This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: November 24th, Al Martin, Bob Friend and Ed Doheny

Nine former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including one of the best pitchers in franchise history. We also have one early transaction of note.

Bob Friend, pitcher for the 1951-65 Pirates. He won 191 games in Pittsburgh, including 22 in 1958, and he holds the team records for innings pitched (3,480.1), strikeouts (1,682) and games started (477). Unfortunately for Friend, he also suffered through the early 1950s with some of the worst Pirates teams ever, so despite a 3.55 ERA during his time with the team, he lost 218 games. He won 18 games during the 1960 World Series winning season. His 42.3 WAR in Pittsburgh ranks him 12th in team history and third among all pitchers, trailing just Wilbur Cooper and Babe Adams.

The Pirates signed Friend at 18 years old in 1949, and it took him just two years to make it to the majors. His entire minor league career consisted of 246 innings in 1950. He didn’t even dominate as you would expect from someone who made that quick jump to the majors. He went 12-9, 3.08 in 190 innings for Waco of the Class-B Big State League. He also pitched three levels higher for Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association, where he went 2-4, 5.46 in 56 innings. His first four seasons playing for those bad 1950s teams were all very similar. He had a losing record, with an ERA over 4.00, while putting in an average of 170 innings. As a rookie at age 20 in 1951, he made 22 starts and 12 relief appearances, posting a 6-10, 4.27 record in 149.2 innings. Despite holding the team’s all-time record for strikeouts, he had just 41 during that first season. The Pirates went 42-112 in 1952 and he had a 7-17, 4.18 record in 185 innings over 23 starts and 12 relief appearances. He had more walks than strikeouts for a second straight season, finishing with an 84:75 BB/SO ratio. The Pirates went 50-104 in 1953 and Friend had an 8-11, 4.90 record, with 24 starts, eight relief appearances and 170.2 innings pitched. The Pirates suffered through a 53-101 season in 1954, and he had another drop in performance, going 7-12, 5.07 in 170.1 innings, with 20 starts and 15 relief outings. He completed four games and threw two shutouts.

Things turned around in a big way in 1955 for Friend when he led the National League with a 2.83 ERA, while going 14-9 in 200.1 innings. He actually saw more bullpen time than starting duty, making 20 starts and 24 relief appearances. He got mild MVP support, finishing 16th in the voting. He went 17-17, 3.46 in 1956, leading the NL with 42 games started and 314.1 innings. He was an All-Star for the first time that season and he finished 12th in the MVP voting. His 166 strikeouts that year not only represented the first time he reached triple digits in strikeouts, it was also his second highest career total. He also set a career high with 19 complete games, while throwing four shutouts. The next year was somewhat similar, with a 14-18, 3.38, once again leading the league in starts (38) and innings (277). He had 17 complete games, three shutouts and 143 strikeouts. The Pirates were 62-92 that season, which helps explain his won/loss record. Friend set his career high in wins in 1958, though he also led the league in both hits and earned runs allowed. For a third straight year, he led the NL in games started (38). He finished the year with a 22-14, 3.68 record in 274 innings, helping the Pirates to an incredible improvement of 22 games to an 84-70 record. He had 16 complete games and 135 strikeouts. He ended up placing third in the Cy Young voting and sixth in the MVP voting that year.

The Pirates and Friend had a tough year in 1959 when there were high expectations for the team. He led the NL with 19 losses (with just eight victories), and his 4.03 ERA in 234.2 innings was his highest during the 1955-65 time-frame. He completed just seven of his 35 starts that year, though he did manage to toss two shutouts. That ERA dropped to 3.00 in 1960, as he went 18-12 in 275.2 innings. He completed 16 of 37 starts, including four shutouts. His 183 strikeouts that year were a career high. Friend faced 1,118 batters that year without a single hit-by-pitch. He was an All-Star for the third (and final) year during his career, back when they played two All-Star games each year. While the Pirates took home the World Series title that year over the New York Yankees, Friend struggled in the postseason, giving up ten runs in six innings over two starts and a relief appearance. He went 14-19, 3.85 in 236 innings during the 1961 season, leading the league in losses for a second time in his career. He completed ten of 35 starts, while also pitching six times in relief. He had an 18-14, 3.06 record in 261.2 innings in 1962. He led the league with a career high of five shutouts, and he picked up 144 strikeouts. He was even better in 1963, though it didn’t show in the record. He went 17-16, 2.34 in 268.2 innings, with 12 complete games, four shutouts and 144 strikeouts.

