Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including two members of World Series teams
Dick “Ducky” Schofield, infielder for the 1958-65 Pirates. He began his MLB career at age 18 with the Cardinals, spending his first 5 1/2 seasons in St Louis playing sparingly, appearing in just 208 games during that stretch. Schofield was signed under the Bonus Baby rule, which meant that he had to spend his first two full years in the majors from the day that he signed. The Cardinals handed him a $40,000 bonus at 18 years old in June of 1953, and he debuted in the majors weeks later on July 3rd. He played just 88 games over his two full years before the rule requirements were filled, then he was sent to the minors for the rest of 1955 (he returned in late September) and the better part of 1956. He was mostly a bench player in St Louis, picking up just 244 at-bats during his 208 games. As a rookie, Schofield batted .179 with two homers in 39 at-bats. He would hit just two homers total during the next eight seasons combined. The Cardinals got him into 43 games in 1954, though he batted just seven times all year, with four of those at-bats coming during the first eight games of the season. He ended up scoring 17 runs, as he was used 37 times as a pinch-runner. In his split season in 1955, he went 0-for-4 in 12 games with the Cardinals. The rest of the year was spent with Omaha of the Triple-A American Association, where he batted .273 in 107 games, with 56 runs, 24 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs and a .741 OPS. Schofield played 108 games for Omaha in 1956, putting up a .295 average, with 60 runs, 37 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and an .830 OPS. He went 3-for-30 in 16 games with the Cardinals that year.
Schofield spent all of 1957 with the Cardinals, where he hit .161/.254/.161 in 65 games, though he batted just 64 times. He made 11 starts all season and he appeared strictly as a pinch-runner in 29 times. He started off much better in 1958, batting .213/.348/.278 in 39 games over the first two months. The Pirates acquired him on June 15, 1958, along with cash for infielders Gene Freese and Johnny O’Brien. Schofield hit .148/.226/.222 over 26 games with the Pirates during that 1958 season. He saw plenty of bench time in 1959, getting into 81 games. However, he received just 163 plate appearances, in which he hit .234/.311/.338, with 21 runs scored, 12 extra-base hits and nine RBIs. The Pirates were battling for the National League pennant in 1960. Schofield was getting very limited playing time until an injury struck the Pirates starting shortstop Dick Groat in early September. Ducky was hitting just .200 at the time (7-for-35), but he stepped into the shortstop position and hit .403 the rest of the way (21 games) to help the Pirates maintain their first place lead and win the pennant. He was back on the bench for the World Series, with Groat returning to the lineup. Schofield managed to get to the plate four times, with a hit and walk to show for it.
Schofield was back to a limited role in 1961, getting 90 plate appearances over 60 games, and he hit just .192/.284/.244 with two RBIs all year. He did better in 1962, batting .288/.382/.375 in 54 games, though still saw limited time as the backup for three infield spots. The Pirates traded Dick Groat in November of 1962 and Schofield became the regular shortstop, playing a career high 138 games in 1963. He finished that year with a .246 average, 54 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs, 69 walks and a .636 OPS. He hit .246 again in 1964 in the same role, getting into 121 games that year. That season he hit 22 doubles, five triples and three homers, which were all career highs. He also added 50 runs scored and 54 walks, while his OPS went up 58 points over the previous season. He was the Pirates shortstop to begin the 1965 season, but a month into the schedule, the Pirates traded him to the San Francisco Giants for infielder Jose Pagan. Schofield was in the majors until 1971, playing a total of 1,321 games over 19 seasons, while moving around a lot after he left Pittsburgh. He spent parts of the 1965-66 seasons with the Giants, then played for the New York Yankees for 25 games in 1966. From there it was the 1966-67 Los Angeles Dodgers, the 1968 Cardinals, the 1969-70 Boston Red Sox, before splitting the 1971 season between the Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. He also saw some brief minor league time during that 1971 season.
