Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus a former Pirates manager.
John Nogowski, first baseman for the 2021 Pirates. He was drafted out of Florida State in 2014 in the 34th round by the Oakland A’s. Most of his draft season was spent in the short-season New York-Penn League, where he hit .259 with 18 runs, eight doubles, one homer and 21 RBIs in 50 games for Vermont. He also had a .753 OPS in eight games for the rookie level Arizona League A’s. He then went to High-A Stockton of the California League in 2015, where he batted .274 in 96 games, with 45 runs, 20 doubles, four homers, 45 RBIs and a .716 OPS. Nogowski spent most of 2016 back in Stockton, where he hit .285 in 84 games, with 35 runs, 15 doubles, seven homers, 37 RBIs and a .764 OPS. He also played seven games for Midland of the Double-A Texas League, where he had a .130 average and a .535 OPS in 26 plate appearances. The A’s released him during Spring Training in 2017 and he played independent ball before signing with the St Louis Cardinals in late June. Nogowski hit .402 with a 1.089 OPS in 34 games for Sioux City of the independent American Association, then batted .295 with 32 runs, 12 doubles, two homers, 21 RBIs and a .760 OPS in 59 games for Springfield of the Texas League after joining St Louis. The Cardinals sent him to the Arizona Fall League, but he hit just .188/.257/.313 in nine games. He played 83 games for Springfield in 2018, and another eight games on rehab from an injury that cost him some time during the season. He had a .312 average, with 46 runs, ten doubles, 12 homers, 64 RBIs and an .846 OPS in 91 games that year. Nogowski played winter ball in Mexico during the 2018-19 off-season and hit .256/.319/.317 with one homer in 22 games.
Nogowski played for Triple-A Memphis of the Pacific Coast League in 2019. He hit .295 that year, with 77 runs, 22 doubles, 15 homers, 75 RBIs, 69 walks and an .889 OPS in 117 games. He played in the Dominican over the 2019-20 winter and he hit .316 in 31 games, with an .887 OPS. During the shortened 2020 season, Nogowski was at the Alternate Training Site for the Cardinals. He got into one big league game and went 1-for-4 with a single. He played in the Dominican again during the winter of 2020-21, hitting .260 with a .636 OPS in 22 games. For the 2021 Cardinals, he went 1-for-18 in 19 games, putting up a .206 OPS. He then went to Memphis and struggled there, hitting .195/.304/.297 in 36 games. The Pirates purchased him from the Cardinals on July 3rd. He hit .261/.325/.351 in 33 games for the Pirates, with 12 runs, seven doubles, one homer and 14 RBIs. He was sent to Triple-A Indianapolis in mid-August, then got released in mid-September, after putting up a .259 average and a .758 OPS in 20 games. He signed with the San Francisco Giants three days later and played eight Triple-A games before the season ended, putting up a .735 OPS for Sacramento. Nogowski was picked up in the minor league Rule 5 draft by the Atlanta Braves in December of 2021. He played winter ball in the Dominican during the 2021-22 off-season, but left early after hitting .192/.283/.231 in 15 games. He split the 2022 season between Gwinnett (Braves) and Rochester (Washington Nationals) of the International League, as well as time in Double-A with Harrisburg of the Eastern League (Nationals). Between all three stops, he hit .248 in 117 games, with 60 runs, 21 doubles, eight homers, 55 RBIs, 71 walks and a .729 OPS. Nogowski put up a .536 OPS in 16 winter league games in the Dominican during the 2022-23 off-season. He is a free agent as of this writing. He’s a .233/.299/.308 hitter in 53 big league games.