Friend went 13-18, 3.33 in 240.1 innings in 1964. He completed 13 of 35 starts, including three shutouts. He had 128 strikeouts that year, he final season of a nine-year run with triple-digit strikeout totals. In his final season in Pittsburgh in 1965, he had an 8-12, 3.24 record in 222 innings. That was the last of 11 straight seasons with 200+ innings. He completed eight of 34 starts, with two shutouts. After the 1965 season, Friend was traded to the New York Yankees for pitcher Pete Mikkelsen and cash. While it was tough for Pirates fans seeing him end his career elsewhere, Friend was traded at the right time. He had a 4.55 ERA in 130.2 innings in 1965, in what ended up being his final season. He went 1-4, 4.84 in 44.2 innings for the Yankees, who sold him to the New York Mets on June 15th. Back in the NL, he went 5-8, 4.40 in 86 innings with the Mets, who released him shortly after the season ended. Friend finished up 197-230, 3.58 in 3,611 innings. He pitched 602 games, had 497 starts and he completed 163 games, with 36 shutouts. He holds many Pirates all-time record, both good and bad, due to his longevity. He’s the franchise leader in innings, games started and strikeouts, along with being the leader in hits allowed, runs allowed, walks allowed, home runs allowed and losses.

Al Martin, outfielder for the 1992-99 Pirates. He was an eighth round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves out of high school in 1985. He debuted in the Gulf Coast League, where he hit .232 with 16 runs, no homers, one steal, 19 walks and a .585 OPS in 40 games. He began 1986 in Low-A, playing for Sumter of the South Atlantic League. He hit .244 with 23 runs, five doubles, one homer and 24 RBIs in 44 games. When short-season ball began in July, he reported to Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League, where he hit .331 in 63 games, with 39 runs, 27 extra-base hits, 44 RBIs, 11 steals and an .886 OPS. The entire 1987 season was spent in Sumter. He batted .253 in 117 games that year, with 59 runs, 18 doubles, 12 homers, 64 RBIs, 27 steals and a .756 OPS. He was with Burlington of the Class-A Midwest League in 1988, where he batted .279 in 123 games, with 69 runs, 31 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs, 40 steals and a .703 OPS. Martin played for Durham of the Class-A Carolina League in 1989. He hit .271 in 128 games, with 84 runs scored, 38 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 27 steals and a .724 OPS. He moved up to Double-A in 1990, where he hit .242 in 133 games for Greenville of the Southern League. He had 64 runs scored, 32 extra-base hits, 50 RBIs, 20 steals and a .679 OPS. Martin split the 1991 season between Greenville (86 games) and Richmond of the Triple-A International League. He combined to hit .254 with 58 runs, 24 doubles, 12 homers, 56 RBIs, 30 steals and a .730 OPS in 130 games, putting up slightly better stats at the higher level.

Martin became a minor league free agent in October of 1991 and signed with the Pirates one month later. He played 125 games for Triple-A Buffalo of the American Association in 1992, where he hit .305 with 85 runs scored, 16 doubles, 15 triples, 20 homers, 59 RBIs, 20 steals and a .920 OPS. He debuted in the majors briefly in late July in 1992, then returned to the majors in September, playing a total of 12 games with 13 plate appearances. He went 2-for-12 with a triple and two RBIs. He was a regular for the Pirates during the 1993 season, hitting .281 with 85 runs, 26 doubles, 18 homers, 64 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and an .820 OPS, which earned him a fifth place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting. He was putting up similar numbers in 1994 before the strike shortened the season, finishing with a .286 average in 82 games, with 48 runs, 12 doubles, nine homers, 33 RBIs, 15 steals and an .824 OPS. When play resumed in 1995,  he put up a .282 average, with 70 runs scored, 25 doubles, 13 homers, 41 RBIs, 20 steals and a .792 OPS in 124 games. The 1996 campaign was his best career year, setting highs with  a .300 average, 101 runs scored, 40 doubles, 72 RBIs, 38 steals and 54 walks. When the Pirates were making their unlikely playoff run in 1997, Martin helped out by hitting .291 with 64 runs, 24 doubles, seven triples, 13 homers, 59 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. His .832 OPS was a career best at that point, though he would soon top that mark.