Schofield had a .229 average and a .593 OPS prior to the trade to the Giants, After the deal, he batted .203 in 101 games for the Giants, with 39 runs scored and 19 RBIs, while posting a .522 OPS. He hit .194 in 56 games between his three stops in 1966, combing for 19 runs, two extra-base hits, six RBIs and a .504 OPS. He batted .216 in 84 games for the 1967 Dodgers, finishing with 23 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 15 RBIs and 31 walks. He hit .220/.303/.315 in 69 games for the 1968 Cardinals, adding 14 runs, nine extra-base hits and eight RBIs. The Cardinals went to the World Series that year, but he didn’t get any at-bats in the postseason. Schofield hit .257 in 94 games for the 1969 Red Sox, with 30 runs, 14 extra-base hits, 20 RBIs and a .698 OPS. That batting average dropped down to .187 in 76 games during the 1970 campaign. He had just four extra-base hits all season, leading to a .539 OPS. He made 22 starts that season, split between second base and third base. During his final season, which was split between the Brewers and a third stint with the Cardinals, Schofield hit .182/.301/.261 in 57 games, with nine runs, five extra-base hits and seven RBIs. He was a career .227 hitter in 1,321 games with 394 runs, 113 doubles, 20 triples, 21 homers, 211 RBIs and 390 walks. For the Pirates in eight seasons, he hit .248 in 576 games, with 184 runs and 107 RBIs. Schofield played 660 games at shortstop during his career, 159 at second base and 95 at third base. He also saw brief time at the two corner outfielder spots. His son Dick Schofield played 14 seasons in the majors, and his grandson Jayson Werth played 15 seasons. Ducky Schofield passed away in July of 2022 at 87 years old.
William “Kitty” Bransfield, first baseman for the 1901-04 Pirates, including the National League pennant winning 1901-03 teams. Bransfield began pro career as a catcher. He got into five games for the 1898 Boston Beaneaters during his first season of pro ball. He had just 34 games of experience in the Class-B New England League before making his big league debut in August of 1898, though he was already 23 years old at the time and had plenty of semi-pro ball experience. He split his minor league time that year between Brockton and Newport, combining to hit .263 in 137 at-bats, with 23 runs, nine doubles and four homers. He went 2-for-9 with two runs, a triple and an RBI in his first big league cup of coffee. He played for Class-A Worcester of the Eastern League in 1899, where he hit .315 in 89 games, with 36 extra-base hits. He returned to Worcester for 1900, and hit .369 in 122 games, with 17 homers and 40 stolen bases. He was property of Boston still in 1899, but they sold his rights to Worcester, where he was switched to first base. After spending two full seasons in the minors, the Pirates purchased his contract for the 1901 season in exchange for outfielder Joe Rickert and cash. The Pirates acquired Bransfield’s rights in late August of 1900, and it was announced at the time that he would stay with his Worcester club until the end of the minor league season. He was supposed to join the Pirates on September 25, 1900, but he decided to return home due to a bum leg and some illnesses in his family. Barney Dreyfuss made the mistake of comparing Bransfield to the great Nap Lajoie as a batter, though he did well from the start in the majors, so a little less lofty of a comparison would have been appropriate. A local Pittsburgh paper went the other way when talking about him, saying he was unlikely to make it with the Pirates because he failed in two shots with Boston.
Bransfield hit .295 in 139 games during his 1901 rookie season, finishing with 92 runs, 42 extra-base hits, 91 RBIs and a .733 OPS. He ranked third in the National League with 16 triples, while hitting 26 doubles and stealing 23 bases. In his second season in Pittsburgh, he hit .305 in 102 games, with 49 runs, 29 extra-base hits, 69 RBIs, a .730 OPS and 23 steals for the second straight season. The Pirates finished with their best record in franchise history during that season, going 103-36 (with three ties), despite suffering multiple injuries to key players late in the year. That includes Bransfield, who suffered a knee injury that sidelines him in mid-August for 33 games. The Pirates won their third straight pennant in 1903, but he couldn’t match his overall production from his first two seasons in Pittsburgh. He hit .265 in 127 games, with 69 runs, 32 extra-base hits and 57 RBIs. He had a .733 OPS as a rookie and a .730 mark as a sophomore, but his 1903 OPS dropped down to a .665 mark. He struggled in the World Series, hitting .207 with one RBI in 29 at-bats. He was the Pirates everyday first baseman in 1904, but his average dropped to .223 and he led all NL first baseman in errors. His OPS drop from 1902 to 1903 paled in comparison to the drop this season, as low power (26 extra-base hits/no homers) and low walk numbers (22 free passes) led to a .549 OPS. Following the 1904 season, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, along with two other players, for minor league first baseman Del Howard and outfielder Otis Clymer.
