We have two former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus a major trade.
On this date in 1985, the Pirates traded outfielder George Hendrick and pitchers John Candelaria and Al Holland to the California Angels for outfielder Mike Brown and pitchers Bob Kipper and Pat Clements. Brown was 25 years old, in his third season with the Angels, and his first full season in the majors. He was hitting .268 with four homers in 60 games prior to the deal. Kipper had just turned 21, with only two games of Major League experience, both coming that April. He was in the minors at the time, and reported to Triple-A for the Pirates. Clements was a 23-year-old lefty rookie, with a 5-0, 3.34 record in 41 games and 62 innings pitched. Candelaria was in his 11th big league season, all spent with the Pirates, where he went 124-84. He had a high of 20 wins in 1977, but at the time of the trade, he was pitching out of the bullpen all year. The 32-year-old Holland had been acquired earlier in the season for Kent Tekulve. He was a closer for the Phillies in 1983-84. The Pirates used him 38 times, with three saves and a 1-3, 3.38 record to his credit. Hendrick, the veteran outfielder, did not play well in his only season in Pittsburgh, and was not well-liked by the fans for a lack of effort at times. He was a four-time All-Star before joining the Pirates, compiling 31 career WAR prior to 1985.
After the deal, Holland pitched great for the Angels, posting a 1.48 ERA in his 15 appearances. Hendrick played even worse in California, hitting .122 in 16 games. He was also signed for three more years for a high salary at the time ($1M per year) and provided almost no value (-0.5 WAR) during his time with the Angels. Candelaria moved back to a starting role for the Angels and went 7-3, 3.80 in 13 starts. The next season he was even better, going 10-2, 2.55, despite missing nearly half the season. For the Pirates, Mike Brown hit .332 in the last 57 games of 1985, looking like a key future piece for the team for many years to come. That success didn’t last into 1986 however, as he hit .218 with four homers in 87 games. He played just 18 more games after that season, all with the 1988 Angels. Clement had a 3.12 ERA in 92 relief appearances over the 1985-86 seasons for the Pirates before being included in the deal that brought Doug Drabek to the Pirates from the New York Yankees. Kipper was a player to be named later in the deal, not joining the Pirates organization for another two weeks. He stayed around Pittsburgh for seven seasons, compiling a 24-33, 4.22 record in 244 games, 44 as a starter.
Tim Wakefield, pitcher for the 1992-93 Pirates. He was originally an eighth round draft pick of the Pirates in 1988, taken as a hitter. It was quickly decided that he had a better chance to make it as a pitcher and early in 1989 he made the switch. Wakefield hit .189 with three homers and a .636 OPS in 54 games as a 21-year-old in the short-season New York-Penn League in 1988 with Watertown. The next year he batted .216 with one homer and a .585 OPS in 47 games, splitting his time between Low-A Augusta of the South Atlantic League and the NYPL with Welland. He also had a 3.40 ERA in 39.2 innings for Welland that season. He worked strictly as a starting pitcher in 1990, when he had a 10-14, 4.73 record and 127 strikeouts in 190.1 innings for Salem of the High-A Carolina League. In his second full season of pitching, Wakefield went 15-8, 2.90, with 120 strikeouts in 183 innings at Double-A Carolina of the Southern League. He also made one unsuccessful start with Buffalo of the Triple-A American Association. He was in Buffalo in 1992, where he went 10-3, 3.06 in 135.1 innings over 20 starts before being called up to the Pirates right before his 26th birthday. Wakefield, with his dancing knuckleball, pitched great for the Pirates down the stretch, as they looked for their third straight National League East pennant. He went 8-1, 2.15 in 13 starts, pitching 92 innings. He was just as good in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, throwing two complete game wins.
As strong as the 1992 season was for Wakefield, the following year was a disaster. His record dropped to 6-11, 5.61 in 128.1 innings and he spent part of the year back in Double-A, where he had a 6.99 ERA in nine starts. He did so poorly in 1994 for Buffalo, going 5-15, 5.84 in 175.2 innings, with 98 walks, 23 hit batters and 16 wild pitches, that the Pirates released him by the following April. The move did not work out well for Pittsburgh, but it turned around Wakefield’s career. He ended up spending 17 seasons in Boston, where he won 186 games. His first season in Boston was easily his best. He went 16-8, 2.95 in 195.2 innings, finishing third in the Cy Young voting and 13th in the American League MVP voting. It was the only year that he received votes in either category. He had 119 strikeouts that year, the first of 11 straight seasons with 100+ strikeouts. That was a streak that ended only due to missed time in 2006. Wakefield had a moment in Boston when it looked like he was trending the same way as his time with the Pirates. In 1996, he went 14-13, 5.14 in 211.2 innings. It was the first of five times that he would exceed 200 innings in a season, but he also saw his ERA go up 2.19 over the previous year. He had six complete games in each of his first two seasons in Boston, which were career highs.
