Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus one trade of note.
Connie Mack, Hall of Fame manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1894 to 1896, who also played for the team from 1891 to 1896. As a player, he was known as a strong defensive catcher. He began his pro career in 1884 at 21 years old, playing for Meriden of the Connecticut State League (no stats available). He played for a team from Hartford in three different leagues over the next two seasons before making his big league debut. His defense obviously got him to the majors, as he hit .183 in 57 games in 1885, with seven doubles and no homers or triples, while playing 52 of those games in the Southern New England League. Hartford also played four games in the Connecticut State League, and Mack put in one game with Newark of the Eastern League. Hartford was in the Eastern League in 1886. Mack batted .251 in 71 games, with 12 extra-base hits (all of them were doubles). He began his Major League career with the Washington Nationals in September of 1886, spending his first four seasons there. He played ten games that first season and surprisingly hit .361/.361/.472 with five RBIs in 36 plate appearances. In his first full season in 1887, Mack hit .201 in 82 games, with 35 runs scored, seven extra-base hits, 20 RBIs, 26 steals and a lowly .484 OPS. His average dropped to .187 in 85 games in 1888, though he had 49 runs scored and 31 steals. He hit his first three homers that season, which is impressive only because he hit a total of five homers in his 11 seasons in the majors. All of the homers came within a two-week stretch at the end of the season, and the last one was an inside-the-park homer off of Pittsburgh’s Ed Morris.
Mack had quite a breakout performance in 1889, batting .293 in 98 games, with 51 runs scored, 42 RBIs, 26 steals and a career high 16 doubles. He had a .523 OPS during the 1888 season, which went up to .672 in 1889. Like most of the better players of the day, he went to play in the newly formed Player’s League in 1890. He played 123 games for the Buffalo Bisons that year, hitting .266 with 95 runs scored, 15 doubles, 12 triples, a career high 53 RBIs and 47 walks, which was more than twice as many walks as he had in any other season. His .697 OPS that year was his highest for a full season. After the PL ceased operations after one season, most players returned to their original teams from the 1889 season, as long as the team put them on a reserve list. For Mack though, the Nationals franchise no longer existed, so he was free to sign with another team, and Pittsburgh came calling. While other teams tried to make a claim for Mack, with Boston putting up the strongest fight, Pittsburgh finally officially got their catcher on February 4, 1891.
Mack spent the remainder of his playing days in a Pittsburgh uniform, sharing the catching duties for six seasons. He batted .214 over 75 games in 1891, with 43 runs, ten extra-base hits (all doubles), 29 RBIs and a .536 OPS. His numbers were disappointing, like many of the other players on the team that year. The Pirates thought they had a chance for the title, but finished 55-80. He almost left the club after the 1891 season when they tried to cut his salary, refusing to sign for the new terms. His best season came in 1892 when he caught 92 games and threw out a league leading 47% of attempted base stealers. That number particularly stands out when you realize just how much running teams did back then. Opponents attempted 257 steals against him, meaning he threw out an average of 1.32 runners per game. By modern metrics, he had 2.6 WAR on defense in 1892, the second best mark in the majors. Mack batted .243 in 97 games that year, with 39 runs scored, 14 extra-base hits, 31 RBIs and a .598 OPS.
Offense was up around baseball in 1893 due to new rules put in that worked against pitchers, including limiting their movement and changing the distance to home plate. Mack played just 37 games that season due to an ankle injury, hitting .286 with 22 runs, 15 RBIs and a .681 OPS. The 1894 season was a peak year for offense and he hit .247 in 70 games, with a 33 runs, nine extra-base hits, 21 RBIs and a .619 OPS. The Pirates (who were actually called the Braves from mid-1893 through early 1895) hit .312 as a team, and they didn’t lead the league, so you can see how below average his offense was that season. Mack hit .306/.404/.347 in 14 games during the 1895 season, but most of his energy was spent as the manager. He played his final 33 big league games in 1896 when he hit .217 with a .515 OPS, spending most of his time at first base. Mack hit .242 in 326 games with the Pirates. In his big league career, he hit .244 in 724 games, with 392 runs scored, 79 doubles, 28 triples, five homers, 265 RBIs, 127 steals and 170 walks, compared to 127 strikeouts.
