Ten former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, including a member of the 1979 World Series champs. We also have one game of note.
Chris Volstad, pitcher for the 2015 Pirates. He was a first round pick out of high school by the Florida Marlins in 2005, taken 16th overall. He spent four seasons in their rotation (2008-11), then pitched for the 2012 Chicago Cubs and the 2013 Colorado Rockies before his stint with the Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 18 years old, posting a 2.22 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 13 starts and 65 innings pitched. His time was split between the Gulf Coast Leagues Marlins and Jamestown of the short-season New York-Penn League. He spent the entire 2006 season in Low-A Greensboro of the South Atlantic League, where he went 11-8, 3.08 in 152 innings over 26 starts. In 2007, Volstad pitched 126 innings in High-A Jupiter of the Florida State League, and then another 42.2 innings in Double-A with Carolina of the Southern League, combining to go 12-11, 4.16 in 168.2 innings, with 118 strikeouts. The 2008 season was split between Carolina and the majors. He had a 4-4, 3.36 record in 91 innings over 15 starts with Carolina, and he had a 6-4, 2.88 record in 84.1 innings with the Marlins. In 2009, Volstad went 9-13, 5.21, with 107 strikeouts in 159 innings over 29 starts for the Marlins. The record improved with a slightly better ERA in 2010. He went 12-9, 4.58 in 30 starts, throwing a total of 175 innings. He set a career high with 117 strikeouts in 2011, when he had a 5-13, 4.89 record in 165.2 innings over 29 starts.
Volstad was traded to the Chicago Cubs in January of 2012 and he had a rough season, going 3-12, 6.31 in 111.1 innings over 21 starts. Part of that season was spent with Iowa of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he had a 5.17 ERA in 12 starts. He became a free agent at the end of the year and signed with the Colorado Rockies, where he spent most of the season in Triple-A with Colorado Springs of the PCL. He went 7-6, 4.58 in 127.2 innings in the minors that year, and he appeared in six games with the Rockies, allowing ten runs and 19 hits in 8.1 innings. After playing winter ball in the Dominican, Volstad spent part of 2014 in the minors for the Los Angeles Angels and the rest of the year was spent in Korea. He struggled in both spots, with a 6.18 ERA in 39.1 innings with the Angels (Salt Lake City of the PCL), and a 6.21 ERA in 87 innings in Korea.
Volstad was signed by the Pirates as a minor league free agent prior to the 2015 season and he was designated for assignment shortly after being called up mid-season. He pitched two scoreless innings on June 24th, which ended up being his only appearance with the Pirates. He spent the rest of the 2015 in the minors after clearing waivers, finishing up with an 11-7, 3.18 record in 155.2 innings for Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League. He signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox in 2016 and ended up staying there for his final three seasons in pro ball. He spent all of 2016 in Triple-A with Charlotte of the International League, going 8-11, 4.79 in 176.2 innings. Volstad was 3-10, 5.57 in 118 innings for Charlotte in 2017, but he got a shot at the majors as well, posting a 4.66 ERA in 19.1 innings over six games (two starts). He was with Chicago for most of 2018, making 33 appearances, including one start. Volstad had a 1-5, 6.27 record in 47.1 innings that season for the White Sox, which was his last year in pro ball. He had a 37-58, 5.00 record in 772.1 innings over nine seasons in the majors. He made 126 starts, 44 relief appearances, and he had three complete games and two shutouts. After not pitching at all in 2019, he attempted a comeback in 2020 with the Cincinnati Reds, who released him early in Spring Training.
Dennis Lamp, pitcher for the 1992 Pirates. He was a third round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1971 out of high school. He made the majors in 1977 and spent four years with the Cubs, then moved across town for three more seasons. In 1984, he moved on to the Toronto Blue Jays for three seasons. Lamp then spent one year in Oakland and four years with the Boston Red Sox, before joining the Pirates. His minor league career started out rough at 18 years old with Caldwell of the short-season Pioneer League, where he had a 6.46 ERA in 46 innings, with 32 walks and 43 strikeouts. Lamp moved down to the Gulf Coast League in 1972, going 7-2, 1.93 in 70 innings over 14 games (six starts), while cutting his walk rate in half. He jumped to the Class-A Midwest League with Quincy in 1973, and also spent part of the season in the Double-A Texas League with Midland. He combined to go 8-8, 3.35 in 137 innings, with much better results and more work at the lower level. Lamp had a similar split in 1974 between the Class-A Florida State League with Key West, and a return to Midland, going 2-6, 3.22 in 109 innings. That split included a 1.74 ERA at the lower level. He also moved to a bullpen role this season with Midland, making all 24 appearances there in relief.
