Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date. Before we get into those players, current Pirates infielder Diego Castillo turns 25 today.
Bob Veale, pitcher for the 1962-72 Pirates. Veale was signed as a free agent out of college in 1958. The Pirates sent him to the Class-C California League where he struggled with his command, walking 55 batters in 63 innings with the San Jose/Las Vegas franchise. He also had 74 strikeouts in that short time, but he posted a 5.23 ERA. He was just as wild his second season while with Wilson of the Class-B Carolina League, but he was also much more effective, lowering his ERA by almost two runs from the previous season. He went 12-5, 3.49 in 147 innings, with 126 walks and 187 strikeouts. He then spent the next three seasons in Triple-A with Columbus of the International League, making 77 starts before finally earning a permanent spot on the Pirates. Veale went 10-9, 3.51 in 172 innings, with 119 walks and 150 strikeouts in 1960. He followed that up with a 14-11, 2.55 record in 201 innings, lowering his walks to 92, while picking up 208 strikeouts. He started the 1962 season in the big leagues, but lasted just over a month before being returned Columbus, where he had a 3.09 ERA in 134 innings, with 179 strikeouts. He came back up to Pittsburgh in late September to make three more appearances. Veale posted a 3.74 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 45.2 innings during his first season with the Pirates.
Veale was used out of the bullpen for most of the 1963 season. After an August 14th appearance lowered his season ERA to 0.70, the Pirates moved him to the rotation. He would start seven games that year, throwing complete game shutouts in two of them, and allowing no earned runs in another three starts. In fact, when Veale allowed five earned runs in 3.1 innings to the Dodgers on September 11th, that was more earned runs than he allowed the rest of the entire season (four) in 74.1 innings. He finished with a 1.04 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 34 appearances. He was a regular member of the Pirates rotation for the next seven seasons, making 242 starts over that time. Veale posted a career high 18 wins and led the National League in both strikeouts (250) and walks (124) in 1964. He had a 2.74 ERA in 279.2 innings, with 38 starts and 14 complete games. He was a two-time All-Star in his career, making his first appearance in 1965 when he went 17-12, 2.84 in 266 innings and struck out a career high 276 batters, though he also led the league with 119 walks. He tossed 14 complete games and threw seven shutouts. Here’s an in depth look at his 1965 season. He made the All-Star team again the next year when he went 16-12, 3.02 in 268.1 innings, with 229 strikeouts.He completed 12 of 37 starts, while throwing three shutouts. It was the third straight year he was among the top three in the NL in strikeouts.
Veale had his best win/loss percentage as a starter in 1967 when he went 16-8. That gave him 67 wins over a four-year stretch. Despite the record, his 3.64 ERA was easily his highest mark during that stretch. He pitched 203 innings over 31 starts and two relief outings, finishing with 179 strikeouts, while leading the league with 119 walks. Veale had three straight losing seasons from 1968-70, despite posting a 2.05 ERA in 1968 and a sub-4.00 ERA each of the other two seasons. He went 13-14 in 1968 for a team that finished 80-82. He struck out 171 batters in 245.1 innings, while leading the league with 94 walks. He threw 13 complete games, including four shutouts. The Pirates went 88-74 in 1969, but he had a 13-14, 3.23 record in 225.2 innings over 38 starts, with 213 strikeouts. He allowed just eight homers all year, giving him the best home run rate in the NL. In 1970, Veale went 10-15, 3.92 in 202 innings, with 178 strikeouts. That was his last season with over 100 innings. He did not pitch during the NLCS loss to the Cincinnati Reds that year. In 1971, he was moved to the bullpen and somehow posted a 6-0 record in 37 games, despite a 6.99 ERA in 46.1 innings. That was the only season that he made it into a postseason game with the Pirates, and it ended up being just one game, pitching 2/3 of an inning during the Pirates 11-3 game two loss to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.
