One trade of note and 11 former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date.
On this date in 1954, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded starting pitcher Murry Dickson to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for relief pitcher Andy Hansen and infielder Jack Lohrke, along with $70,000 also going to the Pirates in the deal. It was a cost cutting move for the Pirates. They were just 50-104 in 1953, while finishing seventh out of eight National League teams in attendance. Dickson was their win leader in 1953, and he also picked up 20 wins for a seventh place team just two seasons earlier, but he was also one of the higher salary veterans on a team that was far from competing. He was 37 years old at the time of the trade, and he had led the NL in losses each of the previous two seasons. His first year with the Phillies would be no different, as he put up a 10-20 record, although his ERA was still a respectable 3.78 mark in 226.1 innings. Dickson pitched in the majors until 1959. He won 172 big league games during his 18-year career, despite playing for some awful teams. Neither played acquired by the Pirates played for them in the majors, so all of their value in the deal came from the cash received and salary saved. Dickson was worth 11.3 WAR in his last six seasons.
Heath Hembree, pitcher for the 2022 Pirates. He was a fifth round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2010 out of the College of Charleston. He pitched in relief in the rookie level Arizona League that season, posting an 0.82 ERA, an 0.82 WHIP, and 22 strikeouts in 11 innings. He split the 2011 season between San Jose of the High-A California League, and Richmond of the Double-A Eastern League. He dominated at the lower level, posting an 0.73 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 24.2 innings. Hembree then had a 2.83 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 28.2 innings with Richmond. He recorded 38 saves that season, which is a minor league total you rarely ever see. The 2012 season saw him spend most of the year with Fresno of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, going 1-1, 4.74, with 15 saves and 36 strikeouts in 38 innings. He pitched five scoreless rehab games with San Jose that year, and then played in the Arizona Fall League after the season, posting a 3.00 ERA and 12 strikeouts in nine innings. Hembree debuted in the majors in 2013. He had a 4.07 ERA, 31 saves and 63 strikeouts in 56.1 innings with Fresno. He pitched 7.2 scoreless innings over nine appearances with the Giants, recording 12 saves. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox in late July of 2014. At the time, he had a 3.89 ERA, 18 saves and 46 strikeouts in 39.1 innings with Fresno. Hembree allowed two runs over 6.2 innings with Pawtucket of the Triple-A International League after the deal, then gave up five runs over ten innings with the Red Sox.
Hembree had a 2.27 ERA in 29 appearances with Pawtucket in 2015, finishing with eight saves and 32 strikeouts in 31.2 innings. He went 2-0, 3.55 in 25.1 innings over 22 games with the Red Sox that season. His time with Pawtucket in 2016 was limited to one run allowed and 22 strikeouts in 13.1 innings. The rest of the year was spent with Boston, where he went 4-1, 2.65, with 47 strikeouts in 51 innings over 38 appearances. The 2017 season was his first full year in the majors. Hembree went 2-3, 3.63 in 62 games, with 70 strikeouts in 62 innings. He had a 4-1, 4.20 record in 2018, with 76 strikeouts in 60 innings, spread over 67 appearances. He missed about two months total during the 2019 season with two separate elbow injuries. He had a 1-0, 3.86 record in 45 games that season, with 46 strikeouts in 39.2 innings. He split the shortened 2020 season between the Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, making 11 appearances for both teams. Hembree had a 3-0 record and 20 strikeouts in 19 innings, but that came with a disastrous 9.00 ERA and 1.79 WHIP. The Phillies acquired him in a mid-season trade, then let him go as a free agent after the season. He spent 2021 with the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets, with the latter picking him up off of waivers in late August. He actually began the year with the Cleveland Indians, who let him go during Spring Training. Hembree went 2-7, 5.59 in 60 appearances, with an incredible 83 strikeouts in 58 innings.
The Pirates signed Hembree as a free agent in March of 2022. He began the year on the injured list, then did rehab work with Indianapolis of the International League. His time with the Pirates resulted in a 7.16 ERA in 16.1 innings, with 14 walks and a 1.90 WHIP in his 20 appearances. He was released in late June and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He spent most of his Dodgers time with Oklahoma City of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Hembree pitched six games with the Dodgers, allowing six runs in 5.2 innings. Through ten seasons in the majors, he has a 21-13, 4.39 record in 357 relief appearances, with 11 saves and 392 strikeouts in 354.1 innings.
