The nation’s birthday is also a popular day for Pittsburgh Pirates birthdays. We have eight former players and one manager. We also have one trade to mention.
On this date in 1905, the Pirates traded shortstop George McBride to the St Louis Cardinals in exchange for infielder Dave Brain. In McBride, the Pirates were giving up a 24-year-old, light-hitting shortstop, just 30 games into his career. They had a pretty good shortstop ahead of him on the depth chart in Honus Wagner and they needed help at third base, which was a position that the 26-year-old Brain had played in the majors numerous times.
Brain was the much better hitter in this trade, and as it turned out, McBride was the much better fielder. Brain lasted in Pittsburgh until the end of the season, when he was then included in the trade to get Hall of Fame pitcher Vic Willis, in a move that paid off huge for the Pirates. Willis won 21+ games in four straight seasons, helping the Pirates to their first World Series title. McBride ended up playing another 14 seasons in the majors. He was strong enough defensively that he received MVP votes in four straight seasons, despite the fact he never batted higher than .235 during that time and hit a total of two homers during that four-year stretch. Despite the fact that he was a solid player for a long time, this deal did not work out for the Cardinals. McBride had -1.7 WAR in St Louis before they traded him to a minor league team. All of his career value came with the Washington Senators, where he had 22.7 WAR in 13 years (his last four years he was a limited bench player with -0.4 WAR during that stretch).
Jared Hughes, pitcher for the 2011-16 Pirates. He was the fourth round pick of the Pirates in the 2006 amateur draft out of Cal State University. Three years earlier he turned down signing as a 16th round pick of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays out of high school. Hughes debuted with Williamsport in the short-season New York-Penn League after signing with the Pirates. After putting up a 2.74 ERA in 23 innings, he moved to Low-A Hickory of the South Atlantic League, where he had a 5.77 ERA in 48.1 innings over ten starts. The entire 2007 season was spent in Hickory, where he made 27 starts and posted an 8-9, 4.64 record in 145.1 innings. The next season was split between 21 starts in High-A Lynchburg of the Carolina League and six starts with Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League, with similar results at each level. He combined to go 5-11, 4.68 in 136.2 innings. After the season, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League, where he had a 10.32 ERA in 20.1 innings over eight starts. Hughes missed a little time during the 2009 season with a shoulder injury, leading to three rehab starts in the Gulf Coast League, but he pitched better in Altoona than the previous season. He made seven starts and ten relief appearances, posting a 3.88 ERA in 46.1 innings. The next year saw him make 23 starts and seven relief appearances for Altoona. He had a 12-8, 5.56 record in 150.2 innings, with 120 strikeouts, which was his high for any season in pro ball. Hughes remained at Altoona for a fourth season in 2011 and still struggled as a starter, finishing with a 4.09 ERA in 61.2 innings. He was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League in early June and switched to relief, in a move that paid off immediately. He had a 2.11 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 42.2 innings over 35 appearances. He received a September promotion to the majors, where he had a 4.09 ERA in 11 innings over 12 games.
Hughes didn’t play a full season in the majors until 2015, but he spent most of the 2012-14 seasons with the Pirates, playing a total of 28 games in the minors during that stretch. For the 2012 Pirates, he had a 2.85 ERA in 75.2 innings over 66 games. The next year his numbers dropped to a 4.78 ERA in 32 innings over 29 games. That year in the minors, mostly with Indianapolis, he allowed one run in 23 innings. His best season in Pittsburgh was 2014 when he had a 1.96 ERA in 63.1 innings over 64 appearances, helping the Pirates to their second straight playoff appearance. Hughes pitched nearly as well the following year, posting a 2.28 ERA in 67 innings over 76 appearances, which helped lead to a third straight playoff appearance for the Pirates. He pitched just once in the playoffs over those three years and allowed two runs in his only inning of work. He saw his ERA go up slightly to 3.03 in 2016 when he pitched 59.1 innings over 67 outings. With a rising salary and one year left before free agency, the Pirates cut ties with Hughes early in 2017. In six seasons in Pittsburgh, he had a 2.82 ERA in 309.1 innings over 314 appearances.