In 1975, Lamp spent the entire year in Double-A and had his first success at the level. He went 7-5, 3.33 in 127 innings with Midland, with nine starts and 28 relief appearances. The next year he moved up to Triple-A Wichita of the American Association. He had an 8-14, 4.06 record in 153 innings, with 25 of his 30 appearances coming as a starter. He repeated Wichita in 1977, going 11-4, 2.93 in 129 innings, with walking just 23 batters. He got called up to the majors in late August and posted a 6.30 ERA in 30 innings, making three starts and eight relief appearances. Lamp made 36 starts for the 1978 Cubs, going 7-15, 3.30 in 223.2 innings. He had six complete games that year and he threw three of his seven career shutouts. The next year saw his ERA rise just slightly, but his win-loss record improved greatly. Lamp went 11-10, 3.50 in 200.1 innings over 32 starts and six relief appearances. He threw six complete games again, and he recorded one shutout. He was never much of a strikeout pitcher, but his 86 that year set a career high. In 1980, he went 10-14, 5.20 in 202.2 innings, leading the league with 117 earned runs allowed. He made 37 starts that season, finishing with two complete games and one shutout. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox at the end of Spring Training in 1981.
Lamp went 7-6, 2.41 in 127 innings over ten starts and 17 relief appearances during the strike-shortened 1981 season. The next year saw him go 11-8, 3.99 in 27 starts and 17 relief appearances, with 189.2 innings pitched. He had three complete games, his final two career shutouts, and his first five career saves. Lamp took on a closer role during the 1983 season, helping the White Sox to a division title by going 7-7, 3.71 in 116.1 innings, with 15 saves over 49 appearances, which included five starts. He made three relief appearances during the ALCS and gave up an unearned run, though he didn’t allow any hits. He became a free agent after the 1983 season and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1984, he went 8-8, 4.55 in 56 games (four starts), with nine saves and 85 innings pitched. In 1985, he went 11-0, 3.32 in 105.2 innings, making 52 relief appearances and one start. He had his highest career strikeout rate that season (5.8 per nine innings) and he received mild MVP support, finishing 21st in the voting. In the playoffs that year, he threw 9.1 scoreless innings in relief. Lamp faltered the next year, going 2-6, 5.05, with two saves in 73 innings over 40 games (two starts). He signed with the Cleveland Indians in February of 1987, but they released him a month later, and then he spent the 1987 season with the Oakland A’s. He went 1-3, 5.08 in 36 games (five starts) and 56.2 innings pitched.
Lamp signed with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent prior to the 1988 season. He went 7-6, 3.48 in 82.2 innings over 46 appearances. That was the first year that all of his appearances came out of the bullpen, though he ended up starting just one game over his final five seasons. He was used in more of a long relief role in 1989 and had a 4-2, 2.32 record, while throwing 112.1 innings in 42 games. He picked up his final two career saves that season. The next year saw him get nearly as much work, though his results began to drop off. Lamp went 3-5, 4.68 in 105.2 innings in 47 appearances. He pitched in 51 games in 1991, going 6-3, 4.70 in 92 innings. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Pirates as a minor league free agent in early March of 1992. He was called up from Triple-A Buffalo of the American Association after three appearances as a replacement for Bob Walk, who went on the disabled list. In the last season of his 16-year career, Lamp had a 5.14 ERA over 21 relief appearances for the Pirates. He was released in mid-June when the Pirates claimed pitcher Jeff Robinson off of waivers. Lamp finished his career with a 96-96, 3.93 record, with 21 complete games, seven shutouts and 35 saves in 639 games (163 starts), with 1,830.2 innings pitched.
Jim Winn, pitcher for the 1983-86 Pirates. He was a first round pick (14th overall) of the Pirates in 1981, who was in the majors 22 months after he signed out of John Brown University. He is the last draft pick from that school, and the only drafted player from that school to make the majors. In his first season of pro ball, Winn pitched one game in the Gulf Coast League and he made 12 starts in Double-A with Buffalo of the Eastern League. Between both stops, he went 2-5, 4.30, with 50 strikeouts and a 1.22 WHIP in 69 innings. The next year saw him pitch just 34.2 innings, with time in A-Ball at Alexandria of the Carolina League, and Double-A back with Buffalo. He began the year in the disabled list due to an elbow injury. Combined he went 1-4, 4.15 over nine starts and one relief appearance. In 1983, he was pitching most of the season in relief for Hawaii of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he had a 3.96 ERA and three saves in 38.2 innings, with 22 walks and 22 strikeouts. Winn struggled in his initial trial with the Pirates at the beginning of that 1983 season, posting a 7.36 ERA in 11 innings over seven appearances. He didn’t return to the team when rosters expanded in September.
