988. Reuss went 13-9, 3.44 and he pitched 183 innings over 29 starts and three relief performances. He split the 1989 season between the White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers, compiling a 9-9, 5.13 record in 140.1 innings, with more work in Chicago, but similar results in each place. He had 26 starts and four relief outings.

Reuss landed back in Pittsburgh in 1990 to end his career. He was in the minors, pitching for the Astros until early July, when the Pirates were able to sign him as a free agent. He pitched 14 games (nine starts) with Triple-A Buffalo of the American Association before joining the Pirates in September for the pennant run. Reuss pitched four games, including a start on the last day of the season, in what turned out to be the last game of his career. He gave up three runs over 7.2 innings during that brief stint with the Pirates. He finished his career with a 220-191, 3.64 record, with 1,907 strikeouts. He had a 61-46, 3.52 record in 1,005 innings while he was with the Pirates. In his 22-year career, he pitched 3,669.2 innings over 547 starts (and 81 relief appearances) and he threw 127 complete games and 39 career shutouts, while also picking up 11 saves.

Bill Swift, pitcher for the 1932-39 Pirates. Swift played four seasons in the minors, winning a total of 58 games, before making his big league debut with the 1932 Pirates at 24 years old. He was originally signed by the St Louis Browns in 1927 and they farmed him to the minors for the 1928 season. He played for three different clubs in his first year, going 11-7 in 191 innings over 29 games. Almost all of that time was spent in the Class-C ball Western Association with the Muskogee and Springfield (Missouri) teams. His career had an interesting start though, one in which almost ended it as soon as it started. He was originally sent by the Browns to Muskogee, but they released him after he won two games and he had to go to Springfield to ask for a tryout. The manager of Springfield (Robert Wells) was also the team’s catcher and an 18-year veteran of minor league ball at the time, so Swift had to throw a bullpen to him to earn a job. Swift later told the Pittsburgh media that Wells promised to sell him to a Double-A team (highest level of the minors at the time) by the end of the year if he listened to his teaching instructions and that’s exactly what happened, though he didn’t stick in the upper level until late in 1931. He finished his first season with a start for Kansas City of the American Association. Swift moved to Class-B in 1929, playing most of the year for Augusta of the South Atlantic League, where he had 13-13, 2.95 record in 226 innings. He also saw brief time with Springfield, though this was in a different state (Illinois) and a different league (Three-I League). The 1930 season was spent mostly with Springfield of the Three-I League. While there, Swift had a 17-7, 3.78 record in 205 innings. He also returned briefly to Kansas City that year. He went 16-7, 4.54 in 204 innings for Kansas City in 1931 before the Pirates acquired him in a trade on January 29, 1932 for Eddie Phillips, Bob Osborne and cash.

Swift was used by the Pirates as a starter and reliever, excelling in both roles during his first five seasons. As a rookie in 1932, he went 14-10, 3.61 in 214.1 innings, making 23 starts and 16 relief appearances. He threw 11 complete games and had four saves. He repeated that 14-10 record in 1933, but he improved to a 3.10 ERA in 218.1 innings over 37 games (29 starts). He threw 13 complete games and two shutouts. In 1934, he went 11-13, 3.98 in 212.2 innings over 25 starts and 12 relief outings, with 13 complete games and one shutout. Swift had his best season in 1935, going 15-8, 2.70 in 203.2 innings. He made 22 starts, 17 relief appearances and he threw three shutouts. That’s nearly half of his career total of seven. Swift had his most active season in 1936, but he also posted his highest career ERA. He went 16-16, 4.01 in 31 starts, 14 relief appearances and 262.1 innings. He set career highs with 17 complete games and 92 strikeouts. In 1937, he moved more to a bullpen role with occasional starts, but still pitched a total of 443.2 innings over his last three seasons with the Pirates. Swift went 9-10, 3.95 in 164 innings in 1937. He had 19 relief appearances, 17 starts, nine complete games and three saves. He did well in the role in 1938, posting a 7-5, 3.24 record in 150 innings over nine starts and 27 relief appearances. He was down to just eight starts and 129.2 innings in 1939, when he had a 5-7, 3.89 record.

