Nine former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, starting with the most recent one first.
James Marvel, pitcher for the 2019 Pirates. He was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins out of high school in the 37th round in 2012. He decided to attend Duke, where he went in the 36th round to the Pirates in 2015. He was recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time, so he didn’t debut until 2016. That first year in the system saw Marvel play for Morgantown of the short-season New York-Penn League, where he put up a 5-6, 4.43 record in 65 innings over 13 starts. In 2017, he split the season between Low-A West Virginia of the South Atlantic League and High-A Bradenton of the Florida State League. He went 6-8, 3.99 in 20 starts with West Virginia, picking up 75 strikeouts in 94.2 innings. In four starts with Bradenton, he had a 1.50 ERA in 24 innings. Marvel spent most of 2018 in Bradenton, going 9-6, 3.68 in 134.1 innings, with 100 strikeouts. He finished the season with Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League, posting a 3.00 ERA in 33 innings over five starts. He had a breakout season in 2019, as his velocity increased and his curveball was better. Marvel went 9-5, 3.10 in 101.2 innings with Altoona, then moved up to Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League for 11 starts. He was strong there, going 7-0, 2.67, with 53 strikeouts in 60.2 innings. That led to him making four starts with the Pirates to finish the season. He did poorly in two games and had decent results in the other two contests, going 0-3, 8.31 in 17.1 innings.
During the shortened 2020 season, Marvel was assigned to the Alternate Training Camp in Altoona, but a right forearm strain ended his season early and he never appeared in any games, doing rehab work instead. In 2021, he spent the entire year back in Indianapolis, where he made 22 starts and three relief appearances. He went 7-7, 5.26 in 131.2 innings. He became a free agent after the season and signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. He has spent the entire 2022 season (as of early September) at Triple-A Lehigh Valley of the International League, where he has made nine starts and 21 relief appearances. Marvel has a 4-6, 6.72 record in 83 innings this year.
Sean Burnett, pitcher for the 2004 and 2008-09 Pirates. He was a first round pick out of high school, selecting by the Pirates 19th overall in the 2000 draft. He debuted at 17 years old and had a 4.06 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 31 innings, while playing in the Gulf Coast League during that first season. In 2001, he moved up to Low-A Hickory of the South Atlantic League, where he went 11-8, 2.62 in 161.1 innings over 26 starts, with 134 strikeouts. The next year Burnett spent the season with High-A Lynchburg of the Carolina League, where he posted a 13-4, 1.80 record in 155.1 innings over 26 starts. Despite the success, he had just 96 strikeouts, showing a sharp decline in his strikeout rate, which stayed with him in the minors. In 2003, he moved up to Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League for the season and had a 14-6, 3.21 record in 159.2 innings over 27 starts, with 86 strikeouts. That inability to miss bats caught up with him at Triple-A, though it didn’t stop his progress to the majors at 21 years old. Burnett went 1-5, 5.36 in 47 innings over ten starts for Nashville of the Pacific Coast League. He debuted in the majors in May of 2004 and started 13 games for the Pirates before getting injured (Tommy John surgery), which cost him the entire 2005 season. Burnett went 5-5, 5.02 in 71.2 innings during his first stint in the majors. He threw a complete game shutout on July 9th, which ended up being his only career complete game. His next start saw him give up one run over seven innings and lower him to a 2.18 ERA, but he posted a 9.91 ERA in his last six starts. Burnett didn’t return to the majors until 2008, and by that time he was a reliever.
In 2006, Burnett spent the season as a starter in Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League, where he went 8-11, 5.16 in 120.1 innings, with just 46 strikeouts. He repeated the level in 2007, though he wasn’t healthy for the entire season, which led to him making up innings in winter ball in Venezuela. He had a 4.48 ERA in 70.1 innings over 15 starts at Indianapolis, and a 2.45 ERA in 25.2 innings in Venezuela. Burnett switched to relief in 2008 and had immediate success with Indianapolis, posting a 1.04 ERA in 17.1 innings over 12 appearances. He pitched 58 games for the Pirates that season, putting up a 4.75 ERA in 56.2 innings. He improved to a 3.06 ERA in 32.1 innings for the Pirates in 2009. He remained with the Pirates until June of 2009, when he was sent to the Washington Nationals as part of the Joel Hanrahan/Lastings Milledge trade. Burnett had a 7-8, 4.54 record in 160.2 innings over 109 outings (23 starts) with the Pirates.