Winn pitched just slightly more for the Pirates in 1984, seeing separate stints with the club in July, August and September. He lowered his ERA to 3.86 in 18.2 innings during that second trial, but he still spent most of his time in Triple-A that year, going 6-1, 3.43 in 44.2 innings with Hawaii. Except for seven starts for Hawaii (5-2, 3.38 in 44.2 innings), the 1985 season was mostly spent in the majors. He pitched a total of 75.2 innings for the Pirates that season, posting a 3-6, 5.23 record in seven starts and 23 relief appearances. Winn had his best season in 1986, while making three starts and 47 appearances. He had a 3.58 ERA in 88 innings and picked up three saves, while setting a personal best with 70 strikeouts. Overall, Winn had a 4.47 ERA in 193.1 innings over ten starts and 86 relief appearances during his four seasons with the Pirates. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox for John Cangelosi during Spring Training in 1987. He lasted one full season in Chicago, posting a 4-6, 4.79 record, with career highs of 94 innings, 56 appearances and six saves. He was released after the season and signed with the Minnesota Twins, where he finished his big league career with a 6.00 ERA in 21 innings over nine outings during the 1988 season. Winn spent half of that season with Portland of the Pacific Coast League, putting up a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 29.1 innings. He also missed time due to an arm injury that bothered him for most of the season. The Twins released him in December of 1988 and he ended up having Tommy John surgery in April of 1989, but a shoulder injury during his rehab ended his career. He was 12-17, 4.67, with ten saves in 161 games and 308.1 innings over six big league seasons.
Jim Morrison, third baseman for the Pirates from 1982 until 1987. He was drafted three times before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies as a fifth round pick in 1974 out of Georgia Southern University. He originally attended South Georgia College, where he was drafted twice by the Pirates in 1972, taken in the fifth round in the January portion of the draft, followed by a first round pick (22nd overall) in the June portion. Morrison went right to full-season ball after signing and hit .259 in 75 games, with 31 runs, 11 doubles, five homers, 27 RBIs and a .697 OPS. He played briefly for Spartanburg of the Class-A Western Carolinas League, but a large majority of his time came with Rocky Mount of the Class-A Carolina League, which was considered an Advanced-A level. He remained with Rocky Mount for all of 1975, where he hit .288 in 140 games, with 98 runs scored, 24 doubles, six triples, 20 homers, 88 RBIs, 22 steals, 65 walks and an .854 OPS. In 1976, he skipped up to Triple-A, playing for Oklahoma City of the American Association for the first of four straight seasons. In 1976 he hit .289 with 79 runs, 17 doubles, six triples, 18 homers, 71 RBIs, 17 steals and an .841 OPS in 126 games. The next year Morrison batted .294 with 72 runs, 23 doubles, 12 homers and 71 RBIs. His OPS dropped 50 points over the previous season, but he still got a five-game trial with the Phillies in late September. He went 3-for-7 with an RBI and a walk.
Morrison split the 1978-79 seasons fairly evenly between Triple-A and the majors. He hit just .157/.235/.269 in 53 games for the 1978 Phillies, while putting up an .850 OPS in 54 games with Oklahoma City. He improved greatly on those big league numbers in 1979 after being traded to the Chicago White Sox on June 10th. Morrison was blocked in Philadelphia by Mike Schmidt at third base, so the trade gave him a chance to play. He was with Oklahoma City the entire time with Philadelphia that year and crushing the ball, putting up a .320 average, 37 extra-base hits and a 1.011 OPS in 79 games. He then hit .275 with 38 runs, 14 doubles, 14 homers, 35 RBIs, 11 steals and an .833 OPS in 67 games with Chicago to finish out the season. In 1980, the White Sox got him into all 162 games, with 160 starts at second base. He hit .283 that season, setting career highs with 40 doubles and 66 runs scored, to go along with 15 homers, 57 RBIs and a .753 OPS. He moved to third base during the strike-shortened 1981 season and hit .234/.261/.372 with ten homers and 34 RBIs in 90 games. The Pirates acquired him in a trade for Eddie Solomon in the middle of the 1982 season. Morrison lasted six seasons in Pittsburgh, playing more than half of his career games with the team. Prior to the trade, he was hitting .223/.279/.428 with seven doubles, seven homers and 19 RBIs in 51 games. After the deal, he batted .279/.309/.488 for the 1982 Pirates, with four homers and 15 RBIs in 44 games, though he only batted 96 times. He got 16 starts at third base that year for the Pirates, who had Bill Madlock starting at the position.