Bransfield spent seven seasons in Philadelphia, before ending his career with three games for the Chicago Cubs in September of 1911. For the 1905 Phillies, he hit .259 in 151 games, with 55 runs scored, 35 extra-base hits, 27 steals and a career high 76 RBIs. He improved to a .639 OPS, adding 90 points over his 1904 total. Bransfield batted .275 over 140 games in 1906, with 47 runs, 34 extra-base hits, 60 RBIs and a .653 OPS. He missed some time in 1907 with a mid-season knee injury, limiting him to 94 games. He had a .233 average, with 25 runs, 17 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs and a .550 OPS. He bounced back in 1908, batting .304 in 144 games, with 53 runs, 35 extra-base hits, 71 RBIs and a career high 30 steals. His .730 OPS was the ninth best in the league during that deadball era season. Bransfield hit .292 in 140 games during the 1909 season, with 47 runs, 34 extra-base hits, 59 RBIs and a .691 OPS. He saw a drop off in production in 1910 at age 35, hitting .239 in 123 games, with 39 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 52 RBIs and a .593 OPS. His final season saw him hit .283/.309/.377, though he played just 26 games. He played a year of minor league ball before retiring as a player. He was a player-manager for Montreal of the Double-A International League in 1912 (highest level of the minors at the time), then stayed on for two more years as a manager. He began that 1912 season with Louisville of the Double-A American Association, and combined with his Montreal stats to hit .234 in 71 games, with 15 doubles, three triples and no homers. He later managed for four more seasons in the minors, spending 1924-26 with Waterbury of the Eastern League, and 1927 with Hartford of the Eastern League. Bransfield finished with a .270 average, 529 runs, 225 doubles, 75 triples, 13 homers, 637 RBIs and 175 stolen bases over 1,330 big league games. He fell one at-bat short of 5,000 for his career.
Bransfield batted .271 with 277 RBIs and 70 stolen bases in 507 games with the Pirates. After his departure in 1904, the newspapers constantly reminded local fans that the Pirates let him go, as no one held down first base in Pittsburgh for many years. In fact, no one started more than two Opening Days at first base for the Pirates until Charlie Grimm started his streak of five straight years in 1920. Despite the praise, Bransfield put up a career 10.2 WAR in his 12 seasons, with an average of 0.8 WAR per season with the Phillies over seven years. His replacements were worse during that time, but not by much, as they combined for 2.5 WAR in those seven seasons. Bransfield’s nickname came from when he was a young boy and got the nickname “Kid”. It turned into Kiddie, then someone misheard it and changed it to Kit/Kitty. When Bransfield protested the new nickname, it stuck. He said long after his career was over that it was ridiculous that a grown man had such a nickname, but he could never shake it.
Ted Beard, outfielder for the 1948-52 Pirates. He was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in early 1942, playing one season in the minors before spending the next three years serving in the military during the war. In 100 games in 1942, split between Harrisburg of the Class-B Interstate League and Hornell of the Class-D Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York League, he hit for a .243 average and 26 extra-base hits. He returned to the minors in 1946, where he stayed until the Pirates called him up in September of 1948. Beard played that 1946 season with York of the Interstate League. He batted .328 in 125 games that year, with 127 runs scored, 24 doubles, 13 triples, 12 homers, 75 RBIs, 121 walks and a 1.037 OPS. He spent a large majority of the 1947 season back with York, though he also saw time with Albany of the Class-A Eastern League and Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association. With York that year, he batted .326 in 123 games, with 99 runs, 53 extra-base hits, 81 RBIs, 33 steals, 112 walks and a 1.018 OPS. He had a .494 OPS in ten games with Albany (his Indianapolis stats are unavailable). Beard spent the 1948 season with Indianapolis, where he hit .301 in 142 games, with 131 runs, 31 doubles, 17 triples, 85 RBIs, 128 walks and a .919 OPS. He got called up to the Pirates in September of 1948 and hit .198/.316/.284 in 25 games during his first big league trial, getting 95 plate appearances.
