This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: October 17th, Pirates Win Two World Series

Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus two major games of note.

Mike Sandlock, catcher for the 1953 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball in 1938 at 22 years old with Huntington of the Class-D Mountain State League, where he hit .276 with 56 runs, 25 extra-base hits, 62 RBIs and a .736 OPS in 116 games. He spent most of 1939 in Class-D ball as well, playing in the Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York League (PONY League), where he hit .300 with 28 extra-base hits in 94 games with Bradford. He also saw time with Hartford of the Class-A Eastern League that season, then spent the entire 1940 season in Hartford, where he batted .234 with four doubles and a triple in 49 games. From there, Sandlock spent the 1941 and 1942 seasons with Evansville of the Class-B Three-I League. He batted .324 with 13 extra-base hits in 80 games in 1941, then came back with a .306 average, 27 doubles, 12 triples and four homers in 120 games the next year. Sandlock started his Major League career in 1942 at 26 years old for the Boston Braves, hitting a single in his first at-bat as a late September call-up. He played two games, but that turned out to be his only at-bat that season. He served in WWII in 1943 before returning to baseball for the 1944 season. He batted .100/.250/.100 in 37 plate appearances over 30 games for the 1944 Braves.  After being traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers in August, he hit .308/.385/.375 in 35 games for St Paul of the Double-A American Association to finish that year.

Sandlock played two seasons for the Dodgers, where he had the best season of his career in 1945. That year he hit .282 with 21 runs, 18 extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and a .751 OPS in 80 games. He started 40 games at catcher and another nine at shortstop, while also seeing some time at second base and third base. The next year was split between the Dodgers and St Paul. He hit .147/.216/.147 in 19 big league games that year, while putting up a .492 OPS in 37 games with St Paul, which was then a Triple-A level of play. He then spent the next seven years in the minors, the last two years as a member of the Pirates organization. Sandlock played for Montreal of the Triple-A International League during the 1947-48 seasons. He hit .222 in 101 games that first year, finishing with 34 runs, 11 extra-base hits and 36 RBIs. In 1948, he batted .264 in 79 games, with 26 runs, 11 doubles and 23 RBIs. He then saw time with Hollywood of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League for four seasons, playing at least 90 games each year. Sandlock hit .243 in 118 games in 1949, collecting 33 runs, 14 doubles, one homer and 54 RBIs. He played in a career high 140 games in 1950, hitting .297 that year, with 39 runs, 23 doubles, two homers, 32 RBIs, 49 walks and a .745 OPS. His stats slumped a bit in 1951 compared to the previous season, as he finished with a .248 average, 31 runs, 17 doubles, three homers and 38 RBIs in 90 games. He batted .286 with 36 runs, 31 RBIs and a .671 OPS in 111 games during the 1952 season. On October 11, 1952, Sandlock came to the Pirates in a five-player deal with Hollywood.

Sandlock returned to the majors in 1953 after a seven-year absence, making the Pirates Opening Day roster because of his ability to catcher knuckleball pitcher Johnny Lindell. He went 3-for-3 in his first game back, and for the first half of the season he was seeing regular duty behind the plate. He played just two games in September of that year, finishing with a .231 average, ten runs, five doubles, 12 RBIs and a .540 OPS in 64 games. Sandlock was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 1953 season. The Phillies had acquired Johnny Lindell in August (which is why Sandlock barely played in September) and they wanted Sandlock to be his catcher. However, Sandlock got hurt on a collision at home plate at the end of Spring Training in 1954 and never played for the Phillies. When Lindell was released on May 10th, Sandlock was sold to San Diego of the Pacific Coast League. That year he ended up hitting .183/.271/.223 in 80 games for San Diego, before retiring. In his five seasons in the majors, he hit .240 with 34 runs, 19 doubles, two homers and 31 RBIs in 195 games. We did a two-part interview with Sandock back in 2012, when he was the oldest living former Pirates player and second oldest living player. He passed away in 2016. Here’s the interview. Part one and Part two.