Veale was once again in the Pirates bullpen to start the 1972 season, but it did not last long. After just five appearances, he was sent to the minors, where he stayed until the Pirates sold him to the Boston Red Sox on September 2nd. At the time, he had a 6.00 ERA in nine innings with the Pirates, and a 4-3, 2.82 record in 83 innings with Charleston of the International League. Veale finished his playing career with the Red Sox following the 1974 season, but he saw limited big league time during his 2+ years in Boston, and also spent some time in the minors. He tossed eight shutout innings for the 1972 Red Sox. That was followed by a 2-3, 3.47 record and 11 saves in 36.1 innings over 32 games in 1973. The 1974 season saw him go 0-1, 5.54 in 13 innings over 18 games with Boston, while posting a 4.80 ERA in 11 appearances with Pawtucket of the International League. He went 4-4, 3.45 in 57.1 innings over 56 appearances with the Red Sox, picking up 15 saves. While with the Pirates, he posted a 119-96, 3.06 record with 1,652 strikeouts in 1,868.2 innings. His strikeout total ranks him second all-time in team history, just 30 K’s behind Bob Friend, who pitched over 1,600 more innings with the Pirates. Veale’s 276 strikeouts in 1965 are the most in a season since the franchise moved to the National League in 1887. In franchise history, only Ed Morris had more strikeouts in a single season, and he did that two times while the team was still in the American Association in 1885-86. Veale turns 87 years old today.
Nate McLouth, outfielder for the 2005-09 and 2012 Pirates. He was a 25th round draft pick of the Pirates out of high school in 2000. He debuted in the minors in 2001 and stole 20+ bases each year until making the majors in late June of 2005. He batted .300+ twice, topping out at a .322 mark in 2004. McLouth batted .285 in 96 games with Hickory of the Low-A South Atlantic League in 2001, picking up 59 runs, 34 extra-base hits, 54 RBIs and 21 steals, while posting an .836 OPS. He moved up to High-A with Lynchburg of the Carolina League in 2002, where he spent two full seasons. He hit .244 with 58 runs, 36 extra-base hits, 46 RBIs, 20 steals and a .716 OPS in 114 games in 2002. He was better in 2003, batting .300 with 85 runs, 35 extra-base hits, 40 steals, 55 walks and a .797 OPS in 117 games. He had a .322 average with Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League in 2004. McLouth had 93 runs, 40 doubles, eight homers, 73 RBIs, 31 steals and an .846 OPS that season in 133 games. He attended the Arizona Fall League after the season, then moved up to Triple-A in 2005. He hit .299 in 109 games with Indianapolis of the International League that season, finishing with 64 runs, 28 extra-base hits, a .769 OPS and 34 steals. He debuted in the majors in late June, and while he didn’t stick during that first stint, he played a total 41 games for the 2005 Pirates, hitting .257/.305/.450 with five homers and 12 RBIs.
McLouth spent the entire 2006 season in the majors. He hit .233 with 50 runs, 16 doubles, seven homers, ten steals and a .678 OPS in 106 games. He started 55 games in 2007 and played another 82 off of the bench. He hit .258 with 62 runs, 21 doubles, 13 homers, 38 RBIs, an .810 OPS and 22 steals in 23 attempts. McLouth had a huge 2008 season, making the All-Star team and winning the Gold Glove. He led the National League with 46 doubles, and he scored 113 runs. He also had a .276 average in 152 games, with 26 homers, 94 RBIs, 65 walks, an .853 OPS and 23 stolen bases in 26 attempts. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in mid-2009 and failed to approach his previous numbers, bouncing around the majors, including the 2012 Pirates, until finishing up his career in 2014. McLouth was sent to Atlanta in a deal that netted the Pirates starters Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke, as well as outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. It was said at the time that he wouldn’t move off of center field for prospect Andrew McCutchen, which led to the trade. McLouth burned some bridges when he left Pittsburgh, which made his return in 2012 a bit surprising. His career completely fell off after leaving the Pirates, so he was not the same player when he returned. He hit .256/.349/.470 with nine homers and 34 RBIs in 45 games for the 2009 Pirates before the trade, then batted .257 with 20 doubles, 11 homers and 12 steals in 84 games with the 2009 Braves.
