This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: August 24th, Player/Manager/Coach Jewel Ens

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, one of them went on to later manage the team. Also one transaction of note.

Kevin Correia, pitcher for the 2011-12 Pirates. He was drafted in the fourth round in 2002 by the San Francisco Giants out of Cal Poly State. The previous year the St Louis Cardinals selected him in the 23rd round, but he decided to return to school. He debuted in the majors just 13 months after being drafted, and that was after putting up a 4.54 ERA in 37.2 innings of short-season ball in 2002 with Salem-Keizer of the Northwest League. The Giants sent him right to Double-A Norwich of the Eastern League in 2003, skipping over two levels. He went 6-6, 3.65 in 86.1 innings. He made three starts in Triple-A with Fresno of the Pacific Coast League as well, though some of his minor league time came after his big league debut on July 10th. He did well there in his limited time, with a 2.84 ERA and 23 strikeout in 19 innings. Correia went 3-1, 3.66 in 39.1 innings with the 2003 Giants, making seven starts and three relief appearances. He spent most of 2004 in Fresno, going 3-7, 4.53 in 105.1 innings over 16 starts and three relief appearances. He came up to the Giants that year for one start and 11 relief appearances, putting up an 8.05 ERA in 19 innings. The 2005 season was also split between the minors and majors, though he saw more big league time than the previous year. Correia went 2-5, 4.63 in 58.1 innings over 11 starts and five relief outings for the Giants. That was better than the 6.07 ERA he had in 46 innings over 31 games (three starts) that he put up in Fresno that season.

Correia spent the 2006 season in the bullpen for the Giants, posting a 3.49 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 69.2 innings over 48 appearances. He made eight starts and 51 relief appearances in 2007, going 4-7, 3.45 in 101.2 innings. Correia had a starting role in 2008, but things didn’t go well and it ended up being his final season in San Francisco. He went 3-8, 6.05 in 110 innings over 19 starts and six relief appearances. He spent his first six seasons in the majors with the Giants, where he had a 14-22, 4.59 record in 398 innings, seeing most of his time in relief. In 2009, he signed with the San Diego Padres and spent two season there as a starter, going 22-21, 4.54 in 343 innings. He had a 12-11, 3.91 record in 198 innings over 33 starts in 2009. He threw his only career shutout during that season, and he set a career high with 142 strikeouts. His numbers slipped in 2010 down to a 10-10, 5.40 record in 145 innings. He started 26 of his 28 appearances that season.

Correia signed with the Pirates in 2011 and he went 12-11, 4.79 in 154 innings over 26 starts and one relief appearance. He was elected to the All-Star team that year for the only time during his career. In 2012, he had a 12-11, 4.21 ERA in 171 innings over 28 starts and four relief appearances. He left via free agency after the season and spent most of the next two years in Minnesota. He went 9-13, 4.18 in 185.1 innings over 31 starts with the Twins in 2013. He then had a 5-14, 4.94 record in 129.1 innings over 23 starts in 2014, before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August. Correia had an 8.03 ERA in 24.2 innings to finish the season, making three starts and six relief appearances for the Dodgers. In 2015, he spent time with the Seattle Mariners, Giants and Philadelphia Phillies. He only appeared in the majors with the Phillies, which ended up being his last big league time. He made five starts in Philadelphia and had a 6.56 ERA in 23.1 innings. Correia had a career 76-98, 4.62 record in 1,428.2 innings over 221 starts and 137 relief appearances. He was impressively consistent during his career. With the Padres, Giants, Twins and Pirates, he finished with an ERA between 4.49 and 4.59 with each club, throwing between 314 and 398 innings in each place.

Al Bool, catcher for the 1930 Pirates. His minor league career didn’t begin until age 24 in 1922 when he played for Lincoln of the Class-D Nebraska State League, where he hit .332 with 22 doubles, five triples and five homers in 83 games. He wanted to play pro ball bad enough at the time that he abandoned his job as a milkman and took a contract to play for $50 per month with Lincoln. He was sold to the St Louis Cardinals in 1923 and appeared briefly for Syracuse of the Double-A International League (highest level of the minors at the time), before heading to Ottawa to finish the season in the Class-B Eastern Canada League, where he hit .316 with 26 extra-base hits in 62 games. In 1924, Bool played for Fort Smith of the Class-C Western Association, where he hit .410 with six extra-base hits in 51 games. He spent the rest of the year with Sioux City of the Class-D Tri-State League, hitting .308 in 43 games. In 1925, he was playing regularly for Quincy of the Class-B Three-I League, where he batted .310 with 33 doubles, eight triples and 13 homers in 133 games.