Beard started the 1949 season in Pittsburgh, but was sent to the minors after batting .083/.154/.083 during the first month of the season. Once again he did well in Indianapolis, posting an .879 OPS in 125 games, while finishing with 108 runs and 132 RBIs. He didn’t see any late-season time with the 1949 Pirates, but he spent most of the 1950 season in the majors, where he hit .232/.333/.356 in 61 games, with 32 runs, 12 extra-base hits and 12 RBIs. On July 16, 1950, he became just the second player ever to hit a ball over the right field roof at Forbes Field. The first was Babe Ruth. Beard was listed at 5’8″, 165 pounds, so it was quite a blast for someone of his stature. He hit a combined .185 over 37 games for the Pirates during the 1951-52 seasons, with similar stats/playing time each year. He spent a majority of the 1951 season in Indianapolis, hitting .273 in 117 games, with 101 runs, 101 walks and an .846 OPS. He had a .562 OPS over 55 plate appearances for the 1951 Pirates, while spending the first month of the season in the majors. He played 15 games for the 1952 Pirates, once again spending the first month of the season in the majors. That year he had a .567 OPS in 52 plate appearances. His minor league time in 1952 with Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League amounted to a .269 average and an .831 OPS in 127 games.
Beard ended up spending all of 1953 with Hollywood, where he hit .286 in 134 games, with 91 runs, 49 extra-base hits, 60 RBIs and 64 walks. He was sold to the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League early in the 1954 season. He batted .300 in 160 games that year, with 104 runs scored, 51 extra-base hits, 30 steals and 99 walks. Following the sale to San Francisco, Beard played just 57 more games in the majors, coming during the 1957-58 seasons for the Chicago White Sox. He spent the entire 1955 season with San Francisco, where he hit .245 in 159 games, with 91 runs, 31 extra-base hits, 34 RBIs and 98 walks. He then returned to Indianapolis in 1956, where he had a .270 average and an .859 OPS in 116 games. He put up a .347 average, 91 runs, 42 extra-base hits and a 1.013 OPS in 96 games at Indianapolis in 1957, which earned him his trip back to the majors. He joined Chicago in late July and hit .205 in 38 games, with 15 runs, seven RBIs and a .572 OPS. Beard was hitting just .091/.286/.227 in 19 games for the 1958 White Sox, before he returned to the minors to finish out his career. He remained in pro ball for two full seasons and a handful of at-bats during the 1961-63 seasons, spending all of that time with Indianapolis. Beard hit .252 in 102 games in 1959, with 44 runs, 15 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs. He played 115 games in 1960, finishing with a .259 average, 55 runs, 19 extra-base hits and 24 RBIs. He had one hit over 12 at-bats during the 1961-63 seasons, playing a total of eight games those years. He put in two years as a manager in the minors. He played over 2,000 games in pro ball, but he compiled just 194 big league games over seven seasons. He had a .203 average in 137 games for the Pirates. He finished his big league career with a .198 average, 80 runs, 23 extra-base hits and 35 RBIs in the majors.