Chris Tremie, catcher for the 1999 Pirates. His four-season big league career consisted of 22 games over a ten-year time span, including nine games with the Pirates. He was originally a 41st round draft pick out of high school in 1988 by the Houston Astros, but chose to attend college instead. After four years at the University of Houston, Tremie was drafted in the 39th round by the Chicago White Sox. He played just six games during that first year of pro ball in 1992 and he went 1-for-16 at the plate in the short-season New York-Penn League with Utica. He played a total of 65 games in 1993, split between the Gulf Coast League, Hickory of the Low-A South Atlantic League (49 games) and High-A Sarasota of the Florida State League, combining to hit .179/.248/.240 with one homer and 22 RBIs. In 1994, Tremie spent the entire year with Double-A Birmingham of the Southern League, hitting .225 in 92 games, with 32 runs, 13 doubles, two homers, 29 RBIs and a .566 OPS. He moved up to Triple-A Nashville of the American Association in 1995 and struggled there in 67 games, hitting .200 with 13 runs, six extra-base hits, 16 RBIs and a .511 OPS, but he still got his first big league shot. It took him just three years from being drafted in the 39th round to debut in the majors, playing his first of ten games for the 1995 White Sox on July 1st. He went 4-for-24 with four singles in his limited time, posting a .367 OPS. The entire 1996 season was spent back in Nashville, where he posted a .219 average and a .556 OPS in 70 games.

Tremie was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the Rule 5 draft after the 1996 season. He ended up spending the 1997 season in Double-A, batting .203/.296/.268 in 97 games for Reading of the Eastern League. The Phillies sent him in a trade to the Texas Rangers at the end of Spring Training in 1998. He next appeared in the majors during that 1998 season, seeing two games with the Rangers, in which he went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. The rest of the season was spent with Oklahoma of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he hit .223 in 78 games, with 35 runs, ten doubles, 12 RBIs and a .566 OPS. The Pirates signed him as a minor league free agent after the 1998 season. Tremie spent most of the year with Triple-A Nashville, posting a .248 average and a .711 OPS in 47 games, but he also saw action with the Pirates in July and August. He was called up with Jason Kendall out for the year with a broken ankle. It looked like Tremie would get more playing time after the July 21st game in which Keith Osik got injured, but instead the Pirates acquired veteran Joe Oliver, who became the regular catcher. From July 22nd until he was sent back to Triple-A on August 15th, Tremie played one game. He ended up going 1-for-14 with a single, RBI and two walks. He was released after the season and would play just one more big league game.

Tremie spent the 2000 season split between independent ball and Triple-A for the Florida Marlins. He split 13 games that year between Newark and Atlantic City of the Atlantic League, hitting .200/.340/.275 in 50 plate appearances. With the Marlins, he hit .267 with a .740 OPS in 46 games with Calgary of the Pacific Coast League. Tremie then spent his 2001-05 seasons with the Houston Astros, seeing most of that time in Double-A. He hit .219/.300/.317 in 66 games with Round Rock of the Double-A Texas League, and eight games with New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League during the 2001 season. All of 2002 was spent with Round Rock, where he hit .231 in 50 games, with 15 runs, five extra-base hits and 19 RBIs. Tremie hit .243 in 93 games with Round Rock in 2003, finishing with 33 runs, 11 doubles, nine homers and 35 RBIs. He was back with New Orleans in 2004, putting up a .241 average in 70 games, with 23 runs, nine extra-base hits and 24 RBIs. He was a defensive replacement for the final inning on September 21st for the Houston Astros. He was called up for the last 15 games of the season after Brad Ausmus suffered a concussion. Tremie finished up his career with Round Rock in 2005, slashing .205/.263/.279 in 63 games. He played a total of 14 seasons in the minors.  He hit .146 with three runs, one double and an RBI in his 22 big league games. He made four relief appearances in the minors and allowed just one hit.

