This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: December 21st, All-Stars Freddy Sanchez and Andy Van Slyke

Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including a key piece of the 1990-92 playoff teams and the franchise’s last batting champion.

Andy Van Slyke, outfielder for the 1987-94 Pirates. He came to the Pirates from the St Louis Cardinals along with catcher Mike Lavalliere and pitcher Mike Dunne on April 1, 1987 in a trade for All-Star catcher Tony Pena. He was a solid player who took it to the next level with the Pirates.  He was a first round draft pick in 1979, taken sixth overall out of high school by the Cardinals. Van Slyke debuted in pro ball in 1980 with Gastonia of the Class-A South Atlantic League, where he hit .270 in 126 games, with 62 runs scored, 27 extra-base hits, 59 RBIs, 70 walks, a .755 OPS and 19 steals in 20 attempts. He played for St Petersburg of the Class-A Florida State League in 1981, where he batted just .220 in 94 games, and saw an 89-point drop in his slugging percentage. He had 42 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 25 RBIs and ten steals. The next year he moved up to Arkansas of the Double-A Texas League and hit .279 in 123 games, with 83 runs scored, 40 extra-base hits, 70 RBIs, 37 steals, 61 walks and an .849 OPS. Van Slyke played for Louisville of the Triple-A American Association to start the 1983 season. He hit .368 in 54 games, with 52 runs, 31 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs, 13 steals and a 1.027 OPS.

Van Slyke debuted in the majors in mid-June of 1983 at 22 years old and spent four seasons in St Louis, hitting .259 with 41 homers and 104 stolen bases in 521 games. The Cardinals had him in more of a utility role, giving him time in all three outfield spots, as well as third base and first base. Despite coming up late during his rookie year, he still managed to get into 101 games in 1983, hitting .262 with 28 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs, 21 steals, 46 walks and a .777 OPS. He hit .244 in 137 games during the 1984 season, with 45 runs, 27 extra-base hits, 50 RBIs, 28 steals, 63 walks and a .723 OPS. That was followed up by a .259 average in 146 games in 1985, with 61 runs scored, 25 doubles, 13 homers, 55 RBIs, 34 steals (in 40 attempts), 47 walks and a .774 OPS. In his final season with St Louis, Van Slyke had his best year with the team. He hit .270 in 137 games, with 48 runs, 43 extra-base hits, 61 RBIs, 21 steals and a .795 OPS. The April 1987 trade turned out to be a huge steal for the Pirates, as Pena posted just 2.3 WAR total in 11 seasons after leaving Pittsburgh, while Van Slyke blew that out of the water by himself, and LaValliere was easily the better catcher after the deal. Even Mike Dunne gave the Pirates one strong season. The Pirates were trading for three years of Van Slyke before free agency, but he ended up staying an extra five seasons on top of that. After compiling 10.2 WAR with the Cardinals, he surpassed that total during his second season in Pittsburgh.

Van Slyke hit .293 during the 1987 season, finishing with 34 stolen bases and career highs in doubles (36), triples (11), homers (21), RBIs (82), runs (93) and OPS (.866). He would surpass all of those totals in Pittsburgh, many of them in the next season. He played a career high 157 games during his first season in Pittsburgh, then played 154 in 1988. Van Slyke hit .288 with 101 runs, 23 doubles, 25 homers, 100 RBIs, 30 stolen bases and an .851 OPS during the 1988 season. His 15 triples that year led the National League. He was an All-Star for the first time that season, while also picking up his first Gold Glove and first Silver Slugger award. He finished fourth in the MVP voting as well, tied for his best career finish in that category. The Pirates played well as a team in 1988, but they struggled in 1989. Van Slyke saw a down year that season, hitting just .237 with 64 runs, 18 doubles, nine triples, nine homers, 53 RBIs and 16 steals in 130 games. His OPS dropped 174 points to a .677 mark. On the plus side, he won his second Gold Glove award. He would bounce back in a big way in 1990. Van Slyke helped lead the way towards the Pirates first pennant since 1979 by hitting .284 with 67 runs, 26 doubles, 17 homers, 77 RBIs, 66 walks, 14 steals and an .832 OPS, while playing stellar defense in center field, winning his third straight Gold Glove. He also received mild MVP support, finishing 27th in the voting. Van Slyke had some playoff experience while in St Louis, though he ended up hitting .091 in each round of the playoffs with them. For the 1990 Pirates, he hit .208 with three RBIs and three runs scored in the NLCS.