Danny Ortiz, outfielder for the 2017 Pirates. He was signed as a minor league free agent by the Pirates in November of 2015, just two weeks after reaching free agency. Ortiz was drafted out of high school in Puerto Rico at 17 years old by the Minnesota Twins, who took him in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. He debuted at 18 years old in the Gulf Coast League, where he hit .274 in 48 games, with 22 runs, 18 extra-base hits, 27 RBIs and a .748 OPS. He didn’t play during the 2009 season due to knee surgery. He played in the short-season Appalachian League in 2010, where he had a .259 average, with 35 runs, 16 doubles, 11 homers, 43 RBIs and a .797 OPS in 62 games. He played winter ball in Puerto Rico after the season, though that was a very advanced league for his age/experience, and he ended up with a .100 average in 16 games. Ortiz moved up to Low-A Beloit of the Midwest League in 2011. He hit .239 in 129 games, with 58 runs, 33 doubles, ten homers, 71 RBIs and a .685 OPS. He played winter ball again after the season, improving to a .246 average and a .649 OPS in 17 games. Ortiz went to Fort Myers of the High-A Florida State League for most of the 2012 season, after a short stint back with Beloit. He combined to hit .275 in 119 games between both stops, with 63 runs, 28 doubles, five triples, ten homers, 48 RBIs and a .740 OPS. He impressed in winter ball, putting up a .322 average and a .784 OPS in 45 games. The entire 2013 season was spent with New Britain of the Double-A Eastern League, where he hit .258 in 133 games, with 63 runs, 27 doubles, 12 homers, 60 RBIs and a .706 OPS. He really struggled in winter ball that year, posting a .217 average and a .517 OPS in 44 games.
Ortiz went to Triple-A Rochester of the International League in 2014 for a little more than half of the season, while spending the rest of the year back in Double-A. He hit .324 with an .840 OPS in 49 games for New Britain, while batting .256 with 24 extra-base hits in 73 games for Rochester. Between both stops he had a .285 average, with 58 runs, 29 doubles, five triples, 12 homers and 64 RBIs. Despite solid stats, he walked just 13 times in 443 plate appearances. His winter experience during the 2014-15 off-season saw him hit .276 with a .775 OPS in 39 games. The entire 2015 season was spent in Rochester, where he hit .248 in 131 games, with 61 runs, 31 doubles, 17 homers, 78 RBIs and a .725 OPS. He became a free agent after the season and he was the first minor league free agent signed by the Pirates that winter. He played winter ball again and struggled with a .232 average and a .610 OPS. Ortiz played the entire 2016 season in Triple-A for the Pirates, matching his 17 homers from the previous year, though he hit just .236 in 130 games, with 25 walks and a .690 OPS with Indianapolis of the International League. He had 41 runs, 19 doubles and 57 RBIs that season. He went to winter ball in Puerto Rico after the season and put up a .340 batting average and a .813 OPS in 37 games, which led to him eventually re-signing with the Pirates as a minor league free agent.
Ortiz went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 2017, but he began the year back in Indianapolis. He was called up to the majors in late April for the first time in his career. He lasted just one day before being returned, though he got to make his debut as a defensive replacement in right field in the seventh inning. He came back to the Pirates 17 days later, and he went 1-for-13 with a walk over eight games, before being optioned back to Indianapolis. That has been his only big league experience to this date, but he still plays both summer and winter ball. He actually spent a total of nine days on the big league roster with the Pirates, getting into a game each day he spent in the majors. Ortiz had a .270 average and a .760 OPS in 110 games with Indianapolis that year, finishing with 47 runs, 30 doubles, 15 homers and 63 RBIs. He had a rough 2017-18 winter, while splitting his time between Venezuela and Puerto Rico. He put up a .101 average and a .289 OPS in 25 games. Ortiz played in the Philadelphia Phillies system in 2018, spending the year with Lehigh Valley of the International League. He hit .232 in 118 games, with 43 runs, 20 doubles, 15 homers and 61 RBIs. His winter ball that year saw him hit .217 with a .604 OPS in 34 games.
Ortiz played in Mexico in 2019 and 2021, while sitting out the 2020 season, though he played winter ball before and after. He is currently playing winter ball in Puerto Rico for the 13th straight season. He actually played the first half of the 2020-21 winter season in Mexico, which began two months earlier than the league in Puerto Rico, but he ended up in his home country for 17 games that winter. Ortiz put up huge numbers in Mexico in 2019, finishing with a .312 average in 117 games, with 96 runs, 30 doubles, 42 homers and 114 RBIs, leading to a 1.037 OPS. His winter ball experience was a bust once again, with a .227 average and a .613 OPS in 30 games. He improved drastically during the 2020-21 winter in both Mexico and Puerto Rico, finishing with a .319 average and a .960 OPS in 34 games. Ortiz was in Mexico in 2021 for 62 games, where he had a .294 average and a .958 OPS. He split winter ball between Mexico and Puerto Rico again in 2021-22, though he did much better in his homeland, with a .977 OPS in 31 games, compared to a .765 OPS in 26 games in Mexico. His 2022 season saw him put up a .286 average and 1.032 OPS in 86 games in Mexico, where he had 35 homers and 102 RBIs in his short time. His winter stats between Mexico and Puerto Rico are nearly identical in the 2022-23 winter as of this writing. Including winter ball, he has played 1,861 games and he has 894 runs, 255 homers and 1,057 RBIs.