Mack took over the managerial duties in late 1894 and led the team to a winning record in each of his two full seasons. The Pirates finished 12-10 with him at the helm in 1894, then had a 71-61 record in 1895. He’s credited with a 66-63 record in 1896, though that is off by a little (see below). After a disagreement with the Pirates near the end of the 1896 season, he moved on to manage a minor league team from Milwaukee for four years before the American League was formed in 1901. He then became the manager/owner of the Philadelphia Athletics club, guiding the team for 50 seasons, winning five World Series titles. His 3,731 career wins as a manager will likely never be broken (he also lost 3,948 games), but the current accepted number is actually wrong. When Mack managed the Pirates in 1896, he left the team with five games remaining in the season. The Pirates went 2-3 during those games with Patsy Donovan as the manager, yet they are credited to Mack, who resigned from the position and left the team. The closest active manager is Dusty Baker, who is 1,636 wins away from Mack going into 2023. An interesting side note to Mack being in the Hall of Fame with a record over 200 games below .500 is that he was elected in 1937, when his career record was 146 games above the .500 mark (technically 147, since they need to fix his all-time record). Mack’s son Earle played five games over three seasons in Philadelphia for his father, and he also managed in the majors, though he was mostly his father’s bench coach.
Matty Alou, outfielder for the 1966-70 Pirates. He was signed by the New York Giants out of the Dominican Republic in 1957 when he was 18 years old. He comes from a great baseball family that included his brothers Jesus and Felipe, as well as his nephews Moises Alou and Mel Rojas, and his cousin Jose Sosa, all of them Major League players. Between them, they played a total of 76 seasons in the majors. He debuted in pro ball in 1957 with Class-D Michigan City of the Midwest League, where he hit .247 with 79 runs, 22 extra-base hits, 46 RBIs, 14 steals, 55 walks and a .649 OPS in 124 games. He moved on to St Cloud of the Class-C Northern League in 1958 and hit .321 in 121 games, with 92 runs, 22 extra-base hits, 52 RBIs, 36 steals, 84 walks and an .834 OPS. That winter he batted .313 in 128 at-bats in the Dominican. Alou played for Springfield of the Class-A Eastern League in 1959, where he batted .288 in 121 games, with 93 runs scored, 30 doubles, 11 homers 57 RBIs, 23 steals and an .812 OPS. He jumped to Triple-A Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League in 1960. He played 150 games that season, hitting .306, with 97 runs, 39 doubles, eight triples, 14 homers, 73 RBIs and an .814 OPS. At the end of the season, he joined the Giants (then in San Francisco) and went 1-for-3 in four games.
Alou saw a bench role for the Giants in 1961, hitting .310 in 81 games, with 38 runs scored, 15 extra-base hits, 24 RBIs and an .812 OPS. He spent part of the 1962 season back in the minors at Tacoma, where he had an .827 OPS in 25 games. He still played 78 games for the Giants that year, finishing with a .292 average, 28 runs, 12 extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and a .739 OPS. He was with the Giants for all of 1963, and he was used mostly as a pinch-hitter, seeing just 80 plate appearances in 63 games. He did not do well, hitting .145, with a .335 OPS. On September 15, 1963 at Forbes Field, the three Alou brothers played in the same outfield for the first of three times that season. He played 110 games in 1964, and received 267 plate appearances, which was his high to that point. He hit .264 with 28 runs, seven extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and a .610 OPS. He saw more playing time in 1965, but it didn’t come with better results. He hit just .231 with 37 runs, 16 extra-base hits and 18 RBIs, while posting a .573 OPS. The Pirates acquired Alou from the San Francisco Giants on December 1, 1965 for Ozzie Virgil and Joe Gibbon. He was just a .260 hitter over 453 games in his six seasons with the Giants.