On December 8, 1939, Swift was shipped to the Boston Bees (Braves), along with cash, for veteran pitched Danny MacFayden. For Swift, the trade would nearly mark the end of his Major League career. He spent most of the next three seasons pitching for St Paul in the American Association. He gave up three earned runs over 9.1 innings for the Bees in 1940 after the trade, then pitched 22 IP for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1941. Swift went 13-10, 3.29 in 186 innings for St Paul in 1940 before joining the Dodgers after the season. He actually did well during his short time in Brooklyn, posting a 3-0 record and a 3.27 ERA, though he pitched just nine times over the first two months of the season. With St Paul over the second half of the season, he went 7-8, 3.19 in 124 innings. After spending all of 1942 with St Paul, where he went 12-15, 3.15 in 220 innings, he finished up his pro career with 18 games for the 1943 Chicago White Sox. Swift had a 4.21 ERA in 51.1 innings during that final season and didn’t pitch more than four times in any month. He was traded to the minors after the 1943 season, but never played again.

Swift finished his time in Pittsburgh with 91 wins, which ranks 21st in team history to this day. His 1,555 innings ranks him 17th in team history. No pitcher on the Pirates since his outstanding 1932 season, has posted a lower walk rate over a full season than Swift, who walked 1.09 batters per nine innings that year. He was a decent hitting pitcher throughout his career, with his best season coming in 1936 when he hit .295 with 15 RBIs. His first career homer came on June 17, 1936 off Max Butcher, who would go on to pitch seven seasons in Pittsburgh. In 1935, 1937 and 1939, Swift went the entire season without committing a fielding error. His final career record in 11 seasons was 95-82, 3.58 in 1,637.2 innings, with 165 starts and 171 relief appearances, putting up 78 complete games and 20 saves.

Dusty Brown, catcher for the 2011 Pirates. He was a 35th round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 2000 out of high school shortly before his 18th birthday. He ended up being a draft-and-follow signing, joining the Red Sox in May of 2001 right before the signing deadline. He went to the Gulf Coast League his first season and hit .254 with no homers and a .646 OPS in 36 games. Brown repeated the level in 2001, doing much better the second time, which earned him a promotion to the short-season New York-Penn League for 21 games with Lowell. He hit .308 with 40 runs, 18 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs and 12 steals that season in 66 games between both stops. He would see more time in the outfield than behind the plate in 2002, the only season that happened during his career. In 2003, he batted .263 with 17 doubles, six triples, two homers and 41 RBIs in 87 games for Augusta of the Low-A South Atlantic League. Brown moved up to High-A in 2004, though he was limited to 38 games and struggled with a .229 average and a .601 OPS for Sarasota in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He batted .253 with 32 runs, 12 doubles and 36 RBIs over 62 games in 2005 at High-A (Wilmington of the Carolina League). He hit eight homers that year, which was double the amount that he hit in his first four seasons combined. Brown spent 2006 in Double-A with Portland of the Eastern League, where he batted .224 with 32 runs, 17 doubles, five homers, 40 RBIs and a .617 OPS in 85 games. He went to the Arizona Fall League after the season and hit .239 in 20 games.

In 2007, Brown spent most of the year back in Portland, and also went back to the AFL again, after a brief stint (eight games) in Triple-A with Pawtucket of the International League. He hit .260 in 77 games, with 44 runs, 18 doubles, nine homers and 46 RBIs during the season, then hit .273/.344/.291 in 15 games in the fall. The 2008 season was spent in Pawtucket and he did well, batting .290 with 39 runs, 14 doubles, 12 homers and 55 RBIs in 84 games, though he followed that up by batting .220 in 42 games in the Dominican winter league. It took Brown nine seasons in the Boston system before he finally got his first shot at the majors in June of 2009. It was a short-lived first cup of coffee, as he caught the ninth inning of a blowout loss before being sent back to the minors after just four days. Brown came back in September, going 1-for-3 in six games, with his first Major League hit being a home run. He got two more brief call-ups with the Red Sox during the 2010 season, getting into seven games. He batted .250 with a double and two RBIs. He did not do well with Pawtucket that season, hitting .219 in 71 games, with 19 doubles, seven homers, 29 RBIs and a .690 OPS.