Al Todd, catcher for the 1936-38 Pirates. He was born on the same exact day as another former Pirates catcher, Cliff Knox (mentioned below). Todd played 11 seasons in the majors, despite the fact that he didn’t make his big league debut until age 30. He didn’t start pro ball until 1928 at 26 years old, beginning his career in the Class-D Blue Ridge League, where he hit .314 in 79 games, with 39 runs, 25 extra-base hits and a .797 OPS for Hanover. Most of 1929 was spent with Class-C Fort Smith of the Western Association, where he batted .320 in 86 games, with 31 extra-base hits. He played briefly for Evansville of the Class-B Three-I League that season, hitting .333 in 18 at-bats over 11 games. He then spent the entire 1930 season in the Three-I League, seeing time with both Evansville and Bloomington. Full stats aren’t available from that year, but he’s credited with a .287 average and 22 extra-base hits in 79 games. He spent 1931 with Dallas of the Class-A Texas League, where he hit .276 in 118 games, with 24 extra-base hits, which led to him getting his first big league shot. Todd played the next four seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies, batting nearly 100 points higher over his final two seasons compared to his first two years.
Todd batted .229/.260/.300 in 33 games as a rookie in 1932, getting just 75 plate appearances all season. He saw a bit more time in 1933, when he hit .206 in 73 games, with a very low .475 OPS due to just four extra-base hits (all doubles) and four walks all season. He broke out as a hitter in 1934, and it led to more than twice as many plate appearances over the previous season. Todd hit .318 in 91 games in 1934, with 33 runs, 22 doubles, four homers, 41 RBIs and a .788 OPS. He batted .290 in 107 games in 1935, with 40 runs, 24 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs and a .725 OPS. The Pirates traded rookie pitcher Claude Passeau and veteran catcher Earl Grace for Todd on November 21, 1935. While Todd was a solid performer in Pittsburgh, the trade went south quickly, as Passeau would go on to win 162 Major League games after leaving Pittsburgh.
Todd was splitting the Pirates catching duties with Tom Padden in 1936, until an injury in early July caused him (Todd) to miss six weeks. In 76 games that year, he had a .273 average, with 28 runs, 17 extra-base hits, 28 RBIs and a .678 OPS. He would become the everyday catcher in 1937, hitting .307 in 133 games, with 51 runs scored, 36 extra-base hits, a .758 OPS and a career high 86 RBIs. He had 18 doubles that year, while setting career highs with ten triples and eight homers. He played 133 games for a second straight season in 1938, this time hitting for a .265 average, with 52 runs (career high), 33 extra-base hits, 75 RBIs and a .671 OPS. After the 1938 season, Todd and outfielder Johnny Dickshot were traded to the Boston Bees for catcher Ray Mueller. The second trade worked out better for the Pirates, as Todd saw a decline in his hitting, which led to a drop-off in his production each year until his final year in 1943 with the Chicago Cubs. He posted 0.2 WAR total over his final four seasons as a player.
Todd had a .278 batting average, 28 runs, ten doubles, five homers, 32 RBIs and a .696 OPS in 86 games during his only season with Brooklyn. He was traded to the Cubs for two players after the 1939 season. He hit .255 in 104 games for the 1940 Cubs, finishing with 31 runs, 21 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs and a .629 OPS. He played just 27 big league games total during the 1941 and 1943 seasons. The entire 1942 season was spent with Los Angeles of the Double-A Pacific Coast League. Todd went 1-for-6 in six early-season games for the 1941 Cubs, then spent the rest of the year in Double-A (highest level of the minors at the time) with Milwaukee of the American Association and Toronto of the International League. He hit .279 in the minors that year, with 41 runs, 21 doubles and 39 RBIs in 109 games. His 1942 season with Los Angeles saw him hit .256 in 122 games, with 25 runs, 22 extra-base hits and 44 RBIs. Todd played 21 games for the 1943 Cubs, seeing most of his time in May/June, with just one game in the final two months of the season. He had a .133 average and a .286 OPS in 46 plate appearances.
Todd played pro ball until age 44, managed eight seasons (two as a player/manager) in the minors and he also scouted for a few years. He spent 1944 with Elmira of the Class-A Eastern League, where he batted .326 in 83 games, with 36 runs, 11 extra-base hits and 42 RBIs. He returned to the International League with Montreal in 1945, hitting .273 in 114 games that year, with 53 runs, 21 extra-base hits and 73 RBIs. His final season consisted of six games with Mobile of the Southern Association, where he went 2-for-11 at the plate. For the Pirates, Todd hit .284 in 342 games, with 131 runs scored, 17 homers and 189 RBIs. His 1937-38 seasons rated as the two best during his 11-year career, compiling 3.8 WAR those years, compared to 0.7 WAR over his other nine years combined. He hit 29 triples in his career, and 22 came while with the Pirates (14 at Forbes Field). His full career stats show a .276 average in 863 games, with 286 runs, 119 doubles, 35 homers and 366 RBIs.