When he joined the Pirates, manager Harry Walker, along with Roberto Clemente, convinced Alou to change his approach at the plate. That new style helped him win a batting crown his first season with a .342 average, which was a 111 points higher than he hit in 1965. He finished ninth in the NL MVP voting, with his outfield partner Clemente winning the award. Alou played 141 games that season, finishing with 86 runs, 18 doubles, nine triples, 27 RBIs, 23 steals and a .793 OPS. He batted .338 in 1967, with 87 runs, 21 doubles, seven triples, 28 RBIs and a .785 OPS in 139 games. The 1968 season saw him make his first All-Star team. He finished second that year to Pete Rose in batting (.335 to .332) and 11th in the NL MVP voting. Alou had 59 runs, 28 doubles, 52 RBIs, 18 steals and a .758 OPS. His personal best season would be the 1969 season. Alou set a (since broken) Major League single season record for at-bats in a season with 698. He hit .331 by collecting 231 hits, the third highest total in team history trailing Paul Waner’s record 237 in 1927 and his brother Lloyd’s 234 in 1929. Alou led the league with 41 doubles, scored 105 runs and added 22 stolen bases, while making his second All-Star appearance. He had a .780 OPS that season.
Alou dropped down to a .297 average in 1970. It was easily his lowest total while with the Pirates, but he still scored 97 runs and collected 201 hits thanks to a league leading 677 at-bats. He also had 21 doubles, eight triples, 47 RBIs, 19 steals and a .685 OPS. The Pirates traded Alou after the 1970 season, along with veteran pitcher George Brunet, to the St Louis Cardinals in exchange for Nelson Briles and Vic Davalillo. With the Pirates he hit .327 in 743 games, which gives him the fifth highest average in team history. Alou hit .315 in 149 games for the 1971 Cardinals, with 85 runs scored, 28 doubles and a career high 71 RBIs, as well as 19 stolen bases and a .767 OPS. He remained in St Louis through late August of 1972 when he was traded to the Oakland A’s. He was hitting .314/.354/.389 in 108 games at the time of the trade, then batted .281/.341/.347 in 32 games with the A’s. He combined for 57 runs scored, 28 extra-base hits, 47 RBIs and a .729 OPS. Oakland won the World Series that year and Alou had two completely different playoff series. He had a .981 OPS in the ALCS series, then went 1-for-24 in the World Series. Perhaps most impressive is that he didn’t strike out in the series, yet still managed just one hit.
Alou was traded to the New York Yankees after the 1972 season, then remained there until a September 1973 trade (for cash) sent him back to St Louis. He hit .296/.338/.356 in 123 games for the Yankees, then went 3-for-11 in 11 games for the Cardinals. He finished with 60 runs, 22 doubles, two homers, 29 RBIs and a .693 OPS. He was sold to the San Diego Padres after the 1973 season. The Padres released him in July of 1974 after he hit .198/.241/.235 in 48 games, ending his big league career. Alou went right from San Diego to Japan and played his final 2 1/2 season of pro ball overseas. He hit .312 with a .725 OPS in 50 games to finish out the 1974 season. He then hit .282 in 123 games during the 1975 season, collecting 49 runs, 32 doubles, eight homer and 45 RBIs. Alou’s final season saw him put up a .261 average and a .641 OPS in 89 games. He was a .307 career hitter in 1,667 games over 15 seasons, with 780 runs scored, 235 doubles, 31 homers, 427 RBIs and 156 steals. He had just 377 strikeouts in 6,220 plate appearances.
Jacob Stallings, catcher for the 2016-21 Pirates. He was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 42nd round in 2011 out of UNC. He decided to return to school for his senior year and moved up to a seventh round pick of the Pirates in 2012. Stallings went to State College of the short-season New York-Penn League in 2012 and played 66 games, hitting .230 with 26 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 30 RBIs and a .656 OPS. He finished the year with one game for Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League. He moved up to High-A Bradenton of the Florida State League for the first of two seasons in 2013. He hit .219 the first year in 78 games, with 36 runs, 24 extra-base hits, 23 RBIs, 45 walks and a .723 OPS. Stallings batted .241, with 11 doubles, four homers, 30 RBIs and a .681 OPS in 68 games for Bradenton in 2014. He moved up Altoona in 2015 and hit .275 in 75 games, with 25 runs, 18 extra-base hits (14 doubles), 32 RBIs and a .683 OPS. He played his first of four straight seasons in which he split the year between Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League and the Pirates in 2016. He hit .214/.252/.350 in 80 games with Indianapolis in 2016, while getting into five games for the Pirates. He went 6-for-15 with a double and two RBIs during his first big league cup of coffee. Stallings bumped that average up to .301 in Indianapolis in 2017, though he still played just five games with the Pirates. His second big league stint saw him go 5-for-14 with two doubles and three RBIs. He had a .789 OPS in 62 games with Indianapolis, while splitting the catching time with Elias Diaz.