Brown was granted free agency after the 2010 season and signed a minor league deal with the Pirates a month later. He played winter ball in the Dominican again that off-season and hit .198 in 34 games, with a .599 OPS. He played 54 games for Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League in 2011, hitting .285 with 17 doubles, seven homers and 28 RBIs. He was called up to the Pirates at the end of May, and he played 11 games over three weeks before returning to Indianapolis in early July. At the plate, he went 3-for-28 (.107) with three singles and two runs scored. He became a free agent at the end of the year and played the winter in the Dominican again, this time hitting .161 in 13 games. He then signed with the Texas Rangers for the 2012 season, but he hit just .220 with 15 extra-base hits in 47 games with Triple-A Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League. Brown played pro ball until 2014 without making it back to the majors. After playing for the Rangers in 2012, he only played winter ball in 2013, then split the next season in the minors between the Oakland A’s and Cleveland Indians. During his three brief seasons in the majors, he hit .163 in 25 games, with one double, one homer and three RBIs.

Willis Roberts, pitcher for the 2004 Pirates. He originally signed with the Detroit Tigers as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic. After spending his first season in the Dominican Summer League in 1992 (no stats available), he played the next two years with Bristol of the short-season Appalachian League. Roberts had a 1.38 ERA and 23 strikeouts over 26 innings during his first year in Bristol, then he was limited to just four starts in 1994. He had a 3.92 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 20.2 innings, while allowing just nine hits. In 1995, he made the jump to Low-A ball and had a 6-3, 2.70 record in 80 innings over 15 starts and two relief outings with Fayetteville of the South Atlantic League. He moved up to the pitcher-friendly Florida State League in 1996 with Lakeland, where he went 9-7, 2.89, with 105 strikeouts in 149.1 innings. Roberts went to Double-A Jacksonville of the Southern League in 1997 and hit a major roadblock. He had a 6-15, 6.28 record in 149 innings over 26 starts. He had a 1.64 WHIP and served up 18 homers. That caused him to move to relief in 1998 and the change paid off. He had a 2.19 ERA in 24.2 innings with Jacksonville in 1998, and then spent more than half of the year with Toledo of the Triple-A International League, where he posted a 4.61 ERA in 54.2 innings over 39 appearances. Roberts did not fare well in Triple-A in 1999, going 5-8, 6.26 in 92 innings over 12 starts and 19 relief appearances. It was a rough year, but it had one major highlight that didn’t exactly go as he hoped. It took seven years for him to make the majors, and in his only appearance with Detroit, which occurred on July 2, 1999, Roberts gave up four runs in 1.1 innings.

Roberts was released by the Tigers in early 2000, then signed with the Cincinnati Reds and spent the entire season in the minors. He made five starts for Chattanooga of the Double-A Southern League, and then made 20 starts and five relief appearances for Triple-A Louisville of the International League. He combined to go 11-8, 5.12 in 156.1 innings. After being released at the end of the season by the Reds, he signed with the Baltimore Orioles and made their 2001 Opening Day roster. After playing just one Major League game over his first nine seasons, Roberts spent three full years in the majors with the Orioles. He would pitch a total of 138 games, with 18 starts (all coming in 2001) and a record of 17-15, 4.57 in 246.1 innings. He went 9-10, 4.91 in 132 innings in 2001, with six saves among his 28 relief appearances that year. His best work came in 2002 when he had a 5-4, 3.66 record in 75 innings over 66 outings. The next year he had a 5.72 ERA in 26 appearances before his season ended in late June due to an elbow sprain. He became a free agent after the 2003 season and signed with the Pirates in January of 2004. Roberts began the year in Triple-A with Nashville of the Pacific Coast League, going 6-3, 5.87 in 38.1 innings over35 relief appearances before being called up in July. For the Pirates, he would make nine appearances out of the bullpen, giving up seven runs in 12 innings of work. He didn’t allow a run during his first six outings, then gave up six runs during a blowout loss to the San Diego Padres. Shortly after his last game for the Pirates in mid-August, he was released. Willis pitched the next two years in the Mexican League, then played winter ball in the Dominican over the 2006-07 season, before finishing his pro career with a season in Italy. His big league career totals show a 17-15, 4.64 record and seven saves in 259.2 innings over 148 games.