Mark Johnson, first baseman for the 1995-97 Pirates. Johnson played a total of 428 games over seven years in the majors, three spent with the Pirates, while also seeing action with the 1998 Anaheim Angels and 2000-02 New York Mets. The Pirates originally drafted him in the 42nd round out of Dartmouth College in 1989. He decided to go back to college for his senior year and then the Pirates took him in the 20th round in 1990. Johnson spent most of his first season in pro ball in Low-A with Augusta of the South Atlantic League, hitting .250 with no homers, 21 RBIs and a .670 OPS in 43 games. He also put up a 1.000 OPS in five games with Welland of the short-season New York-Penn League. The next season was split between Augusta and High-A Salem of the Carolina League, combining to hit .256 with 35 runs, 17 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs and a .753 OPS in 86 games. He was in Double-A for the first of three straight seasons in 1992, playing for Carolina of the Southern League. Johnson hit .232 with 40 runs, 24 extra-base hits, 45 RBIs, 16 steals, 55 walks and a .668 OPS in 122 games in 1992. He followed that up with a .233 average, 48 runs, 18 doubles, 14 homers, 52 RBIs, 66 walks and a .747 OPS in 125 games in 1993. The next year saw him hit .276 with 69 runs, 20 doubles, 23 homers, 85 RBIs, 67 walks and a .900 OPS in 111 games.

It took Johnson five full years to work his way through the minors, debuting on April 26, 1995, which was actually Opening Day during the strike-shortened season. He hit .208 with 32 runs, six doubles, 13 homers, 28 RBIs and a .747 OPS in 79 games as a rookie, while spending a short time in Triple-A Calgary of the Pacific Coast League (nine games) mid-season. He was with the Pirates for the entire 1996 season and he batted .274 with 55 runs, 24 doubles, 13 homers, 47 RBIs and an .819 OPS in 127 games. His average and power numbers dropped in 1997, as he split the season between the majors and minors. Johnson batted .339/.446/.609 in 34 games for Calgary, while hitting .215 with 30 runs, ten doubles, four homers and 29 RBIs in 78 games for the Pirates. He was lost on waivers in August to the Cincinnati Reds, who held on to him for a year and 13 days before being sent to the Angels, though he was in the minors the entire time with Cincinnati. He finished 1997 with three games for Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association, then played 116 games there in 1998, hitting .300 with 65 runs, 33 doubles, 22 homers, 75 RBIs, 68 walks and a .992 OPS. He got into ten September games with the 1998 Angels and went 1-for-14 at the plate.

Johnson spent the 1999 season playing in Japan, where he put up an .823 OPS in 125 games. He then returned to the U.S. as a free agent signing with the New York Mets. He spent three seasons in New York and saw minor league time each year. He hit .182/.333/.319 in 21 games with the 2000 Mets, while putting up 21 doubles, 17 homers, 60 RBIs, 67 walks and a .909 OPS in 94 games with Norfolk of the Triple-A International League. The next year saw him hit .254 with 17 runs, six doubles, six homers and 23 RBIs in 71 games for the Mets. He also had a .979 OPS in 42 games for Norfolk. He was mainly used off of the bench that year with the Mets, seeing 23 starts all season. He also played outfield 19 times that year, including 12 starts. Johnson played just 18 innings in the outfield during his other six seasons in the majors. In 2002, he had 61 plate appearances in 42 games for the Mets, hitting .137/.267/.275 with one homer and four RBIs. He had an .828 OPS in 77 games with Norfolk that year. Johnson retired after the 2002 season. He hit .239 with  117 runs scored, 40 doubles, 30 homers, 104 RBIs and 124 walks in 284 games with the Pirates. He was a career .232/.338/.402 hitter in 428 games.