Stallings saw slightly more time in Pittsburgh in 2018, getting into 14 games. He had a .216 average, with no extra-base hits, five RBIs and three walks. He had a .285 average and a .749 OPS in 68 games with Indianapolis. His big break came in 2019 when Elias Diaz was out for the beginning of the season, then Francisco Cervelli suffered injuries throughout the season. Stallings played 71 games for the Pirates that year, and he hit .262 with 26 runs, five doubles, six homers and 13 RBIs. He became the starter in the shortened 2020 season and played 42 of the 60 games, hitting .248 with 13 runs, seven doubles, three homers, 18 RBIs and a .702 OPS. He won the Gold Glove in 2021 (some sources rated him as the best defensive player in baseball), and he hit .246 in 112 games, with 20 doubles, eight homers, 53 RBIs and 49 walks, leading to a .704 OPS. Stallings was traded to the Miami Marlins for three players after the 2021 season. He had a rough first season with the Marlins, hitting .223 in 114 games, with 25 runs, 12 doubles, four homers, 34 RBIs and a .584 OPS. After posting 2.3 dWAR in 2021, his 2022 season was worth 0.0 dWAR, and overall he had a -0.7 WAR for the season. In 249 games with the Pirates, he hit .254 with 82 runs scored, 35 doubles, 17 homers and 95 RBIs.
Chris Jakubauskas, pitcher for the 2010 Pirates. He attended three colleges, including the University of Oklahoma. Jakubauskas began his pro career by pitching five years in Independent ball after going undrafted out of college. He was a first baseman in college, but he played the position just once in pro ball. He entered pro ball via a tryout without pitching once since he graduated high school. He required Tommy John surgery during his time in independent ball and he served as a high school coach during his recovery time. He debuted in the Frontier League with Florence, playing the 2003-04 seasons with the team. He did not do well during that time, posting a 5.11 ERA in 100.1 innings in 2003, followed by a 7.50 ERA in 24 innings in 2004. He played for Ohio Valley of the Frontier League in 2005, where he improved to a 3.34 ERA in 70 innings. Jakubauskas played in the Global Baseball League for Fullerton in 2006, where he went 8-1, 3.09 in 96 innings. He started the 2007 season with Lincoln of the independent American Association and went 6-0, 2.42 in seven starts, with 44 strikeouts in 44.2 innings. He had a much lower strikeout rate each year prior to 2007. He signed with the Seattle Mariners on June 13, 2007, and struggled with Double-A West Tennessee of the Southern League to finish the season, going 0-4, 4.94 in 51 innings, over three starts and 13 relief appearances.
Jakubauskas made one scoreless start in short-season A-Ball in 2008, striking out seven batters in 2.2 innings with Everett of the Northwest League. He also spent time back in West Tennessee, posting an 0.83 ERA in 32.2 innings over six starts. The rest of the year was spent with Triple-A Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League, where he went 5-1, 2.59 in 55.2 innings, while playing in a very hitter-friendly park. He played winter ball in Venezuela over the off-season and had a 5.16 ERA in 12 starts, throwing 66.1 innings. The 2009 season was spent almost exclusively in the big leagues, where he made eight starts and 27 relief appearances for the Mariners. He had just one minor league outing in which he threw a scoreless inning for Tacoma. He was already 30 years old by the time he made the majors. In 93 innings, Jakubauskas had a 6-7, 5.32 record in 93 innings for the 2009 Mariners.