The 1998 season was a rough one for Martin, with a career worst .239 average and .660 OPS in 125 games. His only highlight was 20 steals in 23 attempts. He had 57 runs, 15 doubles, 12 homers and 47 RBIs. He bounced back in a big way the next year, setting career highs with 24 homers and an .844 OPS, while scoring 97 runs. For the second straight season, he went 20-for-23 in steals. He also collected 36 doubles, eight triples and 63 RBIs. He was dealt away during the 2000 off-season in a trade with the San Diego Padres for three players, including John Vander Wal, who had a huge first season with the Pirates.  Martin faded quickly after leaving the Pirates, playing three more seasons, spending time with the Padres, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He actually did well with San Diego in 2000, hitting .306 with 62 runs, 13 doubles, six triples, 11 homers and an .834 OPS in 93 games, before they traded him on July 31st to the Mariners. After the deal, he hit .231/.283/.396 with four homers, nine RBIs and four steals in 42 games over the final two months. He hit .240 in 2001, with 41 runs, 15 doubles, seven homers, 42 RBIs and a .712 OPS in 100 games. He didn’t play in 2002, then returned as a member of the Devil Rays in 2003, where he batted .252 with 19 runs, 12 doubles, three homers and 26 RBIs in 100 games. Martin’s career finished in 2004 after playing the season in Korea, where he had a .291 average and an .816 OPS in 107 games.  He was a .280 hitter with 523 runs scored, 178 doubles, 107 homers, 381 RBIs and 152 stolen bases in 897 games over eight seasons with the Pirates. He ranks 21st in Pirates history in home runs and 18th in stolen bases.

Kelvin Marte, pitcher for the 2016 Pirates. His big league career consisted of two September relief appearances for the Pirates in 2016. He threw 3.1 innings, allowing five runs, though they were all unearned. He signed with the San Francisco Giants at age 19 in 2007 as an international free agent out of the Dominican. He remained in the Giants minor league system for nine seasons until becoming a free agent after 2015. His career started off outstanding, posting a 1.62 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 61 innings of relief work in the Dominican Summer League. Marte pitched 42.2 innings of short-season ball in 2008, putting up a 2.53 ERA and 41 strikeouts. He split the year between starting in the rookie-level Arizona League, and relief work for Salem-Keizer of the Northwest League, where he had a 6.14 ERA in 7.1 innings. He pitched for Augusta of the Low-A South Atlantic League in 2009, where he was limited to just five starts due to an elbow injury that resulted in Tommy John surgery. He had a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings at the time. He saw limited action in 2010, as he rehabbed from the elbow injury, throwing a total of 37.2 innings over three levels, mostly spending his time back with Augusta. Marte pitched one game for San Jose of the High-A California League in 2010, then spent the season there in 2011, going 12-6, 3.47, with 84 strikeouts in 147.2 innings. He was out of action in 2012 from Spring Training until June. Marte struggled back in the Arizona League on rehab that year, allowing 17 runs in 12 innings. He went to San Jose and pitched much better in a hitter-friendly park/league, posting a 3.47 ERA in 36.1 innings. He tried to make up lost time in winter ball, but he ended up pitching one inning over four appearances, allowing three runs.

Marte spent the 2013 season with San Jose, making 15 starts and ten relief appearances, going 6-4, 3.67, with 80 strikeouts in 105.1 innings. He moved up to Richmond of the Double-A Eastern League in 2014, where he went 8-3, 3.83 in 87 innings over 15 starts and three relief outings. Marte then posted a 5.45 ERA in 36.1 innings over six starts with Fresno of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He pitched poorly in four starts in Venezuela over the winter, then returned to Richmond for his final year with the Giants in 2015. He spent that last season as a starting pitcher, going 10-6, 2.63 record and 77 strikeouts in 130.1 innings. Marte pitched well in Venezuela over the 2015-16 winter, posting a 2.79 ERA in 19.1 innings, then signed a minor league deal with the Pirates in January of 2016. He spent most of the season in Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League, where he had a 3.79 ERA in 73.2 innings over 34 appearances (four starts). The Pirates called him up on August 30th and he pitched back-to-back days on September 3rd/4th, recording one out in his debut, then allowing five runs over three innings in his second game. Two days after his final game, he was designated for assignment and sent to the minors, effectively ending his time with the Pirates. Marte had an outstanding winter season in the Dominican, going 5-1, 1.44 in 62.1 innings over 11 starts, but the Pirates still didn’t bring him back.