Mark Redman, pitcher for the 2005 Pirates. He was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 41st round out of high school in 1992. He decided to attend the University of Oklahoma, where was a first round pick (taken 13th overall) of the Minnesota Twins in 1995. It took him four years to make the majors, debuting for the 1999 Twins. Redman went right to High-A ball after signing, playing for Fort Myers of the Florida State League, where he went 2-1, 2.76, with 26 strikeouts in 32.2 innings. He did well for Fort Myers in 1996, going 3-4, 1.85, with 75 strikeouts. in 82.2 innings over 13 starts. He then had a 7-7, 3.81 record in 16 starts for Hardware City of the Double-A Eastern League. He finished with one start for Salt Lake City of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He had 175 strikeouts that season in 193 innings. The 1997 season was spent with Salt Lake City, where he went 8-15, 6.31 in 158.1 innings, with 125 strikeouts and a 1.79 WHIP. That ERA sounds very high, but it was less than a full run more than the team average. Redman spent part of 1998 back in Double-A and did well, posting a 1.52 ERA in eight starts with New Britain of the Eastern League. He returned to Salt Lake City for 18 starts that year, and improved slightly to a 5.53 ERA in 99.1 innings. That season he struck out 139 batters in 146.2 innings. He made 24 starts at Salt Lake City in 1999, and had a 9-9, 5.05 record in 133.2 innings over 24 starts. The Twins called him up in July for a spot start, then he returned to the majors in September. He had an 8.53 ERA in 12.2 innings during his first big league trial.
After making just five appearances that first year in the majors, Redman moved into the Twins starting rotation in 2000, where he went 12-9, 4.76 in 151.1 innings. His 117 strikeouts that season were the second most of his big league career. He finished sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. After putting up a 4.22 ERA in nine starts with the 2001 Twins, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers even up for All-Star reliever Todd Jones. Redman saw brief Triple-A time with both the Tigers and Twins that season, but he made just two starts for the Tigers that year, allowing six runs in nine innings. His minor league time amounted to just four starts. He missed about two months in the middle of the year due to an arm strain, then missed the final month due to minor knee surgery. Redman spent the entire 2002 season in the Detroit rotation, going 8-15, 4.21 in a career high 203 innings over 30 starts. He was traded to the Florida Marlins in January of 2003, and then he helped them to a World Series title that year by going 14-9, 3.59 in 190.2 innings, with a career high 151 strikeouts. He topped the 100-strikeout mark four more times in his career, but never came close to that 2003 total. He made four postseason starts and the Marlins won two of those games, though he finished 0-1, 6.50 in 18 innings.
Redman went 11-12, 4.71 in 191 innings over 32 starts for the Oakland A’s in 2004, after signing there as a free agent. Pittsburgh acquired Redman and Arthur Rhodes in November of 2004 from the A’s in exchange for Jason Kendall. Redman started off strong for the Pirates, going 4-4, 2.80 in his first 14 starts, but he went downhill quick after that. He finished with a 5-15, 4.90 record in 178.1 innings. The Pirates won just one of his last 16 starts. He was traded to the Kansas City Royals on December 7, 2005 in exchange for pitcher Jonah Bayliss and a minor leaguer (pitcher Chad Blackwell). Redman was an All-Star during the 2006 season in Kansas City, though it was far from a solid performance. He went 11-10, 5.73 in 167 innings over 29 starts. He became a free agent and signed with the Atlanta Braves for the 2007 season, but he was released in May. He then moved on to the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays, before finishing the season with the Colorado Rockies. He only pitched briefly in the majors that year with the Braves and Rockies, combining to go 2-4, 7.62 in 41.1 innings. He played in Triple-A for all four teams that season, and even saw a Double-A game, giving him a total of seven teams during the entire 2007 season. His minor league stats show a 3-6, 4.87 record in 98 innings over 17 games. Redman’s big league time in 2008 consisted of 45.1 innings over nine starts and one relief appearance for the Rockies. He went 2-5, 7.54 that year, while also making 12 starts and six relief appearances for Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League He went 8-4, 5.29 in 85 minor league innings that year. He retired after the 2008 season with a 68-85, 4.85 record over 1,238.2 innings, spending ten seasons in the majors. He had 203 starts, 16 relief appearances, 12 complete games and two shutouts.