McLouth hit .190 with six homers and seven steals in 85 games during the 2010 season, finishing with a .620 OPS. He wasn’t much better in 2011, hitting .228/.344/.333 with 35 runs, four homers, 44 walks and four steals in 81 games. He returned to Pittsburgh in 2012 as a free agent signing, but he was released by the end of May after hitting .140/.210/.175 with no homers in 34 games. He signed with the Baltimore Orioles to finish out the season and hit .268 with 35 runs, 12 doubles, seven homers, 18 RBIs and 12 steals in 55 games. He was the starting left fielder for the Orioles in 2013 and played 146 games that season. He hit .258 with 76 runs, 31 doubles, 12 homer, 36 RBIs, 30 stolen base, 53 walks and a .729 OPS. He became a free agent at the end of the season and signed a two-year deal (with an option) with the Washington Nationals, where he hit .173/.280/.237 with one homer and seven RBIs in 79 games in 2014. He had right shoulder surgery in early 2015, which ended his season before it started. The Nationals bought out his option for 2016 and he never played again.
McLouth batted .256 over 515 games with the Pirates, with 276 runs,98 doubles, 60 homers, 196 RBIs and 64 stolen bases in 69 attempts. He was a solid offensive player in the majors, but despite the Gold Glove award, he was well below average defensively. During that award-winning season, he had a -2.1 dWAR, which was only his second worst season. Despite that poor number on defense, he was still well above average overall that season due to a 4.8 WAR on offense. He had a career .742 OPS in 1,045 games, while his OPS was .785 with the Pirates. He was a career .247 hitter, with 521 runs, 191 doubles, 101 homers, 333 RBIs and 133 steals. He compiled 5.1 WAR in 515 games with the Pirates (including -0.5 during his second stint), and he had 1.4 WAR in his other 530 games.
Corban Joseph, infielder for the 2019 Pirates. He was a 2008 draft pick of the New York Yankees, who selected him in the fourth round out of high school. He batted .277 in the Gulf Coast League during his first season, with 25 runs, 19 extra-base hits and a .793 OPS in 49 games. He moved up to Low-A in 2009, playing with Charleston of the South Atlantic League, where he hit .300 in 100 games, with 39 runs, 29 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and a .799 OPS. He spent four months in High-A with Tampa of the Florida State League in 2010, before moving up to Double-A Trenton of the Eastern League for the last month of the season, where his performance really dropped off. Joseph combined to hit .283 with 63 runs, 46 extra-base hits, 65 RBIs, 58 walks and a .776 OPS in 129 games. He played the entire 2011 season with Trenton, where he hit .277 with 75 runs, 51 extra-base hits, 58 RBIs, 59 walks and a .768 OPS in 131 games. He played in the Arizona Fall League after the season and hit .227/.287/.371 with eight doubles and two homers in 25 games. Joseph did well in 23 games with Trenton in 2012, then spent the rest of the season in Triple-A with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the International League, where he had an .840 OPS in 84 games. He finished the year with a .276 average, 59 runs, 46 extra-base hits, 62 RBIs, 68 walks and an .840 OPS in 107 games. He went 1-for-6 with a walk in two mid-season games for the Yankees in 2013, which came during a May 13th doubleheader. He actually had two other stints with the team that year without playing. The rest of the season was spent back with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he hit .239/.329/.383 in 47 games. His 2014 season was limited to 70 games with Scranton/WB due to two stints on the disabled list. He batted .268 that year, with 28 runs, 18 extra-base hits and 28 RBIs.