Marte signed as a free agent with the Miami Marlins in December of 2016, and spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League, where he made 32 appearances, getting occasional starts. He went 3-5, 4.50, with 69 strikeouts in 86 innings. He made 11 winter starts in the Dominican again, though this time it didn’t go as well, with a 4.05 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 40 innings. He pitched in Mexico during the 2018-19 seasons, pitching 90.2 innings over 18 starts and a relief appearance in 2018, followed by a 5-3, 4.97 record in 70.2 innings in 2019. He had a rough 2018-19 winter season in the Dominican, allowing seven runs in 1.1 innings. He then played in Venezuela over the 2019-20 winter, which ended up being his final pro experience. Marte had a 7.36 ERA in 7.1 innings over two starts, with 14 hits allowed that winter. He pitched a total of 1,189.1 innings over his pro career, making 183 starts and 139 relief appearances.

Jeff Salazar, outfielder for the 2009 Pirates. He was originally selected in the 35th round of the 2000 draft by the Baltimore Orioles out of Connors State College. He transferred to Oklahoma State, where in 2002 he was drafted in the eighth round by the Colorado Rockies. He debuted in pro ball with Tri-City of the short-season Northwest League, where he hit .235 with 38 runs, four homers, ten steals, 47 walks and a .680 OPS in 72 games. Salazar spent the 2003 season with Asheville of the Low-A South Atlantic League, where he batted .284 with 109 runs, 23 doubles, 29 homers, 98 RBIs, 28 stolen bases, 77 walks and a .914 OPS in 129 games. He also played one game for Visalia of the High-A California League. The 2004 season was split between Visalia and Tulsa of the Double-A Texas League. He had much better results at the lower level, posting a 1.005 OPS in 75 games vs a .643 OPS in 58 games with Tulsa. Combined he hit .296 in 133 games, with 118 runs, 31 doubles, 11 triples, 14 homers, 67 RBIs, 27 steals and 73 walks. Salazar split the 2005 season between Tulsa and Colorado Springs of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, with almost identical results in each spot. He combined to hit .271 with 89 runs, 30 doubles, 12 homers, 61 RBIs, 17 steals, 76 walks and a .789 OPS. Salazar played in the Arizona Fall League after the season, but he hit just .137/.180/.178 in 21 games. He was at Colorado Springs in 2006, where he batted .265 with 62 runs, 30 extra-base hits, 12 steals and a .790 OPS in 85 games. He made it to the majors as a September call-up that year and hit .283/.409/.415 with 13 runs, four doubles, one homer and eight RBIs in 19 games.

Salazar was selected off of waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks during Spring Training of 2007. He spent the next two seasons with his new team. He batted .277 in 38 games in 2007, with 13 runs, eight extra-base hits, ten RBIs and a .733 OPS. The rest of the year was spent with Tuscon of the Pacific Coast League, where he hit .299 in 108 games, with 76 runs, 50 extra-base hits, 68 RBIs, 18 steals and an .880 OPS. He had a 1.045 OPS in 24 games with Tuscon in 2008, then spent the rest of the year in the majors. Salazar hit .211 with 17 runs, five doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs in 90 games (24 starts) for Arizona in 2008. The Pirates signed him as a free agent on December 16, 2008, four days after being let go by the Diamondbacks. Salazar spent most of that 2009 season in Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League, where he hit .270 with 43 runs, ten homers, 39 RBIs, a .741 OPS and a perfect 16-for-16 in steals in 84 games. He saw his final big league time with the 2009 Pirates, going 1-for-23 at the plate in 21 games, while seeing time at all three outfield spots. He started just one game that season and finished up with a .197 OPS. After leaving the Pirates via free agency, he spent time in Triple-A with the Rockies, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays during the regular season, and played two years of winter ball in Mexico, before retiring following the 2012 season.