Hughes signed with the Milwaukee Brewers three days after being cut by the Pirates and basically had the same exact season as he put up in 2016. He had a 3.02 ERA for the Brewers, pitching 59.2 innings over 67 appearances. The only difference over the previous year was that he recorded one extra out in the same amount of games, with the same amount of earned runs. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Cincinnati Reds. Hughes went 4-3, 1.94 in 78.2 innings over 72 games in 2018. He picked up seven of his 12 career saves that year. The 2019 season was his worst season and the Reds placed him on waivers in August, where he was picked up by the Philadelphia Phillies. He did a little better to finish the year with the Phillies, ending up with a combined 4.04 ERA in 71.2 innings over 72 games. Hughes signed with the Houston Astros in 2020, but he was released in Spring Training. The New York Mets signed him in June and he pitched 18 times during the shortened season, posting a 4.84 ERA in 22.1 innings. In the spring of 2021, he announced his retirement. Hughes went 30-26, 2.96 in 541.1 innings over 542 games in his ten-year big league career. He had 123 starts in the minors/fall ball and none in the majors.
Brendan Donnelly, pitcher for the 2010 Pirates. It took him ten years after signing his first pro deal to reach the majors, making the 2002 Anaheim Angels Opening Day roster at 30 years old. In 1992, the Chicago White Sox drafted him in the 27th round out of Colorado Mesa, but he was released after just one season. He didn’t pitch poorly that first year, posting a 3.67 ERA in 41.2 innings in the Gulf Coast League. Donnelly signed with the Chicago Cubs two months later and didn’t even last a full season there. That year he went 4-0, 6.28 in 43 innings for Geneva of the short-season New York-Penn League. After putting up a 2.63 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 13.2 innings of independent ball with Ohio Valley of the Frontier League in 1994, he signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds for 1995 and worked his way up to Triple-A Indianapolis of the American Association, though he gave up eight runs in 2.2 innings at that level. Most of the year was split between Charleston of the Low-A South Atlantic League and Winston-Salem of the High-A Carolina League. He excelled in both spots, posting a 1.19 ERA and 12 saves in 30.1 innings with Charleston, and a 1.02 ERA in 35.1 innings with Winston-Salem. On the year, he had 66 strikeouts in 68.1 innings.
Donnelly spent the entire 1996-97 seasons at Double-A with Chattanooga of the Southern League, posting a 5.52 ERA that first year in 29.1 innings over 22 appearances. He followed up with a 3.27 ERA and six saves in 1997, when he pitched 82.2 innings over 62 appearances. Despite the strong results in 1997, he was back in Chattanooga for a time in 1998, putting up a 2.98 ERA, 13 saves and 47 strikeouts in 45.1 innings. He made it back to Triple-A Indianapolis for part of the 1998 season and did well with a 2.65 ERA in 37.1 innings, but the Reds still parted ways with him at the end of the year. Donnelly split the 1999 season between Triple-A with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Durham of the International League) and the Toronto Blue Jays (Syracuse of the International League), while also seeing time in Double-A with the Pirates, playing for Altoona of the Eastern League. He also had a brief stint in independent ball with Nashua of the Atlantic League. Between the three affiliated stops, he had a 3.18 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 73.2 innings. The 2000 season was split between the Iowa of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in the Cubs system, and a return trip to Syracuse, combining to go 4-9, 6.07 in 59.1 innings over 46 appearances. In 2001, he signed a minor league deal with the Angels and split the year between Double-A Arkansas of the Texas League and Triple-A Salt Lake City of the Pacific Coast League, putting together a 2.40 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 41.1 innings at the upper level, despite playing in an ultra high offense environment.