In 1983, Morrison was a utility man, who saw the majority of his defensive time at second base. He hit .304 with 16 runs, seven doubles, six homers, 25 RBIs and an .834 OPS in 66 games. He got more playing time in 1984, hitting .286 with 38 runs, 14 doubles, 11 homers, 45 RBIs and a .782 OPS in 100 games. He saw time at all four infield spots, though he saw twice as much time at third base compared to the other three combined. He slumped down a bit in 1985, hitting .254 with 17 runs, ten doubles, four homers and 22 RBIs in 94 games, watching his OPS drop 160 points compared to the previous season. Morrison got his chance to play full-time in 1986 after the Pirates traded away Madlock. That year he hit .274 with career highs of 23 homers and 88 RBIs in 154 games. He had 58 runs, 35 doubles and an .816 OPS. Late in 1987, the Pirates traded him to the Detroit Tigers for Darnell Coles and Morris Madden. At the time of the deal, Morrison was hitting .264 with 41 runs, 22 doubles, nine homers, 46 RBIs and a .726 OPS in 96 games. After the trade, he hit .205/.221/.333, with four homers and 19 RBIs in 34 games for the Tigers. Morrison finished his career in 1988, splitting his final season between the Tigers and Atlanta Braves. He struggled at both stops, finishing with a .181 average, a .482 OPS and two homers in 75 games/179 plate appearances. He had a .764 OPS in 552 games with the Pirates, hitting .274 with 57 homers, 241 RBIs and 180 runs scored. In his 12-year career, he was a .260 hitter in 1,089 games, with 371 runs, 170 doubles, 112 homers and 435 RBIs.
Jim Rooker, pitcher for the 1973-80 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 17 years old in 1960 as a hitter, spending his first three years in Class-D ball at an outfielder. He was with Decatur of the Midwest League that first year, hitting .221 in 69 games, with 33 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 18 RBIs and a .581 OPS. He actually put up strong stats after that slow first season, hitting .268 with 39 extra-base hits and 66 walks in 125 games at Jamestown of the New York-Penn League in 1961. His OPS improved 209 points that season. The problem was that he had 164 strikeouts, which is a lot now, but well beyond acceptable at that time. In 1962 with Jamestown, he improved to .281 with 101 runs scored, 16 homers, 80 RBIs, 27 steals and 66 walks, this time cutting his strikeouts down to 134. His OPS went up 41 points to an .831 mark. Rooker actually pitched three times that season and did poorly (ten runs in ten innings), but he didn’t make the move to pitching until two years later. He moved up to A-Ball in his final year as a full-time batter, hitting .272 with 82 runs scored, 12 doubles, 11 triples, 19 homers, 78 RBIs and an .851 OPS in 115 games with Duluth-Superior of the Northern League.
Rooker did split work between hitting and pitcher in 1964, playing most of the year with Duluth-Superior, though he also played 27 games for Knoxville of the Double-A Southern League. He had a .677 OPS in 104 games that year, to go along with a 5.29 ERA in 63 innings, with 60 walks and 51 strikeouts. The next year saw him take up pitching full-time, and he went 2-11, 4.15 in 115 innings, with 95 strikeouts and 70 walks. He spent time in A-Ball with Rocky Mount of the Class-A Carolina League, and he put in 47 innings with Montgomery of the Southern League. In 1966, he struggled in a brief stint in Montgomery, allowing 11 runs in seven innings, but he went 12-5, 2.05, with 99 strikeouts in 145 innings with Rocky Mount. That was followed by splitting the 1967 season between Montgomery and Triple-A Toledo of the International League, with solid/decent results at both levels. He combined to go 10-7, 3.46 in 156 innings, with 137 strikeouts.
Rooker debuted in the majors at 25 years old in 1968 and put up mediocre stats over five seasons before joining the Pirates. For the 1968 Detroit Tigers, he made two mid-season relief appearances, sandwiched between 14 wins, a 2.61 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 190 innings in Toledo. He allowed two runs in 4.2 innings during that first cup of coffee in the majors. He was traded to the New York Yankees after the season, but they lost him to the Kansas City Royals in the expansion draft. That opened the door for him to pitch full-time in the majors, though he was pitching for a poor team at that point. Rooker went 4-16, 3.75 in 158.1 innings in 1969, with 22 starts and six relief appearances. He made four minor league starts that season and dominated, with four complete games, three earned runs allowed, and 43 strikeouts in 36 innings. The 1970 season was his first full year in the majors. He had a 10-15, 3.54 record that year, with 203.1 innings spread out over 29 starts and nine relief appearances. He had six complete games, three shutouts and 117 strikeouts. He saw more relief work in 1971, going 2-7, 5.33 in 54 innings spread over seven starts and 13 relief appearances. He also spent part of the year with Triple-A Omaha of the American Association, putting up a 2.74 ERA in six starts. He did even better in eight starts with Omaha in 1972, posting a 1.74 ERA in 62 innings. He went 5-6, 4.38 in 72 innings with the Royals that season, making ten starts and eight relief appearances. In October of 1972, the Pirates sent Gene Garber to the Kansas City Royals to acquire Rooker.