Burnett had a 3.20 ERA in 25.1 innings with Washington to finish out the 2009 season. The next year he went 1-7, 2.14 in 63 innings over 73 outings, picking up three saves and setting a career high with 62 strikeouts. He was 5-5, 3.81 in 2011, with four saves, 69 appearances and 56.2 innings. He also threw 56.2 innings in 2012, finishing the year with a 2.38 ERA in 70 outings. He struck out 57 batters that season, barely creeping above a strikeout per inning average for the season. He signed a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Angels for 2013, but multiple elbow injuries and a second Tommy John surgery derailed his career from that point on. Burnett pitched just 10.1 innings over 16 appearances for the 2013-14 Angels. He did well in his 2013 time, allowing one run in 13 appearances. His 2014 time was limited to facing a total of three batters in three appearances in late May. He didn’t pitch at all in 2015, then finished his big league career with 5.2 innings over ten appearances with the 2016 Nationals. That season saw him throw Triple-A innings with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins and the Nationals. Burnett signed minor league deals with three different National League East teams during the 2017-19 off-seasons (Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and Miami Marlins), but he only pitched a total of 27 innings in the minors during that time. He had a career 15-23, 3.52 record in 380 games, with 378.1 innings pitched over his nine seasons in the majors. All 367 appearances he made after his 2004 rookie season came as a reliever.
Jim Umbricht, pitcher for the 1960 World Series champs. Umbricht attended the University of Georgia before going to a minor league tryout, where he earned a job in 1953 with Class-D Waycross of the Florida-Georgia League. He went 4-3, 2.87, with 60 strikeouts and three shutouts in 69 innings that season. Umbricht spent the 1954-55 seasons serving in the Army, which delayed his climb to the majors. When he returned in 1956, he played for Baton Rouge of the Class-C Evangeline League, where he had a 15-15, 3.35 record and 144 strikeouts in 235 innings. He completed 27 of his 29 starts that season. He was then sold to the Milwaukee Braves, who sent him to Topeka of the Class-A Western League in 1957. Umbricht went 13-8, 3.24 in 178 innings that season, with 82 walks and 94 strikeouts. He played winter ball in Puerto Rico during the 1957-58 and 1958-59 off-seasons. He moved up to Atlanta of the Double-A Southern Association in 1958 and had a 6-10, 4.06 record, with 116 strikeouts in 173 innings. The Pirates acquired him in a minor league trade for outfielder Emil Panko during the 1958-59 off-season and assigned him to Salt Lake City of the Pacific Coast League in 1959, where he went 14-8, 2.78, with 119 strikeouts in 136 innings over five starts and 42 relief appearances. He got the start in his big league debut on September 26, 1959, when he allowed five runs over seven innings and took a no-decision. That would end up being his only big league game that season.
Umbricht would end up playing parts of three seasons in Pittsburgh, though two of those years saw him play just one game each season. The majority of his big league time with the Pirates came in 1960 for the World Series champs when he made three starts and 14 relief appearances, putting up a 5.09 ERA in 40.2 innings. He was with the team for the first two full months of the season, then posted a 2.50 ERA in 126 innings with Columbus of the International League, before returning to Pittsburgh in September, though he did not participate in the postseason. Umbricht’s one game in 1961 came on May 5th when he allowed one earned run over 3.1 innings of relief work in a lopsided 10-0 loss. The rest of the year was spent with Columbus, where he went 9-6, 2.35 in 142 innings over 21 starts and one relief outing. He had three shutouts and 105 strikeouts.