Donnelly made the Angels Opening Day roster in 2002, but he was back in Triple-A for two months after just three appearances. Once he came back, he stayed in the majors for the rest of the season. He finished the big league season in 2002 with a 2.17 ERA in 49.2 innings over 46 games. The Angels won the World Series in 2002 and Donnelly struggled in the first two rounds, allowing six runs in 5.1 innings, but he was lights out in the World Series, making five scoreless appearances, totaling 7.2 innings. The next year he was an All-Star for the lone time in his career, posting a magnificent 1.58 ERA in 74 innings over 63 games. He missed some brief time in 2004 and did some rehab work in the minors, but he still made 40 appearances for the Angels and had a 3.00 ERA in 42 innings. His performance dipped a bit in his final two seasons with the Angels (then named Los Angeles instead of Anaheim), posting a 3.72 ERA in 65.1 innings over 65 appearances in 2005 and a 3.94 ERA in 64 innings over 62 games in 2006. Despite the higher ERAs, he managed to compile a 15-3 record during those two seasons. Donnelly had a successful five-year stint with Anaheim/Los Angeles, going 23-8, 2.87 in 295 innings over 276 games. The next four years he spent with four different teams, with varying results each year.
Donnelly pitched well for the 2007 Boston Red Sox in brief time, putting up a 3.05 ERA in 20.1 innings while helping them to their second World Series title in four seasons. He last pitched on June 10th that year, missing the rest of the season with a right forearm strain that led to Tommy John surgery. He then got bombed with the 2008 Cleveland Indians, posting an 8.56 ERA in 13.2 innings over 15 games after joining the club in August. The next year he was dominating for the Florida Marlins after pitching half the year in the minors. Donnelly had a 1.78 ERA in 25.1 innings and 30 games for Florida. He signed with the Pirates as a free agent in January of 2010. He pitched 38 games for the team through the end of July, while missing three weeks in May due to an oblique strain. Donnelly never got going with the Pirates, posting a 5.58 ERA in 30.2 innings before he was released. It was a move that ended his pro career. He pitched 386 games in the majors over nine seasons without making a start, finishing with a 32-10, 3.22 record and six saves in 385.1 innings.
Wayne Nordhagen, left fielder for the Pirates on June 19, 1982. He had an eight-year Major League career, playing a total of 502 games, which included one game for the 1982 Pirates. On June 15, 1982, the Pirates traded Bill Robinson to the Philadelphia Phillies to get Nordhagen. Four days later, he started a game in left field against the Phillies, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs in an 8-3 loss. Six days later, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays as the player to be named later in a deal that happened on June 22nd, in which the Pirates acquired outfielder Dick Davis. The interesting thing about the trade with Davis going to the Pirates was that Nordhagen never played for the Phillies. He was acquired earlier in the day on June 15th by Philadelphia, in a trade that saw the Phillies sent Dick Davis to the Blue Jays to acquire Nordhagen. Meaning that within a ten-day stretch, the two players were traded for each other twice, with three teams involved in the deals. The second deal was made because Nordhagen had a back injury that wasn’t disclosed during the first trade.
Nordhagen was a seventh round draft pick of the New York Yankees at 19 years old in 1968 out of Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon. It’s a school that has produced six MLB players, yet their last draft pick happened in 2006. He hit .291 with a .796 OPS in 63 games with Johnson City of the short-season Appalachian League in 1968. Nordhagen then spent the next three seasons playing for Kingston of the Carolina League. He struggled with low averages during his first two years, then put everything together in 1971. He batted .233 in 1969, when he played just 25 games. The next year he hit .230 in 88 games, with 31 runs, 15 extra-base hits and 30 RBIs. In his breakout year in 1971, Nordhagen batted .294 in 114 games, with 25 doubles, 14 homers and 76 RBIs. His .820 OPS was an improvement of 212 points over the previous season. The next year he moved up to Double-A with West Haven of the Eastern League and batted .263 with 21 doubles, 14 homers, 73 RBIs and a .761 OPS in 117 games. Nordhagen was traded to the Atlanta Braves mid-season in 1973 and spent the entire year in Triple-A, split between Syracuse and Richmond, both of the International League. He combined to hit .263 with 15 doubles, 13 homers and 70 RBIs. In 1974, he hit .289 with 18 doubles, six triples, 16 homers and 77 RBIs in 112 games for Richmond.
The Braves traded Nordhagen in the middle of 1975 to the St Louis Cardinals. Between his time with Richmond and Tulsa of the Triple-A American Association in 1975, he batted .327 with 22 doubles, 15 homers, 68 RBIs and a .900 OPS that year, but still didn’t get a call to the majors. The Philadelphia Phillies purchased his contract before the 1976 season and kept him in Triple-A with Oklahoma City of the American Association until July 14th, when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. He would make his big league debut two days later and he hit .189 in 22 games for the White Sox. He also spent part of that time after the trade back in Triple-A, playing for Iowa of the American Association, though that ended up being his last minor league action.