Salazar hit .252 in 117 games for Norfolk of the International League (Orioles) in 2010, collecting 59 runs, 14 doubles, 16 homers, 55 RBIs, 26 steals and a .724 OPS. He played 57 games that 2010-11 winter in Mexico, where he had a .279 average and an .845 OPS. The 2011 season was split between Toledo of the International League (Tigers) and back with the Rockies at Colorado Springs. He combined to hit .228 in 96 games, though decent power numbers led to a respectable .729 OPS. In the 2011-12 winter season in Mexico, he had a .272 average and a .904 OPS in 22 games. He wrapped up his career in 2012 with Durham of the International League (Rays), where he hit .216/.287/.327 in 68 games. Salazar was a .232 hitter in 168 big league games, with 44 runs, 15 doubles, four homers, 31 RBIs and 44 walks. Despite stealing 184 bases in the minors, he attempted just seven stolen bases in the majors and was successful five times.

Mike Edwards, third baseman for the 2006 Pirates. He was a ninth round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in 1995 out of Mechanicsburg Area HS (PA.).  It took him eight years to make the majors and he did it with his third organization. His first three seasons were spent with Burlington of the short-season Appalachian League. He batted just .169 with two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 43 games during his first year, leading to a lowly .460 OPS in a league that usually favored hitters. Edwards improved to a .282 average in 58 games in 1996, with 31 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 17 RBIs, a .763 OPS and more walks (37) than strikeouts (26). In his third year with Burlington in 1997, he hit .288 in 60 games, with 50 runs scored, 22 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs and an .810 OPS. He moved up to Columbus of the Low-A South Atlantic League in 1998, where he batted .294 in 124 games, with 82 runs scored, 34 doubles, eight homers, 81 RBIs, 16 steals, 66 walks and an .805 OPS. He advanced to High-A Kinston of the Carolina League in 1999 and hit .289 in 133 games, with 76 runs scored, 25 doubles, 16 homers, 89 RBIs, 93 walks and an .880 OPS. His slow climb continued in 2000 with a full season at Double-A, playing for Akron of the Eastern League. Edwards hit .295 in 136 games, with 72 runs, 25 doubles, 11 homers, 63 RBIs, 68 walks and an .810 OPS. The next season saw him play 52 games total, missing time due to injury. He batted .340 in his limited time, though he put up big stats in 20 games with Mahoning Valley of the short-season New York-Penn League. He had a 1.154 OPS for Mahoning Valley, a 1.016 OPS in 29 games for Akron, and he finished up with three games for Buffalo of the Triple-A International League.

Edwards became a free agent after the 2001 season and spent 2002 with the Cincinnati Reds, mostly in Double-A Chattanooga of the Southern League, along with 15 games at Triple-A Louisville of the International League. He combined to hit .318 in 134 games, with 64 runs, 24 doubles, 13 homers, 68 RBIs and an .848 OPS. He signed with the Oakland A’s as a free agent for the 2003 season. He hit .298 with 78 runs, 41 extra-base hits, 95 RBIs, 60 walks and an .853 OPS in 125 games for Sacramento of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He debuted in the majors in late September of 2003 and received six plate appearances in four games, collecting a single and two walks. He spent 2004 back in Sacramento, where he hit .287 with 91 runs scored, 41 doubles, 13 homers, 81 RBIs, 76 walks and an .816 OPS. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in November of 2004. Edwards spent the majority of the 2005 season in the majors, hitting .247 with 23 runs, nine doubles, three homers, 15 RBIs and a .639 OPS in 258 plate appearances. The Pirates signed him as a free agent on December 30, 2005, and he saw action with the big league club in late April, late May and late June of 2006. He had a .259 average and a .690 OPS in 92 games with Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League that year. He played 14 games in Pittsburgh, going 3-for-16 at the plate, with three singles and a walk, in what would end up being his final big league season.

Edwards re-signed with the Pirates for 2007, but he was released in late April without appearing in a Major League game. He played just three games with Indianapolis that year before getting his release. He finished his pro career with the Reds in Triple-A later that season, batting .256/.313/.369 in 46 games for Louisville of the International League. He batted .243 with 24 runs scored, nine doubles, three homers and 15 RBIs in 106 big league games. He had an .809 OPS in 1,178 games over 13 minor league seasons. The Pirates also had an infielder named Mike Edwards in 1977, who was no relation.