Doug Mientkiewicz, first baseman for the 2008 Pirates. He was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 12th round of the 1992 draft out of Westminster Christian School in Miami, Florida, the same school that produced Alex Rodriguez the next year. Mientkiewicz decided to attend Florida State, where he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the fifth round in 1995. He then spent seven seasons in Minnesota at first base to begin his Major League career. He debuted in pro ball in High-A in 1995, then ended up spending the entire 1996 season there as well. In the pitcher-friendly Florida State League with Fort Myers, Mientkiewicz hit .246 with eight extra-base hits, 15 RBIs and a .702 OPS in 36 games during the 1995 season. In 1996, he batted .291 with 59 runs, 36 doubles, five homers, 79 RBIs, 66 walks and a .785 OPS in 133 games. The next year he played in Double-A for New Britain of the Eastern League, where his average dropped to .255, but he scored 87 runs and drew 98 walks in 132 games, leading to a .390 OBP, and an .810 OPS. He hit 28 doubles, 15 homers and stole 21 bases that season. He repeated Double-A in 1998, hitting .323 with 96 runs, 45 doubles, 16 homers, 88 RBIs, 96 walks and a .940 OPS in 139 games. Mientkiewicz was called up by the Twins in September and he batted .200 in eight games. He spent all of 1999 in Minnesota, batting .229 with 34 runs, 21 doubles, two homers, 32 RBIs and a .655 OPS in 118 games.

Mientkiewicz played just three games for the Twins in 2000. The rest of the year was spent in the high-offense environment of Salt Lake City of the Pacific Coast League (Triple-A), where he hit .334 with 96 runs, 32 doubles, 18 homers, 96 RBIs and .929 OPS. He went 6-for-14 with four RBIs during his brief time with the Twins that year. Back in the majors for all of 2001, he hit .306 with 39 doubles, 15 homers, 74 RBIs and 67 walks in 151 games. He put up a career best .851 OPS that season. He won the Gold Glove that season for the only time in his career, and he finished 14th in the MVP voting, the lone time he received MVP support. His numbers dropped off a bit in 2002, down to a .261 average with 29 doubles, ten homers and 74 walks in 143 games, leading to a .756 OPS, which was still above league average. Mientkiewicz bounced back in 2003 with a .300 average, 67 runs, 38 doubles, 11 homers, 65 RBIs, 74 walks and an .843 OPS in 142 games. He was sent to the Boston Red Sox at the 2004 trading deadline, where he helped them to their first World Series title since 1918. At the time of the deal, he was hitting just .246 with five homers and a .703 OPS in 78 games. In seven seasons with the Twins, Mientkiewicz hit .275 with 43 homers, 266 RBIs and 273 runs scored over 643 games.  He didn’t do any better in Boston, but they still won it all. He batted .215 with one homer and a .603 OPS in 49 games, then went 4-for-9 in 11 playoff games.

Mientkiewicz would spend the next five years jumping from team to team each season. He spent 2005 with the New York Mets, batting .240 with 36 runs, 13 doubles, 11 homers and 29 RBIs in 87 games. He spent 2006 with the Kansas City Royals, where he hit .283 with 37 runs, 24 doubles, 43 RBIs and a .770 OPS in 91 games. The 2007 season was with the New York Yankees, where he had a .789 OPS in 72 games, batting .277 with 17 extra-base hits and 24 RBIs. He was with with the Pirates for one season in 2008 and he became more of a utility player than in the past. He played 33 games at third base and ten games in right field, two positions he had played a combined total of four times during his first 11 seasons. Mientkiewicz hit .277 with 37 runs, 19 doubles, 30 RBIs, 44 walks and a .753 OPS in 125 games for the Pirates. He was used 53 times as a pinch-hitter that year, excelling in the role with a .326 average and seven RBIs. He finished his career with 20 games as a bench player for the 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .333 with three RBIs in 18 at-bats. In his career, Mientkiewicz batted .271 in 1,087 games, with 221 doubles, 66 homers, 405 RBIs and 422 runs scored. He had a career .996 fielding percentage at first base, the seventh highest percentage all-time. Despite the Gold Glove and steady work at first base, he finished as a -0.7 dWAR for his career. His Gold Glove season was actually tied for his worst season (-0.8 dWAR).