Rooker immediately turned things around during his first season in Pittsburgh, posting a 10-6, 2.85 record in 170.1 innings over 18 starts and 23 relief appearances. He had six complete games, three shutouts and five saves, along with 122 strikeouts, which was briefly his career best. Rooker moved into a full-time starter role in 1974, going 15-11, 2.78 in a career high 262.2 innings, making 33 starts. He set career highs with 15 complete games and 139 strikeouts. That was followed by a 13-11, 2.97 record in 196.2 innings over 28 starts in 1975. He made one playoff start each year in 1974-75, giving up two runs over seven innings in his first game, followed by four runs over four innings in the second start. In 1976, Rooker had his best record for a season (15-8), though his ERA was up to 3.35 in 198.2 innings. He completed ten of his 29 starts that season.
Rooker went 14-9, 3.08 in 204.1 innings over 30 starts in 1977. He completed seven games and threw his final two career shutouts. His performance slipped in 1978 down to 9-11, 4.24 in 163.1 innings over 28 starts. He completed just one start and had more walks (81) than strikeouts (76). During the 1979 season, he went 4-7, 4.60 in 17 starts and two relief outings, throwing 103.2 innings. In the World Series that year, Rooker started game five with the Pirates down 3-1 in the series. He gave up one run over five innings and the Pirates ended up winning the game 7-1. In game one of the series, Rooker threw 3.2 shutout innings in relief. He pitched briefly for the 1980 Pirates before hurting his arm in his fourth start, which ended his career. He was 2-2, 3.50 in 18 innings that year. He went 82-65, 3.29 in 1,317.2 innings over 187 starts and 26 relief appearances for the Pirates, and he had a career record of 103-109, 3.46 in 1,810.1 innings in 13 seasons. He had 66 complete games, 15 shutouts and seven saves. He became a broadcaster after his playing career ended and remained in that role until 1993.
Dino Restelli, outfielder for the Pirates in 1949 and 1951. He debuted in pro ball at 19 years old in 1944, playing 38 games for San Francisco of the Double-A Pacific Coast League (highest level of the minors at the time, Triple-A came along in 1946). It was a strong debut, batting .343 with 19 RBIs and 23 runs scored, but he had to wait to build on that early success. Restelli missed the 1945 season while serving during WWI. He returned to San Francisco for part of 1946 and struggled in his return, hitting .103 in 26 games, with no runs or extra-base hits. He got back on track in 1947 and hit .292 with 61 runs, 20 doubles, ten homers, 55 RBIs and an .806 OPS in 119 games. He played 145 games in 1948, hitting .289 with 86 runs scored, 43 doubles, ten homers, 80 RBIs and an .827 OPS. He began the 1949 season still in San Francisco and had a breakout year, batting .351 with 47 runs, 21 doubles, ten homers, 65 RBIs and a .989 OPS in 72 games. On June 10, 1949, the Pirates acquired Restelli from San Francisco for pitcher Hal Gregg, outfielder Cully Rikard and an undisclosed amount of cash. Gregg was being sent to San Francisco on option, so he was still technically property of the Pirates.
Restelli hit .241 over 93 games during his two seasons in Pittsburgh, seeing most of his time during the 1949 season. He hit .250 with 41 runs, 11 doubles, 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 72 games as a rookie in 1949, with most of his time in defense spent in center field. He spent all of 1950 in the minors, spending part of the year with Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association, and a bigger part of the year back with San Francisco. He hit .302 with 75 runs, 20 doubles, 18 homers and 68 RBIs in 120 games between the two stops. He then returned to Pittsburgh for the first two months of the 1951 season. He hit .184/.225/.290 in 21 games during his second stint with the Pirates, getting just seven starts (all in left field). Restelli was sold to the Washington Senators in September of 1951, but the Pirates ended up being his only big league club. He spent a total of 11 seasons in pro ball, retiring after the 1955 season. He finished of the 1951 season with Hollywood of the PCL, hitting .282 with 32 extra-base hits and an .869 OPS in 76 games. Restelli played for four teams in 1952, seeing very brief action with Indianapolis, Tulsa and Oklahoma City of the Double-A Texas League, and Sacramento of the PCL, where he spent most of his season. In 69 games there, he had a .357 average and a .953 OPS. He batted .340/.388/.570 in 73 games in the Pacific Coast League with Portland in 1953. He remained in Portland in 1954, hitting .261 in 117 games, with a 209-point drop to his OPS. His finals season of pro ball saw him play 21 games for Portland and six games for Channel Cities/Reno of the Class-C California League. Restelli batted .316 in both stops that year.