Elmer Dessens, pitcher for the Pirates from 1996-98. He was an international amateur free agent signing by the Pirates in 1993 out of Mexico. He pitched two seasons in the Mexican League (no stats available), before the Pirates sent him to Double-A Carolina of the Southern League in 1995, where he went 15-8, 2.49 in 152 innings over 27 games. He walked just 21 batters, though he also had only 68 strikeouts. After pitching briefly in the minors with Carolina to start the 1996 season, Dessens made his Major League debut in late June. He went 0-2, 8.28 in 25 innings over 15 games (three as a starter) for the Pirates. He also saw some brief time in Triple-A with Calgary of the Pacific Coast League that year. His minor league time amounted to a 3.72 ERA in 46 innings over seven starts and four relief appearances. He returned to the Mexican League for 1997 (no stats available), before making three scoreless late season appearances for the Pirates. Dessens spent most of the 1998 season in the Pirates bullpen, posting a 2-6, 5.67 record in 74.2 innings over 43 games. He was let go by the Pirates just prior to Opening Day in 1999. He wasn’t going to make the Opening Day roster, so the Pirates were able to pull off a deal with a team from Japan. He went 2-8, 6.12 in 103 innings over 61 games (eight starts) while with the Pirates. He spent the 1999 season playing in Japan, though he lasted just 16.1 innings, partially due to a late start in the league. Dessens signed a free agent deal with the Cincinnati Reds in December of 1999.
Dessens made four starts in Triple-A with Louisville of the International League during his first season with the Reds, then spent the rest of the 2000 season in the majors, where he went 11-5, 4.28 in 147.1 innings over 16 starts and 24 relief outings. He pitched in relief during the first half, then switched to the rotation at the All-Star break. He had a 10-14, 4.48 record over 34 starts in 2001, throwing a total of 205 innings. It was the only time he cracked 200 innings in a season. He also set a career high with 128 strikeouts. Dessens went 7-8, 3.03, with 93 strikeouts in 178 innings over 30 starts in 2002. He was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in December of 2002, as part of a four-team deal that included just four players (and cash). He won 28 games and had a 3.94 ERA over 530.1 innings in his three seasons with the Reds. Dessens went 8-8, 5.07 in 30 starts and four relief appearances for the 2003 Diamondbacks, with 175.2 innings pitched and 113 strikeouts. He had a 1-6, 4.75 record in 2004, throwing a total of 85.1 innings that were spread over nine starts and 29 relief appearances. He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in mid-August. He finished the year by putting up a 3.20 ERA in 19.2 innings with the Dodgers, then became a free agent at the end of the season.
Dessens signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers, where he had a 3.56 ERA in 65.2 innings during the 2005 season, making seven starts and 21 relief appearances. He signed with the Kansas City Royals for 2006, and posted a 5-7, 4.50 record in 54 innings over 43 relief outings. For the second time in three seasons, he was traded mid-season to the Dodgers, where he had a 4.70 ERA in 23 innings over 19 appearances. Dessens then split the 2007 season between the Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies. He posted a 7.15 ERA in 34 innings, making five starts and 12 relief appearances. He also appeared briefly in Triple-A for both clubs. The Dodgers traded him to the Brewers at the end of Spring Training in 2007. Milwaukee released him in August, and he signed with the Rockies two days later. He missed time that year due to a shoulder strain while with the Brewers, and a hamstring strain while with the Rockies.
Dessens gave up ten runs over four innings with the 2008 Atlanta Braves, in what was his only big league time that year. He actually signed with the Pirates in December of 2007, but they released him at the end of Spring Training in 2008. He then pitched in Mexico, going 10-2, 4.03 over the entire season, then signed with the Braves in late August. He became a free agent, then finished his big league career by putting up strong numbers for the 2009-10 New York Mets. He had a 2.71 ERA in 79.2 innings over 81 appearances with the Mets, with a very strong season to finish out his career at 39 years old. He went 4-2, 2.30 in 47 innings over 53 games in 2010. He pitched 380 Major League games after leaving Pittsburgh the first time, and was active up until 2011, spending his final season back in Mexico. He went 4-0, 5.16 in 45.1 innings during that final season of pro ball. Dessens won 28 games with Cincinnati in three years and he had just 24 wins total over his other 11 seasons in the majors. His final big league stats show a 52-64, 4.44 record in 441 games (140 starts), with 1,174.1 innings pitched. His career pro stats show that he pitched 1,762.2 innings, but it’s missing four years in Mexico, as well as a handful of years of winter ball in Mexico.