Butch Davis, outfielder for the 1987 Pirates. He was a 12th round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 1980 out of East Carolina University, one of just 16 Major Leaguers to attend that school. One of the other players from that school was his teammate on that 1987 Pirates team (Bob Patterson), although they were only in Triple-A at the same time during the season. He spent his first season in pro ball in the Gulf Coast League, where he hit .315 with 46 runs, 17 doubles and 31 stolen bases in 61 games. That led to him being skipped to the Class-A Florida State League in 1981 and he handled the jump well, hitting .300 with 89 runs, 40 extra-base hits, 44 steals (in 47 attempts) and 70 RBIs in 126 games for Fort Myers, giving him an .836 OPS. He was in Double-A in 1982 with Jacksonville of the Southern League, where he batted .256 with 64 runs, 18 doubles, ten homers, 57 RBIs and 17 steals in 122 games. The 1983 season started back in Jacksonville, but he worked his way through Triple-A Omaha of the American Association, and then to the majors with the Royals. He hit .317 in 136 minor league games that year, finishing with 78 runs, 25 doubles, ten triples, 19 homers, 84 RBIs, 42 steals and a .900 OPS. With the Royals, he hit .344 with 13 runs, ten extra-base hits and 18 RBIs in 33 games. That led to him making the 1984 Opening Day big league roster. Davis got sent down in early May of 1984 for six weeks, then lasted just over a month his second trial later in the year. He was not recalled in September and then spent the entire 1985 season in the minors. He finished with a .147 average and a .435 OPS in 41 games with the 1984 Royals. Davis struggled a bit in Triple-A in 1985, hitting .263, with 42 extra base hits and a low walk rate in 109 games.  At the end of Spring Training of 1986, he broke his right fibula, causing him to miss the entire year. He was released by the Royals in October of 1986 and signed with the Pirates two months later.

Davis spent most of that 1987 season playing for Vancouver in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he batted .271 with 31 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 111 games. He was called up to the Pirates for three weeks in June, going 1-for-7 at the plate with three runs scored in seven games. He was granted free agency following the season and signed with the Baltimore Orioles. From 1988 until 1994, he spent parts of five seasons in the majors, playing for three different teams. He spent 13 games with Baltimore in 1988, then saw just five games in 1989, while playing 236 games in the minors over those two seasons. Davis hit .240 with a double and a stolen base in 25 plate appearances for the 1988 Orioles. In 1989, he went 1-for-6 with a double. All of 1990 was spent in Triple-A with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as was a large majority of the 1991 season. He played just one big league game that year. Despite not getting a big league chance in 1990, he put up big numbers with Albuquerque of the PCL, hitting .342 in 124 games, with 87 runs, 50 extra-base hits, 85 RBIs and 25 steals. His average dropped to .313 in 1991, but his OPS went up five points due to more power.

Davis spent all of the 1992 season in Triple-A, where he saw one game with the San Diego Padres (Las Vegas of the PCL) and 134 with the Toronto Blue Jays (Syracuse of the International League). He hit .281 that year, with 31 doubles, nine triples, nine homers, 74 RBIs and 19 steals. After barely playing in the majors over the previous eight seasons, Davis only played in the majors in 1993, hitting .245 with 24 runs, ten doubles, three homers, 20 RBIs and a .688 OPS for the Texas Rangers. He played four games for Texas in 1994, going 4-for-17 with three doubles, and then spent the rest of the year in Triple-A (Oklahoma City of the American Association), in what ended up being his final season of pro ball. Davis played a total of 166 Major League games over eight seasons, batting .243 with 56 runs, 21 doubles, ten triples, seven homers 50 RBIs and 13 steals. Since retiring, he has been a manager, coach and instructor in the Baltimore Orioles system. His actually first name is Wallace.

Johnnie LeMaster, shortstop for the 1985 Pirates. He was drafted in the first round by the Giants in 1973 out of high school in Kentucky, and he would end up spending 11 seasons in a San Francisco uniform. He made it through the minors fairly quickly and debuted in the majors not too long after his 21st birthday. LeMaster started in short-season ball and didn’t exactly do great, hitting .244 with 19 steals and a .657 OPS in 70 games in 1973 for Great Falls of the Pioneer League. He split the 1974 seasons between two levels of A-Ball, playing for Decatur of the Midwest League and Fresno of the California League. He combined to hit .263 with 66 runs, 17 doubles, 47 walks and 30 steals in 125 games. He skipped over Double-A in 1975, though he ended up seeing Triple-A time with Phoenix of the Pacific Coast League during each of the 1975-77 seasons. After putting up a .292 average and a .733 OPS in 143 games for Phoenix in 1975, LeMaster hit .189/.231/.324 in 22 games during his first cup of coffee in the majors as a September call-up. In 1976, he batted .247 with a .656 OPS in 105 games for Phoenix, before joining the Giants in early August. He batted .210 with a .503 OPS in 33 games during his second big league trial. He spent most of 1977 in the majors, getting into just 22 games with Phoenix. He batted just .148 in 68 games for the Giants, putting together a lowly .425 OPS.