The Houston Colt .45’s (Astros) took Umbricht in the expansion draft after the 1961 season and he pitched well there for two year. He spent part of 1962 in Triple-A Oklahoma City of the American Association, but his big league performance was strong, with a 2.01 ERA, two saves and 55 strikeouts in 67 innings over 34 games. Sadly, he developed cancer prior to the 1963 season. It was thought that treatment went successful because he was able to go 4-3, 2.61 in 76 innings over 35 appearances in 1963, but the cancer returned, and by Opening Day in 1964 he passed away at 33 years old. Umbricht’s five-year career shows a 9-5, 3.06 record in 194 innings over 88 appearances (seven starts). His jersey number (#32) is retired by the Astros.
Bob Dillinger, third baseman for the 1950-51 Pirates. He played six years in the majors total and he led the league in stolen bases three times and hits once. He debuted at 27 years old in 1946 with the St Louis Browns, but his career in the majors could have started sooner if not for the war. Dillinger debuted in pro ball in 1939 with Lincoln of the Class-D Western League, where he put up a .314 average in 117 games, with 58 extra-base hits. He moved up to the Class-C Middle Atlantic League in 1940 and posted a .312 average and 37 extra-base hits in 124 games. The next year was spent mostly in A-Ball in the Texas League, where he batted .291 with 14 doubles and five triples in 94 games. Dillinger moved up to Double-A Toledo of the American Association (highest level of the minors at the time) for part of 1941 and all of 1942. After playing seven games for Toledo in 1941, he hit .305 in 132 games in 1942, with 81 runs scored, 32 extra-base hits and 23 steals. He was just one step from the majors, but the next three years were spent serving in the military during WWII.
Dillinger returned to baseball in 1946 and went right to the majors, where he batted .280 with 33 runs, nine extra-base hits, 11 RBIs and a .675 OPS in 83 games for the St Louis Browns. In 1947, he hit .294 with 70 runs, 23 doubles, six triples, 37 RBIs, 56 walks, a league leading 34 stolen bases, and a .733 OPS in 137 games. He received some mild MVP support for his effort, finishing 17th in the voting. The 1948 season was his big year, with .321 average, 110 runs scored, 207 hits, 34 doubles, ten triples, 44 RBIs, 65 walks, 28 steals and a .799 OPS. He finished 19th in the MVP voting that year and led the league in hits and steals. He hit .324 with 68 runs, 36 extra-base hits, 51 RBIs and a league leading 20 steals in 137 games in 1949, while making his only All-Star appearance. His .802 OPS was a career high.
When Dillinger joined the Pirates during the 1950 season, he was just a year removed from being an All-Star. The Philadelphia A’s acquired him in December of 1949 as the smaller part of a two-for-four player/cash deal. Before joining the Pirates, he hit .309 with 55 runs, 33 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs and an .810 OPS in 84 games for the 1950 A’s. Dillinger was acquired by the Pirates via purchase from the A’s in July of 1950, and he was sold to the Chicago White Sox ten months later. He did a solid job for the 1950 Pirates, hitting .288 with 23 runs, 11 extra-base hits, nine RBIs and a .684 OPS in 58 games. He was batting just .233/.250/.302 through 12 games when Pittsburgh sold him to Chicago in mid-May of 1951. Dillinger hit well for Chicago after leaving Pittsburgh, putting up a .301 average, 39 runs and 20 RBIs in 89 games. After his final big league game in 1951, he spent another four seasons playing minor league ball for Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League. In 1952, he hit .287 in 153 games, with 67 runs, 29 doubles, eight triples and 51 RBIs. He then hit .366 in 171 games in 1953, with 104 runs, 236 hits, 34 doubles, seven triples and 51 RBIs. That was his peak season, and his OPS dropped over 150 points the next season, despite a .301 average in 155 games. Dillinger batted .281 over 34 games during his final season in pro ball in 1955. He didn’t hit a single homer during that four-year stretch with Sacramento. In his six-year big league career, he batted .306 with 123 doubles, 47 triples, ten homers, 213 RBIs, 401 runs scored and 106 steals in 753 games.