Odell Jones, pitcher for the 1975, 77-78 and 1981 Pirates. He was an amateur free agent signing by the Pirates in late 1971 at 18 years old. Jones pitched well from the start in the minors, posting an ERA between 3.08 and 3.24 as a starter during his first three seasons, working his way from short-season ball to Double-A during that time. He pitched for Niagara Falls of the short-season New York-Penn League in 1972, going 7-3, 3.08 in 79 innings over 11 starts, with five complete games and 53 strikeouts. Jones spent the 1973 season in A-Ball, split between Salem of the Carolina League and Charleston of the Western Carolinas League. He combined to go 7-7, 3.21 in 129 innings, with 117 strikeouts, posting much better numbers in Charleston, where he had a 1.45 ERA in 62 innings. He played for Thetford Mines of the Double-A Eastern League in 1974, where he had an 11-8, 3.24 record in 24 starts, with 11 complete games, 161 innings pitched and 153 strikeouts. Jones earned a brief look with the Pirates in September of 1975, after going 14-9, 2.68 in 26 starts that year with Charleston of the Triple-A International League. He had 157 strikeouts in 188 innings for Charleston. The Pirates used him twice in relief that year. He allowed just one hit over three shutout innings.
Jones spent all of 1976 in Charleston. A shoulder injury in July that was described as a muscle tear, put him out of action, limiting him to 84 innings over 16 starts that season. He wasn’t doing well at the time either, posting a 2-7, 4.93 record, with nearly as many walks (43) as strikeouts (47). Despite those poor results and the injury, he spent all of 1977 in the majors with the Pirates, going 3-7, 5.08 in 108 innings over 34 games (15 starts). He returned to Triple-A in 1978, playing for the Pirates new affiliate in Columbus of the International League. He had a 12-9, 4.57 record and 169 strikeouts in 181 innings that year, before making three late appearances (one start) with the Pirates. He managed to win two games with the Pirates, giving up two earned runs over nine innings. He was part of a six-player trade with the Seattle Mariners in December of 1978. Jones spent all of 1979 in the majors, where he got roughed up, going 3-11, 6.07 in 118.2 innings. He made 19 starts and six relief appearances. The Pirates got him back just prior to the 1980 season in exchange for relief pitcher Larry Andersen, which turned out to be a disastrous deal, because Andersen had 14 seasons left in his career, with a very strong run in the middle as an effective reliever.
Jones spent 1980 in the minors with Triple-A Portland of the Pacific Coast League, posting a 6-7, 4.13 record in 98 innings. He split the strike-shortened 1981 season between the minors and majors, going 12-6, 3.53 in 23 starts for Portland, with 135 strikeouts in 153 innings. He made 13 appearances with the Pirates, eight of those coming as a starter. He posted a 4-5, 3.31 record in 54.1 innings for Pittsburgh. He was back in the minors for all of 1982, where he went 16-9, 4.26 in 190.1 innings over 28 starts, with 172 strikeouts, while playing for Portland. The Pirates lost him in the Rule 5 draft to the Texas Rangers in December of 1982. Jones went 9-12, 4.28 in 174.1 innings over 52 appearances during his four seasons in Pittsburgh. He pitched four more seasons in the majors, finishing his big league career with a 24-35, 4.42 record in 201 games.
Jones did well in relief for the 1983 Rangers, finishing with a 3.09 ERA in 67 innings over 42 outings. He picked up ten of his 13 career big league saves that year. He had a decent season for the Rangers in 1984, going 2-4, 3.64 in 59.1 innings over 33 games. Jones next appeared in the majors with the 1986 Baltimore Orioles, getting called up in July, after spending all of 1985 and the first half of 1986 with their Triple-A affiliate in Rochester of the International League. He had a 4-6, 4.20 record in 1985, racking up 104 strikeouts in 105 innings. He made seven starts and 34 relief appearances that season, then pitched mostly as a starter in 1986. Before getting called up to the Orioles, he had a 7-3, 3.66 record, with 69 strikeouts in 83.2 innings. He went 2-2, 3.83 in 49.1 innings over 21 games during his time with the 1986 Orioles. The 1987 season was spent as a starter in Triple-A for the Toronto Blue Jays, playing with Syracuse of the International League. Jones went 12-7, 4.03 that year, with 147 strikeouts in 167.2 innings. He finished his big league career with the 1988 Milwaukee Brewers, going 5-0, 4.35 in 80.2 innings over 28 games. He spent the 1989 season with Denver of the American Association, the Triple-A affiliate of the Brewers. He made 14 starts and 14 relief appearances that year, going 6-6, 4.11 in 100.2 innings. He remained in pro ball until 1992, finishing up with the California Angels in Triple-A, where he had five appearances for Edmonton of the Pacific Coast League. Jones also spent time playing in Mexico during the 1991-92 seasons. He also played senior league baseball in 1990 during the short-lived Senior Professional Baseball Association. He won a total of 118 minor league games. His final big league line shows a 24-35, 4.42 record in 549.1 innings, with 45 starts and 156 relief appearances. Jones was featured in our Obscure Pittsburgh Pirates series last year.