Danny Jackson, pitcher for the 1992 Pirates. He was originally drafted out of high school in the 24th round of the 1980 draft by the Oakland A’s. Just two years later, Jackson was the first overall pick in the January 1982 draft, taken by the Kansas City Royals out of Trinidad State College. He had an incredible first season in pro ball, splitting the year between Charleston of the Class-A South Atlantic League and Jacksonville of the Double-A Southern League. He combined to go 17-3, 2.50 in 194.1 innings, with 136 strikeouts. The 1983 season was spent with Triple-A Omaha of the American Association, where he had a 7-8, 3.97 record in 136 innings. Jackson debuted in the majors that September and had a 5.21 ERA in 19 innings over three starts and a relief appearance. He pitched half of the 1984 season in Omaha and the other half with the Royals. He went 5-8, 3.67 in 110.1 innings with Omaha, and 2-6, 4.26 in 76 innings over 11 starts and four relief appearances with Kansas City. Jackson had ten complete games and three shutouts with Omaha that season. He was a regular on the 1985 Royals teams that won the World Series. He went 14-12, 3.42 in 208 innings over 32 starts that year. He had four complete games and three shutouts. He started two games in the World Series and allowed just three runs over 16 innings.
Jackson improved his ERA to 3.20 in 185.2 innings in 1986, though his record dropped to 11-12. The Royals went from 91 wins during their World Series season, down to a 76-86 record in 1986. The Royals were slightly above .500 in 1987, but Jackson went 9-18, 4.02, with 152 strikeouts in 224 innings. He completed 11 of his 34 starts, throwing two shutouts. The Royals traded him over the winter to the Cincinnati Reds, where he had a near Cy Young season. Besides compiling a 23-8 record, he had a 2.73 ERA in 260 innings over 35 starts, with a career high 161 strikeouts. He pitched 15 complete games and six were shutouts. He was an All-Star for the first of two times in his career, and he finished ninth in the MVP voting, the only time he received any MVP votes. Jackson finished second in the Cy Young voting to Orel Hershiser, who had his career year in 1988, when he set a consecutive shutout inning record and led the Los Angeles Dodgers to a World Series title. That big 1988 season for Jackson was followed in 1989 by an ERA that was more than double the previous year, going from 2.73 to 5.60. He made just 20 starts (and three minor league rehab starts), while throwing 115.2 innings. He had shoulder surgery that ended his season in late July.
The Reds won the World Series in 1990 and Jackson was a solid contributor, though he missed about ten starts over multiple disabled list stints due to shoulder pain. He went 6-6, 3.61 in 117.1 innings. He did well in two NLCS starts against the Pirates, allowing three runs in 11.1 innings, but he struggled in his World Series outing, allowing four runs in 2.2 innings. He signed a free agent deal for four years and $10.5M with the Chicago Cubs in November of 1990. During the 1991 season, he went 1-5, 6.75 in 70.2 innings over 14 starts and three relief outings. He missed time due to a strained abdomen. Jackson’s 1988 highlight season was far removed by the time he joined Pittsburgh. When the Pirates acquired him from the Chicago Cubs on July 11, 1992 for third baseman Steve Buechele, he had won a total of 17 games since his 23 victories in 1988. Before the trade, Jackson had a 4-9, 4.22 record in 113 innings over 19 starts for Chicago. He went 4-4, 3.36 in 88.1 innings over 15 starts for the Pirates to finish out the 1992 season. He started game two of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, but was chased from the game in the second inning, giving up four earned runs and taking the loss. Following the season he was taken by the Florida Marlins in the 1992 expansion draft. That same day he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for two players.