Lino Donoso, lefty reliever for the 1955-56 Pirates. He was a 32-year-old rookie from Cuba in 1955, though that rookie status has been changed by recent developments in baseball. The Pirates acquired him from the Mexican League, where he had spent the previous four seasons. He also played Negro League ball in 1947, which is now included in his Major League stats due to MLB declaring that the 1920-48 Negro Leagues are now considered to be Major League Baseball. He went 5-2, 2.18 in 78.1 innings for the 1947 New York Cubans. Full stats aren’t known from the league as more research is being done, but that ERA is rated the best in the league at this point. The Pirates signed Donoso in February of 1954 and immediately assigned him to their affiliate in Waco of the Big State League, but he spent the 1954 season with Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League, which also had a working agreement with the Pirates. He went 19-8, 2.37, with 141 strikeouts and four shutouts in 205 innings with Hollywood that season, then opened up the 1955 season back there with a 3.26 ERA in 58 innings before getting called up to Pittsburgh. On June 15, 1955, the Pirates sent George Freese and Ben Wade to Hollywood to acquire the rights of Donoso, in a move that was said to be done to help balance their bullpen by adding a lefty. Donoso went 4-6, 5.31 in 95 innings with the Pirates, making nine starts and 16 relief appearances. His 1956 season consisted of spending the first few weeks in the majors, which saw him throw a total of 1.2 scoreless innings over three appearances. He was sent to the minors on May 3rd and remained there until 1962, spending most of that time back in the Mexican League.
Donoso finished the 1956 season split between Hollywood, where he went 2-2, 5.09 in 46 innings, and Mexico City of the Mexican League, where he was 6-4, 2.90 in 93 innings. He played for the Pirates Triple-A affiliate in Columbus of the International League in 1957, but a majority of the year was spent back with Mexico City. He went 1-2, 4.74 in 38 innings with Columbus, and 8-2, 2.57 in 112 innings with Mexico City. He pitched once for Mexico City in 1958, then spent the rest of the year in the Class-C Arizona-Mexico League, where he was 16-14, 3.19 in 234 innings. His last four seasons (1959-62) were spent with Veracruz of the Mexican League, and he saw his workload drop every season, starting with 212 innings in 1959, working his way down to 100 innings in his final season. Donoso went 16-10, 2.84 in 1959, followed by a 13-9, 4.17 record in 175 innings in 1960. In 1961, he had a 10-6, 4.84 record in 160 innings. His final season at 39 years old saw him go 4-7, 3.15 in 13 starts and nine relief outings. His name can often be found in old newspapers misspelled as “Dinoso”.
Johnny Mokan, outfielder for the 1921-22 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 21 years old in 1917, playing 86 games for Fort Dodge of the Class-D Central Association, where he posted a .274 average. Mokan played for three teams in 1918, seeing time in the Class-B Texas League with Waco, Class-A Southern Association with Chattanooga and Double-A International League with Toronto. While his full stats are incomplete, they show that he hit .301 with 32 extra-base hits in 69 games in the Texas League and .212 with ten extra-base hits in 55 games with Toronto. In 1919, he spent the entire season with Waco, hitting .258 with 40 extra-base hits in 145 games. A large majority of the 1920 season was spent with Wichita Falls of the Texas League, where he hit .303 with 39 extra-base hits in 150 games. He also saw brief time with Minneapolis of the Double-A American Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. On August 20, 1920, under the recommendation of scout Don Curtis, the Pirates purchased Mokan and his teammate Jimmy Zinn from Wichita Falls. Both were said to be reporting to the Pirates after their minor league season ended, but only Zinn got into a game with the 1920 Pirates. Mokan spent the first two months of the 1921 season with the Pirates, hitting .269/.333/.404 in 19 games before being sent to the minors. He wasn’t actually sent down to Minneapolis until July 27th, but he was sent to the hospital at the end of June that year due to stomach troubles and never returned to play until after he was optioned to the minors. He finished the season by hitting .336 with ten extra-base hits in 41 games for Minneapolis.
Mokan was back with the Pirates in 1922, and he batted .258/.327/.315 in 31 games, while seeing time again at all three outfield spots. His time in Pittsburgh ended when he was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies in July of 1922. Mokan remained there until his big league career ended in 1927. The Pirates actually tried to trade Mokan to Sioux City of the Western League for young outfielder Roy Elsh, but the Chicago White Sox said that they had a claim in on Elsh, so the Sioux City deal was called off and he was sent to the Phillies instead. Mokan hit .252 with three homers, 27 RBIs and a .698 OPS in 47 games to finish out the 1922 season. In 1923, he hit .313 in 113 games, with career highs of 78 runs scored, 53 walks, ten homers and 23 doubles. His .861 OPS was a high to that point, but he would top it two years later. In 1924, he batted .260 in 96 games, with 50 runs, 15 doubles, seven homers and 44 RBIs. Mokan played just 75 games in 1925, though he managed to set career bests with his .330 average and .905 OPS. He had 30 runs, 19 extra-base hits and 42 RBIs, while finishing with 27 walks and nine strikeouts in 247 plate appearances. He set a career high with 127 games played in 1926. That year he hit .303 with 68 runs scored, 33 extra-base hits and a career high 62 RBIs. In his final season in the majors, he batted .286 in 74 games, though lower power numbers (15 extra-base hits/no homers) brought him down to a .728 OPS. His career finished in the minors in 1928, splitting 90 games between Buffalo and Rochester of the Double-A International League. Mokan batted .291 in 582 big league games, with 282 runs scored, 98 doubles, 17 triples 32 homers and 273 RBIs. He hit .262 with 16 runs scored and 17 RBIs in 50 games with the Pirates. He was considered a below average defensive player, who finished with a -5.8 dWAR.