Jim Foor, pitcher for the 1973 Pirates. He was a first round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers in 1967 out of high school, taken 15th overall. While he didn’t fly through the minors, Foor put up some strong stats while working his way up. He had a 2.59 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 66 innings in 1967, while playing at 18 years old in the Class-A Florida State League with Lakeland. He then posted a 1.91 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 33 innings as a reliever in Double-A in 1968, playing the season with Montgomery of the Southern League. He was actually attending college early in the year, and he didn’t debuted until late June. He went back to starting in 1969 with Montgomery, where he had a 2-4, 3.72 record and 68 strikeouts in 75 innings, spread over 12 starts and one relief appearance. He missed time that year with an elbow injury. After struggling a bit with the switch back to a starting role, he had an outstanding 1970 season with Montgomery (and briefly back with Lakeland), putting up an 11-6, 1.93 record in 163 innings, with 129 strikeouts. At 22 years old in 1971, Foor made the Tigers Opening Day roster without any Triple-A experience. However, he recorded just three outs in his three relief appearances before being sent back to the minors for the rest of the season, leaving him with an 18.00 big league ERA for the next 16 months. He spent the rest of the 1971 season with Toledo of the Triple-A International League, where he had a 7-10, 3.88 record and 119 strikeouts in 153 innings. He made 22 starts and 17 relief appearances that season.
Foor returned to the majors in August 1972, after posting a 2.94 ERA in 22 starts with Toledo. He had 141 strikeouts in 147 innings, as well as seven complete games and three shutouts. He pitched a total of 3.2 innings over seven appearances with the 1972 Tigers, this time getting tagged for six runs and a 14.73 ERA. He made the news when Detroit manager Billy Martin called him “gutless” in the media for his inability to get out of an inning. The Pirates acquired Foor in a November 1972 trade, along with another young pitcher named Norm McRae, in exchange for minor league outfielder Dick Sharon. Foor was said to be in the doghouse in Detroit and a trade was inevitable. The Pirates moved him to relief and he had a 3.58 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 83 innings over 40 games (six starts) with Triple-A Charleston of the International League. He made three big league appearances for the Pirates in late September of 1973, pitching a total of 1.1 scoreless innings. The Pirates then traded him to the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Wayne Simpson prior to the 1974 season. Foor pitched three years in the minors after the trade, spending one year each at Triple-A with the Royals (Omaha of the American Association), St Louis Cardinals (Tulsa of the American Association) and Oakland A’s (Tuscon of the Pacific Coast League). He never appeared in the majors again, leaving him with a 12.00 ERA in six innings over 13 big league games. He worked strictly in relief during those final three minor league seasons. He went 11-4, 4.01 in 74 innings over 50 games with Omaha in 1974. Foor had a 4-2, 2.91 record in 34 innings over 31 games with Tulsa in 1975. He finished with a 1-2, 4.06 record in 51 innings over 26 games with Tuscon in 1976. He picked up a total of 20 saves during his final four seasons.
Ron Brand, catcher for the 1963 Pirates. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Pirates prior to the 1958 season at 18 years old. He played five full minor league seasons, twice hitting over .300, before he got his first chance at the majors. His split his first season of pro ball between Class-D Clinton of the Midwest League and Class-C San Jose of the California League. He hit .237 that year in 97 games, with 43 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 37 RBIs, 49 walks and a .689 OPS. His OPS was 199 points higher at the lower level, with similar playing time at each spot. Brand spent the 1959 season with San Angelo/Rosewell of the Class-D Sophomore League. He hit .317 in 117 games, with 97 runs, 32 extra-base hits, 71 RBIs, 26 steals, 64 walks and an .852 OPS. He played his first of two straight full seasons with Burlington of the Class-B Three-I League in 1960. He hit .240 that first year in 121 games, with 62 runs, 25 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs, 15 steals, 61 walks and a .703 OPS. Brand batted .316 in 120 games for Burlington in 1961, finishing with 62 runs, 24 extra-base hits, 66 RBIs and a .768 OPS. He spent a short time (39 games) with Kinston of the Class-B Carolina League in 1962, but the majority of the season was spent with Columbus of the Triple-A International League. He hit .282 that year in 126 games, with 64 runs, 31 extra-base hits, 54 RBIs, 57 walks and a .769 OPS. He had much better results at the lower level, with a 243-point difference in his OPS (.693 vs .936).