Jackson did well in two seasons with the Phillies, posting a 26-17, 3.57 record in 57 starts. He went 12-11, 3.77 in 210.1 innings over 32 starts in 1993, then followed it up with a 14-6, 3.26 record in 179.1 innings during the strike-shortened 1994 season. He was an All-Star that year and he finished sixth in the Cy Young voting. From there he moved to the St Louis Cardinals, where he had an awful time over three seasons. For the 1995 Cardinals, Jackson went 2-12, 5.90 in 100.2 innings over 19 starts. A broken ankle ended his 1995 season early, and limited him to 13 big league games in 1996. He pitched nearly as much on rehab that year, making nine minor league appearances. He went 1-1, 4.46 in 36.1 innings for St Louis, making four starts and nine relief appearances. His time with the Cardinals in 1997 amounted to a 7.71 ERA in four starts at the big league level, and a 1.80 ERA in four minor league starts. In early June, he was part of a three-for-three swap with the San Diego Padres. He wound up the 1997 season with a tough time for the Padres, going 1-7, 7.53 in 49 innings over nine starts and four relief outings. He finished his 15-year big league career with a 112-131, 4.01 record, while throwing 2,072.2 innings. He started 324 games, threw 44 complete games and he had 15 shutouts. He finished with 1,225 strikeouts.
John Russell, manager of the Pirates from 2008-2010. Russell was a catcher in the majors for ten seasons prior to becoming a manager/coach. He was a first round pick in 1982, who made it to the majors two years later with the Philadelphia Phillies. In a career that also included big league time with the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers, he played 448 games and hit .225 with 113 runs, 50 doubles, 34 homers and 129 RBIs. He retired after a brief minor league stint in 1994, and then immediately took up a coaching role. Russell managed in the Minnesota Twins minor league system from 1995 to 2002 before becoming the Pirates third base coach and catching instructor from 2003 to 2005. After two seasons of managing in the Phillies farm system (2006-07), the Pirates hired him as their manager for the 2008 season. In three years at the helm he went 186-299 with a high of 67 wins in 2008. His record got progressively worse during that stretch, going from 67-95, to 62-99, to 57-105 during his final season. He finished in last place all three seasons. Russell had more winning seasons than losing years in the minors, though he finished with a devilishly average 666-667 record. He went on to be a coach for the Baltimore Orioles for eight seasons (2011-18) and now coaches at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. Russell got to manage one game for the 2011 Orioles, which he lost.
Roger Samuels, pitcher for the 1989 Pirates. He was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the January 1980 draft out of San Jose City College. He decided to go back to school, where he was next taken by the Houston Astros in 1983 out of Santa Clara University, dropping to the tenth round. Samuels split his first season between the short-season New York-Penn League (Auburn) and the Low-A South Atlantic League (Asheville), going 6-6, 3.84, with 68 strikeouts in 93.2 innings, with similar results at both levels. He spent part of 1984 back in Asheville, and the other half of the season with Daytona Beach of the Class-A Florida State League. He combined to go 9-9, 3.73 in 156.2 innings, with 126 strikeouts. That year was the only season in which he topped 100 strikeouts during his career. He did slightly better with Asheville that season. Samuels moved up to the Double-A Southern League in 1985, where he spent the first of two seasons with Columbus. He went 10-9, 3.96 in 147.2 innings over 25 starts and eight relief appearances in 1985, while dropping down to 85 strikeouts. He topped out at Double-A with the Astros, posting a 5.10 ERA in 1986 after being moved to the bullpen. He pitched 77.2 innings over three starts and 35 relief appearances. The Astros released him prior to the 1987 season.
Samuels signed as a minor league free agent with the San Francisco Giants 18 days after being released by Houston, and ended up making his MLB debut with them in July of 1988. He spent the 1987 season pitching for Fresno of the Class-A California League and Shreveport of the Double-A Texas League, doing great in both spots. He combined to go 4-3, 1.18 in 76 innings over 48 appearances, with 13 saves and 99 strikeouts. He moved up to Triple-A Phoenix of the Pacific Coast League in 1988, where he had a 2.63 ERA and eight saves in 48 innings over 30 appearances. He made 15 relief appearances after joining the Giants. Samuels had a 3.47 ERA in 23.1 innings, with 22 strikeouts during his first big league trial. He began the 1989 season back in the minors, and was still there when the Pirates acquired him in a deal for veteran third baseman Ken Oberkfell on May 10th. Samuels was 0-3, 3.20 in 19.2 innings with Phoenix at the time of the deal. He reported to Triple-A Buffalo of the American Association before he was called up by the Pirates on May 29th. He struggled in five relief appearances for the Pirates, allowing four runs in 3.2 innings, before they returned him to Buffalo on June 11th. He did well after being sent down, finishing 1-1, 2.36 in 26.2 innings with Buffalo.