Leo Murphy, catcher for the 1915 Pirates. He played 31 games for Pittsburgh in 1915, getting 46 plate appearances in which he went 4-for-41 (.098) with four walks and four RBIs. That was Murphy’s only season in the majors. He spent nine seasons in the minors, posting a .255 average in 801 games. He later managed for five seasons in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was featured in the movie League of Their Own. His pro career began in 1912 with Columbus of the Double-A American Association, where he was a batterymate with Wilbur Cooper, the Pirates all-time leader in wins. Murphy hit .169 in 27 games that year, with one extra-base hit (a double). For Columbus in 1913, he batted .304 in 40 games, with five doubles and one triple. The Pirates acquired Murphy via the Rule 5 draft from Sioux City of the Class-A Western League, securing his contract on September 26, 1914, and announcing that he would join the club during Spring Training in 1915. He had a .323 average, with 41 runs scored, 15 doubles, three triples and two homers in 73 games that year.
With the Federal League in existence at the Major League level during the 1914-15 seasons, it opened up extra MLB jobs around baseball. The Pirates had veteran George Gibson as their starting catcher in 1915, with Bobby Schang serving as his backup. Murphy was the third-string backstop until late August, when he then split that limited role with a young receiver named Bill Wagner (no relation to Honus) after the Pirates released Schang. After the Pirates acquired highly-touted prospect Walter Schmidt for the 1916 season, they sold Murphy outright to Columbus on February 5, 1916. Murphy played the next three minor league seasons between Columbus (1916) and Milwaukee of the American Association (1917-18), then saw sporadic time in pro ball until he retired. He hit .271 in limited time with Columbus in 1916, getting into 27 games. He hit .271 in 1917 as well, getting into 90 games that season with Milwaukee. Murphy had a .236 average and a .580 OPS in the war-shortened 1918 season for Milwaukee. His 1919 season was spent with a semi-pro team called Fairbanks-Morse, out of Wisconsin. There are barely any mentions of him from 1920-21, but he was still playing semi-pro ball in Wisconsin through the early parts of 1922, seeing time during the 1920-21 seasons with the Beloit Fairies.
Murphy batted .215 in 34 games for Toledo of the American Association in 1922, then managed a semi-pro team in Kansas City in 1923. He batted .329 with a .787 OPS over 24 games for Kalamazoo of the Michigan-Ontario League in 1924. He played for a semi-pro/independent team from Racine, Wisconsin, which is where he managed later on in life. He was there late in 1924, after playing for another semi-pro team during the summer called the Logan Squares. He stayed in Racine through the end of the 1926 season. He was back in pro ball in 1927 with Waco of the Class-A Texas League, where he hit .232 in 69 games, with 11 extra-base hits. Murphy played his final game in 1928 for Winston-Salem, where he hit .306 in 69 games for Winston-Salem of the Class-C Piedmont League at 39 years old. He is credited with four homers in pro ball, while playing exactly 500 games, though that doesn’t include any stats from the 1919-23 and 1925-26 seasons, which were mostly spent out of pro ball.
Cliff Knox, catcher for the 1924 Pirates. He attended college in Des Moines and also made his pro debut in the same city, playing briefly for the Western League team in 1922. He was a star athlete in school, who also excelled in basketball and football. Before joining the Pirates, he played some semi-pro baseball in the Mississippi Valley ranks, but he had just 17 games of minor league experience prior to his debut. He hit .273 during his stint with Des Moines, collecting six doubles and a homer. He actually announced his own signing in the local papers on September 27, 1923, saying that he signed a contract with the Pirates for the 1924 season. He played in just six Major League games, all at 22 years old for the 1924 Pirates. He debuted in the majors on July 1st, and played his final game on July 14th. He started all six games he played behind the plate, going 4-for-18 with four singles, a run scored, two RBIs and two walks. The Pirates had two catching injuries at the time and needed him to fill in. Just a week earlier, it was said that he looked good during practices and could do well if they needed to use him in an emergency situation. The backup catcher for a short time behind Knox for the Pirates was their coach, Grover Land. He last caught in the majors nine years earlier, and retired from pro ball three years earlier.