Ravelo Manzanillo, reliever for the 1994-95 Pirates. His only other big league time besides his two seasons with the Pirates was two starts for the 1988 Chicago White Sox. Manzanillo originally signed with the Pirates as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1980, two months before his 17th birthday. He debuted strong in the Gulf Coast League in 1981, posting a 1.13 ERA in 48 innings. He moved up to Greenwood of the Class-A South Atlantic League for 1982, where he went 9-9, 4.97 in 157.2 innings, with more walks (109) than strikeouts (93). From there he pitched for Alexandria of the Advanced Class-A Carolina League, where he was 7-7, 4.44 in 105.1 innings over 20 starts and two relief outings, finishing with a 79:66 BB/SO ratio. The next two seasons were spent in Double-A for Nashua of the Eastern League. Manzanillo went 4-4, 4.24, with 62 walks and 50 strikeouts in 74.1 innings in 1984. The next season saw him go 6-10, 4.67 in 123.1 innings, with 62 strikeouts and 96 walks. He was released by the Pirates in May of 1986 without pitching a game that season, then played in Mexico later that year. He was dealing with a shoulder issue during the 1987 season. He signed with the Baltimore Orioles in January of 1987, but they released him in April without seeing a game. He ended up playing center field in an amateur league in New York that summer under an assumed name. Manzanillo signed with the Chicago White Sox prior to the 1988 season and made his two big league appearances in late September, giving up six runs in 9.1 innings. He actually spent that minor league season in A-Ball, going 10-6, 3.04, with 140 strikeouts in 130.1 innings, before making the jump straight to the majors.

Manzanillo spent the 1989-90 seasons in the minors for the White Sox. He went 8-7, 3.90 in 129.1 innings over 22 starts for Birmingham of the Double-A Southern League in 1989. He moved up to Triple-A Vancouver of the Pacific Coast League in 1990, going 7-3, 3.61 in 38 games (six starts), with 64 strikeouts in 92.1 innings. He spent part of the 1991 season in Triple-A with the Toronto Blue Jays, going 3-0, 3.42 in 23.1 innings for Syracuse of the International League. Manzanillo then played in China in 1992, posting a 7-6, 2.86 record in 116.1 innings over 17 starts. He played in a non-affiliated summer league in the Dominican in 1993, where Pirates scout Pablo Cruz saw him playing. Cruz was the same scout who signed him in 1980. Manzanillo made the Pirates Opening Day roster in 1994 and appeared in 46 games in relief during the strike-shortened season, going 4-2, 4.14 in 50 innings, with 42 walks and 39 strikeouts. He pitched just five big league games early in 1995, giving up three runs in 3.2 innings, before being sent to Triple-A Calgary of the Pacific Coast League, where he was limited to 12 innings due to injuries.

The Pirates released Manzanillo in October of 1995, and he then bounced around between the minors/independent ball, China, Mexico, and Korea over the next ten seasons before retiring in 2005 at 41 years old. He went 10-7, 3.15 in 142.2 innings in China in 1996. He signed with the Seattle Mariners in 1997, where he had a 6.52 ERA in 29 innings with Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League. In 1998, he started five games for Massachusetts of the Northeast League, posting a 2.65 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 34 innings. He went 10-5, 2.90 in 145.2 innings in Mexico in 1999. He remained in Mexico for the next two seasons, going 10-6, 3.55 in 157.1 innings in 2000, and 16-3, 1.52, with 202 strikeouts in 183.2 innings in 2001. Manzanillo pitched in Korea in 2002, putting up an 8-11, 4.32 record in 118 innings. He returned to Mexico for 2003, going 10-3, 2.36 in 118 innings. He was in Mexico in 2004, though no stats are available. He finished up in 2005 with a 6.98 ERA in four starts in Mexico. He had a 4-2, 4.19 record in 53.2 innings over 51 appearances with the Pirates. Manzanillo is credited with 140 wins and over 2,000 innings pitched during his career, though some of his foreign league stats are missing. His younger brother Josias Manzanillo celebrated his birthday yesterday. He pitched for the 2001-02 Pirates. They are one of 26 groups of relatives to play for the Pirates.

