Six former Pirates born on this date, plus two games of note.
Jason Bay, left fielder for the 2003-08 Pirates. He was the first Rookie of the Year in team history (2004) and he remains the only one to this day. In 719 games in Pittsburgh, he had an .890 OPS, which ranks as the seventh best in team history. Bay was an All-Star during the 2005-06 seasons. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 22nd round of the 2000 draft out of Gonzaga. He debuted that season with Vermont in the short-season New York-Penn League, where he hit .304 with two homers, 12 RBIs, a .743 OPS and 17 steals in 35 games. The next year was split between 87 games in Low-A with Clinton of the Midwest League, and 38 games in High-A with Jupiter of the Florida State League. He combined to hit .315 with 79 runs, 24 doubles, 14 homers, 71 RBIs, 25 steals, 66 walks and an .896 OPS in 125 games. Late in Spring Training in 2002, he was traded to the New York Mets. His stay there was four months before being included in a five-player trade with the San Diego Padres. Bay played 69 games in High-A with St Lucie of the Florida State League, and 57 in Double-A that season split between Binghamton of the Eastern League and Mobile of the Southern League. He combined to hit .283 with 81 runs, 21 doubles, 17 homers, 85 RBIs, 39 steals, 62 walks and an .846 OPS.
The Pirates acquired Bay from the Padres as one of three players they received in the Brian Giles deal in late August of 2003. Prior to joining the Pirates, Bay had played 91 games in Triple-A with Portland of the Pacific Coast League, and he got into three big league games in which he went 2-for-8 with a double, homer and a walk. He had a .303 average and a .951 OPS for Portland that season. After the deal, he briefly played at Triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League for the Pirates, then joined the big league squad for 27 games, in which he hit .291 with six doubles, three homers, 18 walks and a .929 OPS. As a rookie in 2004, he batted .282 with 61 runs, 24 doubles, 26 homers, 82 RBIs and a .908 OPS, leading to the Rookie of the Year award. He actually missed the entire first month due to an off-season surgery. Bay played all 162 games in 2005, hitting .306 with 110 runs scored, 44 doubles, 32 homers, 101 RBIs and 21 steals in 22 attempts, to go along with a .961 OPS. That led to his first of back-to-back All-Star game appearances. He was just as good in 2006, batting .286 with 101 runs, 29 doubles, 35 homers, 109 RBIs, 102 walks and a .928 OPS. Bay slumped in 2007, batting .247 with 78 runs, 25 doubles, 21 homers and 84 RBIs in 145 games, posting a -0.3 WAR during the season. He had knee surgery after the 2006 season and it seemed to affect him for most of that year. He attempted just five stolen bases that season.
Bay was part of the six-player deal between the Pirates, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers in July of 2008. He was the only piece given up by the Pirates, who received four players in the deal. At the time of the trade, he was hitting .282 with 72 runs, 23 doubles, 22 homers, 64 RBIs and an .894 OPS in 106 games. Bay had one full year left before free agency and he did well on his remaining deal with Boston. He hit .293 with 21 extra-base hits in 49 games for the 2008 Red Sox, then hit three homers and drove in nine runs in 11 postseason games. He hit .267 during the 2009 season, with career highs of 36 homers and 119 RBIs, to go along with 103 runs, 29 doubles, 94 walks and a .921 OPS. That year he finished seventh in the American League MVP voting, made the All-Star team and won the Silver Slugger award for the only time in his career. He signed a free agent deal with the New York Mets for 2010, but injuries limited his production. Bay batted .259 with 48 runs, 32 extra-base hits, 47 RBIs and a .749 OPS in 95 games in 2010. He followed that up with a .245 average, 59 runs, 19 doubles, 12 homers, 57 RBIs, 56 walks and a .703 OPS in 123 games in 2011. He really struggled in his final season in New York, batting .165/.237/.299 with eight homers in 70 games. Bay didn’t run a lot in New York, but he managed to go 26-for-28 in steals with the Mets. He finished his career with the Seattle Mariners in 2013, hitting .204 with 30 runs, 11 homers and 20 RBIs in 68 games. He was a career .266 hitter in 1,278 games, with 737 runs, 240 doubles, 222 homers, 754 RBIs and an .841 OPS. He stole 95 bases in 112 attempts. With the Pirates, he hit .281 in 719 games, with 435 runs, 151 doubles, 139 homers and 452 RBIs.