On November 20, 2009, the Pirates picked up Jakubauskas off on waivers from Seattle. He pitched just one game for the Pirates, starting on April 24, 2010, and he only faced four batters. After giving up a lead-off single, followed by two outs, Lance Berkman hit a line drive that hit Jakubauskas in the head, and he needed to be removed from the game. That was his last game for Pittsburgh. He missed most of the season with a concussion, though he also suffered a groin injury during his comeback attempt in the minors and he was limited to 40.2 innings spread out over three teams, going 1-6, 5.09 during his minor league time in 2010. Jakubauskas was granted free agency after the season, and he signed with the Baltimore Orioles the following February. He spent most of the 2011 season in the majors, where he pitched 33 games (six starts) for the Orioles, posting a 5.72 ERA in 72.1 innings. His minor league time was limited to a 4.05 ERA in 20 innings over five starts for Norfolk of the Triple-A International League. Jakubauskas spent the 2012 season in the minors, playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays, with a majority of his time spent in the very hitter-friendly Reno of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He had a 2-5, 4.29 record in 65 innings that year, while seeing a brief stop down in Double-A while with the Blue Jays. He spent the 2013 season in Triple-A, playing for the Milwaukee Brewers (Nashville of the Pacific Coast League) and Cleveland Indians (Columbus of the International League, combining for a 3.58 ERA in 27.2 innings. He then played winter ball that off-season in Venezuela before retiring, going 2-2, 3.63 in 62 innings. Jakubauskas went 8-10, 5.58 in 166 innings during his big league career.
Glenn Wilson, outfielder for the 1988-89 and 1993 Pirates. He was a first round draft pick in 1980 out of Sam Houston State University, taken 18th overall by the Detroit Tigers. He debuted in the majors just 22 months after signing. He went right to Double-A after signing, playing 77 games for Montgomery of the Southern League. He hit .264 that year, with 36 runs, 16 doubles, seven homers, 31 RBIs and a .712 OPS. He remained in the Southern League in 1981, though the Tigers affiliate moved to Birmingham, where he hit .306 in 124 games, with 77 runs scored, 24 doubles, six triples, 18 homers, 82 RBIs and an .821 OPS. He also played ten games for Evansville of the Triple-A American Association that season, hitting .243/.300/.460 in 40 plate appearances. He went to Evansville for part of the 1982 season, before he began his big league career with the 1982 Tigers. He had a .279 average and an .840 OPS in 42 games for Evansville that season. In 84 games with Detroit, he hit .292 with 39 runs, 15 doubles, 12 homers, 34 RBIs and a .778 OPS. Wilson batted .268 in 144 games for the 1983 Tigers, finishing with 55 runs, 25 doubles, six triples, 11 homers, 65 RBIs and a .713 OPS. Most of his time as a rookie was spent in center field, but he moved to right field in 1983. He then played four seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies after they acquired him in a four-player deal near the end of Spring Training in 1984. That was unfortunate for Wilson, as the Tigers won the World Series that first year. He hit .240 with a .649 OPS in 132 games for the 1984 Phillies, while seeing most of his time in left field. He had 28 runs, 21 doubles, six homers and 31 RBIs.
Wilson made his only All-Star appearance in 1985, and even received mild MVP support that year, finishing 23rd in the voting. He hit .275 with 73 runs scored, 39 doubles, 14 homers, a .735 OPS and a career high 102 RBIs. He played 161 games that season, including 154 starts in right field. For the 1986 Phillies, he batted 271 in 155 games, with 70 runs scored, 30 doubles, 84 RBIs, a .732 OPS and a career high 15 homers. His 42 walks that season were also a career high. In his final season with the Phillies in 1987, Wilson batted .264 in 154 games, with 55 runs scored, 21 doubles, 14 homers, 54 RBIs and a .689 OPS. On December 9, 1987, he was part of a five-player trade between the Phillies and the Seattle Mariners. His time in Seattle was brief. Wilson came to the Pirates in July of 1988 in exchange for young outfielder Darnell Coles. Just over a year later, the Pirates traded Wilson to the Houston Astros for outfielder Billy Hatcher.