Hardy Peterson, catcher for the 1955 and 1957-59 Pirates. He played 66 career Major League games, all with the Pirates. He is more famously known as the general manager of the 1979 Pirates team. He held a front office position with the club from 1968 until 1985, and prior to that, he was a minor league manager for the Pirates for nine seasons. Peterson signed with the Pirates out of Rutgers University in 1950 at 20 years old. He played two seasons in the minors, then spent the 1952-53 seasons serving in the Army during the Korean War. Peterson played for Tallahassee of the Class-D Georgia-Florida League in 1950, hitting .275 with eight extra-base hits in 45 games. He moved up two levels in 1951 to Waco of the Class-B Big State League, where he hit .301 with 28 doubles, two triples and 12 homers in 148 games. When he returned from the service in 1954, he played for New Orleans of the Double-A Southern Association, hitting .282 with 22 runs, 18 doubles, three homers, 30 RBIs and a .743 OPS in 79 games.

Peterson began 1955 in the majors, despite missing Spring Training time with a leg injury. After playing one game for the Pirates, he was sent to the minors on May 10th, where he played 12 games with Williamsport of the Class-A Eastern League. He hit .286/.342/.400 during that short time. Peterson was recalled on May 29th and became the third-string catcher for the Pirates. His season ended early due to a broken arm from a home plate collision on August 25th, which also cost him the 1956 season when he required a later surgery. He hit .247 in 32 games for the 1955 Pirates, with ten runs, five extra-base hits and 11 RBIs. He returned to the Pirates in July of 1957 after 47 games with Columbus of the Triple-A International League, despite putting up a .176 average and a .504 OPS during that time. Peterson played 30 big league games that season, hitting .301 with ten runs, two doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs. The rest of his big league career consisted of two early May games in 1958 (2-for-6 with a walk) and two mid-season games in 1959, in which he batted just once. Peterson played for three Pirates affiliates in the minors during that 1958 season, seeing four games with Columbus, 39 for Salt Lake City of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, and 28 games for Lincoln of the Class-A Western League. He combined to hit .263 with ten doubles and 16 RBIs during his time in Triple-A.

Peterson played 95 games with Wilson of the Class-B Carolina League in 1959, where he was also the manager. He batted .262 with 29 runs, 13 doubles, two homers, 31 RBIs and 41 walks. The Pirates called him up on an emergency basis when catcher Hank Foiles was injured. Peterson played the final inning at catcher on July 18th, then caught five innings on August 8th, while getting just one at-bat. His big league time ended when Smoky Burgess pinch-hit for him in the 12th inning. finished his minor league career in 1960-61 as the player-manager for Burlington of the Class-B Three-I League. He hit .253 in 75 games in 1960, with 22 runs, five doubles, a homer, 25 RBIs and a 43:13 BB/SO ratio. Peterson dropped down to a .210 average in 23 games during his final season. He batted .273 in 66 big league games, with 17 runs, eight doubles, one triple, three homers and 21 RBIs.

Bert Maxwell, pitcher for the 1906 Pirates. He played four years in the majors, none consecutively, over a nine-year stretch. His only appearance with the Pirates was a start on September 12, 1906 in which he allowed six runs over eight innings. That game was his MLB debut at 19 years old. He spent the 1906 season playing for Montgomery of the Class-A Southern Association (highest level of the minors at the time), where he posted a 17-15 record in his third season of pro ball. Maxwell debuted in 1904 with Class-D Pine Bluffs of the Cotton States League, where he had a 10-11 record (No ERA’s are available from his early minor league years). He saw some time with Greenville of the Cotton States League in 1905, while also playing five games that year for Galveston of the Class-C South Texas League. So prior to joining the Pirates, he had very little pro time, especially at a high level of competition. The Pirates purchased his contract on August 25, 1906 from Montgomery, and it was said at the time that he would report to the team on September 15th after his minor league season was over. The scouting reports said that he had above average velocity on his fastball, good control and his changeup was of tough pitch to hit.