Sheriff Blake, pitcher for the 1920 Pirates. Prior to joining the Pirates, Blake pitched as West Virginia Wesleyan College. In early 1920, it was announced that he would pitch for the Cincinnati Reds that season. While his records show no prior pro experience before joining the Pirates, it was noted in the article announcing his signing with the Reds that he pitched for Charleston of the Class-C South Atlantic League at the end of the 1919 season. By the time Spring Training rolled around in 1920, Blake was with the Pirates, where he missed time early due to a sprained ankle. He was in action by March 22nd and did just enough to make the Opening Day roster. He had 8.10 ERA in six relief appearances for 1920 Pirates as a 20-year-old rookie. He debuted on June 29th and played his final game on August 15th. After his brief trial in Pittsburgh, he didn’t pitch in the majors until 1924. On February 19, 1921, he was sent to Rochester of the Double-A International League (highest level of the minors at the time) on an optional agreement. Blake went 21-13, 3.33 in 300 innings in 1921, then remained in Rochester for 1922, when he went 17-9, 2.76 in 241 innings. He actually went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1922 and was expected to stick with the team, which sort of happened. He made the Opening Day roster, but he didn’t appear in any games over the first 11 days of the season before being optioned back to Rochester. He was still property of the Pirates until being dealt to Seattle of the Double-A Pacific Coast League in December of 1922. He got roughed up a bit in 1923, but the season still ended with a trip back to the majors. He had a 13-20, 4.71 record in 256 innings for Seattle.
Blake was acquired by the Chicago Cubs in December of 1923. In eight seasons in Chicago, he put together an 81-92, 3.95 record. He made 11 starts and 18 relief appearances in 1924, going 6-6, 4.57 in 106.1 innings. The next year he saw even more work, though with poor overall results. He finished with a 10-18, 4.86 record in 231.1 innings. He completed 14 of 31 starts that season, and he pitched five times in relief. In 1926, Blake went 11-12, 3.60 in 27 starts and 12 relief outings, throwing 197.2 innings. He had 11 complete games that season, including four shutouts. He led the National League with 92 walks. In 1927, he had a 13-14, 3.29 record in 224.1 innings, with more walks (82) than strikeouts (64). He had 13 complete games, two shutouts and five relief appearances. He had what was easily his best career year in 1928, when he posted a 17-11, 2.47 record in 240.2 innings, while leading the league with four shutouts and setting a career high with 16 complete games. Things went downhill quickly from there, though the 1929-30 seasons were huge years for offense in baseball.
Blake had a 14-13, 4.29 record in 218.1 innings in 1929, making 29 starts and six relief appearances. Once again he had more walks (103) than strikeouts (70). That was followed by a 10-14, 4.82 record over 186.2 innings in 1930. He completed seven of his 24 starts that season and he pitched ten times in relief. Offense calmed down a bit in 1931, but Blake wasn’t part of that trend. He went 4-9, 5.43 in 121 innings that season, which was split between the Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies. He had 16 relief appearances, 14 starts and just one complete game. The next five years were spent in the minors, including a season back in Rochester. Blake pitched for Columbus of the Double-A American Association in 1932, where he had a 9-7 record in 161 innings. His ERA isn’t available for that year, but it’s known that he allowed 6.71 runs per nine innings. The 1933 season was split between Rochester and Columbus. He went 12-9, 4.45 in 168 innings, with more work and better results for Rochester. In 1934, he played for Toronto of the International League, going 13-11, 4.52 in 229 innings. The 1935-36 seasons were spent with Baltimore of the International League. Blake went 12-12, 4.57 in 207 innings in 1935. He then had a 14-16, 4.91 record in 255 innings in 1936.