Joseph signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent for 2015, but he was released after 40 games in Double-A with Mississippi of the Southern League, where he had a .634 OPS. He finished the season with the Baltimore Orioles, playing for Bowie of the Double-A Eastern League, where he had a .734 OPS in 63 games. He then split the 2016 season between Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk of the International League for the Orioles. He hit .315 in 107 games that season, finishing with 46 runs, 19 doubles, eight homers and 46 RBIs. Joseph signed with the Washington Nationals as a free agent in 2017 and spent the entire year in the minors, splitting his time between Harrisburg of the Eastern League and Syracuse of the International League. He hit .275 in 89 games, with 36 runs, 17 doubles, seven homers and 40 RBIs. He then re-signed with the Orioles for 2018, beginning the year back in Bowie. He jumped to the majors for a short time in June, then returned in September. He hit .222/.263/.278 in 14 games for the Orioles, while posting a .312 average and an .878 OPS in 122 games with Bowie. He signed again with the Orioles, who left him unprotected in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, where he was picked up by the Oakland A’s. He hit .371 with a 1.006 OPS in 97 games with Las Vegas of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, which is a very hitter-friendly park. The A’s called him to the majors in August. Joseph was picked up by the San Francisco Giants from the A’s on September 3rd, just 13 days before he joined the Pirates. On September 16, 2019, the Pirates picked up Joseph off waivers from the Giants. He played nine games for the Pirates, going 2-for-11 at the plate, while seeing time at second base and right field. Despite spending time with three teams in the majors in 2019, Joseph played a total of 28 games in the majors that year, batting .156/.191/.250 with one homer.
The Pirates let Joseph go via free agency after the 2019 season and he signed with the Chicago Cubs for 2020, though he was released in May before the delayed/shortened season started. He signed with the Washington Nationals on May 29, 2021, but he played just 32 games in the minors that season between Harrisburg and Triple-A Rochester, then got released in January of 2022, and did not play that season. In three big league seasons, he played a total of 44 games for five teams, hitting .170 with seven runs, five doubles, one homer and ten RBIs. His brother Caleb Joseph played seven seasons in the majors and they were teammates on the 2018 Orioles.
Bill Wilson, utility player for the 1890 Alleghenys. He was a versatile player for the worst team in Pittsburgh Pirates history. Wilson played six different positions for the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys, a team that finished the season 23-113. He wasn’t much of a hitter, batting just .214 in 83 games, with 30 runs, 11 doubles, three triples, 21 RBIs and a team leader 50 strikeouts. He also wasn’t very good defensively, committing 60 total errors, including 35 behind the plate in just 38 games. A few times during the season, he was called on to umpire when the regular umpire was too ill or couldn’t make it to the game. It should come as no surprise that Wilson didn’t play in the majors again after the 1890 season until 1897 when he was with the Louisville Colonels. He was reserved by the Alleghenys after the 1890 season ended for 1891, and he was one of 20 players on their submitted list in early February of 1891, but he was released by manager Ned Hanlon on February 15th. While in Louisville in 1897, he was teammates with two future Pirates Hall of Famers, Fred Clarke and Honus Wagner. Wilson hit his first major league homer that year off a pitcher with a familiar name, Charlie Brown. Wilson was the team’s starting catcher and he hit .213 in 107 games, with 44 runs, 17 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs and a .530 OPS. Wilson also played with the Colonels in 1898, hitting .167/.213/.245 in 29 games through early June, then he bounced around the minor leagues until the age of 40. He also managed for at least two seasons in the minors.
Wilson’s career stats/stops are incomplete, but he debuted in pro ball in 1887 and last played in 1908. Baseball-Reference shows his pro debut as being in the majors with the Alleghenys, but I was able to track him down to the Iowa League in 1887, which isn’t listed as an official minor league. He missed the entire 1888 season due to a fractured hand, then he played with a semi-pro team called the Champlains, where he was signed by the Alleghenys on November 9, 1889, as talk of the Player’s League forming left them scrambling for the best talent before the 1890 season started. Here’s the interesting part of about Wilson’s career stats. After being cut by the Pirates, he signed with Kansas City of the Western League. That season’s stat line is attributed to a player named Willie Wilson, who played regularly during some of the years missing in Bill Wilson’s stats and he was also a catcher. Bill was often called William in print, so you could see the Willie name being used for him as well, which leads me to believe that they are the same player, especially since no bio information exists for Willie.