Nordhagen did well in a part-time role for the 1977-79 White Sox. He batted .315 with 14 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs in 52 games in 1977, posting an .839 OPS. He batted .301/.310/.452 in 68 games in 1978, with 16 doubles, five homers and 35 RBIs. He had a .790 OPS in 76 games in 1979, hitting .280 with 15 doubles, seven homers and 25 RBIs in 193 at-bats. The next year he received much more playing time and responded with a .277 average, while setting career highs with 22 doubles, 15 homers, 45 runs scored and 59 RBIs. During the strike-shortened 1981 season, Nordhagen batted .308 with six homers, 33 RBIs and a .780 OPS in 65 games. He was traded to the Blue Jays just before Opening Day in 1982, and before joining the Pirates, he was hitting .278 with one homer, 14 RBIs and a .658 OPS in 44 games. After returning to Toronto, Nordhagen hit .257 with no homers and a .564 OPS in 28 games. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Chicago Cubs, but after hitting .143 in 21 games, he was released in early June of 1983. That ended his big league and pro career. He was a .282 hitter in the majors, with 147 runs, 77 doubles, 39 homers and 205 RBIs. Most of his playing time was split evenly between left field and right field, but he also caught 25 games between the 1976-79 seasons. He is the uncle of Kevin Millar, who played 12 years in the majors.
Jim Minshall, pitcher for the 1974-75 Pirates. He was a second round pick of the Pirates in the 1966 draft out of Newport Catholic HS in Kentucky. He remains to this day as the only draft pick from that school. It took him nine seasons to work his way from a recent high school graduate struggling in the short-season Appalachian League, to becoming a Major League pitcher. In that first season of pro ball, he had a 6.00 ERA in 36 innings, with 37 walks and 33 strikeouts for Salem. He remained in the Appalachian League with Salem in 1967 and improved his walk rate, while posting a 4.60 ERA in 45 innings, with 47 strikeouts. He moved up to Clinton of the Class-A Midwest League for 12 starts in 1968 and he went 4-4, 2.57 in 70 innings. Minshall move to Salem (same town, different league) of the Advanced-A Carolina League in 1969, where he went 6-3, 3.03 in 119 innings over 18 starts. The next year for Salem he made 18 starts and eight relief appearances, going 5-8, 4.14 in 124 innings. He pitched mostly in relief for Salem in 1971, posting a 3.87 ERA, four saves and 100 strikeouts in 93 innings over six starts and 28 relief appearances. In 1972, playing his fourth season for Salem of the Carolina League (sixth year overall in the town), Minshall went 16-1, 3.38 in 26 starts, with 136 strikeouts in 181 innings.
Minshall finally moved up to Double-A (Sherbrooke of the Eastern League) in 1973 and he did not pitch well, mainly due to control problems that saw him walk 91 batters in 135 innings. He finished with a 6-11, 4.13 record in 20 starts and four relief appearances. He returned to Double-A (Thetford Mines of the Eastern League) the next year and pitched about the same in a full-time relief role , but still earned a mid-season promotion to Triple-A Charleston of the International League. Minshall had a 4.07 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 42 innings in Double-A, and a 2.25 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 20 relief innings with Charleston. He showed an incredible improvement with his control in Triple-A, walking just four batters. The Pirates called him up in September of 1974 and he threw 4.1 innings over five appearances without allowing an earned run. Minshall returned to Charleston in 1975 and pitched great. He had a 1.38 ERA in 45 appearances, striking out 64 batters in 65 innings. He was once again a September call-up, this time getting into just one game for the Pirates. He threw a scoreless inning on September 11th against the New York Mets, in which he struck out two batters. Minshall was back in Triple-A for the 1976 season, which ended up be his last in pro ball. He had a 5.38 ERA in 77 innings during that final season. Minshall was sold to the expansion Seattle Mariners on October 14, 1976, but he didn’t make the team out of Spring Training, getting cut on March 27th. He finished his Major League career with an 0-1 record, despite a career 0.00 ERA.