Blake came back to the majors for a time in 1937, seeing action with both the St Louis Cardinals and St Louis Browns. He went 2-5, 5.49 in 80.1 innings that year, with much better results for the Cardinals, despite an 0-3 record with them. He then finished his career out with three seasons in the minors, spending the 1938-39 seasons with Birmingham of the Class-A Southern Association, followed by splitting the 1940 season between Oklahoma City and Dallas of the Texas League. He had a losing record all three seasons (30-40 total) and he averaged 177 innings per season. Blake won 228 games as a pro, playing a total of 22 seasons, including his brief time with Charleston in 1919. His real first name was John, but he was known by his middle name while in Pittsburgh, referred to as Fred Blake during that time. The “Sheriff” nickname was reportedly received in Rochester and had nothing to do with anything other than just being a random nickname given to him by his manager.
Whitey Glazner, pitcher for the 1920-23 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 19 years old in 1913, playing his first three seasons for Anniston of the Class-D Georgia-Alabama League. Stats are limited for his first three seasons, but it’s known that he went 6-4 in ten games and threw 78 innings in 1913, then he pitched 22 games in 1914. During the 1915 season, he played part of the year for Winston-Salem of the Class-D North Carolina State League. He had an 8-9 record in Anniston in 19 games in 1915, while going 4-3 in 67 innings over nine games with Winston-Salem. It was there in 1916 that he made his mark. He had a 21-7, 2.20 record that year in 258 innings for Winston-Salem. Glazner was out of pro ball in 1917 due to a having a good job, but he remained active in semi-pro ball and returned to the minors in 1918 for his first of three seasons with Birmingham of the Class-A Southern Association. That first season didn’t last long, as he got called into service during WWI, which limited him to 17 games total during the 1918-19 seasons. He went 3-4 in 66 innings over eight games in 1918, then had a 4-5, 2.93 record in 80 innings in 1919. Glazner was back for a full season in 1920 and put together a 24-10 record, while throwing 326 innings. His ERA isn’t available, but it’s known that he allowed 2.62 runs per nine innings.
The Pirates purchased Glazner and teammate Johnny Morrison on August 16, 1920 from Birmingham. Glazner was having the better season, but Morrison was the bigger prize, and their careers played out that way as well. Both pitchers were allowed to finish their season in Birmingham, staying until September 20th, before joining the Pirates. Glazner debuted in the majors on September 26, 1920, nine days after his 27th birthday. He made two relief appearances for the Pirates that year, allowing three runs in 8.2 innings, before putting together his big 1921 campaign. He went 14-5, 2.77 in 234 innings in 1921, which was easily his best season in the majors. He led the National League with a .737 winning percentage that year. He completed 15 of 25 starts, pitched 11 times in relief, and he set a career high with 88 strikeouts. Glazner saw his numbers slide in 1922, going 11-12, 4.38 in 193 innings, with 26 starts and eight relief appearances. He threw ten complete games, including his first career shutout. Just 30 games into the 1923 season, he was part of a four-player/cash trade between the Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies that also included Cotton Tierney, Johnny Rawlings and Lee Meadows, with the latter joining the Pirates. Glazner had a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings prior to the deal, then he went 7-14, 4.69 in 161.1 innings for the Phillies that season. He completed 13 of 27 starts that season, throwing three shutouts.
Glazner had a 7-16, 5.92 record over 156.2 innings over 24 starts and 11 relief appearances in 1924, and then never pitched in the majors again. However, he spent another seven seasons in the minors, winning a total of 95 games. He played for Los Angeles of the Double-A Pacific Coast League in 1925-26, going 14-18, 4.31 in 259 innings the first season, followed by an 11-15, 3.88 record in 209 innings in 1926. In 1927, he joined Mobile of the Class-A Southern Association and put up a 12-16, 3.40 record in 241 innings. He added a third 20+ win season to his minor league resume in 1928 while pitching his second season for Mobile, going 22-10, 3.39 in 279 innings. Glazner pitched for Dallas of the Class-A Texas League in 1929, going 15-9, 3.73 in 234 innings. He then went 19-8, 3.34 for New Orleans of the Southern Association in 1930 when he pitched 267 innings, but he had just two more wins left in the tank before retiring. That last season, which was spent in New Orleans, saw him go 2-6, 6.25 in 72 innings. He had at least 206 wins during his pro career, and he pitched over 3,200 innings. Glazner’s time with the Pirates saw him go 27-18, 3.48 in 465.2 innings. In his big league career, he finished 41-48, 4.21 in 783.2 innings over 102 starts and 40 relief appearances. He had 46 complete games and six shutouts. His actual first name was Charles.