Bool joined Oakland of the Double-A Pacific Coast League in 1926 and spent three seasons there, though his playing time dropped each year, down to 23 games in 1928 when he was traded mid-season to Nashville of the Class-A Southern Association. He batted .265 with 28 extra-base hits in 120 games in 1926, then followed it up with a .280 average and 24 extra-base hits in 92 games in 1927. Bool batted .276 with three extra-base hits in 23 games for Oakland in 1928, and .348 with 23 extra-base hits in 69 games with Nashville. His only Major League experience prior to joining the Pirates was two late season games for the 1928 Washington Senators, in which he went 1-for-7 with a single and an RBI. He was a late cut from Washington’s 1929 Spring Training roster and sent to Baltimore of the International League, where he was rediscovered by big league scouts.

While playing for Baltimore in 1929, Bool had his best minor league season. He hit .322 with 36 doubles, four triples and 31 homers in 141 games. Despite the big stats, he almost ruined his chance of getting back to the majors that August. During a series in which many scouts came out to see him play, he struggled at the bat and in the field, going 3-for-15 at the plate and making three errors. The Pirates were still interested and purchased Bool over the off-season. They brought him to camp in 1930 to battle with Rollie Hemsley and Charlie Hargreaves for the starting catcher job. Hemsley won the starting job, with Hargreaves as his backup, leaving Bool on the bench for the first 22 games. That changed at the end of May when Hargreaves was released to the minors. Bool became a platoon player with Hemsley for the rest of the year, finishing with 51 starts behind the plate. He hit .259 with 30 runs, 12 doubles, four triples, seven homers and 46 RBIs in 216 at-bats. The Pirates put him on waivers after the season ended, where he was picked up by the Boston Braves. He would hit .188/.266/.200 in 49 games for Boston, in what would end up being his last season in the majors. He played two more seasons in the minors before retiring, splitting the 1932 season between Baltimore and Milwaukee of the Double-A American Association, followed by his last year at age 35 with Little Rock of the Southern Association. Bool played 129 big league games, hitting .237 with 35 runs, 13 doubles, four triples, seven homers and 53 RBIs.

Jewel Ens, Pirates infielder from 1922-25, and manager from 1929-31. He had a 13-year minor league career before he ever played a Major League game, seeing his first action in the majors at age 32 with Pittsburgh. He debuted in pro ball in 1908 at 18 years old, playing for two teams in the Class-C Texas League, Shreveport and San Antonio (no stats are available). He has no pro records for 1909. In 1910, he showed up back in the Texas League, spending the 1910-12 seasons with Dallas, with the league being reclassified as Class-B during the 1911 season. In 1910, Ens hit .224 with 15 extra-base hits in 134 games. He improved to a .244 average and 22 extra-base hits in 1911, followed by a .270 average with 22 doubles, eight triples and eight homers in 142 games in 1912. The next year he moved up to Providence of the Double-A International League (highest level of the minors at the time), where he hit .214 with very few walks (23) or extra-base hits (21) in 124 games, leading to a .547 OPS. Ens was in Providence for a small part of 1914 as well, but spent a majority of the year back in Class-B ball with Chattanooga of the Southern Association. He played 116 games with Chattanooga, hitting .262, with 69 runs, 14 doubles, 12 triples and seven homers. From their he returned to Dallas of the Texas League, where he would stay for the next five seasons.

During that 1915-19 stretch, Ens played a lot of third base and he was a steady hitter throughout the five years. He batted .242 with 22 extra-base hits in 107 games in 1915. That was followed by a .269 average in 1916, when he had 30 doubles, nine triples and seven homers. In 1917, Ens batted .264 in 149 games, with 28 doubles, ten triples and seven homers. The 1918 season was shortened due to WWI. He hit .303 that season in 91 games, collecting 27 extra-base hits. He played 152 games during his final season in Dallas, hitting .259 with 27 doubles, four triples and 16 homers. He moved to Houston of the Texas League in 1920, where he was a player-manager. He didn’t do much at the plate, batting .260 with 17 extra-base hits in 135 games. Despite the mediocre season, he moved up to Syracuse of the International League in 1921 and he batted .335 with 28 doubles, 12 triples and 19 homers in 150 games.