Jim Nelson, pitcher for the 1970-71 Pirates. He was a 31st round draft pick out of high school in 1965 by the Pirates. His career began in the short-season Appalachian League, where he had a 4.22 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 49 innings for Salem. Nelson had troubles in the minors adjusting to new levels. The first time he played Advanced-A ball in 1966 with Raleigh of the Carolina League, he went 0-5, 7.24 in 41 innings, yet he dominated in Low-A with Gastonia of the Western Carolinas League that same season, going 9-2, 1.54 in 105 innings over 13 games (12 starts). The next season he had a 9-0 record between Gastonia and Raleigh, before going to Double-A, where he went 0-5, 6.00 in 30 innings over nine games with Macon of the Southern League. He was particularly dominant with Gastonia that season, going 8-0, 1.19 in 68 innings, completing all eight of his starts. Nelson spent the 1968 season with Double-A York of the Eastern League, going 4-8, 2.23 in 97 innings over 15 starts and one relief appearance. He moved up to Triple-A Columbus of the International League in 1969 and continued his trend of struggling at new levels. He had a 3-5, 5.49 record in 82 innings over 18 starts, with 52 walks and 52 strikeouts.
Nelson was back in Columbus to start 1970, where he posted a 3.60 ERA in 35 innings over five starts and six relief appearances. He was called up by the Pirates at the end of May in 1970 and pitched twice in relief before making three straight strong starts. On June 22nd against the St Louis Cardinals, he threw ten inning, tossing a 1-0 shutout. He made seven starts in the month of July, before moving back to the bullpen in August. He had thrown 25 innings over his three June starts, giving up just two earned runs, winning all three games. In July he had three starts in which he couldn’t get through five innings, and in total that month he allowed 26 runs in 30 innings. Late in the season, he was sent down to the minors after dealing with a sore arm that had bothered him in the past. Nelson made the Opening Day roster in 1971, pitching 17 games (two as a starter) through the middle of July, before returning to the minors (Charleston of the International League) on July 23rd. At the time, he had a 2.34 ERA in 34.2 innings, but pitcher Bob Moose was returning from a military stint and the choice came down to Nelson or rookie pitcher Bruce Kison. Nelson never returned to the Pirates that year, but he was voted a half share of the World Series prize money ($9,032). He talked about retiring over the off-season in 1971-72, because he was getting married and had a job lined up. He was quoted as saying the job wasn’t anything great, but he didn’t think he would ever make good money in baseball. He ended up returning for 1972 and was a late cut during Spring Training. He spent that entire year with Charleston, posting a 4.74 ERA in 74 innings, before retiring from baseball. He was a fastball pitcher, who liked to attack hitters and claimed late in his big league time that the Pirates wanted him to spot his curveball better, but he didn’t have that type of control over the pitch.
Mel Ingram, pinch-runner for the 1929 Pirates. He was a star athlete in four sports at Gonzaga before starting his pro baseball career, also excelling in track, football and basketball. From July 24, 1929 until August 28, 1929, Ingram played his entire pro baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. On July 24th, he pinch-ran for catcher Charlie Hargreaves. On August 6th, he pinch-ran for first baseman Earl Sheely in the ninth inning. On August 28th, during the second game of a doubleheader, he pinch-ran for pinch-hitter Erv Brame in the eighth inning and scored a run. He never played in the majors again and never played in the minors. His contract with the team was an odd one by today’s standards. The Pirates signed him on June 18th, with the guarantee that they would release him on September 1st so he could return home to begin work as an athletic director at a local high school. At the time the Pirates signed him, he was playing semi-pro ball for a team named “Price” in the Idaho-Washington League, a league he played in after 1929 as well. The Pirates were said to have scouted him during a 15-inning game on June 9, 1929 and then the scout talked to him after the game. After the game, Ingram told the local paper that he would probably sign with a Pacific Coast League team instead, but he had no intention of making baseball his career and he also mentioned the job he had lined up for September 1st. The Pirates expected him to report to Spring Training in 1930, but they found out in late February that he wouldn’t leave his job. A week later on March 5th, he was given his unconditional release.