Samuels finished his career in the New York Mets organization after being released by the Pirates on April 29, 1990. He pitched five games with Buffalo that year, allowing two runs in five innings. The rest of the season was spent with Tidewater of the Triple-A International League, where he went 3-3, 3.27 in 41.1 innings over 35 games (one start). The Oberkfell-for-Samuels deal was a very controversial one because fans/media believed that the Pirates dumped a valuable player for a player who was unlikely to help. While that was true about Samuels, Oberkfell was a highly paid bench player, whose best days were behind him. He was a singles-hitting third baseman, who had 22.4 WAR in his first ten seasons (he played 33 games total in his first two years). In his final six seasons in the majors, he had 0.0 WAR. Samuels finished with a 4.33 ERA over 27 innings in his 20 big league appearances. He passed away in 2022 at age 61.
Bob Oldis, catcher for the 1960-61 Pirates. Oldis had previously played only 24 Major League games over three seasons (1953-55 with the Washington Senators) when the Pirates took him in the 1959 Rule 5 draft from the New York Yankees. He was signed as an amateur free agent in 1949 by the Senators. He was scouted at a baseball camp at 21 years old and signed without getting a bonus. He spent his first four years of pro ball in the minors before making his MLB debut early in the 1953 season. Oldis played his first two pro seasons for Emporia of the Class-D Virginia League. He did well in his pro debut, hitting .285 in 79 games, with 36 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 33 RBIs and a .764 OPS. He batted .289 with 27 extra-base hits in 118 games in 1950. He moved up two levels in 1951 to the Class-B Tri-State League, where he played for Charlotte. He hit .285 that year, with 19 doubles, seven triples and no homers that year in 116 games. That performance led to another two-level jump in 1952, when he joined Chattanooga of the Double-A Southern Association. He hit .277 that season in 95 games, with 14 doubles, three triples and no homers. Oldis started the 1953 season with the Senators, but he ended up playing 28 games for Chattanooga. Despite spending half of the season in the majors, he played just seven games for Washington. He went 4-for-16 with four singles and three RBIs for the Senators, while posting a.266 average and a .742 OPS with Chattanooga.
Oldis spent the entire 1954 season in the majors, yet he played just 11 games, while serving as the third-string catcher for Washington. He went 8-for-24 with a double, walk and run scored. He played just six games in the majors in 1955, while playing a total of 65 minor league games between Chattanooga and Charlotte of the Class-A South Atlantic League. He was 0-for-6 with a walk and run scored during his third season in the majors. He hit .267 in the minors that year, with 27 runs, 12 extra-base hits and 20 RBIs. Oldis then played four full seasons in the minors before his Pirates debut. The entire 1956 season was spent with Chattanooga, where he hit .286 in 118 games, with 48 runs, 13 doubles, five triples, 41 RBIs and a .706 OPS. The Yankees acquired him after the 1956 season, though he never saw big league time with them over his three years in their farm system. He played for Denver of the Triple-A American Association in 1957, where he hit .294 in 85 games, with 42 runs, 20 extra-base hits, 31 RBIs and a .780 OPS. He switched to Triple-A Richmond of the International League in 1958, where he hit .268 in 124 games, with 51 runs, 32 extra-base hits, 49 RBIs, 59 walks and a .762 OPS. Oldis spent the 1959 season playing for Denver again, where he batted .294 in 135 games, with 59 runs, 29 doubles, 65 RBIs, 56 walks and a .755 OPS. He was already 32 years old at the time he joined the Pirates.
Oldis was used very little throughout the 1960 season in Pittsburgh, making three starts all year, while playing a total of just 22 games. He went 4-for-20 at the plate, with a double, an RBI and a walk. He was used twice off the bench in the World Series without getting an at-bat. He started the following season on the Pirates roster, but spent most of the year in the minors. He went 0-for-5 in four games for the 1961 Pirates, playing twice in April, once in May and once in June. He spent the rest of the year with Columbus of the Triple-A International League, hitting .224 in 81 games, with 24 runs, ten extra-base hits and 21 RBIs. Columbus traded him to Buffalo of the International League for catcher Cal Neeman and cash on October 16, 1961. Buffalo was the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, where Oldis played 85 games over the next two seasons before retiring as a player. He had 96 plate appearances over 38 games in 1962, with a .263 average and a .678 OPS. He had 89 plate appearances in 47 games in 1963, batting .224 with a .509 OPS.