Joe Kelly, 1914 outfielder. He spent six seasons in the minors before the Pirates acquired him from St Joseph of the Western League. Kelly debuted in Tulsa of the Class-D Oklahoma-Kansas League at 21 years old in 1908. He hit .302 with 25 extra-base hits in 65 games. The next year he hit .243 with 55 extra-base hits in 120 games with Pittsburg of the Class-C Western Association. He was in the same league in 1910, playing for Joplin, where he batted .300 with 38 extra-base hits in 115 games. He moved up two levels to St Joseph of the Class-A Western League in 1911 and remained there for three seasons. Class-A was the highest level of the minors in 1911, but Double-A was added in 1912 and the Western League remained as a Class-A level. Kelly hit .271 with 40 extra-base hits in 166 games in 1911. He followed that up with .287 average, 38 doubles and 15 triples in 168 games in 1912. In his last season before joining the Pirates, he hit .318 with 47 extra-base hits in 161 games. On June 23, 1913, the Pirates purchased Kelly and his teammate George Watson after manager Fred Clarke saw both players on a scouting trip. The Pirates tried to get Kelly for the 1913 season, but the club owner wouldn’t give him up because he was the manager and captain of the team.
Kelly joined the Pirates in the spring of 1914 and started 136 games in center field that season, showing great range, but also led all National League center fielders with 19 errors. He hit .222 that season, with 47 runs, 19 doubles, nine triples, 48 RBIs, 21 steals and a .584 OPS in 141 games during his only season with the Pirates. After the season, he was sold to Indianapolis of the Double-A American Association. Kelly played 147 games for Indianapolis in 1915, hitting .300, with 107 runs, 20 doubles, five triples, 61 steals, 54 walks and a .723 OPS. He started the 1916 season back in Indianapolis, where he batted .298 in 35 games, with seven extra-base hits. Kelly made it back to the majors in July of 1916 with the Chicago Cubs, who then traded him to the Boston Braves in 1917, where he played his final three big league seasons. He hit .254 with 18 runs, seven doubles, two homers and 15 RBIs in 54 games with the Cubs. With Boston, he batted .222 with 41 runs, 20 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs, 21 steals and a .567 OPS in 116 games in 1917. He saw a little less time during the shortened 1918 season due to WWI, hitting .232 with 20 runs scored, six extra-base hits (four triples), 15 RBIs and 12 steals in 47 games. Kelly got called into the naval reserves that year just before his final two games during a July 4th doubleheader.
Kelly was back for the start of 1919, when he batted just .141/.154/.156 in 18 games in 1919, playing his final game on May 27th before going to the minors for the rest of his career. Kelly was a .224 hitter over 376 big league games, with 129 runs, 38 doubles, 22 triples, six homers, 117 RBIs and 66 steals. He played pro ball until 1930, spending the 1921-25 seasons with San Francisco of the Double-A Pacific Coast League. During that final season in San Francisco, the team also had Paul and Lloyd Waner patrolling the outfield. In 1920, Kelly played for Toledo of the Double-A American Association, where he hit .298 in 166 games, with 38 extra-base hits. In his first season in San Francisco, he batted .284 in 168 games, with 51 extra-base hits, including 39 doubles. Kelly hit .333 in 156 games in 1922, with 32 doubles, eight triples and five homers. He followed that up with a .348 average in 107 games in 1923, collecting 38 doubles among his 46 extra-base hits. In 1924, he batted .301 in 149 games, finishing with 55 doubles. The 1925 season was split between San Francisco and Vernon of the PCL, as well as Omaha of the Class-A Western League. He spent most of the year in Omaha, where he hit .323 in 95 games, with 26 extra-base hits.
Kelly returned to St Joseph of the Western League in 1926, where he had a .312 average in 141 games, with 22 doubles, ten triples and a homer. He played for Amarillo of the Western League in 1927, hitting .338 in 116 games, with 23 doubles, 11 triples and five homers. He dropped down to the Class-B South Atlantic League for the 1928-29 seasons, playing both years with Columbia. Kelly hit .327 with 28 extra-base hits in 137 games in 1928. That was followed by a .292 average and 30 extra-base hits in 147 games in 1929. His final season was spent with Oklahoma City of the Western League, though he hit just .061 in 16 games. He was a player-manager for each of his final five seasons. Including his big league stats, Kelly had 3,200 hits as a pro.