Wilson was hitting .250/.286/.324 with three homers and 17 RBIs in 78 games for the Mariners before joining the Pirates in 1988. He then batted .270/.288/.381 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 37 games after the trade. Before the deal that sent him to the Astros in 1989, he was batting .282 in 100 games, with 42 runs scored, 20 doubles, nine homers and 49 RBIs. After the deal, he hit just .216/.250/.333 in 28 games with the Astros, though he managed to drive in 15 runs. He remained in Houston for the 1990 season and batted .245 in 118 games, with 42 runs, 14 doubles, ten homers, 55 RBIs and a .657 OPS. After spending 29 games in Triple-A (Richmond of the International League) with the Atlanta Braves in 1991, and then not playing at all in 1992, Wilson returned to the Pirates as a free agent in 1993. He spent most of the year with Triple-A Buffalo of the American Association, putting up a .279 average and an .872 OPS in 61 games. He was up in the majors for ten games in late May/early June and he had a .143/.143/.143 slash line in 15 plate appearances, in what ended up being his final season of pro ball. He played 147 games total for Pittsburgh over three seasons, hitting .274 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs. He spent a total of ten seasons in the majors, hitting .265 with 451 runs scored, 209 doubles, 98 homers and 521 RBIs in 1,201 games. Wilson led all National League right fielders in assists three times and also all NL outfielders in assists thrice. During the 1985 season, he led NL right fielders in putouts, range factor, assists, errors and double plays.
Lonnie Smith, outfielder for the 1993 Pirates. During his 17-year career in the majors, he played in the World Series five times with four different teams. He was on the winning side with the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies, 1982 St Louis Cardinals and 1985 Kansas City Royals. Smith played 1,613 games over his 17 seasons, hitting .288 with 909 runs scored, 273 doubles, 98 homers, 533 RBIs, 623 walks and 370 stolen bases. From 1982-84, he led the league in hit-by-pitches every season, getting plunked nine times each year. During the 1989 season, he led the National League with a .415 OBP. He hit 21 homers that year, more than double any of his other season outputs. He finished with 38.5 career WAR.
Smith was a first round pick of the Phillies in 1974 out of high school, taken third overall. He wasted no time signing his deal and moved quickly through the minor league season, getting to Triple-A just 22 months later. He played that first season in 1974 at Auburn of the short-season New York-Penn League, where he hit .286 with 48 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 27 RBIs, 12 steals (in 13 attempts) and 52 walks in 61 games, giving him a .429 OBP and an .872 OPS. He would top those last two numbers the next season with Spartanburg of the Class-A Western Carolinas League, where he batted .323 in 131 games, with 96 walks, leading to a .445 OBP. He scored 114 runs that season, with 34 extra-base hits, 40 RBIs and 56 stolen bases. That led to him jumping to Triple-A with Oklahoma City of the American Association in 1976, though his fast pace slowed down and stalled for a time. Despite hitting .308, with 93 runs scored, 24 doubles, nine triples, eight homers, 26 steals and an .835 OPS in 134 games at age 20 in 1976, he didn’t debut in the majors until September of 1978. Even then, it was just a trial and he spent the full season in Triple-A in 1979 before coming back for a second September call-up. Smith hit .277 in 125 games for Oklahoma City in 1977, finishing with 91 runs scored, 28 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs, 45 stolen bases and a .720 OPS. He batted .315 in 1978, with 103 runs scored, 32 extra-base hits, 43 RBIs, 66 steals (in 85 attempts) and 79 walks in 125 games, leading to an .832 OPS. He played 17 games that year for the Phillies, though he batted just eight times, going 0-for-4 with four walks, six runs scored, and four steals in four attempts.
Smith hit .330 in 110 games for Oklahoma City in 1979, collecting 42 extra-base hits and 34 steals, while scoring 106 runs. His .883 OPS that year was his highest during his first six seasons in pro ball. He played 17 games with the Phillies again, this time getting 31 plate appearances, though all he could muster was a .427 OPS. The Phillies gave him 331 plate appearances/298 at-bats in 1980, and he responded by putting up a .339 average and an .840 OPS in 100 games, finishing with 69 runs scored, 21 extra-base hits, 20 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. That was followed by a .324 average in 62 games during the strike-shortened 1981 season. He had 40 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 21 steals and an impressive .874 OPS. He was traded to the Cardinals after the 1981 season, in a deal that involved five players and three teams. Smith hit .307 in 1982, with 120 runs, 35 doubles, eight triples, eight homers, 69 RBI, 68 stolen bases, 64 walks and an .815 OPS in 156 games. He set career highs in all three extra-base hit categories, as well as runs, steals and games played. He finished second in the National League MVP voting that year. It ended up being his only All-Star season. Smith batted .321 during the World Series and scored six runs in seven games.