As far as minor league history credited to Bill Wilson, he was with Butte of the Class-B Montana State League in 1892. That’s the only thing between his big league stints, and there are no stats available. The mystery Wilson has four years worth of stats during that time, mostly spent with Minneapolis of the Class-A Western League. In fact, you can trace Bill Wilson on Louisville back to matching the four teams listed for “Willie Wilson” during that time, with almost all of the references during that time calling him Bill, so it’s a mystery where that name even came from. His obituary also connects him to those same teams. He played for both Spokane and Butte in 1892, jumping from Butte mid-season without giving his team any notice. He played semi-pro ball in 1893, then joined Minneapolis for two seasons, before playing for Columbus of the Western League in 1896, which is where Louisville drafted him from. After his time in Louisville, he moved around a lot, playing for multiple teams in the Western League, including Detroit, Omaha, St Joseph, Pueblo, Peoria and Kansas City. He played until 1904, then retired from baseball. In an odd twist, his online stats have him returning for a short time during the 1908 season, but that was actually a catcher named Hugo Wilson who was no relation. So Wilson’s stats are given to someone else, yet he takes stats from another player at the same time. He was an ornery fellow, not big, but a willing combatant, who took his share of losses. He was also a drinker, though he added into his Louisville contract that he would pay a fine if he drank during the season. At times he was called “Big Bill” or “Bad Bill”. His post baseball career was not a good one, with plenty of jail time, crime, drinking and he was murdered in a bar in 1924 at 56 years old.
Percy Jones, pitcher for the 1930 Pirates. Jones had a decent nine-year career, but his time in Pittsburgh was forgettable. He went 0-1, 6.63 in 19 innings for the 1930 Pirates, making two starts and nine relief appearances. That proved to be the end of his big league career. Jones came over from the Boston Braves right at the beginning of the 1930 season in exchange for Hall of Fame pitcher Burleigh Grimes and cash. Grimes was holding out in a salary dispute at the time. There were claims in the paper that the cash part of the deal was “close to $100,000”, which was an incredibly large amount for that time. It was clear that the cash was the main part of the April 9th deal when Jones was unconditionally released on June 23rd.
Jones pitched his first seven seasons in the majors for the Chicago Cubs, where he made his pro debut at 20 years old in 1920. He didn’t pitch his first minor league game until three years later. He pitched four times in relief that first season for the Cubs and gave up ten runs in seven innings. In 1921, he went 3-5, 4.56 in 98.2 innings, with three starts and 29 relief appearances. That was followed by an 8-9, 4.78 record in 1922, when he pitched 162 innings over 24 starts and 20 relief appearances. He threw seven complete games and had two shutouts. Jones had 46 strikeouts during the 1921 season, then dropped down a notch to 45 strikeouts in 1922, despite adding 63.1 innings to his total. He spent the next two seasons in the Double-A Pacific Coast League (highest level of the minors at the time), where he had a 16-17, 3.88 record in 267 innings for Los Angeles in 1923, then went 13-11, 4.38 in 218 innings for Seattle in 1924. He returned to the majors in 1925 for the Cubs, where he had a 6-6, 4.65 record in 124 innings over 13 starts and 15 relief appearances, with six complete games and one shutout.