Knox actually played for the Pirates two weeks after his final official game, catching on July 27, 1924, in an exhibition game against a semi-pro team from Providence, who the Pirates needed ten innings to defeat. Two weeks before his big league debut, he caught during an exhibition game on June 15th in Kingston, NY, in another game that took the Pirates ten innings to win. Knox was with Pittsburgh on Opening Day, and remained with the team for the entirety of the season, but the only time he made the news after July was on September 3rd when a foul ball he hit struck teammate Eppie Barnes in the face. Knox was with the Pirates at the start of their 1925 World Series winning season as well. On April 24th, after not playing in any of the first ten games of the season, he was sold outright to Birmingham of the Class-A Southern Association, ending his time with the Pirates. It was said at the time that he hurt his throwing arm during Spring Training in 1924 and had yet to fully recover. Despite that claim, he threw out four of six runners who attempted to steal against him while he was with the Pirates. He batted .268 with 16 extra-base hits in 92 games with Birmingham in 1925. Knox spent a total 12 seasons in the minors, retiring at age 36 in 1938 after he hit .326 with 17 homers in 100 games that year. He hit well later in his career, batting at least .293 in each of his last eight seasons. However, that stat alone is a little misleading because he was in Class-D ball for three of those seasons and another three years were spent in Class-B ball, both a large drop from the big league level. His six games with the Pirates were his only pro games above A-Ball.
Knox played the 1926 season with Hartford of the Class-A Eastern League (65 games) and Waco of the Class-A Texas League (ten games). He hit .271 that season, with 15 doubles, one triple and one homer. His stats online are missing almost all of his 1927-30 stats, which are attributed to a player named “Knox” without a first name, but I was able to track down the connection. He was with the Boston Red Sox in 1927, but a hand injury kept him out of action early in the season. Once he was healthy, he played for Portland of the Class-B New England League, where he had a .255 average and 14 extra-base hits in 45 games. He was recalled by Boston in mid-September, but didn’t play any game during that stint with the team either. His online stats show his partial season with Nashville of the Class-A Southern Association in 1928, where he hit .257 in 68 games, with eight extra-base hits. He played for Spartanburg of the Class-B South Atlantic League at the end of 1928, hitting .308 in 23 games, with three doubles and three triples. Knox remained there to start 1929, then played for Macon for the second part of 1929, and Augusta in 1930, both teams in the South Atlantic League. He hit .286 over 140 games in 1929, collecting 17 doubles, five triples and six homers. His 1930 stats show a .326 average in 103 games, with 19 doubles, nine triples and three homers.
Knox played for Peoria of the Class-B Three-I League during the 1931-32 seasons. He had a .293 average that first year, with 18 doubles, eight triples and eight homers. He hit .297 in 1932, with 18 extra-base hits in 63 games. He was with Omaha of the Class-A Western League in 1933, where he batted .320 in 121 games, with 28 doubles, seven triples and five homers. The 1934 season was spent with Rock Island in the Western League. He had a .295 average in 89 games that year, with 24 doubles out of his 28 extra-base hits. He returned to the Three-I League with Decatur in 1935. He hit .321 that year in 126 games, with 21 doubles, ten triples and five homers. Knox played with Mitchell of the Class-D Nebraska State League during the 1936-37 seasons. He hit .347 that first year, with 91 runs, 32 doubles, 11 homers, 92 RBIs and a 1.000 OPS. He had a .293 average and 25 extra-base hits in 90 games in 1937. His final pro stats from 1938 show a .326 average in 100 games with Fayetteville of the Class-D Arkansas-Missouri League. He had 73 runs, 28 doubles, 17 homers, 84 RBIs and a .939 OPS.