Oldis was a .237 hitter in 135 big league games, with 20 runs, six doubles, one homer and 22 RBIs. He hit 23 homers total in his pro career, while playing 1,179 games. After his final season in the majors, he became a coach for the Philadelphia Phillies. He was actually a player-coach in September of 1964, but he never got into a game. He continued to coach for a few more years, then took up scouting, which he did for over 30 years. Oldis earned a World Series ring with the 2003 Florida Marlins. He turns 95 years old today.
Jack Salveson, pitcher for the 1935 Pirates. His first taste of pro ball came at 18 years old with Winston-Salem of the Class-B Piedmont League in 1932, where he went 7-12, 4.62 in 156 innings. He debuted in the majors in early June of 1933 with the New York Giants after pitching great with Dallas of the Class-A Texas League in seven starts, posting a 1.44 ERA in 50 innings. Salveson went 0-2, 3.82 in 30.2 innings over two starts and six relief appearances with the 1933 Giants. He started and finished the 1934 season in the majors, while spending approximately two months from May-July in the minors with Montreal of the Double-A International League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He minor league stats show an 11-4, 3.79 record in 121 innings. Salveson made four starts and eight relief appearances for the Giants that year, posting a 3.52 ERA in 38.1 innings. The Pirates acquired him in December of 1934 from the Giants for pitcher Leon Chagnon. Salveson was just shy of his 21st birthday at the time of the trade. He pitched just five games for the 1935 Pirates, posting a 9.00 ERA in seven relief innings, before they decided to trade him on June 9, 1935 to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for a young outfielder named Bud Hafey, who was a cousin of Hall of Fame outfielder Chick Hafey.
Salveson finished the 1935 season with the White Sox, going 1-2, 4.86 in 66.2 innings over 20 games (two starts), then returned to the minors for seven seasons before he played in the majors again in 1943 and 1945 for the Cleveland Indians. That was when player losses to the war effort offered older players a chance to get back in the majors. However, he actually quit baseball for the 1944 season to work a wartime job, before returning to the Indians in 1945. Salveson pitched seven straight seasons in the Double-A Pacific Coast League (1936-42) and averaged 15 wins per season before making it back to the majors. He went 21-7, 2.76 for Los Angeles in 1936, finishing with 251 innings pitched over 35 games, which included 24 complete games. Not all of his minor league strikeout totals are available, but his 127 strikeouts that year is a high among his known seasons. He went 5-5, 3.08 in 73 innings for Los Angeles in 1937. He remained in Los Angeles for one more season, going 11-10, 4.13 in 205 innings in 1938. Salveson moved on to Oakland of the Pacific Coast League in 1939, and stayed there until his next big league chance. He had a 12-15, 3.82 record in 233 innings during his first season in Oakland. He went 19-13, 2.30 in 286 innings during the 1940 season. He had a 15-20, 3.75 record in 288 innings in 1941, with 22 complete games and six shutouts in 38 starts. That was followed by a 24-12, 2.58 record in 310 innings in 1942.
For the 1943 Indians, Salveson went 5-3, 3.35 in 86 innings over 11 starts and 12 relief appearances. He had a 3.68 ERA in 44 innings over 19 relief appearances in 1945, then returned to the minors for the rest of his career. He went to Portland of the Pacific Coast League for the 1946-47 seasons, with the league getting reclassified as Triple-A in 1946. Salveson had a 15-14, 2.48 record in 261 innings in 1946, finishing with 119 strikeouts and 24 complete games. He went 17-14, 3.64 in 287 innings during the 1947 season. The 1948 season was split between Oakland and Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League. He combined for a 13-18 record and 245 innings pitched. He went to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League for the next three seasons, starting with an 11-7, 2.98 record in 148 innings in 1949. That was followed by a 15-4, 2.84 record in 1950, when he threw 165 innings. The next season saw him go 15-10, 3.16 in 219 innings. Salveson had a 10-10, 3.80 record over 168 innings during the 1952 season, which he spent with San Diego of the Pacific Coast League. His final season was split between San Diego and Oakland. He had a 1-7 record over 60 innings. He pitched for six of the eight teams in the Pacific Coast League during his time. He won just nine Major League games over five seasons, but was able to pick up 224 minor league wins before he retired in 1953 after 21 seasons in pro ball. He finished his big league career 9-9, 3.99 in 272.2 innings over 19 starts and 68 relief appearances. He had eight complete games, four shutouts and three saves.