On December 8, 1921, the Pirates purchased Ens from Syracuse, though it was noted at the time that he was property of the St Louis Cardinals at the time, and they sent him to Syracuse for the season. He joined the Pirates in 1922 and got 28 starts at second base while seeing very limited time at the other three infield spots. Ens played well in the role, hitting .296 with 18 runs, seven doubles, three triples and 17 RBIs in 47 games. He played three more seasons with the team, but his actual role was as a coach. From 1923 until 1925, he got a total of 46 plate appearances over twenty games played, with his limited time dropping each year, playing 12 games in 1923, five in 1924 and three during the World Series winning season in 1925. He hit his only big league homer during his first at-bat in that final season, connecting off of Wilbur Cooper, the Pirates all-time leader in wins, who was traded to the Cubs over the 1924-25 off-season and was making his Chicago debut.

Jewel (which was his actual first name) moved into the managerial spot for the Pirates near the end of the 1929 season, leading the team to a 21-14 finish, giving them an 88-65 record, good for second place. He remained on as the manager for two more years, but when the Pirates finished below .500 in 1931, he was relieved of his spot. Ens rejoined the Pirates as a coach in 1935 (until 1939), working under manager Pie Traynor. In 1940, he was hired to coach in the minors for the Cincinnati Reds, eventually spending eight years at the helm for the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. His full name was Jewel Winklemeyer Ens. His brother Anton “Mutz” Ens, played for the 1912 White Sox.

Bill Kelsey, catcher for the 1907 Pirates. His pro career began in 1905 at 23 years old with the Bellingham Gillnetters of the Class-B Northwestern League. He batted .214 with 12 extra-base hits that season in 54 games. In 1906, he played for three different teams in three different league and he hit .205 in 64 games. He batted .183 in 21 games with Temple of the Class-D Texas League, and .175 in 13 games with St Paul of the Class-A American Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He best success that season came with Waterloo of the Class-D Iowa League of Professional Baseball Clubs, where he hit .232 in 30 games. Before joining the Pirates late in 1907, the 26-year-old Kelsey played that season with the Coffeyville Glassblowers of the Class-D Oklahoma-Arkansas-Kansas League, where he hit .258 with 60 runs and 47 steals in 94 games. He was recommended to the Pirates and manager Fred Clarke by former Pirates player Bill Stuart, who was his manager at Coffeyville. Kelsey would play two October games for the 1907 Pirates, which turned out to be his only two Major League games. His first big league game was on October 4th, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds. He caught the whole game, which was limited to seven innings (six innings on defense), as the Pirates lost 6-1 and they collected just one hit. Kelsey played his final big league game two days later and it was basically the same scenario. It was the second game of a doubleheader and it lasted just seven innings, with the Reds winning it 13-1. Kelsey went 2-for-3 at the plate, with two singles and a run scored in the second game, after going 0-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch in his debut.

That second game for Kelsey was the final game of the season. He went right to his home after the game, while almost all of the other Pirates headed back to Pittsburgh for a Field Day, followed by a small barnstorming tour to finish out the year. The Pittsburgh papers noted that Kelsey handled himself well behind the plate, while his hometown Cincinnati paper said the complete opposition after his first game. In 1908, he played the first of two seasons for Oklahoma City. The team was in the Class-C Western Association that year and he hit .172 in 122 games, with 34 runs, ten extra-base hits and 23 steals. Kelsey then followed that up with a .196 average in 128 games, as Oklahoma City moved that year to the Class-C Texas League. He moved on to play parts of two years for Houston of the Texas League, hitting .256 in 60 games in 1910, followed by .150 average in seven games in 1911, when the Texas League was reclassified as Class-B. Kelsey has no 1912-13 records, but he played semi-pro ball for a team called Morris in Oklahoma in 1913, where he was considered to be one of the best fielders in the league. He played for Tulsa in the Class-D Western Association in 1914-15, batting .299 in 45 games the first season, followed by a .210 average in 68 games during his final season of pro ball. He also did some managing during his time in the minors, taking the helm during his 1907, 1909 and 1915 seasons. He’s called “Billy” in most sources now, but most of his references during his career called him by his first name, which was George. His middle name was William.

The Transaction

On this date in 1930, the Pirates sold pitcher Jesse Petty to the Chicago Cubs. Petty was one of two players the Pirates got from Brooklyn for star shortstop Glenn Wright. The other player in the deal, infielder Harry Riconda, lasted just eight games with the Pirates, so Petty turned out to be the big return. He went 12-16, 4.55 in 32 starts and 14 relief appearances with the Pirates, throwing a total of 225.2 innings. He was 11-10, 3.71 in 184.1 innings in 1929, then had a 1-6, 8.27 record in 1930 before his sale to the Cubs. That year was a huge year for offense in baseball, but he had easily the worst ERA of any regular. He pitched well for the Cubs in limited time (2.97 ERA in 39.1 innings), but never played in the majors after 1930, spending his last five seasons of pro ball in the minors.