Steve Lombardozzi, pinch-hitter for the 2015 Pirates. He was a 19th round pick of the Washington Nationals out of St Petersburg College in 2008, who made it to the majors just three years later at 22 years old. Lombardozzi played his first season in the Gulf Coast League, where his .693 OPS in 48 games was a production of a .283 average and a high walk rate, though he showed no power, with five extra-base hits and no homers. In Low-A Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League in 2009, he hit .296 with 90 runs, 36 extra-base hits, 58 RBIs, 62 walks, 16 steals and a .771 OPS in 128 games. The next year was mostly spent in High-A Potomac of the Carolina League, though he played 27 games in Double-A Harrisburgh of the Eastern League and had better results at the higher level. Lombardozzi combined to hit .294 with 90 runs, 52 extra-base hits (35 doubles, 11 triples), 49 RBIs, 61 walks, 24 steals and an .802 OPS in 137 games. After the season, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .293/.385/.439 in 21 games. He had an .820 OPS in 65 games with Harrisburg in 2011, followed by a .762 OPS in 69 games at Triple-A Syracuse of the International League. He actually hit one point higher at Triple-A (.310 vs .309), but showed more power at the lower level, combining for 42 extra-base hits that season. His season ended with a .194/.219/.226 slash line over 13 September games with the Nationals.
Lombardozzi was a regular in 2012-13, hitting .273 with 40 runs, 16 doubles, three homers, 27 RBIs and a .671 OPS in 126 games the first year, followed by a .259 average, 25 runs scored, 15 doubles, 22 RBIs and a .616 OPS in 118 games in 2013. He saw most of his time at second base during those seasons, but he also played left field and third base both years as well. Lombardozzi was traded to the Detroit Tigers after the 2013 season, but ended up with the Baltimore Orioles prior to the start of 2014. He batted .288 in 20 games with the Orioles, though it came with a low .626 OPS in 74 plate appearances due to no homers or walks. The rest of the season was spent with Norfolk of the Triple-A International League, where he had a .270 average and a .618 OPS in 78 games. The Pirates purchased his contract just before Spring Training in 2015 and he spent most of the year in the minors with Indianapolis of the International League, hitting .282 in 97 games, with a .697 OPS. Lombardozzi played 12 games for the Pirates, 11 as a pinch-hitter and one as a pinch-runner. He went 0-for-10 with a walk and a run scored.
Lombardozzi was released by the Pirates after the 2015 season. From 2016-19, he played with three different organizations, two indy ball teams, plus had a stint in winter ball. His only big league experience during that four-year stint was two games for the 2017 Miami Marlins. He returned to the Washington organization during the 2016 season, though a stretch of the year was spent with the independent Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League, where he had a .368 average in 40 games. He went 0-for-8 in his two early season games with the 2017 Marlins. He spent the rest of the year with Triple-A New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League. Lombardozzi was with the Oakland A’s at Nashville of the PCL for the 2018 season. He didn’t play in 2020, although he played winter ball in Mexico during the 2019-20 off-season. He played independent ball with Long Island of the Atlantic League in 2019 and 2021, and he has spent 2022 with Kane County of the independent American Association. His big league stats show a .260 average with 75 runs, 33 doubles, five homers and 52 RBIs in 291 games. His father, also named Steve Lombardozzi, played six seasons in the majors.
Randy Kramer, pitcher for the 1988-90 Pirates. He was drafted three times before he signed with the Texas Rangers as a first round pick (tenth overall) in June of 1982 out of San Jose City College. The San Diego Padres took him in 26th round out of high school in 1978. In January of 1982, the Houston Astros selected him in the second round. Kramer pitched just two games in relief during his first season, spending that brief time in the Gulf Coast League. He then spent 1983 playing with Burlington in the Class-A Midwest League, where he had a 6-8, 5.16 record in 26 starts, with 113 strikeouts in 132.2 innings. He struggled in the Class-A Carolina League with Salem in 1984, so once the short-season teams started, he was demoted to Tri-Cities of the Northwest League. He combined to go 7-14, 6.90 in 137 innings that season, with a 9.85 ERA in 53 innings at Salem. In 1985, Kramer was back with Salem and he did poorly, but the Rangers stuck with him. He went 7-11, 6.71 in 115.1 innings over 24 starts and one relief outing. He had 77 walks and 86 strikeouts. He switched to relief in 1986 and pitched 25 games in the Carolina League (split between Salem and Kinston), posting a 4.78 ERA in 43.1 innings. He also had 26 games in Double-A with Tulsa of the Texas League, where he had a 5.08 ERA in 39 innings. Two years before making his big league debut, he was traded to the Pirates in late 1986 for pitcher Jeff Zaske.