Frank “Wildfire” Schulte, outfielder for the 1916-17 Pirates. He was the first player to accomplish an extremely rare feat that has only been done four times in Major League history. Schulte began his pro career in 1902 at 19 years old, playing for the Class-B Syracuse Stars of the New York State League. He spent all of his time in the minors with Syracuse prior to his big league debut. He batted .280 with 30 extra-base hits (23 doubles) in 112 games during the 1902 season. The next year he batted .294 in 130 games, collecting 17 extra-base hits, with 16 being doubles. He earned his call to the majors in 1904 by batting .307 with 31 extra-base hits in 135 games. Schulte played 20 games that season for the Cubs, hitting .286/.310/.476 with two homers, 13 RBIs and 16 runs scored. He was the starting left fielder in 1905, before moving over to right field in 1906. He hit .274 with 67 runs scored, 30 extra-base hits (14 triples), 47 RBIs, 16 steals and a .693 OPS in 123 games during his first full season in the majors. The 1906 Cubs are one of the greatest teams of all-time, finishing 116-36. Schulte hit .281 with 77 runs, 38 extra-base hits, 60 RBIs, 25 steals and a .720 OPS in 146 games. He led the league with 13 triples. He batted .269 in the World Series with three doubles and three RBIs. The Cubs returned to the postseason in 1907 and 1908, winning both years, after dropping the 1906 series to the Chicago White Sox.
In 1907, Schulte hit .287 with 44 runs, 23 extra-base hits and 32 RBIs in 97 games, then batted .250 during the World Series. A leg injury in mid-May cost him six weeks of the season. The next year he posted a .236 average in 102 games, with 20 doubles and 43 RBIs. He missed six weeks in the middle of that season due to illness. He had a strong postseason, batting .389 with four runs scored in five games. In 1909, Schulte hit .264 with 57 runs scored, 31 extra-base hits, 60 RBIs and a .655 OPS in 140 games. He broke out a little in 1910, then a lot in 1911. During that 1910 season, he hit .301 with 93 runs scored and 54 extra-base hits, including a league leading ten homers. He also had 68 RBIs, 22 steals and an .809 OPS that ranked him seventh in the National League. In 1911, he became the first player to reach the 20-20-20-20 club, collecting 30 doubles, 21 triples, 21 homers and 23 stolen bases. That feat wasn’t matched again until 1957 by Willie Mays, and it’s only been done four times total in baseball history. Schulte was voted NL MVP that season. He led the league in homers and RBIs (107), while putting up a career best .918 OPS that was third best in the league.
Schulte never came close to replicating that historic season, but he was still a solid player during the rest of his time in Chicago, which was right in the middle of the deadball era. In 1912, he hit .264 with 90 runs, 27 doubles, 11 triples, 12 homers, 65 RBIs and a .754 OPS in 139 games. The next year he put up a .278 average, with 85 runs, 43 extra-base hits, 68 RBIs and a .749 OPS in 132 games. He stole 21 bases, but he was caught stealing 19 times. In 1914, Schulte moved back to left field full-time and hit .241 with 54 runs, 34 extra-base hits and 61 RBIs in 137 games. In his last full season in Chicago, he batted .249 with 66 runs, 38 extra-base hits and 62 RBIs. He was acquired by the Pirates in July of 1916 in a three-player deal with the Chicago Cubs. Schulte was hitting .296 with five homers, 27 RBIs and a .769 OPS in 72 games at the time of the deal. He batted .254 with 12 runs, 14 RBIs and a .639 OPS in 55 games for the Pirates over the rest of the 1916 season, splitting his time between left field and right field. In 1917, he hit .214/.283/.282 in 30 games for the Pirates, before being lost on waivers to the Philadelphia Phillies in June. He batted .215/.299/.302 in 64 games for the 1917 Phillies, then finished his big league career with the Washington Senators in 1918, hitting .288 with 35 runs, 17 extra-base hits and 44 RBIs in 93 games. He was a career .270 hitter in 1,806 games, with 906 runs, 288 doubles, 124 triples, 92 homers, 233 stolen bases and 793 RBIs. He finished top ten in the National League in slugging percentage four times.