Ralph Comstock, pitcher for the 1918 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 19 years old on 1907, playing for the Mount Clemens Bathers of the Class-D Southern Michigan League. It took him six years to make it to the majors, no doubt due to a rough start in the minors. There are no stats available for his first season, but we know that he had an 0-7 record in the low levels during the 1908 season, playing for two teams in the Class-D Ohio State League, Marion and Lima. The 1909 season was spent with two teams in the Class-D Blue Grass League, posting a 5-8 record split between Shelbyville and Lexington. He pitched semi-pro ball in 1910 and made some noise when he tossed a no-hitter on July 16th with 17 strikeouts. He was back in pro ball in 1911 and he won a total of 25 games while pitching for three teams, with a large majority of his time spent in Class-D ball with Vicksburg of the Cotton States League, where he went 21-4 in 219.1 innings over 28 games. He also saw time with Austin and Oklahoma City of the Class-B Texas League. While individual stats aren’t available for those teams, it’s known that he went 4-0 in seven appearances, while throwing 43 innings.

Comstock moved all the way up to Minneapolis of the Double-A American Association in 1912, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He pitched 125.1 innings over 36 appearances, while posting a 6-5 record. His ERA isn’t available, but records show that he allowed 4.95 runs per nine innings. Comstock debuted in the majors late in 1913 after picking up 24 wins over two levels in the minors, playing for Minneapolis teams in both Double-A and Class-C ball in the Northern League. He had a 14-4 record at the lower level in 175 innings, while going 10-5 in the American Association. He actually came down with a mild case of smallpox prior to the start of the season and had to remain away from his team for a time in what was called a pesthouse. He pitched at the lower level until debuting with the American Association club on June 29th, a week after he threw a no-hitter. He was originally sold to the Chicago White Sox in mid-August, but days later it was said that the deal fell through and he went to the Detroit Tigers for $5,000 instead. That year he went 2-5, 5.37 in 60.1 innings for the Tigers to finish out the season. He spent all of 1914 and part of 1915 pitching for Providence of the Double-A International League. He went 9-12 in 179 innings in 1914, while allowing 4.19 runs per nine innings. Comstock saw time with the Boston Red Sox in April of 1915, and the Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federal League (a Major League at the time) for the last seven weeks of that season. In between, he went 15-6 in 177.2 innings, with 3.24 runs per nine innings while with Providence. He pitched just nine innings with the Red Sox that year (gave up two earned runs), and he had a 3.25 ERA in 52.2 innings for the Rebels.

Comstock spent the 1916 season with Milwaukee of the American Association, where he went 15-19 and pitched 244 innings in 38 appearances. He spent most of the 1917 season with Birmingham of the Class-A Southern Association, where he went 14-8 and threw 216 innings, while allowing 2.67 runs per nine innings. He also had a 2-0 record that year with Louisville of the American Association. He began the 1918 season back with Birmingham, where he had a 7-5 record and pitched 120 innings. The Pirates purchased his contract on June 17th. He reported to the team on July 2nd, then debuted the next day. Comstock pitched 15 games with the Pirates between July 3rd and September 1st.  He went 5-6, 3.00 in 81 innings over eight starts and seven relief appearances with Pittsburgh. He was released outright by the Pirates on January 31, 1919, getting sent back to his club in Birmingham. Comstock didn’t play pro ball after 1918, so his appearances with the Pirates were the end of his pro career at 30 years old, but he did play with a semi-pro team near his home in Toledo, Ohio in 1919 and 1920. His big league numbers show an 11-14, 3.72 record in 203 innings over 22 starts and 18 relief appearances, with ten complete games and four saves. He was a spitball pitcher, so his main pitch was taken away shortly after his career ended. A 1921 article from his hometown called him a champion billiards player.