Kramer spent the 1987 season struggling in both Double-A Harrisburg of the Eastern League and Triple-A Vancouver of the Pacific Coast League. He combined for a 6.28 ERA in 67.1 innings over 37 appearances (five starts), with an ERA over 6.00 in both spots. After pitching poorly for four years in a row, he had an incredible turnaround in 1988. That season he went 10-8, 3.18 in 198.1 innings over 28 starts with Triple-A Buffalo of the American Association. He had 120 strikeouts and a 1.06 WHIP. Kramer would debut in the majors in September of 1988, making one start and four relief appearances. He had a 5.40 ERA in ten innings with the Pirates. He started 1989 off strong in Buffalo, going 1-0, 1.26 in 14.1 innings, then was called up for the duration of the big league season in late April. He made 15 starts and 20 relief appearances for the Pirates that year, going 5-9, 3.96 in 111.1 innings, with two saves. He walked 61 batters and had 52 strikeouts. He went 0-1, 4.91 in 25.2 innings for the 1990 Pirates, making two starts and ten relief appearances, seeing most of his big league time in May. He had a 2.57 ERA in 73.2 innings with Buffalo that year. Kramer was traded to the Chicago Cubs late in the 1990 season for minor league pitcher Greg Kallevig, who never played another game after the deal. Kramer played ten games for the 1990 Cubs, posting a 3.98 ERA in 20.1 innings,
Kramer was released by the Cubs in December of 1990. He spent all of 1991 in Triple-A, seeing time with the Atlanta Braves (Richmond of the International League) and Seattle Mariners (Calgary of the Pacific Coast League). He combined to go 7-7, 4.35 in 130.1 innings that year. He capped off his big league career with four June starts for the 1992 Mariners, finishing with a 7.71 ERA in 16.1 innings. The rest of the year was spent with Calgary, where he went 1-4, 6.05 in 64 innings. He spent 1993 at Triple-A Edmonton of the PCL for the Florida Marlins, going 5-4, 5.52 in 62 innings. He saw brief time at Triple-A Ottawa of the International League for the Montreal Expos in 1994, before spending part of that final season of pro ball in China. He started 18 games and pitched 34 times in relief over his three seasons in Pittsburgh, going 6-12, 4.22 in 147 innings.
Dennis Ribant, pitcher for the 1967 Pirates. He was signed by the Milwaukee Braves at 19 years old in 1961. His first season of pro ball was outstanding, with an impressive 17-2, 1.86 record in Class-D ball with Davenport of the Midwest League, while also posting a 4-2, 1.17 record in 54 innings with Austin of the Double-A Texas League. He had a total of 201 strikeouts in 209 innings. Ribant spent part of 1962 back in Austin, as well as playing briefly for Louisville of the Triple-A American Association. He combined to go 11-12, 5.04 in 168 innings, with 118 strikeouts. In 1963, he played for two different Triple-A teams, spending most of the season with Denver of the Pacific Coast League, while pitching 15 innings for Toronto of the International League as well. He went 15-10, 5.07 in 181 innings, with 121 strikeouts. Ribant played in Denver in 1964 until an early August trade sent him to the New York Mets. At the time of the deal, he had an 8-2, 3.53 record in 120 innings, with 114 strikeouts. He went right to the majors after the trade, where he went 1-5, 5.15 in 57.2 innings, with seven starts and seven relief appearances. He split the 1965 season between Triple-A Buffalo of the International League and the Mets. In the majors that year, he had a 3.82 ERA in 35.1 innings over 19 appearances (one start). He was 3-12, 3.88 in 109 innings for Buffalo, working mostly as a starter. Ribant spent the entire 1966 season in the majors, where he went 11-9, 3.20 in a career high 188.1 innings. He also set a high with 84 strikeouts. He had 26 starts, 13 relief appearances, ten complete games, one shutout and three saves.