Van Slyke helped the Pirates to a second straight title in 1991 by hitting .265 in 138 games, with 87 runs, 24 doubles, seven triples, 17 homers, 83 RBIs, an .801 OPS and a career high 71 walks. He also won his fourth Gold Glove that season. He struggled in the playoffs again, hitting .160 with three runs, a homer, two RBIs and five walks. The 1992 season would see the Pirates make the playoffs for a third straight time, and Van Slyke had his best overall season. He hit .324 with 103 runs, 12 triples, 14 homers, 89 RBIs, 58 walks and an .886 OPS. He led the National League in hits (199) and doubles (45), and he made his second All-Star team, won his fifth Gold Glove, won his second Silver Slugger award and finished fourth in the NL MVP voting again. Van Slyke had his best playoff performance this year, batting .276 with four RBIs.

Van Slyke hit .310/.357/.449 in 1993, but he was limited to 83 games due to knee surgery in the spring, and a broken collarbone in June. He had 42 runs, 25 extra-base hits and 50 RBIs. He was an All-Star for the final time that season. He had a .698 OPS in 105 games during the strike-shortened 1994 season, finishing with a .246 average, 41 runs scored, 27 extra-base hits and 30 RBIs. In 1,057 games with the Pirates, Van Slyke hit .283 with 598 runs, 203 doubles, 67 triples, 117 homers, 134 stolen bases and 564 RBIs. He became a free agent after the 1994 season and signed with the Baltimore Orioles in April of 1995, after the strike was settled. He was traded in the middle of the 1995 season to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he finished his career that year. Combined that season, he hit .224 with 32 runs, 11 doubles, six homers and 24 RBIs in 80 games. In each of his final two seasons, he went 7-for-7 in stolen bases/attempts. In his career he was a .274 hitter with 835 runs, 293 doubles, 91 triples, 164 homers, 792 RBIs and 245 stolen bases. He finished with a strong total of 41.3 WAR in his career. Somewhat surprisingly, he had just 2.9 WAR on defense in his career. His first two Gold Glove seasons were strong, but his final three were -0.4 dWAR combined, with one positive season in the group. His son Scott Van Slyke played six years in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Freddy Sanchez, infielder for the 2004-09 Pirates. He was originally a 30th round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves out of high school in 1996. He chose to attend college and became an 11th round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2000 out of Oklahoma City University, the third college he attended. Sanchez split his first season of pro ball between short-season Lowell of the New York-Penn League, and Augusta of the Low-A South Atlantic League. He combined to hit .295 with 41 runs, 20 doubles, 29 RBIs and a .765 OPS in 64 games. He split the 2001 season between High-A Sarasota of the Florida State League and Trenton of the Double-A Eastern League. Sanchez combined to hit .334 with 65 runs, 39 doubles, 43 RBIs and an .835 OPS in 113 games, with similar results at both levels. He batted .328/.403/.437 in 80 games with Trenton to start the 2002 season, then hit .301 with a .782 OPS in 45 games for Triple-A Pawtucket of the International League. Between both stops he had a .318 average, with 85 runs, 33 doubles, seven homers, 65 RBIs, 24 steals and an .819 OPS That led to 12 late-season games for the Red Sox in which he put up a .188/.278/.188 slash line in 18 plate appearances. Sanchez played briefly in the majors in 2003 as well, hitting .235/.235/.294 in 34 plate appearances over 20 games, while posting a .341 average and a .923 OPS in 58 games for Pawtucket.

Sanchez was traded to the Pirates along with relief pitcher Mike Gonzalez in exchange for pitchers Brandon Lyon and Jeff Suppan on July 31, 2003, though Sanchez wasn’t in the original deal between the two teams. Eight days earlier, the two teams hooked up on a five-player trade that had Lyon and Gonzalez going opposite ways in the deal. Lyon was injured, so the trade was revised and Sanchez was included. After the deal, an ankle injury ended his season after just one game at Triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League. He had off-season surgery on his foot, which led to a late start to the 2004 season. Sanchez played just nine games for the Pirates in 2004, going 3-for-19 with three singles and no walks. He struggled a bit at Nashville as well, putting up an empty .264 average in 44 games, with nine extra-base hits and 11 walks leading to a .686 OPS. He attended the Arizona Fall League after the season. He started the 2005 season in the majors and ended up hitting .291/.336/.400, with 54 runs scored, 35 extra-base hits and 35 RBIs in 132 games, splitting most of his time between third base and second base, while also getting some turns at shortstop.