Harry Wolfe, infielder for the 1917 Pirates. He played just three games with Pittsburgh and 12 games total in his big league career. Wolfe played eight seasons in the minors, debuting at age 23 in 1912. He hit .279 with ten extra-base hits in 62 games that year for Albany of the Class-C South Atlantic League, while also batting .136 in 23 games with Atlanta of the Class-A Southern Association. Wolfe played 60 games in 1913 back in the South Atlantic League, splitting his time between Albany and Jacksonville. With limited stats available, he’s credited with a .218 average in 205 at-bats that year. He moved on to Duluth of the Class-C Northern League in 1914. That year he hit .252 in 125 games, with 50 runs scored, 24 extra-base hits and 26 steals. He hit .328 with 23 extra-base hits in 85 games for Duluth in 1915. Wolfe batted .302 in 121 games for Duluth in 1916, which gained the attention of the big league clubs. He was taken in the minor league draft by the Chicago Cubs, who used him sporadically through early July of 1917, giving him just six plate appearances in his nine games, all off of the bench. He had two hits, an RBI and a walk. The Pirates picked him up on waivers on July 7th. His three games with the team happened between July 13th and the 16th. He played second base and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in his only Major League start on the 14th in game one of a doubleheader. That lone start came against Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Marquard. When Wolfe was acquired by the Pirates, it was believed that he would get plenty of chances to play because starting shortstop Chuck Ward was slumping at the plate and in the field.

On July 24th, Wolfe was released to Richmond of the Central League under an optional agreement. He never played for his new team, and instead he went to independent ball, which led to a suspension by Major League Baseball. On April 5, 1918, it was announced that the Pirates sold him to Minneapolis of the Double-A American Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. His pro baseball time after that was brief due to his service in WWI, but he continued to play and run into trouble with baseball. He’s credited with playing for Minneapolis in 1918, but no stats are available. His final season of pro ball was 1919, when he hit .251 with 18 doubles and three triples in 97 games with Louisville of the American Association. He was said to be signed by Louisville for the 1920 season, but he was playing independent ball instead. He was sold to Kansas City of the American Association in June of 1920, though he didn’t report and the sale was canceled. In April of 1921, his contract was sold to Mobile of the Southern Association, but there’s no record of him playing there, and he was once again suspended from baseball. He played semi-pro ball in 1922-24 for a team from Huntington, Indiana. He was reinstated by baseball in 1925 and reported back to Louisville in May, though they sold him to Williamsport of the New York-Penn League in early June, where he appeared there briefly in games. He was transferred to Decatur of the Three-I League in late June, then signed with a semi-pro team in July, but didn’t last long due to a broken leg that ended his season (called a double fracture, which happened on a slide). There’s no record of him with either Louisville or Decatur that season, but he may have played a handful of games. Some old stats are missing for players who played fewer than ten games for a team. He was back to playing semi-pro ball in 1927, which appears to be the end of his baseball journey.

Ed Doheny, pitcher for the 1901-03 Pirates. The Pirates won three consecutive National League titles from 1901-03, and Doheny was there for all of them, posting a 38-14, 2.75 record in 487.2 innings. Unfortunately for the Pirates, he had a mental breakdown and wasn’t available during the 1903 World Series, but things got even worse after that. He had a violent incident in October of 1903 that led to him being put in an insane asylum for the final 13 years of his life.

Prior to joining the Pirates, Doheny spent seven seasons with the New York Giants, where he went 37-69, 4.26 in 917.1 innings. He debuted in pro ball with the Giants, where he made three starts during the 1895 season. His ominous 6.66 ERA was a sign of things to come later in life. He played only one game of minor league ball in 1896 with New York of the Atlantic League. The rest of the year was spent with the Giants, where he went 6-7, 4.49 in 108.1 innings over 15 starts and two relief outings. He had nine complete games. He went 4-4, 2.12 in ten starts in 1897, completing all ten games (two were ties), with 85 innings pitched. He was suspended in June due to insubordination, and it was said that he didn’t get along with teammates. He played semi-pro ball for two months, then signed with an independent team, where he stayed until he got sick late in the season and had to stop playing. He was back with the Giants in 1898 for the entire season and saw plenty of work. Doheny had a 7-19, 3.68 record in 213 innings over 27 starts, with 23 complete games. He saw his most big league work in 1899 when he went 14-17, 4.41 in 277.2 innings, with 31 complete games in 34 starts. He had a career high 120 strikeouts, but it also came with 158 walks. He split the 1900 season between the American League and the National League, though the former was a minor league at the time. With Chicago (AL), he went 0-4 and lasted just 33 innings. With the Giants, he was 4-14, 5.45 in 133.2 innings over 18 starts and two relief outings.