In 1997, Wakefield had a 12-15, 4.25 record in 201.1 innings. That loss total led the AL, as did his 16 hit batters. He also struck out 151 batters that season, which stood as his career high until 2003. He tossed two shutouts that year, which ended up being the final two shutouts of his career. He had three shutouts during his brief time in Pittsburgh. In 1998, he went 17-8, 4.58, with 146 strikeouts in 216 innings over 33 starts and three relief appearances. The 1999 season saw him switch to the closer role for a short time after doing poorly as a starter. He went 6-11, 5.08 in 17 starts and 32 relief appearances, with 15 saves and 140 innings pitched. He had just 22 career saves. He had a 5.86 ERA as a starter and 3.50 as a reliever. In 2000, Wakefield switched between starting and middle relief, pitching 51 times that season, with 34 relief appearances. He had a 6-10, 5.48 record in 159.1 innings. He had a 5.90 ERA as a starter and 4.82 as a reliever. He had a similar role each of the next two seasons, though he picked up three saves each year. Wakefield went 9-12, 3.90 in 168.2 innings over 17 starts and 28 relief outings in 2001. In 2002, he was 11-5, 2.81 in 163.1 innings, with 15 starts and 30 relief appearances. That ERA in 2002 only trailed his rookie season with the Pirates for his career best.
During the 2003 season, Wakefield returned to starting full-time and finished the year going 11-7, 4.09 in 202.1 innings. He set a career high with 169 strikeouts. The Red Sox broke their long World Series drought in 2004 and he had a 12-10, 4.87 record in 188.1 innings. He started one World Series game and took a no-decision with five runs over 3.2 innings. In 2005, Wakefield went 16-12, 4.15, with 151 strikeouts in a career high 225.1 innings. That year he lost his only postseason start. During the 2006 season, he had a 7-11, 4.63 record in 140 innings over 23 starts, missing over two months with a stress fracture in his ribcage. The Red Sox won the World Series again in 2007. He had a 17-12, 4.76 record in 189 innings over 31 starts. His only postseason appearance was a loss in game four of the ALCS, in which he allowed five runs over 4.2 innings against the Cleveland Indians. The 2008 Red Sox lost in the ALCS, as Wakefield went 10-11, 4.13 in 181 innings over 30 starts during the season. Once again he had one appearance in the postseason and it was a loss in the ALCS. In 2009, the 42-year-old Wakefield went 11-5, 4.58 in 129.2 innings and made his only career All-Star appearance. During his final two big league seasons, he saw time in relief and as a starter. He went 4-10, 5.34 in 140 innings in 2010, with 19 starts and 13 relief outings. He finished up with a 7-8, 5.12 record in 154.2 innings in 2011, making 23 starts and ten relief appearances. His 19-year career saw him go 200-180, 4.41 in 3,226.1 innings over 463 starts and 164 relief appearances. He had 2,156 career strikeouts, which ranked 69th all-time through mid-2022. He ranks seventh all-time in hit batters (186) and tenth all-time with 418 home runs allowed.
Bucky Veil, pitcher for the 1903-04 Pirates. His real named was Fred, but the baseball world knew him as Bucky, a nickname he got because he attended Bucknell University. He had played briefly in the low-level of the minors (Class-C) in 1900-01, playing for Cortland of the New York State League (1900) and Newport News of the Virginia-North Carolina League (1901), while also seeing time with a team from Punxsutawney after being released during the second half of the 1900 season. His 1901 season was shortened due to an arm injury. After graduating college, Veil played independent ball in Altoona until the Pirates signed him on October 21, 1902. He joined a strong Pirates team that had already won two straight National League pennants. He made six starts and six relief appearances during that 1903 season, as the Pirates easily won their third straight title with a 91-49 record. Veil went 5-3, 3.82 in 70.2 innings. In the first modern day World Series, he came in to relieve Sam Leever in game two, after Leever gave up two runs in the first inning. The Pirates lost, but Bucky threw the last seven innings of the game, allowing just one run.
Veil pitched just one game for the 1904 Pirates, giving up three runs in 4.2 innings. It was said that he was sick that day, but begged into the start. After pitching well for two innings, he weakened and lost his control. He was removed in the fifth inning after losing the lead, but the Pirates came back to win 6-5 over the Cincinnati Reds. It ended up being his last Major League game. Right after his lone start, Veil said he planned to rest a while, then show the Pirates why they needed him on their team. Not long after he said that, he was pitching for the Altoona Mountaineers of the independent Tri-State League. The Pirates released him on May 2nd, and then four days later he was the Opening Day starter for Altoona. It was reported by a few papers in early September of 1904 that Veil was approached by Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss to return to Pittsburgh, but he reportedly said that he liked it just fine in the Tri-State League, where he also played for the Williamsport club that season. In helped that he lived in Williamsport at the time.
In the minors in 1905, Veil won 21 games (with 12 losses) for Columbus of the Class-A American Association (highest level of the minors at the time), while throwing 283 innings. The next year he had a 17-11 record for Columbus and threw 203 innings, though he missed some time due to shoulder soreness. Despite pitching well at a high level of the minors for two seasons, he actually dropped down to Class-B ball in 1907-08, and then finished up with an independent league team in 1909. There are no stats available for his final three seasons. Due to illness, he saw brief time with Columbus in 1907, as well as a return to Williamsport that year in late May, though an arm injury ended his time there quickly. He was back in the New York State League in 1908, splitting the year between Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre. He finished up Wilmington of the Atlantic League in 1909, then took up coaching.