Newt Hunter, first baseman for the 1911 Pirates. He had been playing minor league ball since 1903 when the Pirates traded three players for him on August 20, 1910. The trade was made with the minor league team he was playing for at the time, the Kansas City Blues of the Class-A American Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. There was quite the bidding war for Hunter’s services, with the local papers noting that the Pirates were the front runners and said to be offering as many as six players for his services. Some papers reported that all 16 Major League teams made offers. Other teams were making cash offers, but Kansas City’s owner wanted players, and he wanted to make a deal before the Rule 5 draft on September 1st, where there was a slim chance that he could end up getting just $1,000 for Hunter. It’s interesting to note that the report on him said that he was about 22 years old at the time. Hunter was actually 30 years old.
Hunter debuted with Vicksburg of the Class-D Cotton States League, where he hit just .094 in 64 at-bats during the 1903 season. He played for two Class-C teams in 1904, seeing time with Dallas of the Texas League and Beaumont of the South Texas League. He combined to hit .278 in 115 games, with better results at Beaumont. Hunter split the 1905 season between Beaumont and Houston, also of the same South Texas League. His complete stats aren’t known, but they show a .305 average in 122 games. He moved up two levels in 1906 to Baltimore of the Class-A Eastern League, where he batted .240 with 32 extra-base hits in 115 games. He spent most of 1907 back in Baltimore, and hit .231 with 14 extra-base hits and 29 steals in 98 games. He also saw some time with Troy of the Class-B New York State League that season. Hunter split the 1908 season evenly between Baltimore and Wilmington of the Class-B Tri-State League. He hit .263 with 50 runs, 19 extra-base hits and 24 steals in 101 games between both stops. Hunter had his first really good season at Sioux City of the Class-A Western League in 1909 at 29 years old. That year he batted .301 with 39 doubles, seven triples and 13 homers in 156 games. That was followed up by his strong season at Kansas City, which got him his big league shot. In addition to hitting well at the time he was picked up by the Pirates, he was also noted as a fast runner and a brilliant defender. His batting average a few days prior to the trade was .331, yet he finished the year with a .295 mark in 162 games, while collecting 38 extra-base hits. When the deal was completed, it was announced that he was joining the Pirates during the following spring.
Hunter played 65 games total for the 1911 Pirates, with 61 coming at first base, where he was splitting time there with two future Hall of Famers, Honus Wagner and Bill McKechnie. Hunter hit .254 with 35 runs, 18 extra-base hits, 24 RBIs, nine steals and a .732 OPS, in what ended up being his only big league season. While his contributions to the Pirates were minimal, all three players sent to Kansas City in the trade ended up being career minor leaguers, so it worked out well in that sense. Hunter was sold outright to Indianapolis of the American Association on September 7, 1911, ending his time with the Pirates. He finished the season with 20 games in Indianapolis, then he played regularly in the minors until 1918, briefly making another appearance on the field in 1924 for six games. He had a .294 average and five extra-base hits for Indianapolis in 1911. That was followed by a .268 average over 138 games for Indianapolis in 1912, with 69 runs, 16 doubles, ten triples and 19 steals. He moved on to Minneapolis of the American Association in 1913, where he had a .253 average in 97 games, with 38 runs, 23 extra-base hits and 16 steals. He 141 games for Minneapolis in 1914, hitting for a .239 average, with 73 runs, 27 extra-base hits, 25 steals, 57 walks and a .635 OPS.
Hunter played for Fort Worth of the Class-B Texas League in 1915. He hit .290 in 150 games that year, with 36 doubles, 11 triples and one homer. The 1916 season was split between Fort Worth and Lincoln of the Class-A Western League. He had a combined .291 average in 152 games, with 32 doubles, nine triples and seven homers. He saw limited play with Joplin of the Western League in 1917, hitting .295 in 27 games, with four extra-base hits, all doubles. Hunter batted .244 in 51 games for Sioux City of the Western League in 1918. His final six games in 1924 came as a player/manager for Kalamazoo of the Class-B Michigan-Ontario League. After his playing career ended he coached/managed and scouted for many years. He managed four different teams over the 1921-25 seasons in the minors. While not all of his minor league stats are known, Hunter played over 1,500 minor league games during his 17 seasons. During his time in Pittsburgh and most years in the minors, he was known by his first name (Fred).