Jones had his best season in 1926, when he went 12-7, 3.09 in 160.1 innings. He made 20 starts, ten relief appearances and he completed ten games, which was one off of his career high. He also set a high with 80 strikeouts, though it came with a career high of 90 walks. Jones went 7-8, 4.07 in 112.2 innings in 1927, with 11 starts and 19 relief outings. He nearly walked twice as many batters as he struck out, finishing with a 72:37 BB/SO ratio. The next year saw him go 10-6, with a 4.09 ERA in 154 innings. He started 19 games and pitched 20 times in relief that season, finishing with nine complete games, one shutout and four saves (not an official stat at the time). After the season, he was part of a five-player and cash deal with the Boston Braves to acquire the great Rogers Hornsby. With his trade for Burleigh Grimes a year later, that meant that he was traded twice for Hall of Fame players. In his lone season in Boston, Jones went 7-15, 4.64 in 22 starts and 13 relief appearances, throwing a total of 188.1 innings. He completed a career high 11 starts, and he threw his final career shutout. After his two months with the Pirates, he played for Columbus of the Double-A American Association, where he went 7-6, 4.12 in 107 innings to finish out the 1930 season, then went 2-0 in 18 innings over three games in his final season. It was said that on April 26, 1931, he suffered a broken back after a fall from the third story window of a hotel, which they guessed at the time that it would end his career. Jones finished with a 53-57, 4.34 record in 114 starts and 137 relief appearances, throwing a total of 1,026 innings. He had 49 complete games, eight shutouts and eight saves.
Joe Page, relief pitcher for the 1954 Pirates. Page was closer for the New York Yankees, well before the role was popular, and long before it became a one-inning role. He pitched multiple innings many times, surpassing the 100 inning mark in each of his first six seasons, while also occasionally filling in as a starter, something that is unheard of now (except for the “opener”). Page nearly started his career with the Pirates, who gave him a tryout in 1939, but didn’t sign him. He debuted in the minors in 1940 at 22 years old, playing for Butler of the Class-D Pennsylvania State Association, where he went 11-3, 3.67 in 98 innings. He moved up to Class-B in 1941, playing with Augusta of the South Atlantic League, where he went 12-12, 4.39 in 201 innings over 40 appearances. Page was exempt from the draft due to a leg injury as a youth, so he was able to pitch through the war years. He moved up to Newark of the International League in 1942, which was considered to be Double-A at the time, which made it the highest level of the minors at the time. Page went 7-6, 4.19 in 88 innings over 13 starts and seven relief outings in 1942, posting a 69:73 BB/SO ratio. The next year he had a 14-5, 3.05 record in 186 innings over 23 starts and five relief appearances, finishing with 119 walks and 140 strikeouts. He began the 1944 season in the majors, though he finished in back in Newark for the final two months, going 4-5 in nine games (only stats available). He went 5-7, 4.56 in 102.2 innings over 16 starts and three relief outings for the Yankees that year. In 1945, Page made nine starts and 11 relief outings for the Yankees, putting together a 6-3, 2.82 record in 102 innings.
Page went 9-8, 3.57 in 136 innings during the 1946 season, making 17 starts and 14 relief appearances. While not a recognized stat at the time, he picked up his first three career saves. He moved into more of a relief role in 1947, going 14-8, 2.48 in 141.1 innings over 56 appearances (two starts), while picking up 17 saves. He had 116 strikeouts that season, the only time he surpassed the century mark in a big league season. Page went 7-8, 4.26 in 107.2 innings in 1948, with 16 saves and a league leading 55 appearances. He appeared in a league leading 60 games in 1949, when he had a 13-8, 2.59 record in 135.1 innings, finishing with 27 saves, which was an unofficial all-time record for a season until 1961. His stats began to decline during the 1950 season and he was released prior to the start of the next season. He went 3-7, 5.04 in 55.1 innings over 37 games, with 13 saves during his final season with the Yankees. Page pitched briefly in the minors in 1951 and 1952, then didn’t play during the 1953 season. He made six appearances for Kansas City of the Triple-A American Association in 1951, then had a 2-0 record in three starts for Syracuse of the Triple-A International League in 1952. Despite throwing a shutout in one of those starts, he finished with a 9.00 ERA in 16 innings.