Ribant was acquired by the Pirates in a four-player deal from the New York Mets over the 1966-67 off-season. While with the Pirates, he made 22 starts and 16 relief appearances during his only season in Pittsburgh. He went 9-8, 4.08 in 172 innings that year. The Pirates traded Ribant to the Detroit Tigers for veteran pitcher Dave Wickersham following the 1967 season. He pitched for four different big league teams during the 1968-69 seasons, splitting 1968 between the Tigers and Chicago White Sox, followed by one game for the 1969 St Louis Cardinals, then seven more games with the Cincinnati Reds. His 1968-69 seasons both had large splits. With the Tigers he had a 2.22 ERA in 24.1 innings, then that ERA shot up to 6.03 in 31.1 innings with the White Sox. He allowed two runs in 1.1 innings with the Cardinals, then gave up just one run with the Reds in 8.1 innings. His entire 1968 season was spent in the majors, making 31 relief appearances. He played for both the Reds and Cardinals in Triple-A in 1969, making a total of 26 minor league appearances.
Ribant would be reacquired by the Pirates from the Reds for pitcher Bo Belinsky prior to the 1970 season, but he never played in the majors after 1969. He spent his final four seasons in Triple-A before retiring. He pitched for Columbus of the International League in 1970, going 14-9, 3.81 in 189 innings over 26 starts and a relief appearance. On December 5th, the Pirates traded Ribant to Hawaii of the Pacific Coast League for two minor league players. In 1971, he went 15-7, 3.58 in 224 innings for Hawaii. That was followed by an 8-9, 5.02 record in 172 innings with Hawaii in 1972. He finished his pro career with Eugene of the Pacific Coast League in 1973, posting a 7.36 ERA in 22 innings. In his six years in the majors, he went 24-29, 3.87 in 518.2 innings over 56 starts and 93 relief appearances, with 13 complete games, two shutouts and nine saves. He turns 81 years old today.
Vic Lombardi, pitched for the Pirates from 1948 until 1950. He debuted in pro ball in 1941 at 18 years old, spending most of the year with the Class-D Johnstown Johnnies of the Pennsylvania State Association. He had a 12-3, 1.85 record in 136 innings with the Johnnies. He also saw brief time with Santa Barbara of the Class-C California League. The 1942 season was split between Santa Barbara and Durham of the Class-B Piedmont League. He combined to go 13-5, 2.79 in 168 innings, with better results at the higher level. Lombardi lost the 1943-44 seasons while serving during WWII, but when he returned he went right to the majors. He began his big league career with the 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers, going 10-11, 3.31 in 203.2 innings over 24 starts and 14 relief appearances. He had nine complete games and four saves (not an official stat at the time). He followed that up with 13-10, 2.89 record in 1946, making 25 starts and 16 relief appearances, while throwing a total of 193 innings. He completed 13 starts that year, pitching two shutouts, while picking up three saves. The next year saw similar results in a little less work. Lombardi went 12-11, 2.99 in 174.2 innings over 20 starts and 13 relief appearances. He had seven complete games, three shutouts and three saves. His 72 strikeouts that year were a career high, and that marked the only season in which he had more strikeouts than walks. After the 1947 season, he was traded to the Pirates in a six-player deal that turned out poorly when pitcher Preacher Roe became a star in Brooklyn.
Lombardi won ten games (with nine losses) during the 1948 season for the Pirates, but his ERA slipped to 3.70 in 163 innings. The Pirates used him similar to how he was worked in Brooklyn, seeing his share of starts and relief games. He made 17 starts and 21 relief performances in 1948, finishing with nine complete games and four saves. He then had 12 starts and 22 relief games for the 1949 Pirates, finishing with a 5-5, 4.57 record in 134 innings, with four complete games and one save. Lombardi mostly pitched out of the bullpen in 1950, where he had an 0-5, 6.60 record in 76.1 innings over 39 games (two starts). That ended up being his final season in the majors. The Pirates cut his $8,000 salary 25% prior to the 1951 season due to his poor performance. That was the maximum amount that teams were allowed to cut salaries one year to the next. He was a holdout during Spring Training, then got sent to Hollywood of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League for the 1951 season. He went 10-11, 3.94 in 162 innings that year. On September 27, 1951, the Pirates sold his contract to Hollywood. In his three seasons in Pittsburgh, Lombardi made 31 starts and 80 relief appearances with Pittsburgh, posting a 4.60 ERA over 373.1 innings. He finished his six-year career going 50-51, 3.68 in 944.2 innings over 100 starts and 113 relief appearances, with 418 walks and 340 strikeouts. He was small for a pitcher, standing in at 5’7″, 158 pounds.