Maxwell ended up joining the Pirates early, arriving in Chicago to meet the team on September 6th. In his lone game with the Pirates six days later, the local press noted that he wasn’t much of a hitter, which played out true over his big league career (he was an .075 hitter in the majors). They also mentioned that his slow fielding cost him a run. Maxwell pitched an exhibition game for the Pirates against a local semi-pro team and lost 6-1 on September 17th. On February 9, 1907, the Pirates returned Maxwell to his team in Montgomery, where he put together an 18-19 record during the 1907 season. After leaving the Pirates, he also pitched in the majors for the 1908 Philadelphia Athletics, 1911 New York Giants and 1914 Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League. His last game with the A’s did not go well. After pitching just three times in the early part of the season, giving up six runs in seven innings, manager Connie Mack let Maxwell take one for the team on on July 17th against the Detroit Tigers. The game got out of hand early and he was given the ball for the final seven innings to save the bullpen. He allowed 15 runs on 17 hits and seven walks. As a side note, that same day the Pirates were at home celebrating Honus Wagner Day and they got shutout. Maxwell spent the rest of the 1908 season with Atlanta of the Southern Association, going 2-5 in nine appearances.

Maxwell pitched in the Southern Association during a majority of the 1909-11 seasons, broken up only by four late season games with the Giants in 1911. His career minor league stats are very limited until the 1912 season. He was with Atlanta and New Orleans during the 1909 season, combing to go 16-16 in 36 games pitched. In 1910, he went 14-18 for New Orleans, getting decisions in all 32 appearances he made that year. He had an 18-7 record in 26 games in 1911 before joining the Giants, splitting that year between New Orleans and Birmingham. He joined the Giants in September, and in three complete game starts and one relief appearance, he had a 2.90 ERA in 31 innings. Maxwell spent 1912-13 with Toronto of the Double-A International League, with Double-A being a level of the minors introduced in 1912. He went 19-14 in 236.2 innings in 1912. While his ERA isn’t available, it’s known that he allowed 3.35 runs per nine innings that season. In 1913, he went 13-14 in 222 innings, allowing 3.28 runs per nine innings. Maxwell’s time in the Federal League in 1914 with Brooklyn was his last season of pro ball. He went 3-4, 3.28 in 71.1 innings over eight starts and four relief outings. He threw his only career shutout in his first start of the season. He finished up with a 4-7, 4.16 record in the majors, with 123.1 innings pitched over 12 starts and nine relief appearances. His real name was James Albert Maxwell,  and he was introduced to Pirates fans as “J.A.”, but he was known as Bert.

Pop Dillon, first baseman for the 1899-1900 Pirates. When he joined the Pirates in September of 1899 for his big league debut, he already had seven seasons of minor league experience. There are almost no stats available from that time, which began with Bozeman of the Montana State League at 18 years old in 1892. He has no pro stats in 1893, but during the summer he was said to be pitching semi-pro ball in Decatur, not far from his hometown of Normal, Illinois. He was playing for Des Moines and Peoria of the Class-A Western Association in 1894, which was the highest level of the minors at the time, but it still took five more years to make the majors. He pitched for two teams in 1895, posting a 10-4 record in 108 innings for Ottumwa of the independent Eastern Iowa League, while also going 1-6 for Dubuque of the Western Association (then a Class-B league). He also spent time with Bloomington of the Class-B Western Interstate League that season. He has a 7-2 record in 12 games for Rockford of the Western Association in 1897, but he did almost no pitching after that point. He was with Rockford in 1896 as well, but he has no hitting or pitching stats available from that season. While his brief pitching record in 1897 was good, he did better at the plate, batting .328 in 106 games, with 102 runs, 23 doubles, 13 triples, seven homers and 27 steals.

Dillon played for Rock Island of the Western Association 1898, hitting .288 in 146 at-bats, with 31 runs, seven doubles, six triples and ten steals. He was purchased for $1,500 by the Pirates on September 4, 1899 from Buffalo of the Class-A Western League, and he played his first big league game four days later. His Buffalo stats aren’t available, but he spent most of that 1899 season with Scranton of the Class-A Atlantic League, where he hit .309 with 45 runs, ten doubles, ten triples, one homer and 26 steals in 61 games. Once Dillon joined the Pirates, he was in the lineup for every day for the rest of the 1899 season, batting .256/.286/.298 in 30 games as a rookie, with 21 runs, five doubles and 20 RBIs. He then went 2-for-18 during his brief time with the Pirates at the beginning of 1900. He hit .237 in his 35 games with the Pirates, with 21 RBIs and 24 runs scored.