Page attempted a comeback with the 1954 Pirates that didn’t go so well. He had arm surgery in August of 1953 and showed up at Pirates Spring Training without an invitation, asking General Manager Branch Rickey for a tryout, which he was granted. Page started off spring at a batting practice pitcher and eventually worked himself into games. The Pirates signed him to a deal the day before Opening Day, nearly a full month after he joined the team. He made seven relief appearances for the Pirates, allowing 17 runs (12 earned) in just 9.2 innings. He actually started the year with 5.1 shutout innings over three appearances, but things turned disastrous quickly, and on June 1st he was gone. The Pirates released him unconditionally on waivers and no one picked him up, ending his career. He missed nearly three weeks in late April/early May due to a broken finger that reportedly happened during a fall at his home. Page was the active saves leader (76) when he retired. He finished with a 57-49, 3.53 record in 790 innings over 285 games (45 starts).
Luis Marquez, outfielder for the 1954 Pirates. Though they both played for the 1954 Pirates, Joe Page (see above) and Marquez were never teammates. Marquez came over from the Chicago Cubs in a trade on June 14th in exchange for outfielder Hal Rice. He played 14 games for the Pirates and went to the plate 14 times. He went 1-for-9 at the plate, with four walks, three runs scored and a sacrifice bunt. Marquez saw action at all three outfield positions during his brief time in Pittsburgh. On July 17th, he was outright released to Toledo of the Triple-A American Association, ending his big league career. Marquez played a total of 99 games in the National League, but he had a long pro career, and his Major League stats recently increased when the Negro Leagues were reclassified as Major League Baseball. He played 14 seasons in the minors and three years in the Negro Leagues, seeing his final action in Mexico in 1963. He hit .305 in 1,799 minor league games, .335 in the Negro Leagues and .182 in the National League.
With the Negro Leagues now considered to be the majors, Marquez, who was born in Puerto Rico, began his pro career in the majors in 1946 with the Homestead Grays (40 games) and the Baltimore Elite Giants (two games). While noting that stats from the Negro Leagues are incomplete (he was actually credited originally with 40 games total), he is credited with batting .314 with 31 runs, three homers and 28 RBIs in 42 games that season. In 1947, he batted .324/.385/.432 with 35 runs and 18 steals in 61 games for the Grays. In his final season in the Negro Leagues, he batted .290 with 32 runs scored and a league leading 15 steals in 41 games in 1948. He was an All-Star during those final two seasons. Marquez played 150 games in Triple-A in 1949, batting .288 with 100 runs, 43 extra-base hits, 52 RBIs, 35 stolen bases and a .737 OPS. Most of that time was spent with Portland of the Pacific Coast League (he also played 18 games with Newark of the International League), where he also played the entire 1950 season. With the extended PCL schedule in 1950, he hit .311 in 194 games that year, with 136 runs, 69 extra-base hits, 86 RBIs, 38 steals and an .819 OPS. Marquez was taken by the Boston Braves in the 1950 Rule 5 draft From Portland, then batted .197/.274/.254 in 138 plate appearances over 68 games during the 1951 season.