Despite never pitching in the majors after 1950, Lombardi’s pro career was far from over. He pitched for another nine seasons, spending most of his time in the Pacific Coast League. After 1951 in Hollywood, he moved to Toronto of the Triple-A International League for the next three seasons. In 1952, he went 10-8, 3.19 in 161 innings. The next year saw him go 11-8, 3.31 in 144 innings. In 1954, Lombardi was 9-7, 4.29 in 107 innings. He played for Seattle of the PCL in 1955, going 8-11, 3.61 in 182 innings. He split 157 innings in 1956 between Seattle and San Diego of the PCL. His ERA isn’t available, but he had a 9-10 record. In 1957, Lombardi went 6-6, 3.31 in 106 innings with San Diego. He had an 11-6 record and pitched 142 innings for San Diego and Portland of the PCL in 1958. In his final season, he went 4-4, 5.67 in 54 innings for Portland.
Red Juelich, infielder for the 1939 Pirates. Despite being just 22 years old in 1939, he already had four seasons of minor league ball before joining the Pirates. He debuted in 1935 with Lincoln of the Class-D Nebraska State League at 18 years old. He hit .282 with 28 extra-base hits in 105 games that season. The next year he moved to Martinsville of the Class-D Bi-State League, where he batted .295 with 94 runs, 39 extra-base hits, 71 RBIs and 14 steals in 110 games. Juelich moved up four levels to Rochester of the Double-A International League (highest level of the minors at the time), where he spent the 1937-38 seasons. He hit .309 with 32 extra-base hits in 142 games during his first year in Rochester, then batted .262 with 93 runs, 33 extra-base hits, 60 RBIs, 69 walks and a .683 OPS in 156 games in 1958. He was acquired by the Pirates as a Rule 5 draft pick on October 4, 1938. He was set to fight for a job during Spring Training, but he impressed manager Pie Traynor so much early on that local papers on March 13th already declared that he was guaranteed to have an Opening Day spot.
Juelich hit .239/.271/.326 in 50 plate appearances over 17 games during his only season in the majors. Despite that low game total, he was with the Pirates for the entire year and he played just six games before September 9th, two as a pinch-hitter, two as a pinch-runner and two starts at third base. Juelich saw regular action at second base over an 11-game stretch in September, then sat out ten straight games, before playing one inning at third base on September 27th, which ended up being his final big league game. Red (real first name was John, but he mostly went by Jack while in baseball) played a total of seven years in the minors. After his one season in the majors, he finished his pro career with three years playing in Syracuse of the International League. The Pirates sent him to Syracuse on Christmas Eve in 1939 as part of a package (four players and cash) to acquire 6’9″ pitcher Johnny Gee. During that three-year stretch, Juelich never hit higher than .239 in a season and he hit just one homer total. He batted .230 in 143 games in 1940, with ten doubles, seven triples and one homer. In 1941, he batted .194 in 58 games, with 11 runs, six extra-base hits, 12 RBIs and a .488 OPS. In his final season in 1942, Juelich batted .239 in 116 games, with 38 runs, 11 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs, 39 walks and a .588 OPS. By 1943 he was serving in the Army and never returned to baseball. He was known as an accomplished soccer player.
On this date in 1969, Bob Moose no-hit the New York Mets, the team that went on to win the World Series just 26 days later, and he accomplished the feat at 22 years old at Shea Stadium. They were also holding on to a slim lead for the division with ten games left in the season, so it was an important game at the time for the Mets. You can find the boxscore here, complete with play-by-play. Moose walked three batters in the game. It’s amazing when you look at the two lineups and think that the Mets were somehow the better team at the time.
Exactly 62 years earlier, rookie Nick Maddox threw the first nine-inning no-hitter in team history, defeating Brooklyn by a 2-1 score. The record books list this as the first no-hitter in team history, but that’s only due to a change made many years later that didn’t count shortened games as official no-hitters. I’m not sure what else to call an official complete game with no hits (they called them “no-hitters” for a very long time), but the Pirates had one by Lefty Leifield in 1906 and another by Howie Camnitz less than a month before Maddox pitched his game. So technically it’s the third no-hitter in franchise history. Maddox walked three batters, hit another and the Pirates committed two errors, which helped lead to the Brooklyn run. It was just his third big league start.