After his big league career wrapped up, Schulte played another four seasons of minor league ball. He spent two of those years back in Syracuse, though the team was in the Double-A International League at that time, which was the highest level of the minors at the time, and a much higher level of play than his first three seasons of pro ball. In 1919, he split the season between Binghamton and Toronto of the International League, hitting .248 with 32 extra-base hits in 132 games. His 1920 stats are limited, as he played 39 games for Syracuse and also saw brief time with Buffalo of the International League. In 1921, Schulte spent the entire season in Syracuse, hitting .309 in 159 games, with 35 doubles, 12 triples and 16 homers. He finished up his career in 1922 in the Double-A Pacific Coast League, hitting .229 with 23 extra-base hits in 111 games.
Otto Krueger, utility fielder for the 1903-04 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 21 years old in 1898, playing at the lower levels of the minors with Topeka of the Kansas St League and San Antonio of the Class-C Texas League, where he hit .345 in 27 games. By the end of the next year he was in the majors, though the level of playing was only slightly better. Krueger started the 1899 season with Grand Rapids of the Class-B Interstate League, though he also signed with Kansas City of the Class-A Western League, which wasn’t unusual in the day. His first big league stint came in September of 1899 when he debuted with the worst team in baseball history, the 20-134 Cleveland Spiders. He played 13 games and hit .227/.359/.250 in 53 plate appearances. The owner of the St Louis Cardinals (called the Perfectos in 1899) also owned Cleveland, which folded after their awful season. Krueger was transferred to the Cardinals in 1900 and he batted .400/.544/.686 in 12 late-season games. Most of the year was spent in the minors, where he hit .317 with 131 runs scored and 34 steals in 137 games for Fort Wayne of the Interstate League. Krueger was the starting third baseman for the Cardinals in 1901, when he led the league with 142 games played. He batted .275 with 77 runs, 30 extra-base hits, 79 RBIs, 19 steals, 50 walks and a .717 OPS that season. In 1902, he played 128 games, seeing most of his time at shortstop. He hit .266 with 55 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 46 RBIs and a .627 OPS.
Krueger was acquired by the Pirates in a March 1903 trade with the Cardinals for infielder Jimmy Burke. The deal almost didn’t happen because Burke objected to playing shortstop, which is where the Cardinals wanted him to play. After some time, the deal was finally completed in mid-March. Krueger hit .219 in 166 games during his two seasons with the Pirates, seeing time at five different positions. He played 80 games for the 1903 National League champs, seeing most of his time at shortstop and third base. He hit .246 that season, with 42 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 28 RBIs and a .667 OPS. He did not play during the World Series due to a beaning on September 19th that kept him out of action. During that 1903-04 off-season, he battled typhoid fever. The hitting slipped in 1904 as he moved around more in the field, getting 10+ starts at four different positions (RF/LF/SS/3B), so the versatility helped his case, but his .194 average and .525 OPS in 84 games did not. After the season, he was part of a five-player trade with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Krueger hit .184/.273/.211 over 46 games in his only season in Philadelphia, which ended up being his final big league season. He was a career .251 hitter in 507 games over seven big league seasons, with 230 runs, 40 doubles, 33 triples, five homers, 196 RBIs and 48 steals. All five of his homers were inside-the-park home runs. He played in the minors until 1912, playing his final three seasons in Class-B ball. He did some player/managing during the 1911-12 season. Krueger did well for Toledo of the Class-A American Association in 1906, which was the highest level of the minors until 1912. He batted .256 in 153 games, with 40 extra-base hits, including 36 doubles. In 1907, he hit .248 in 156 games for Kansas City of the American Association, finishing with 82 runs, 24 extra-base hits and 26 steals. The 1908 season was split between Kansas City (48 games), and 32 games for Denver of the Western League. He combined to hit .215 with 34 runs, nine extra-base hits and nine steals. In 1909, he played in the independent California League with San Jose and Fresno, putting up a .223 average in 74 games.