Sanchez wasn’t the starting third baseman in 2006. That spot actually belonged to Joe Randa, but when Randa got hurt in early May, Sanchez took over and set the world on fire. He won the National League batting crown on the last day of the 2006 season by going 2-for-4 to finish with a .344 average. He also led the league in doubles with 53, and he scored 85 runs and drove in 85 runs. His .851 OPS was his career high. He was selected to the All-Star game and even got some mild MVP support, finishing 17th in the voting. Sanchez became the everyday second baseman in 2007. He would make his second straight All-Star appearance that year, as he hit .304 with 77 runs scored, 42 doubles, 11 homers, 81 RBIs and a .784 OPS. He struggled in 2008 (though he still had 1.2 WAR), hitting a career low .271 in 145 games, which came along with a .298 on base percentage. He still managed to score 75 runs, to go along with 37 extra-base hits and 52 RBIs. His OPS dropped 115 points compared to 2007. Back on his game in 2009, Sanchez made his third All-Star appearance. He was sent to the San Francisco Giants at the July 31st trading deadline that year, after hitting .296 with a .776 OPS in 86 games for the Pirates. The Pirates received top pitching prospect Tim Alderson, who failed to reach the majors. After the trade, Sanchez hit .284/.295/.324 in 25 games and spent time on the disabled list.

Sanchez missed part of the 2010 season due to injuries. He played 111 games for the Giants that year, hitting .292 with 55 runs scored, 22 doubles, seven homers, 47 RBIs and a .739 OPS. He was limited to 60 games in 2011, batting .289 with 21 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 24 RBIs and a .730 OPS. He finished his career with three minor league games in 2012, as injuries took a toll on his effectiveness during that time and limited him to 196 games with the Giants in 2 1/2 seasons. He batted .297 in 904 big league games, including a .301 average in 676 games with the Pirates. He finished with 434 runs scored, 215 doubles, 48 homers and 371 RBIs. He stole 24 bases in 30 attempts during the 2002 minor league season, but he attempted just 22 steals (13 times successfully) in the majors. He finished with a career total of 15.8 WAR, which included 12.9 during his time in Pittsburgh.

John Hope, pitcher for the 1993-96 Pirates. He was a second round draft pick of the Pirates in 1989 out of Stranahan High School in Florida. After pitching a total of 15 innings in the Gulf Coast League in 1989, he missed the entire 1990 season due to Tommy John surgery. He had a 4.80 ERA and 14 walks during his brief time in 1989. He saw somewhat limited work over three levels after returning in 1991, beginning with three starts in the short-season New York-Penn League, where he allowed one run in 17 innings. He had a 3.50 ERA in 46.1 innings over seven starts In Low-A with Augusta of the South Atlantic League, but that ERA jumped to 6.18 over 27.2 innings with Salem of the High-A Carolina League. He finished the year with a 3.76 ERA, 70 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP in 91 innings. Hope threw 176.1 innings during the 1992 season in Salem, going 11-8, 3.47 in 27 starts, with 106 strikeouts. He spent most of 1993 in Double-A with Carolina of the Southern League, where he had a 9-4, 4.37 record in 111.1 innings. His Triple-A time that season was brief with Buffalo of the American Association, posting a 6.33 ERA in four starts. He had just six strikeouts in 21.1 innings during that time in Buffalo. Despite the major setback early in his brief career, and limited/poor time in Triple-A, he debuted with the Pirates on August 29, 1993. He went 0-2, 4.03 in 38 innings over seven late-season starts for the Pirates that year.