Jim Pendleton, utility player for the 1957-58 Pirates. His pro career began in 1948 with the Chicago American Giants of the Negro American League, which now counts as his big league debut after MLB reclassified the Negro Leagues as Major League. He hit .321 with nine runs and eight RBIs in 13 games that year. From there he played three years for St Paul of the Triple-A American Association as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers system, then moved to Montreal of the Triple-A International League for the 1952 season. During the 1949 season, he hit .274 with 83 runs scored, 20 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs, 27 steals and a .746 OPS for St Paul. He also played five games that year for Klamath Falls of the Class-D Far West League. Pendleton hit .299 over 145 games in 1950, with 105 runs scored, 25 doubles, 19 triples, ten homers, 98 RBIs, 25 steals and an .817 OPS. That was followed in 1951 by a .301 average in 143 games, with 116 runs, 18 doubles, 13 triples, 21 homers, 79 RBIs and an .843 OPS. During his one season in Montreal, he hit .291 in 151 games, with 87 runs, 24 doubles, 14 triples, 11 homers, 92 RBIs and a .760 OPS. The Dodgers traded him to the Milwaukee Braves as part of a four-team, five player/cash trade, prior to the 1953 season. His best season in his nine-year big league career was his rookie year in 1953 at 29 years old, when he hit .299 in 129 games, with 48 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 27 RBIs and a .785 OPS.
Pendleton hit .220 over 71 games in 1954, with 20 runs, three doubles, one homer and 16 RBIs, while showing a 283-point drop in his OPS from his rookie mark. Most of the 1955 season was spent with Toledo of the American Association, where he had a .272 average and a .731 OPS in 95 games. He played just eight games for the Braves that year, going 0-for-10 at the plate. The 1956 season was similar, with most of the year spent with Wichita of the American Association. Pendleton played 14 games for the Braves that year and once again failed to collect a hit, going 0-for-11 with a walk. He did a little better during his minor league time, hitting .289 in 69 games, with 32 extra-base hits and an .858 OPS. The Pirates acquired him on April 3, 1957 in an even up swap for infielder Dick Cole. Pendlton hit .305/.394/.356 in 72 plate appearances over 46 games for the 1957 Pirates, while playing five different positions, including all three outfield spots, third base and shortstop. He played just three big league games in 1958, all as a pinch-hitter, spending most of the year in Triple-A Columbus of the International League, where he hit .312/.356/.474 in 123 games, with 73 runs, 43 extra-base hits and 68 RBIs. He was part of a seven-player trade on January 30, 1959, that saw the Pirates acquire Harvey Haddix, Smoky Burgess and Don Hoak from the Cincinnati Reds.
Pendleton batted 123 times in 65 games in 1959, hitting .257/.309/.354, with 13 runs, two doubles, three homers and nine RBIs. In 1960 and 1961, he spent the entire time in the International League, playing for the Havana/Jersey City club. He did well both seasons, starting with a .302 average and an .815 OPS in 152 games during the 1960 season. He had 73 runs, 28 doubles, nine triples, 16 homers and 88 RBIs. He batted .304 over 134 games in 1961, collecting 69 runs, 33 doubles, six triples, 12 homers and 61 RBIs, to go along with an .850 OPS. Pendleton returned to the majors for one final season with the expansion Houston Colt .45’s in 1962. He batted .246 that year, with 30 runs, 22 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs and a .650 OPS in 117 games. The next year he was back in the minors for his final season of pro ball, which he split between Oklahoma City of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and San Antonio of the Double-A Texas League. He combined to hit .267 in 107 games, with 47 runs, 32 extra-base hits, 63 RBIs and a .732 OPS. Pendleton played a total of 16 seasons in pro ball, getting into nearly 1,700 games. He was a .293 hitter over his ten seasons in the minors, with 121 homers, 732 runs and 692 RBIs. He had a .259 average in 457 big league games, with 129 runs, 32 doubles, 20 homers and 105 RBIs.