Dillon was one of the few leftovers from the 1899 team to stay after the Pirates completed the famous 17-player trade with the Louisville Colonels in December of 1899, but he lost his job just five games into the 1900 season when the Pirates bought Duff Cooley from the Philadelphia Phillies and released Dillon. Pop (his real name was Frank) would finish that season with the Detroit Tigers of the American League ( In 1900 the AL was considered a minor league), hitting .291 with 57 runs scored, 30 extra-base hits and 25 steals in 123 games. He was still in Detroit in 1901, where he hit four doubles on the first day of the American League’s existence as a Major League . He batted .288 with 0 runs, 21 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs, 14 steals and a .716 OPS in 74 games that season. Dillon hit .206/.255/.255 with 21 runs and 22 RBIs in 66 games for the Tigers in 1902 before being sold to the Baltimore Orioles (Yankees franchise), where he played just two games before being released. He spent the rest of 1902 and the start of 1903 in Los Angeles, playing in two different leagues. He hit .340 in 83 games in the California League in 1902, then played in the Class-A Pacific Coast League in 1903, where he played 190 games (the team played over 200 games) and hit .364 with 49 doubles and 14 triples. Dillon played his final big league season for the 1904 Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers), where he hit .258 with 60 runs, 24 extra-base hits and 31 RBIs in 135 games. The next 11 seasons were spent back with Los Angeles, where he played over 1,700 games total.

Dillon batted .271 with 36 doubles, six triples and two homers in 216 games in 1905. The next season saw him hit .297 in 156 games, with 25 doubles and nine triples. In 1907, he batted .304 with 43 extra-base hits (33 doubles) in 181 games. Dillon batted .271 in 168 games in 1908, with 77 runs, 38 extra-base hits and 33 steals. In 1909, he hit .243 with 20 extra-base hits in 119 games. That was followed by a .239 average and 26 extra-base hits in 189 games in 1910. He batted .253 with 24 extra-base hits in 172 games in 1911. The PCL became a Double-A level in 1912. That year he hit .294 in 121 games, with 18 doubles and a homer. Dillon had 94 at-bats over 43 games combined during his final three seasons. He was a .252 career hitter in 312 big league games, with 146 runs scored, 44 doubles, 16 triples, one homer and 116 RBIs. His lone home run came four days after his four-double game with the Tigers. He played 21 seasons in the minors and eight of those years he was a player-manager.  Dillon is the cousin of Hall of Famer Clark Griffith.

George Nicol, pitcher for the 1894 Pirates. Before joining the Pirates, he had previously pitched parts of two seasons in the majors (1890-91), with poor control and moderate success in his five combined starts. He debuted in pro ball at the big league level in the American Association late in the 1890 season. He played for the St Louis Browns at 19 years old, posting a 4.76 ERA in 17 innings over three starts. In 1891, he spent most of the year in the minors, but got a chance to play for the Chicago Colts (Cubs), where he allowed 20 runs in just 11 innings, though only six of the runs were earned. He had two starts on back-to-back days in late July and faced Hall of Famers Old Hoss Radbourn and Cy Young. Nicol spent the rest of the season with Davenport of the Illinois-Iowa League (no stats are available). He spent the 1892-93 seasons in the minors, where he went a combined 44-33 for three different teams. He played for Rockford of the Illinois-Iowa League in 1892, going 16-16, 1.47 in 288 innings, with 230 strikeouts. His 1893 season shows a 1.34 ERA in 388.1 innings split between Erie of the Eastern League and Los Angeles of the California League. Despite seemingly having a lot of success that year, including a 28-17 record, he issued 214 walks and had 148 strikeouts.