LeMaster finally stuck in the majors in 1978 when he hit .235 with 23 runs, 18 doubles, one homer in 101 games. He set a career best with his .254 average in 1979, to go along with 42 runs, 16 extra-base hits and 29 RBIs. He played 108 games that year and tied for his best OPS (.627), which was set during the 1978 season. LeMaster batted .215 with 33 runs, 16 doubles, six triples, three homers and 31 RBIs in 135 games in 1980.  During the strike-shortened 1981 season, he hit .253 with 27 runs, nine doubles, 28 RBIs and a .593 OPS in 104 games. He had a .216 average in 130 games in 1982, with 34 runs, 14 doubles, two homers, 30 RBIs and 13 steals. LeMaster then batted .240 with 16 doubles, 30 RBIs and a career high of six homers in 1983. That year he also set career highs with 141 games played, 128 hits, 60 walks, and 81 runs scored. After stealing 37 bases through his first eight seasons, he stole a career high 39 bases in 1983. He finished his career with just 94 steals.

LeMaster played 132 games in 1984, hitting .217 with 46 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs and 17 steals in 132 games. In 1985, he played 12 games for the Giants, going 0-for-16, before they dealt him to the Cleveland Indians in early May. LeMaster played 986 games for the Giants, staying in the lineup due to his solid defense and not his bat obviously. He was a .225 hitters with 21 homers, never batting higher than .254 or slugging more than .335 in a season. Cleveland held on to him for only 11 games before trading him to the Pirates at the end of May for pitcher Scott Bailes. For Pittsburgh, LeMaster played 22 games, hitting .155 with six RBIs. He was injured in June running out an infield hit, spraining his ankle. While rehabbing, he required minor knee surgery due to fluid buildup and missed nearly the entire rest of the season. LeMaster was released by the Pirates at the end of Spring Training in 1986, then signed with the Montreal Expos two months later, although he lasted just a month in the minors before being released again. He finished his career in 1987, hitting .083 in 20 games for the Oakland A’s. He had the dubious distinction of playing for three teams in 1985 that lost 100+ games. He played 992 career games at shortstop and just 68 innings at other positions, with almost all of that time coming during his final year with A’s. He was a career .222 hitter in 1,039 games, with 320 runs, 109 doubles, 22 homers and 229 RBIs. Despite being considered to be solid defensively, he finished with -0.2 dWAR.

Fernando Gonzalez, third baseman for the 1972-73 and 1977-78 Pirates. He was originally signed by the Seattle Pilots at 18 years old out of Puerto Rico before the franchise played their first game. Gonzalez was released in April of 1970 after playing just 88 games in A-Ball with Clinton of the Midwest League during his only season with the team. He didn’t exactly do poorly considering his age, putting up a .248 average and a .639 OPS. He was out of baseball for all of 1970, then signed with the Pirates in January of 1971. He hit .308 with 65 runs, 18 doubles, 13 triples, eight homers and 66 RBIs in 122 games with Salem of the Class-A Carolina League during his first year with the Pirates. He then followed it up with a big season playing for Sherwood of the Eastern League (Double-A). In that 1972 season, Gonzalez batted .333 with 89 runs, 42 doubles, 11 homers, 86 RBIs and an .878 OPS in 140 games, earning a September call-up to the majors. He played three games for the 1972 Pirates and struck out in both of his plate appearances. He made the Pirates Opening Day roster in 1973 and he was used mainly in a pinch-hitting role. Gonzalez was with the team until early July, before going to Triple-A Charleston of the International League until he was recalled in September. He played 37 games for the Pirates that year, and the last 24 were off the bench. He batted .224 in 49 at-bats, with a triple, homer, five RBIs, one walk and a .581 OPS. He made four starts at third base during the first two months, which were his only starts during his first stint with the Pirates. On December 4, 1973 he was traded to the Kansas City Royals as part of a five-player deal that included Nelson Briles going to the Royals.