Doheny was released by the Giants in mid-July of 1901 after they took the loss in eight of his ten appearances (six starts). He was 2-5, 4.50 in 74 innings at the time. The Pirates signed him on July 25th after releasing veteran shortstop Bones Ely to make roster room. Manager Fred Clarke said that Doheny showed good stuff against them and he figured a change of scenery would help the 27-year-old lefty. Doheny debuted in relief on August 5th in a one-sided game, then he got ten starts over the rest of the season and pitched great, posting a 1.80 ERA in 75 innings. He went 16-4, 2.53 in 188.1 innings for the 1902 Pirates, completing 19 of his 21 starts for the best team in franchise history (103-36 record). He then had a 16-8, 3.19 record in 222.2 innings during his final season in 1903, despite it ending early and being marred by a few incidents with the team during the season. He completed 22 of 25 starts that year, throwing two shutouts for the second straight season. His loss during the World Series hurt the Pirates because they were using three starters for most of the year and Sam Leever was nursing a bad arm at the time, so they had just one healthy pitcher. That left Deacon Phillippe to start five games in the series. Doheny’s final big league stats show a 75-83, 3.73 record in 1,405 innings over 169 starts and 15 relief appearances. He completed 141 of those starts, though he managed to throw just six shutouts, with five of them coming during his time in Pittsburgh.

Frank Smith, catcher for the 1884 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He didn’t make the majors until he was 26 years old and then lasted just ten games, all with the 1884 Alleghenys. He went 9-for-36 at the plate with three runs, eight singles and a triple, giving him a .556 OPS. Smith made seven starts at catcher and played one game at each of the three outfield spots. His time with the Alleghenys lasted from August 6th (debut) until October 3rd (final big league game). He was a Canadian-born player, whose pro career lasted just two seasons, though the surname Smith makes it difficult to fully track his career back when newspapers commonly referred to players by last name only. He was playing for the Saginaw Grays on the Northwestern League in early 1884, but the league disbanded right before he joined the Alleghenys. At the time, he was hitting .262 in 39 games, with 17 runs, nine doubles and three triples. It was reported on July 26th that he was going to join Toledo of the American Association, along with teammate Jay Faatz, but they both joined Pittsburgh instead. In fact, the Alleghenys also picked up shortstop Tom Forster and Art Whitney from Saginaw as well. About a month after joining the Alleghenys, the local papers realized (or found out) that he once played in Pittsburgh for an amateur team named the C.S. Browns.

Smith wasn’t listed among players who were going to be reserved for the 1885 season, but the whole look of the team changed when the Alleghenys purchased the roster of Columbus of the American Association, which left many of the 1884 Alleghenys looking elsewhere for work. Smith’s only other known pro time came in 1885 when he finally joined Toledo, though the team was in the Western League that year. He’s credited with going 2-for-10 in three games. He also played for Toronto of the Canadian League that season, where he hit .214 in 38 games, with 23 runs, ten doubles, two triples and two homers. A search of found a catcher named Frank Smith being signed by Memphis of the Southern Association in April of 1886, but there’s no stats associated with him that season. There’s a great chance it was him, as he was later referred to as “Frank L. Smith”, which is the correct middle initial, but it was also said that he wrote the team from Canandaigua, NY, which is the known hometown of the Alleghenys catcher. An 1888 story says that Memphis blacklisted that player over a dispute with reporting to the team and collecting advanced money. I was also able to find a Frank Smith playing in California in late 1883 and in Newark, NJ (semi-pro ball) in 1887, but couldn’t confirm (or deny) either of those two instances as being the same as the catcher for the Alleghenys.

The Transaction

On this date in 1886, the Alleghenys purchased outfielder Abner Dalrymple from the Chicago White Stockings. He would go on to become the first batter used by the Alleghenys in their first National League game on April 30, 1887 against that same White Stockings team. Dalrymple won the NL batting title as a rookie in 1878, and he was a reliable player for many years in Chicago, four times leading the league in at-bats. He also led the league in homers in 1885. He had a down year in 1886, and it was a sign of things to come for his time in Pittsburgh. He hit .215 in 149 games over two season with the Alleghenys. He hit just two homers in Pittsburgh and they came in back-to-back at-bats, while playing in Chicago, with the first one tying the score late and the second one ending the game in the tenth.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!