Hope saw limited time out of the bullpen during the next two seasons in Pittsburgh, pitching a total of 12 games. He was with the Pirates from early May until mid-June during the strike-shortened 1994 season, making nine relief appearances, in which he gave up 12 runs in 14 innings. He was used as a starter in Buffalo that year, going 4-9, 3.87 in 100 innings. He had three appearances for the Pirates in July of 1995, and he allowed at least two runs in all three games, while throwing just 2.1 innings total. Hope finished with an unsightly 30.86 ERA that year. He had strong results in Triple-A with Calgary of the Pacific Coast League (new Pirates affiliate) that season, going 7-1, 2.79 in 13 starts, with a 1.08 WHIP in 80.2 innings. He was used as a starter with the 1996 Pirates, and he struggled in that role, going 1-3, 6.98 in 19.1 innings over four starts and one relief outing. Hope also had a rough go in Triple-A that year as well, posting a 4.82 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in 125 innings for Calgary. He debuted that season with the Pirates on April 25th and pitched his final game for them 19 days later. That was also the end of his Major League career.

The Pirates released Hope after the 1996 season, and he signed as a minor league free agent with the Colorado Rockies in January of 1997. He spent the next three years in the minors, one year for the Rockies in Triple-A Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League, and the last two years in Independent ball, before retiring in 1999. He went 4-3, 7.22 in 99.2 innings in 1997. He followed that up with 7-8, 5.33 record in 121.2 innings for Atlantic City of the Atlantic League in 1998. Hope’s final season was spent with Lehigh Valley of the Atlantic League, where he had a 9.16 ERA and 17 walks in 18.2 innings. He finished 1-5, 5.99 in 73.2 innings in the majors, with 11 starts and 13 relief appearances. He was never much of a strikeout pitcher in the minors, and that carried over to the majors, with 27 walks and 29 strikeouts during his big league time. His single game high of five strikeouts came during his only big league win on May 1, 1996.

Danny Kravitz, catcher for the 1956-60 Pirates. Kravitz was a local kid, signed as an amateur at 18 years old by the Pirates in 1949, after attending a tryout with hundreds of other players. It took seven years before he made the majors, though he spent the entire 1952-53 seasons serving in the Marines. Kravitz put up strong results at the lower levels over his first three seasons. He started with Greenville of the Class-D Alabama State League, where he hit .279 in 122 games, with 75 runs scored, 35 extra-base hits, 72 RBIs, 39 steals, 55 walks and a .777 OPS. He remained in Class-D ball in 1950 with Mayfield of the Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League, where he batted .306 with 25 doubles, four triples and 17 homers in 112 games. Most of the 1951 season was spent with Waco of the Class-B Big State League, where he hit .294 with 55 runs, 33 extra-base hits, 72 RBIs and an .853 OPS in 99 games. He also saw time with Charleston of the Class-A South Atlantic League, though no stats are available. After two seasons of military service, he was pushed to the upper levels when he returned, playing for New Orleans of the Double-A American Association during the 1954-55 seasons. He played well despite the missed time, hitting .292 with 39 runs, 13 doubles, 11 homers, 49 RBIs and an .845 OPS in 82 games during his first season back. Kravitz then batted .298 over 122 games in 1955, with 63 runs scored, 11 doubles, ten triples, 19 homers, 88 RBIs and an .847 OPS.

Without any prior big league experience, Kravitz was the starting catcher for the 1956 Pirates on Opening Day. He lost his starting job by May 22nd, and he played his last game of the season for the Pirates on June 28th. The Pirates made wholesale changes on July 4th, sending four players to their affiliate Hollywood in the Pacific Coast League, while bringing Bill Mazeroski to Pittsburgh for his big league debut. Kravitz was in that group of players sent out. He hit .265/.311/.441 in 32 games for the 1956 Pirates.  Kravitz once again had an Opening Day job in 1957, but he lost it in May after batting .120 in his first 13 games. He was optioned to Columbus of the Triple-A International League on May 15th, where he hit .249/.281/.359 in 105 games, before returning for six games in September with the Pirates. He hit just .146/.186/.171 in 19 games that year in the majors. Kravitz stayed with the Pirates for all of 1958, though most of his playing time came during the final nine days of May and the first half of August. In those combined four weeks, he had 62 of his 100 at-bats on the season. He hit .240 with nine runs, three doubles, one homer, five RBIs and a .653 OPS that season in 45 games.