Smith hit .321 in 130 games during the 1983 season, finishing with 83 runs scored, 44 extra-base hits, 45 RBIs, 43 stolen bases and an .834 OPS. He suffered a major slump in 1984. His average dropped 71 points down to .250 in 145 games. He was still productive, with 77 runs scored, 50 steals and 70 walks, but it was his first full season with an OPS under .800, and it wasn’t even close to that mark (.691). Smith started off 1985 around the same pace, putting up a .700 OPS in 28 games. The Cardinals traded him to the Royals mid-season in 1985, then watched him hit .333 against them in the World Series. He didn’t do that well during the season though, finishing with a .690 OPS for the year, and a .687 mark in 120 games after the trade. The highlight was another big season for steals, pilfering 52 bags in 65 attempts. He also managed to score 92 runs. He rebounded a bit with the 1986 Royals, hitting .287 in 134 games, with 80 runs scored, 40 extra-base hits, 44 RBIs, 26 steals and a .768 OPS. Despite being a veteran with solid results, he spent part of the 1987-88 seasons in the minors. Smith hit .251 in 48 games with the 1987 Royals, posting a .715 OPS. He spent 40 games with Omaha of the Triple-A American Association that year, where he had a .329 average and a .939 OPS.
Smith hit .237/.296/.342 in 43 games with the 1988 Atlanta Braves. He had 14 runs, six extra-base hits, nine RBIs, and he stole just four bases. Most of the year was spent with Richmond of the Triple-A International League, where he had a .300 average and a .910 OPS in 93 games. He rebounded in an impressive fashion in 1989 when he led the league with a .415 OBP. He hit .315 in 134 games that year, with 89 runs scored, 34 doubles, 21 homers, 79 RBIs, 25 steals, 76 walks and a career best .948 OPS. That all led to an 11th place finish in the MVP voting. He batted .305 in 135 games the next year, with 72 runs scored, 45 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs, 58 walks and an .844 OPS. Smith hit .275 in 122 games for the 1991 Braves, finishing with 58 runs, 19 doubles, seven homers, 44 RBIs, 50 walks and a .771 OPS. In his final season in Atlanta before joining the Pirates, he batted .247/.324/.437 in 84 games, while seeing most of his time off of the bench.
Smith had played 15 years in the majors before signing as a free agent with the Pirates in January of 1993. He hit .286 in 94 games for Pittsburgh, with 35 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 24 RBIs, nine steals and an .864 OPS, spending most of his time of defense in left field. In September of 1993, the Pirates traded Smith to the Baltimore Orioles for two minor leaguers who never made it, Stan Cameron and Terry Farrar. Smith finished out the season by hitting .208 in nine games, though he had eight walks, two homers and eight runs scored. He finished with an .868 OPS for the season. In his final season in the majors, he batted .203/.333/.254 in 72 plate appearances over 35 games for the 1994 Orioles. His career ended with the 1994 strike, though he was probably nearing the end of his time at 38 years old, with a .588 OPS at that point. Smith played 63 playoff games over his career, which was an impressive total back when they only had two rounds. He hit .278 in the postseason, with 28 runs scored, four homers and 17 RBIs. Surprisingly, he was just 8-for-17 in stolen base attempts. He rated just below average defensively during his career, finishing with -2.3 dWAR. He led all National League outfielders in assists twice.