Gonzalez played nine games in Kansas City in 1974 before being sold to the New York Yankees. Ten months later, he was released during Spring Training. He hit .204 with a .523 OPS in 60 games in 1974. After being released, he went to the Mexican League to play. The Pirates re-signed him in July of 1975 and he spent the rest of that year, and all of 1976 in the minors with Charleston. Gonzalez hit .279 with a .750 OPS in 45 games to finish out 1975, then put up a .321 average, 48 extra-base hits, 70 RBIs and an .846 OPS in 119 games for Charleston in 1976. He made the 1977 Pirates Opening Day roster, spending the first half of the year in a limited bench role. Gonzalez began to play regularly in August, finishing the year with a .276 average, 17 runs, ten doubles, four homers and 27 RBIs in 80 games. He played nine games for the 1978 Pirates before being put on waivers, where he was picked up by the San Diego Padres. Gonzalez spent two season in San Diego, seeing regular time at second base, where he hit .233 with 11 homers and 63 RBIs in 215 games. He batted .250 in 101 games after joining the Padres in 1978, then hit .217/.258/.359 in 114 games in 1979, which was his final season in the majors. He finished his playing career back in the Mexican League, remaining in baseball until 1984, with a brief stint in Double-A for the Yankees during his final season. For the Pirates, he was a .257 hitter in 129 games, with 24 runs, five homers and 32 RBIs. Gonzalez played 404 big league games over six seasons, hitting .235 with 85 runs, 40 doubles, 17 homers and 104 RBIs. A large majority of his playing time in the majors was spent at second base, but he also played third base, shortstop and both corner outfield spots. The 1978 season was his only year with above average dWAR (0.2) and offensive WAR (0.1). He went by his middle name. His first name is Jose.

Don Gutteridge, pinch-hitter for the 1948 Pirates. He spent the first nine years of his Major League career playing in St Louis, five years for the Cardinals, followed by four years with the Browns. During that time, Gutteridge played a total of 1,071 games, hitting .259 with 380 RBIs and 558 runs scored. His pro career began with two seasons of Class-D ball and he did well, hitting .325 with 21 extra-base hits in 63 games during the 1932 season for Lincoln of the Nebraska State League. He remained with the team in 1933 and hit .360 in 104 games, with 22 doubles, 23 triples and nine homers. He moved up to Houston of the Texas League (Class-A) in 1934, where he hit .272 with 35 extra-base hits in 149 games. Gutteridge moved up one more level to Columbus of the Double-A American Association in 1935 (highest level of the minors at the time), hitting .291 with 34 doubles, five triples and six homers in 121 games. He remained with Columbus in 1936 and hit .298 with 88 runs, 51 extra-base hits, 99 RBIs and 36 steals in 147 games. He joined the Cardinals in September and played third base every day, hitting .319 with 13 runs, 11 extra-base hits and 16 RBIs in 23 games. That earned him a regular spot in 1937, where he spent most of his time at third base. In 119 games, he hit .271 with 66 runs, 26 doubles, ten triples, seven homers, 61 RBIs and a .731 OPS.

In 1938, Gutteridge split the season between third base and shortstop, hitting .255 with 61 runs, 45 extra-base hits, 64 RBIs and a .689 OPS in 142 games. He was the everyday third baseman in 1939, hitting .269 with 71 runs, 27 doubles, seven homers, 54 RBIs and a .685 OPS in 148 games. While his .699 OPS in 1940 was typical of his production, he became a bench player that season and played just 69 games (20 starts). Gutteridge was sent to the minors for the entire 1941 season after his five years with the Cardinals. He went to Sacramento of the Double-A Pacific Coast League and hit .309 in 171 games, with 113 runs, 31 doubles, 13 triples, 13 homers, 88 RBIs and 46 steals. He returned to the majors in 1942, playing well enough at second base for the Browns to finish in the top 20 in MVP votes during each of his first three seasons. He batted .255 in 147 games in 1942, with 90 runs, 27 doubles, one homer, 50 RBIs and 59 walks. That walk total was more than his two previous best seasons combined with the Cardinals. He finished 17th in the MVP voting. He batted .273 with 35 doubles, 77 runs scored and 50 walks in 132 games in 1943, giving him an 18th place finish in the MVP race. In the 52-year history of the St Louis Browns in the American League (they’re now the Baltimore Orioles), they made the World Series just once. That was in 1944 and Gutteridge hit .245 in 148 games, with 89 runs, 27 doubles, 11 triples 20 steals and 51 walks. His OPS was down to .646 that year, but he finished 19th in the MVP voting.. He hit .143 in the World Series, which was lost to the crosstown rivals, the Cardinals (the two teams actually played in the same stadium).