Cy Neighbors, outfielder for the 1908 Pirates. He played left field for the Pirates during the final inning on April 29, 1908, and then never played in the majors again. Neighbors spent 14 seasons in the minors. In the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs on April 29, 1908, Fred Clarke sent in a pinch-hitter for himself, putting in backup catcher Paddy O’Connor. He singled home a run to make it 1-1, and then the Pirates took the lead on a Honus Wagner single. Without that hit from O’Connor, which was his first MLB hit, Neighbors wouldn’t have been used that day. When they came out on defense for the bottom of the ninth, Neighbors took Clarke’s position in left field and watched Lefty Leifield close out the game with two strikeouts and a grounder to second base. His debut/only game nearly flew under the radar when none of the local papers included him in the boxscore. Just a few papers around the U.S. on April 30th actually mentioned him by name. A short time later, Neighbors was sent to Kansas City of the American Association, where he remained for the duration of the season. While his minor league stats aren’t complete, the known games (over 1,400) show that he was a .302 hitter in those games.
Neighbors debuted in pro ball in 1905 at 24 years old, splitting his first season between Duluth of the Class-D Northern League, and Toledo of the Class-A American Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. Neighbors batted .294 in 111 games that season. The 1906 season was spent with Burlington of the Class-D Iowa League of Professional Baseball Clubs, where he hit .320 in 121 games. He was back in A-Ball in 1907, hitting .268 with 63 runs and 20 steals in 137 games for Memphis of Southern Association. The Pirates picked him up in the Rule 5 draft after the 1907 season, paying $1,000 to acquire his rights. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1908 and made quite an impression early while playing another sport, showing off his billiards skills. The early scouting reports said that he had a strong arm and a fine eye at the plate. His Spring Training was immediately slowed by an infection/hospitalization he received from a laceration on his hand, which kept him out of action for a week. Neighbors made the Opening Day roster and accompanied the team on a trip to St Louis to start the season, but when that three-game series ended, five players went from St Louis to Pittsburgh, while the rest of the team went to Cincinnati for three games. He remained with the Pirates for ten days after his lone big league game before being released on May 9th. During his time in Pittsburgh, he was mostly referred to by his first name of Cecil, but Cy was an often used nickname. His bio online doesn’t have what hand he threw with listed, but there’s a photo of him in a Pirates uniform showing that he threw right-handed.
Neighbors hit .283 in 122 games for Kansas City over the rest of the 1908 season, finishing with 66 runs, 21 extra-base hits and 26 steals. The 1909 season saw him split the year between three teams, including his old teams in Kansas City and Memphis, as well as Mobile of the Southern Association. The limited stats show him with a .235 average in 103 games. The 1910-11 seasons were spent with Sioux City of the Class-A Western League. He hit .333 with 43 extra-base hits (35 doubles) in 166 games in 1910. In 1911, he batted .323 in 114 games, with 28 extra-base hits. Neighbors moved to Tacoma of the Class-B Northwestern League in 1912 for the first of three seasons. While it appears he dropped one level, Class-A was the highest level until 1912 when Double-A came along, so he was actually three steps below the majors in Tacoma. He hit .305 with 30 extra-base hits in 164 games in 1912, then followed it up with a .287 average and 23 extra-base hits in 152 games in 1913. In his final year with Tacoma, Neighbors hit .315 in 148 games, with 68 runs, 33 extra-base hits and 20 steals.
Neighbors joined Spokane of the Northwestern League in 1915, where he hit .308 in 143 games, with 31 extra-base hits. From that point on, few stats are available and his play was sporadic in pro ball. He split 1916 between Spokane and Seattle of the same league, getting credited with 39 games played. He has no 1917 pro stats, as he retired for a time to own a billiards hall, though he did play some semi-pro ball late that year. He returned to Spokane of the Pacific Coast International League in 1918, while also seeing time with Vancouver in the same league, and he spent time with two different semi-pro teams. He played semi-pro ball in 1919, then reappeared in the Pacific Coast International League in 1920 at 39 years old with Victoria, where he hit .264 in 28 games. He was originally signed for Victoria for 1921, but he ended up playing semi-pro ball instead.
On this date in 1956, the Pirates drew 44,932 fans, the largest crowd in Forbes Field history. The Pirates lost 8-3 to the Dodgers, although the game was suspended due to rain in the ninth inning and finished the next day. The paper the next day said that between 8,000 and 10,000 fans were turned away at the gate and one fan died during the game. Here’s the boxscore.