Even though he never got an official at-bat with the Pirates, Ingram got some plate time in exhibition games with the team during his two months in a Pittsburgh uniform. He first played the second half of an exhibition game in left field on June 25th against Toledo of the American Association. He went 1-for-2 with a walk. On July 28th, he played against a local team from Youngstown and went 3-for-4 while playing first base. He played the second half of a game against a minor league team from Albany of the Eastern League on August 13th, playing left field and going 0-for-1 at the plate. Ingram replaced Lloyd Waner in center field on August 18th against Binghamton of the New York-Penn League, and he went 0-for-1 that day. Finally, on August 26th, he replaced Waner again in center against Bridgeport of the Eastern League in a game lost by the Pirates. Ingram went 1-for-1 with a hit-by-pitch and two runs scored.
Frank “Stump” Edington, right fielder for the 1912 Pirates. He had a long minor league career that began in 1910 at 18 years old and ended in 1928, but for Edington, his big league career lasted just 15 games for the 1912 Pirates. His first pro season saw him play for three teams in the Class-D Blue Grass League. He played a total of 49 games that year, seeing time with Paris, Winchester and Lexington. He batted .333 with 27 extra-base hits in 72 games for Lexington in 1911. He was still playing for Lexington when the Pirates signed him in mid-June of 1912. Edington paid his own way just to get to the Pirates so he could get a trial with the team, traveling from Kentucky to Pittsburgh for his chance at the majors. The Pirates had two stars in right field, Mike Donlin and Chief Wilson (played center field when Donlin wasn’t injured), so it was of little surprise that Edington didn’t stick around despite hitting .302 with 14 RBIs and a .717 OPS for the Pirates. His Major League career was over by the middle of July, just after his 21st birthday. The Pirates had the option of keeping him, which had to be worked out with Lexington before he became Pittsburgh property. It was said that they closed the deal on June 26th, just 2 1/2 weeks before his final big league game. He was actually injured for a short time, which limited him to 15 games, including just one game after the July 9th injury, when he pinch-hit on July 13th. He was around for 11 more days before being sold to Wheeling of the Class-B Central League. It was said that he could possibly rejoin the Pirates, but he ended up being sold to Fort Wayne of the Central League before the year ended. Fort Wayne then sold him to Columbus of the Double-A American Association in October of 1912.
Edington began his pro career as a pitcher, and did some pitching a short time after being sent to Wheeling by the Pirates, but he never took the mound in the majors, and he pitched just two games after 1912. He went 11-5 in 143 innings during his first year (1910), then had a 2-3 record in his brief mound time in 1911. He made his mark as a hitter in the minors, batting over .300 six times. He also moved around a lot in the minors. He played for Columbus and Toledo of the American Association in 1913, then added Indianapolis of the American Association to his resume in 1914. Most of his 1914 season was spent with Denver of the Class-A Western League, where he hit .347 with 75 runs and 35 extra-base hits in 100 games. The next three years were spent with Grand Rapids of the Class-B Central League. Edington hit .322 in 123 games in 1915 and .339 in 127 games in 1917, while slumping down to a .262 average in 133 games in 1916. The 1918 season was spent in the service during WWI, then he returned to baseball in 1919 with Vernon of the Double-A Pacific Coast League. He spent three years there and reached the .300 mark twice, hitting .302 in 170 games in 1919 and .300 in 144 games in 1921.
Edington dropped down a level to Beaumont of the Texas League in 1922, where he hit .326 with 52 extra-base hits in 137 games. In 1923, he split the year between Beaumont and Fort Worth of the Texas League, combining to hit .307 in 136 games. The next three full seasons were spent in Fort Worth, where he hit .336 with 49 extra-base hits in 135 games in 1924. Edington followed that up by hitting .295 with 59 extra-base hits in 155 games in 1925, then hit .308 in limited time in 1926. He’s credited with a .326 average in 1927, splitting 113 games between Beaumont and Waco of the Texas League. His career ended up as a player-manager, when he hit .341 in 61 games for Raleigh of the Piedmont League in 1928. His actual first name was Jacob, though he was called by his middle name Frank while in Pittsburgh. He also had the nickname “Bugs” in the minors. He has been identified as “Stump” Edington until recently, but for some reason that nickname was taken away. It was used often in the minors throughout his later career, first appearing in print in 1920.