The 1959 season was very similar to the previous year for Kravitz. He had a three-week stretch of starts in July that resulted in 67 of his 162 at-bats. He had a .545 OPS during that stretch, then barely played after August 1st. He hit .253 with 18 runs, nine doubles, three homers and 21 RBIs that year. He had some poor timing with Pittsburgh, getting traded during the World Series winning 1960 season, after spending 11 years in the organization (including the military years). On June 1, 1960, after six at-bats in eight games, Kravitz was sent to the Kansas City A’s in a trade for catcher Hank Foiles. Kravitz went 0-for-6 with the Pirates, then hit .234/.280/.366 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 59 games with the A’s. He would finish out that season with the A’s, then play the last three years of his pro career in the minors, seeing time with three different clubs in the International League. He hit .270 in 99 games during the 1961 season with Jersey City, collecting 33 runs, 27 extra-base hits and 54 RBIs. He split both the 1962 and 1963 seasons between Rochester and Richmond. He hit .274 in 107 games in 1962, with 50 runs, 17 doubles, 18 homers and 60 RBIs. That was followed by a .235 average in 98 games in 1963, with 20 runs, 13 doubles, eight homers and 28 RBIs. Over his five seasons in Pittsburgh, Kravitz hit .236 with 35 runs, 15 doubles, six homers and 40 RBIs in 156 games.

Bill Werle, pitcher for the Pirates from 1949 until 1952. He pitched the first five seasons of his pro career for San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League, while also missing the 1945 season due to service during WWII. He attended the University of California at Berkeley before starting his pro career in 1943 at 22 years old. He pitched just 26 innings over nine games that first year. He had a 14-19, 4.05 record in 1944, throwing 289 innings over 36 games, with 24 complete games. After his year of military service, he went 12-8, 2.26 in 175 innings for San Francisco in 1946. Werle had a 12-12, 3.29 record in 205 innings during the 1947 season. The Pirates acquired him on September 22, 1948 from San Francisco in exchange for three future players and cash. Five days after the sale, San Francisco got pitcher Steve Nagy. Four months later, they got catcher Roy Jarvis. Another two months passed before pitcher Elmer Singleton was announced as the third piece of the deal. At the time of his purchase, Werle had a 15-7 record. He was allowed to finish the 1948 season with the Seals and he went 17-7, 2.74 in 250 innings. His 136 strikeouts that year were his high during his time in the minors, and also the most he had in any of his 19 seasons of pro ball.

As a 28-year-old rookie in 1949, Werle went 12-13, 4.24 in 221 innings over 29 starts and six relief appearances for the Pirates. His 106 strikeouts that season were a career high in the majors. His big league debut was 7.2 shutout innings in a win over the Cincinnati Reds. He ended up throwing two complete game shutouts later in the season, which ended up being his only two career shutouts in the majors. Werle went 8-16, 4.60 in 1950, but proved to be a valuable asset by making 22 starts and 26 relief appearances, throwing a total of 215.1 innings. He was able to put together an 8-6 record in nine starts and 50 relief appearances in 1951, despite posting a 5.65 ERA in 149.2 innings for a team that went 64-90. Werle got into five games for the 1952 Pirates before they sent him to the St Louis Cardinals on May 3rd in exchange for pitcher Red Munger. He allowed five runs over four innings prior to the trade. After the deal, Werle went 1-2, 4.85 in 39 innings over 19 appearances to finish out the 1952 season. He pitched in the majors until 1954, spending parts of his final two seasons with the Boston Red Sox, while seeing most of his time during the 1953-54 seasons with Louisville of the American Association. He had a 1.54 ERA in 11.2 innings over five early-season games with the 1953 Red Sox, but still spent the rest of the year in Lousville, going 13-8, 2.60 in 128 innings over 11 starts and 20 relief appearances. He then pitched from Opening Day until late June with the 1954 Red Sox, posting a 4.38 ERA in 24.2 innings over 14 appearances. His Louisville time in 1954 didn’t go as well as it did in 1953, going 7-4, 3.99 in 97 innings.