Gutteridge saw his average drop to .238 in 143 games in 1945, which temporarily put him out of a big league job. He scored 72 runs and had 49 RBIs, but his lower power/walk totals led to a .599 OPS. He began the 1946 season in the minors with Toledo of the American Association, before the Boston Red Sox purchased him from the Browns in early July. He spent two seasons in Boston, hitting .185 in 76 games, with most of that time coming as a backup infielder in 1947 when he hit .168 in 54 games. His .627 OPS in limited time in 1947 was 134 points higher than the following season. During Spring Training in 1948, the Pirates purchased his contract and he made the Opening Day roster. He was used twice as a pinch-runner and twice as a pinch-hitter, striking out in both at-bats, before being sent back to the minors a month into the season. He played in the Pirates farm system for three more seasons before retiring after the 1950 season. Gutteridge managed the Pirates Triple-A team in 1951, then moved on to other coaching and managing jobs, including two years at the helm of the Chicago White Sox, where he went 109-172 during the 1969-70 seasons. He remained in baseball until 1992 as a scout. He was the cousin of Pirates catcher Ray Mueller, making them one of 26 groups of relatives to play for the Pirates. Gutteridge played 1,151 games over 12 seasons in the majors, hitting .256 with 200 doubles, 39 homers, 391 RBIs and 586 runs scored.

Harry Daubert, pinch-hitter for the Pirates on September 4, 1915. He was a light-hitting shortstop in the minors, who got just one pinch-hit at-bat during his Major League career. His pro career began at 19 years old in 1912, playing in the Class-D Ohio State League for the Lima Cigarmakers, where he hit .211 with 22 extra-base hits in 127 games. Daubert would end up playing for five different teams in the Ohio State League before his career was over. He had the nickname “Demon Jake” in the minors, where he was said to have a strong arm and the local papers said he was one of the best fielders to ever play in the Ohio State League. He moved on to Hamilton in the same league in 1913 and hit .236 in 133 games, with 19 doubles, eight triples and six homers. In 1914, he played for both Newport and Charleston of the Ohio State League. His available stats are limited that year, but he’s credited with hitting .245 in 132 games, with 25 doubles, four triples and 11 homers. Daubert split the 1915 season between Charleston of the Ohio State League and Rocky Mount of the Virginia League, hitting a combined .240 in 103 games, which ended up being his highest single season average in the minors. The Pirates purchased his contract on August 7, 1915, and he reported to the team after his minor league season ended, just in time for his first and only official game.

On September 4, 1915, the Pirates were down 5-2 in the ninth inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Forbes Field. With pitcher Herb Kelly due up, manager Fred Clarke went to his third pinch-hitter of the game, calling on Daubert to make his Major League debut. Facing Hippo Vaughn that day, winner of 21 games in 1914 and 20 more in 1915, Daubert went back to the bench with his first career strikeout, ending the game. That would end up being his entire Major League career.  He started at shortstop on September 9th in an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox and he went 0-for-2 with five plays handled in the field before being pinch-hit for in the sixth inning. A finger injury he suffered during practice caused him to be sent home on September 19th, two weeks before the season ended. On November 28, 1915, it was announced that he was released back to the minors, ending his time in Pittsburgh. He played minor league ball until 1919 before retiring, ending a nine-year pro career. Daubert played for Charleston and Huntington in the Ohio State League in 1916 (no stats available). In 1917, he spent the entire year with Evansville of the Class-B Central League, hitting .228 in 116 games. He combined to play 58 games for three teams on the west coast in 1918 before the war effort ended baseball early that year. His career finished at 27 years old in 1919, playing Class-A ball with New Orleans of the Southern Association, where he hit .235 with 29 extra-base hits in 129 gams. When he was signed by the Pirates, there were claims that he was the brother of Jake Daubert, a star outfielder for Brooklyn at the time, but it wasn’t until after he left to go home for the winter that the local papers let the fans know that they weren’t related at all.

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