Krueger dropped down to Class-B in 1910, playing for Lawrence of the New England League that season, where he hit .244 with 17 extra-base hits in 99 games. In 1911, he played/managed for Galveston of the Texas League, hitting .238 with 24 extra-base hits in 125 games. His final season was still Class-B, though it was a drop in competition due to Double-A being added as a level. Krueger hit .212 in 16 games that season for Scranton of the New York State League. He also spent part of that 1912 season managing for Winnipeg of the Class-C Central International League. His unusual nickname “Oom Paul” comes from the nickname of the President of South Africa, who was Paul Kruger. He was in the news a lot at the same time and with the same sounding last name, so the nickname just got transferred to Otto Krueger, whose first name was actually Art.
Dick Padden, second baseman for 1896-98 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 24 years old in 1895, batting .316 with 48 extra-base hits and 33 steals in 122 games for Roanoke of the Class-B Virginia State League. Despite the seemingly late start, he was already quite well known for his baseball prowess in the semi-pro circuits. The Pirates signed him to a deal in November 1895, but they loaned him to a minor league team managed by their former manager (Al Buckenberger) just two months later. He began the 1896 season with Toronto of the Class-A Eastern League (highest level of the minors at the time), but he was in the majors with the Pirates by mid-season. A story that ran in the Wheeling, WV papers in early April of 1896 noted that the Pirates would get a chance to see Padden in an exhibition game, and they wouldn’t be surprised if he impressed them so much that he’s with the team before the end of the season. That was quite a prediction because it ended up being true. He joined the Pirates in mid-July and hit .242/.294/.361, with 33 runs and 24 RBIs in 61 games that season, serving as their starting second baseman. The next season he played 134 games and had a .282 average, with 84 runs scored, 16 doubles, ten triples, 58 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Padden played 128 games in 1898, but he saw a decline in his offensive stats. He finished with a .257 average 61 runs, 43 RBIs and a .646 OPS, which was 68 points lower than the previous season. He hit .265/.334/.343 over 323 games with Pittsburgh, before he was dealt to Washington Senators in a three-for-one trade for star second baseman Heinie Reitz.
Padden hit .277 with 66 runs scored, 29 extra-base hits, 61 RBIs, 27 steals and a .703 OPS in 134 games during his only season with Washington. The next year he was in the American League, though it was considered a Class-A level minor league at the time. After batting .284 with 84 runs, 30 extra-base hits and 36 steals in 130 games for the Chicago White Stockings in 1900, Padden joined the St Louis Cardinals in December of 1900, after being the first player signed away from the American League by National League president Harry Pulliam. Padden hit .256 with 71 runs, 26 extra-base hits, 62 RBIs, 26 steals and a .646 OPS in 123 games in 1901. By that October, he had jumped back to the American League, staying in St Louis to play for the Browns. He was below average defensively with the Pirates, but by 1902 he was one of the best defenders in the American League. Padden hit .264 with 54 runs scored, 40 RBIs, a .676 OPS and a career high 26 doubles in 117 games in 1902. Thumb surgery limited him to 29 games in 1903, and he didn’t do well when he was able to play, hitting .202 with a .540 OPS. He was healthy again in 1904, when he hit .238 in 132 games, with 42 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs, 23 steals and a .623 OPS. In his final big league season, he batted .172/.213/.224 in 16 games before he was released. He played a total of nine seasons in the majors, hitting .258 in 874 games, with 423 runs, 113 doubles, 46 runs, 11 homers, 334 RBIs and 132 steals. After his final big league game, he spent the 1906-07 season with St Paul of the Class-A American Association. He batted .288 with 33 extra-base hits in 1906 as a player/manager, then dropped down to .224 average in 52 games in 1907.