Marquez had a successful season with Milwaukee of the Triple-A American Association in 1952, hitting .345 with with 100 runs, 62 extra-base hits, 99 RBIs, 24 steals and a .951 OPS in 136 games. He played for Toledo of the American Association in 1953, where he batted .292 with 77 runs, 28 doubles, 13 homers, 81 RBIs and 37 steals. The Chicago Cubs picked him in the 1953 Rule 5 draft, and he went 1-for-12 at the plate in 17 games before his trade to the Pirates. After putting up a .496 OPS in 14 games with Pittsburgh, he returned to Toledo, where he hit .332 with a .913 OPS in 58 games to finish off the season. Marquez split 1955 between Portland (112 games) and Toledo (21 games), hitting .300 in 133 games, 70 runs, 42 extra-base hits, 65 RBIs and a .789 OPS. In 1956, he hit .344 in 155 games for Portland, with 122 runs, 27 doubles, ten triples, 25 homers, 110 RBIs and a .932 OPS. The 1957 season saw him drop to a .277 average for Portland in 167 games, with 92 runs, 31 doubles, 31 homers, 85 RBIs and an .826 OPS. His final season in Portland (1958) ended with a .266 average in 109 games, with 43 runs, 27 extra-base hits and 42 RBIs. He moved on to Dallas of the American Association in 1959 and had a bit of a resurgence, hitting .345 in 142 games, with 80 runs, 24 doubles, 18 homers, 78 RBIs and a .919 OPS. It was a one-year peak though, as he hit .264 in 144 games for Dallas-Fort Worth in 1960, with 30 doubles, 30 RBIs and a .698 OPS. Marquez played briefly for both Dallas-Fort Worth and Williamsport of the Class-A Eastern League in 1961, then finished his career with two seasons in Mexico. His MLB stats (including the incomplete Negro League stats) show a .284 average in 243 games, with 122 runs, 33 doubles, nine homers, 71 RBIs and 48 steals.
Gair Allie, shortstop for the 1954 Pirates. He was signed by the Pirates out of Wake Forest University in 1952 at 20 years old. He went right to New Orleans of the Double-A Southern Association, where he hit .216 with 18 doubles and nine homers in 155 games. That was an advanced placement for someone debuting in pro ball, so it’s no surprise that he didn’t put up great numbers that season. Allie played just 32 games for New Orleans in 1953, missing a majority of the season due to a broken leg. He batted .242 with three extra-base hits during that short time. He made the Pirates Opening Day roster in 1954 and started 92 games at shortstop and another 18 at third base. Allie hit .199 in 121 games, with 38 runs, 17 extra-base hits, 30 RBIs and 56 walks, but also finished third in the National League with 84 strikeouts. He finished with a .562 OPS. He returned to the minors for the 1955 season, where he played until 1961. Not many players have played 121+ games in their only season at the big league level (Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson played 152 games in his only season in the majors).
Allie went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1955, but he was cut nearly three weeks before Opening Day. He was competing with Dick Groat for the starting shortstop job, after Groat returned from a two-year stint (1953-54) in the military. Allie went back to New Orleans in 1955, where he hit .275 with 25 doubles, 15 homers, 77 RBIs and 105 walks, giving him an .826 OPS. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1956, but got cut even earlier that year, getting sent to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League on March 23rd. He batted .292 in 69 games that season for Hollywood, finishing with 29 runs, 16 extra-base hits, 21 RBIs and a .786 OPS. Allie missed the 1957 season while serving in the military, then went to camp with the Pirates in 1958, but got cut on April 1st. That was despite teams being able to carry extra players who were returning from the military without them counting against their 25-man roster limit. He went to Columbus of the Triple-A International League and hit .248/.354/.354 with 37 runs, 19 extra-base hits and 36 RBIs in 107 games during the 1958 season. On October 13, 1958, the Pirates traded Allie to Columbus for two players. He ended up playing for four different teams (none of them were Columbus) during his final three seasons of pro ball. The 1959 season was spent with Memphis of the Southern Association, where he hit .256 in 139 games, with 76 runs, 20 doubles, 13 homers, 50 RBIs and 99 walks. In 1960, he played for Chattanooga of the Southern Association, hitting .267 in 134 games, with 56 runs, 22 extra-base hits, 53 RBIs and 77 walks. In his final season, Allie split the year between Syracuse of the International League and Portsmouth-Norfolk of the Class-A South Atlantic League, combining to hit .192/.318/.228 in 42 games. He was one of the last Pirates players to wear the uniform #8 before Willie Stargell got it in 1962. He’s the only MLB player with the first name Gair.