That stint in 1954 with Boston was the end of Werle’s big league career, but he stuck around in the minors until 1963, with all of that time spent on the west coast. He went back to the Pacific Coast League for the 1955-61 seasons, playing for four different teams. He was with Portland in 1955, where he went 17-8, 3.54 in 221 innings. He remained in Portland for all of 1956, going 16-15, 4.41 in 247 innings. The 1957 season was split between Portland and San Diego. He combined for a 9-8 record and 174 innings pitched. Werle stayed with San Diego for the entire 1958-59 seasons. He had a 10-8, 3.11 record in 1958, with 171 innings pitched. He then went 5-8, 4.36 in 128 innings in 1959. The 1960 season was split between San Diego and Tacoma, going 7-8 in 134 innings over 26 games. The 1961 season was split between Tacoma and Hawaii. He went 7-8 again, this time with 143 innings over 23 games. He finished up with one game for Fresno of the Class-A California League in 1963, after not pitching in 1962. He was the manager for Fresno that 1963 season, and ended up managing nine seasons in the minors. That one game was a 20-5 blowout and Werle threw one pitch to record the final out of the top of the ninth. He put up a 29-39, 4.69 big league record in 665.1 innings over 60 starts and 125 relief appearances. He had 15 saves and 18 complete games. Werle had 147 minor league wins, and he threw over 3,000 innings during his pro career.

Pete Scott, outfielder for 1928 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 22 years old in 1920, splitting the year between Vancouver of the Class-A Pacific Coast International League and Double-A Kansas City of the American Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He hit .312 with 34 extra-base hits in 99 games with Vancouver, but only batted .153 with two doubles in 29 games when he moved up two levels. Scott would stay at Kansas City for the next five seasons, although it took until his final year before he played over 100 games in a season. He hit well every year though, starting in 1921 when he batted .325 in 87 games, with 21 extra-base hits. He hit .330 with 29 extra-base hits in 97 games during the 1922 season. Scott had a .311 average in 1923, with 23 extra-base hits in 76 games. He followed that up with .319 average and 30 extra-base hits in 1924, while playing 76 games again. In his final season before making the majors, he batted .314 in 119 games, with 16 doubles, six triples and four homers. The Chicago Cubs purchased his contract in September of 1925, and he reported to them during the following spring. The Washington Senators tried to purchased his contract mid-season in 1924, and he refused to go unless he got $2,500 of the $25,000 purchase price. His stubbornness cost him big, as he not only lost a larger salary in the majors, the Senators made the 1924-25 World Series, and he would have got his share of the postseason money. One writer estimated that he cost himself about $15,000 over the 1924-25 seasons by trying to get $2,500.

Scott was a very good hitter, but he is remembered most for being one of the two players returning to the Pirates in the lopsided Kiki Cuyler deal (veteran infielder Sparky Adams was the other). While Cuyler went on to make the Hall of Fame, Scott played just one season for the Pirates. In his first two seasons in the majors with the Chicago Cubs (1926-27), he hit .299 over 148 games, with 62 runs, 31 doubles, three homers, 55 RBIs and an .802 OPS. He had a .776 OPS in 77 games as a rookie, then improved to an .834 mark in 71 games in 1927. He wasn’t much of a power hitter, and didn’t have good speed, but he provided solid on base skills, albeit with poor defense that dragged down his overall value. The Cubs used him at all three outfield spots. Despite his limited MLB time, he was already three weeks shy of 30 years old at the time of the deal with the Pirates. After the trade, Scott hit .311 with 19 extra-base hits in 60 games for the Pirates, scoring 33 runs and driving in 33 runs. He was seldom used at the beginning of the year, then missed all of August with an awful injury. On July 26th, he ran headfirst into a concrete wall at the Polo Grounds while trying to make a play. He was rushed to the hospital, and the papers the next day reported his injury as a broken neck, though they said it wasn’t a severe injury. He missed a total of 39 days, returning on September 4th to hit .192 over ten games played in the last four weeks of the season. He played left field, right field and first base with the Pirates.

Despite hitting well when he played, Scott returned to the minors in 1929 and never played in the majors again, retiring after the 1933 season. On December 13, 1928, the Pirates sold him outright to Mission of the Double-A Pacific Coast League, with the understanding that they could buy him back at the end of the 1929 season if he proved that he was fully healthy after his injury. He ended up batting .335 with 18 doubles and 12 homers in 105 games, but he never returned to Pittsburgh. Scott hit .349 over 130 games in 1930, with 34 doubles and 32 homers for Reading of the Double-A International League. He never hit more than 12 homers in any other season. His final three seasons were split between three Pacific Coast League teams. Scott batted .324 with 18 extra-base hits in 88 games for Mission in 1931. He followed that up with a .303 average, 21 doubles and ten homers in 103 games for Seattle in 1932. He finished up with Oakland in 1933, batting .327 with 17 doubles and a triple in 69 games. He played a total of 14 years in pro ball, only batting under .300 twice. He was a .303 big league hitter in 208 games, with 95 runs scored, 41 doubles and 88 RBIs. Scott finished with a .320 minor league average in 1,073 games. His actual first name was Floyd.