Bob Hall, pitcher for the 1953 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball in 1942 at 18 years old, pitching nine games for Winston-Salem of the Class-B Piedmont League. He went 0-3, 5.44 in 43 innings. He then missed the next three years while serving during WWII. Hall was originally part of the Detroit Tigers system. His return in 1946 was limited to seven games total between two teams, mostly spent going 1-4 in six games with Williamsport of the Class-A Eastern League. He also made an appearance with Buffalo of the Triple-A International League. He went 15-7 for Vancouver of the Class-B Western International League in 1947, though it came with a 5.21 ERA in 235 innings. He had 173 walks and 206 strikeouts that season. He moved up to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 1948 with Seattle, where he went 7-11, 3.96 in 134 innings, which earned him time with the Boston Braves. He was acquired by Boston via trade after the 1948 season. Hall spent the entire 1949-50 seasons in the majors and remained Braves property through the end of the 1952 season. He had a 6-4, 4.36 record as a rookie in 1949, with 74.1 innings pitched over six starts and 25 relief appearances. In 1950, he pitched 50.1 innings over four starts and 17 relief outings. Hall went 0-2, 6.97 that year, with 33 walks and 22 strikeouts. He split the 1951 season between Milwaukee of the Triple-A American Association and Seattle of the Pacific Coast League, combining to go 9-12, 3.90 in 196 innings.
Hall split the 1952 season between Seattle and Sacramento (also of the Pacific Coast League), though he pitched just four games for the latter team. He went 14-11, 3.28, with 119 strikeouts in 203 innings in 1952. Seattle purchased his contract from the Braves just six weeks before the Pirates selected him in the Rule 5 draft in December of 1952. The 1953 Pirates were a very bad team, going 50-104, and Hall had his struggles. He went 3-12, 5.39 in 17 starts and 20 relief appearances, throwing a total of 152 innings. He finished with 68 strikeouts and 72 walks. He threw his only career shutout on June 23, 1953, and it came on the road against the Braves. He returned to the minors in 1954 and played three more seasons in the Pacific Coast League before retiring. He remained Pirates property until June 22, 1954 when he was sold outright to Seattle. He played for four different teams during the 1954-56 seasons, including another stint in Seattle. Hall went 12-17 in 242 innings in 1954, splitting his time between Hollywood and Seattle. He had a 7-15, 4.14 record in 174 innings with Portland in 1955. He finished up with a 4-7 record and 70 innings pitched in 1956, playing for Portland and San Diego that year. His Major League record finished at 9-18, 5.40 in 276.2 innings over 27 starts and 62 relief outings. He wasn’t much better in the minors, going 70-88, 4.20 over nine seasons.
On this date in 1982, the Pirates traded four players to the New York Yankees for outfielder Lee Mazzilli. He was just 28 years old at the time of the trade, but he was two years removed from his last good season, when he hit .280 with 76 RBIs and 41 stolen bases for the 1980 New York Mets. He played for both the Yankees and Texas Rangers in 1982, hitting .251 with 20 extra-base hits, 34 RBIs and a .717 OPS in 95 games. The trade worked out well for the Pirates in the sense that three of the four players they gave up never reached the majors. Tim Burke was the fourth player and he was a reliever who didn’t make the big leagues until 1985, two years after the Yankees had traded him to the Montreal Expos. The Pirates would have been better off with him over Mazzilli, but not by any huge margin. His best seasons were all before the Pirates were winning pennants. The other three players were Jerry Aubin, Bubba Holland and Jose Rivera.
Mazzilli played 3 1/2 seasons in Pittsburgh before he was released in the middle of the 1986 season. He was used quite often as a pinch-hitter with the Pirates, though he also got time in at 1B/LF/CF as well. The choice to keep him around as a pinch-hitter after 1983 was an interesting one because he had just six hits in 49 pinch-hit appearances that year. He was hardly any better in 1984 in the role, hitting just .188 in 38 games as a pinch-hitter, but the Pirates persistence to use him that way paid off finally in 1985 (sort of, they still lost 105 games). He started just 15 times all season, but in 72 pinch-hit appearances he hit .286 with 15 walks for a .437 OBP. He played 61 games for the Pirates in 1986 before his release, with 48 of those games off the bench. All told, he hit .244/.369/.347 in 373 games with Pittsburgh. Mazzilli played 1,475 games in his 14-year career, 415 of them in the pinch-hit role. His time with the Pirates was worth 2.7 WAR. During the 1978-80 seasons with the Mets, he had a total of 11.5 WAR.