The Pirates signed Nicol for the 1894 season, and he struggled in his nine appearances (five starts). In 46.1 innings, he went 3-4, 6.22, while allowing 58 hits, with 39 walks and 13 strikeouts. He batted .409 in his nine games with the Pirates. That season was a huge year for offense, so his pitching stats (outside of the high walk total) weren’t as bad as they seem. He also pitched for a local semi-pro team during the 1894 season, while still with the Pirates. That wasn’t completely unusual for the time, as it was a way for younger pitchers to get some work outside of real big league game action. On August 13, 1894, the Pirates traded Nicol to the Louisville Colonels, along with cash, in exchange for pitcher Jock Menefee. Nicol pitched very poorly in two starts for Louisville over the rest of the season, but played outfield in 26 games and hit .339 with 19 RBIs. His pitching records in the majors show a 5-7, 7.19 record in 91.1 innings, while he batted .347 in 43 games.

While with the Pirates in Spring Training, Nicol’s outfield play was getting rave reviews and they suggested that he could make it as an outfielder if his pitching didn’t work out. The next season he was back in the minors, taking up outfield full-time, playing until his retirement in 1905 without another trip back to the majors. Despite pitching in the majors in 1894, his minor league records (which are incomplete) show just nine innings of work in 1895 and nothing after that point. Nicol played 85 games during the 1895 season split between Milwaukee of Indianapolis of the Class-A Western League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He’s credited with hitting .351 that season, finishing with 69 runs, 27 extra-base hits and 28 steals. He remained with Milwaukee through the end of the 1899 season. The 1896 season in the Western League has no stats available. Nicol played 136 games in 1897, hitting .264 with 115 runs, 20 doubles, 17 triples, three homers and 28 steals. He batted .263 in 103 games in 1898, with 72 runs, 14 extra-base hits and 37 stolen bases. There are no stats available in the league for 1899.

Nicol joined the American League in 1900, during the only season that the league was considered to be a minor league level (Class-A). He played for Detroit, where he hit .258 in 73 games, with 31 runs, 16 extra-base hits and ten steals. He also saw time that year with Wilkes-Barre of the Atlantic League. In 1901, he played with Louisville/Grand Rapids of the Class-A Western Association (no stats available). Nicol has no pro stats for the 1902-03 seasons. In a 1904 recap of his career, it was said that he played in Detroit in 1902 for an unknown team (though they may have confused that season with 1900), then got suspended during the 1903 season because he refused to play for a lower salary. He played in Michigan to start the 1904 season, but an early broken ankle put him out for two months. He played for Decatur and Rockford of the Class-B Three-I League during the second half of the 1904 season, hitting .251 in 75 games. In 1905, Nicol reportedly had a deal with Providence of the Class-A Eastern League, but his only records during that last year in pro ball show a split between Peoria and Davenport of the Three-I League, hitting .223 in 98 games.

The Games

On this date in 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles at Memorial Stadium in game seven of the World Series by a 2-1 score to capture their fourth World Series title. Eight years later, they would repeat the feat, almost exactly the same way. Steve Blass threw a complete game in 1971, giving up just one run on an eighth inning ground out from Don Buford. It was the second win by Blass, who also pitched a complete game with one run allowed in game three. The Pirates had lost game six the previous day in extra innings by a 3-2 score.

The Pirates scored first in this game in the fourth inning on a solo home run by Roberto Clemente off of Orioles starter Mike Cuellar. It was Clemente’s eighth RBI of the series. He batted .383 in the playoffs (.414 in the WS) and was named World Series MVP. The other Pirates run scored in the eighth inning on a lead-off single by Willie Stargell, followed by a double from Jose Pagan.  This title was the first for the Pirates since 1960.

In 1979, the Pirates would defeat the Orioles again in the World Series, also in seven games, with both series ending in Baltimore on October 17th. This was a 4-1 win with Jim Bibby, Don Robinson, Grant Jackson and Kent Tekulve combining for the win. The Orioles took a 1-0 lead with a home run by Rich Dauer in the third inning. The Pirates got a two-run homer by Willie Stargell in the sixth inning to take the lead. Omar Moreno singled home a run in the ninth, then Bill Robinson got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 4-1. Stargell won the NLCS MVP and the World Series MVP award, then later team home the league MVP award.