Warren Gill, first baseman for the 1908 Pirates. Gill played a total of 12 seasons in the minors as a light-hitting defensive-minded first baseman. Two of those seasons he served as a player-manager. Early in his career, he also pitched three seasons for Cedar Rapids of the Class-B Three-I League. He debuted in 1902 at 23 years old with Fort Scott of the Class-D Missouri Valley League (no stats available). He joined Cedar Rapids in 1903 and hit .237 in 74 games, while pitching 19 games (limited stats are available from this league). He hit .268 in 62 games during the 1904 season, while seeing more time on the mound, with 34 games pitched. In his final season with Cedar Rapids, Gill hit .256 in 63 games, while going 12-10 in 22 games pitched. He has no pitching stats available after 1905. He moved down a level in 1906, playing for Austin of the Class-C South Texas League, where he hit .276 with 27 doubles, three triples and two homers in 91 games. The Pirates picked up Gill on December 20, 1907 after he hit .289 in 133 games for Oklahoma City of the Class-C Western Association.

The Pirates kept Gill around during Spring Training in 1908, and he played plenty of third base during that time. Just three days before Opening Day on April 12th, a local paper ran the headline that he might be the starting third baseman for the Pirates in the first game. A different paper noted that he wasn’t hitting the ball hard during the spring, popping it up often, or hitting it on the ground. A third local paper (this is all true) noted that he was sent to Grand Rapids the previous night, but might finish dental school before playing his first game of the season. As a side note, Gill had the nickname “Doc” because he was a doctor. That third paper sort of came the closest. He reported to Grand Rapids of the Class-B Central League, where he was said to be the best first baseman in the league. When the Pirates regular first baseman Alan Storke struggled, the Pirates brought back Gill and kept him in the lineup for most of the remainder of the season. In a sign of the times, one of Gill’s strong points according to the local press was his constant chatter during games, encouraging his pitcher. He hit .267 for Grand Rapids in 96 games, with 52 runs scored and 38 steals.

Gill debuted with the Pirates on August 26th, and he played his final game on September 29th. There was word as early as August 12th that the Pirates were offering a bonus and a player to get Gill back from Grand Rapids before the end of the season (September 8th), but the Grand Rapids management wasn’t budging. Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss even visited Grand Rapids multiple times before finally securing him on August 23rd to return to Pittsburgh. His big league career consisted of just 27 late season games for the 1908 Pirates. He hit .224 with ten runs, a triple as his only extra-base hits, 14 RBIs, three steals, 11 walks and a .616 OPS. He did that while playing flawless defense at first base, handling all 244 chances. That’s impressive considering the field conditions, the gloves they used and the fact that official scorers were much tougher back then. The league leader at first base had a .990 fielding percentage that season. After the season, Gill was sold to Minneapolis of the Class-A American Association on January 13, 1909.

Gill’s pro career lasted another five seasons (1909-13) before he retired. The first four years were spent with Minneapolis and he was remarkably consistent during that time. His lowest average during that time was .243, while he topped out at a .263 average. His slugging percentage ranged from .283 to .327 during that time, and he averaged 144 games played per year, with at least 123 games each season. He hit .243 in 1909, with 45 runs, 17 extra-base hits (15 doubles) and 41 steals in 138 games. He played 162 during both the 1910 and 1911 seasons. He hit .252 with 13 doubles and seven triples in 1910. Gill batted .252 with 20 doubles, six triples and a homer in 1911. His best season was 1912, when the American Association was reclassified from A-Ball to Double-A, though the level of play didn’t change, they just added another level to the minor league ladder. He batted .263 in 123 games that year, with 59 runs, 16 extra-base hits and 24 steals. His career finished up in 1913 when he hit .183 with two doubles in 20 games for Los Angeles of the Double-A Pacific Coast League. Gill was also the manager during his season in Fort Scott and his 1906 season in Austin.

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