Lou Manske, pitcher for the 1906 Pirates. He pitched eight seasons in the minors, going 85-68, twice winning 20+ games in a season (there are no ERAs available for any of his minor league seasons). In the middle of that minor league career, he was property of the Pittsburgh Pirates for just under six months. He began his pro career in his hometown with Milwaukee of the Class-A American Association (highest level of the minors at the time) as a 19-year-old in 1904. His limited available stats for that year show a 2-3 record in 11 games. Manske went 20-16 in 1905, while pitching 357 innings for Des Moines of the Class-A Western League. He was drafted by the Cleveland Naps after the 1905 season, but he was returned to Des Moines in January before getting a chance to pitch for the team. He was in Des Moines for the second straight year in 1906 and posted a 23-10 record in 33 games through mid-August. The Pirates purchased his contract from Des Moines on August 20, 1906, reportedly for $2,500. He made his Major League debut on August 31st as a starter against the St Louis Cardinals. He went five innings, giving up three runs on ten hits and took a no-decision in the eventual 7-5 Pirates victory. It’s interesting to note that he was credited with the win at the time and he left after five innings with a lead, but the win is now credited to Hall of Famer Vic Willis, who gave up two runs over four innings of relief work. Manske made a relief appearance seven days later, allowing three runs over three innings, then never pitched in the majors again. He did however pitch a complete game in an exhibition contest on September 14th against a local team from Washington, Pa. Manske tossed a complete game in the 6-2 win and he collected two hits. After the season ended, he pitched an exhibition game for Milwaukee against the Chicago White Sox, who won the World Series a week earlier.
The Pirates kept Manske through most of the 1906-07 off-season, but manager Fred Clarke wanted a smaller group of players at Spring Training in 1907 and Manske was one of four players (all pitchers) cut on February 9, 1907. He was sent back to his team in Des Moines, though he ended up spending the 1907 season with Minneapolis of the American Association, where he went 12-6 and threw 157 innings. He was back with his original team in Milwaukee for the 1908-09 seasons. Manske went 13-20 in 286 innings over 37 appearances in 1908. In 1909, he had an 11-9 record in 168 innings. While he has no ERA available, it’s known that he allowed 3.05 runs per nine innings that season. He played for St Joseph of the Western League, where he had a 4-4 record in 12 innings pitched. While it doesn’t show up in his stats, I was able to track him down to pitching for Oshkosh of the Class-C Wisconsin-Illinois League at the start of the 1911 season.
Chuck Tanner, manager for the 1977-85 Pirates. He began his pro career as a player, spending parts of eight seasons in the majors, seeing time with the Milwaukee Braves, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels. Tanner was an outfielder, who hit .261 in 396 games, with 98 runs, 21 homers, 105 RBIs and a .711 OPS. He began managing in the minors in 1963, seven years before his first Major League managerial job with the Chicago White Sox. In six years in Chicago (1970-75), he went 401-414, finishing as high as second place in the standings in 1972. In 1976, he took over the Oakland A’s and led them to a second place finish with an 87-74 record. On November 5, 1976, the Pirates traded Manny Sanguillen and $100,000 to the A’s in exchange for Tanner. He went on to manage nine seasons in Pittsburgh, leading them to the 1979 World Series victory, as well as three second place finishes (1977, 1978 and 1983). He had six winning seasons with the Pirates, including 98 wins in 1979 and 96 wins in 1977. He went 711-685 in Pittsburgh before moving on to the Atlanta Braves for his last three seasons of managing. He went 153-208 in Atlanta and never finished higher than fifth place. After his managerial days, he held numerous spots in baseball, working five years in the Cleveland Indians front office, before taking a senior adviser to the GM spot with the Pirates in 2007, he last job in baseball before his passing in 2011. Tanner ranks 34th all-time in managerial wins with 1,352. His son Bruce pitched in the majors and was a pitching coach at one time in the Pirates farm system.