The Pirates called Brand up in late May of 1963, using him as a backup catcher for the rest of the season. Despite the promotion, he was hitting just .094/.171/.188 in 23 games with Columbus at the time. He came up when backup catcher Elmo Plaskett was sent down, which was actually the end of Plaskett’s big league career. The local papers said that the Pirates sent Plaskett down to the minors to help beef up the lineup for their last place Columbus/Triple-A affiliate. Considering the circumstances, with Brand hitting .094 at the time and the older Plaskett having big league experience, it almost feels like that was the truth. Brand did much better with the bat in the majors, hitting .288/.390/.364 in 46 games for the Pirates, though he had just 77 plate appearances, with 24 of them coming during the last week of the season. He spent the entire 1964 season in Columbus, hitting .273 in 121 games, with 39 runs, 24 doubles, six homers, 42 RBIs and a .715 OPS. The Pirates lost him in the November 1964 Rule 5 draft to the Houston Colt .45’s.
Brand spent four years in Houston, hitting .231/.293/.270 over 300 games. He was used often off of the bench, and also saw time at second base, third base and the corner outfield spots. His most big league time came during his first year in Houston. The franchise lost 96 games in each of their first three years of existence. They didn’t improve in 1965, losing 97 games, but Brand was able to play regularly, hitting .235 that year, with 27 runs, 11 extra-base hits, 37 RBIs, ten steals and a .562 OPS in 117 games. He had 420 plate appearances that season, but that number dropped down to 139 in 1966, when he hit .244/.301/.260 in 56 games, with an identical .562 OPS that he put up in his first season in Houston. He had 12 runs and ten RBIs that season. Both of his extra-base hits were doubles, and he went 0-for-2 in stolen base attempts. He hit .242 in 84 games during the 1967 season, finishing with 22 runs, 18 RBIs and 23 walks, to go along with a .609 OPS. Brand received just 94 plate appearances over 43 games during his last season with the Astros. He batted .160 and finished with a .446 OPS. He also saw some brief Triple-A time with Oklahoma City of the Pacific Coast League.
Brand moved to the expansion Montreal Expos for his final three seasons, where he added both shortstop and center field to his resume. He saw plenty of work during the first season of play for the Expos in 1969. He hit .258 in 103 games, with 19 runs, 12 doubles, 20 RBIs, 30 walks and a .627 OPS. The doubles and walks totals were career highs. He hit .238 in 1970, with ten runs, nine RBIs and a .588 OPS in 72 games. He had five extra-base hits, including three of his seven career triples. Brand batted 61 times in 47 games during his final season in the majors in 1971. He hit .214 that year, with all of his hits being singles. He scored three runs and he had one RBI. He played six positions that season, but all of his six starts came at shortstop. He spent the 1972 season in Triple-A for the Expos, putting up a .207 average and a .563 OPS in 74 games with Peninsula of the International League. Brand then took up minor league managing for three seasons (1974-76), which included some time as a player-manager for Bakersfield of the Class-A California League in 1975. He had a .203 average and a .570 OPS in 76 plate appearances over 71 games that year. He finished his big league career as a .239 hitter in 568 games, with 108 runs scored, 44 extra-base hits, 106 RBIs and 112 walks. Brand homered once with the Pirates and twice during his first season in Houston, then went 1,109 plate appearances (the rest of his big league career) without hitting another homer. His two homers in Houston came against Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and Pirates great Bob Veale. He homered 42 times in 848 minor league games. Brand turns 83 today
Ben Guintini, outfielder for the 1946 Pirates. He started playing pro ball in 1940 at 21 years old, then missed two seasons due to the war, before returning in 1944. The 1940-41 seasons were spent with Salt Lake City of Class-C Pioneer League. He hit .228 with 20 extra-base hits in 82 games in 1940, then followed it up with a .275 average in 129 games in 1941, with 24 doubles, 12 triples and ten homers. After missing the 1942-43 seasons, Guintini played for San Francisco of the Double-A Pacific Coast League (highest level of the minors at the time) in 1944, where he hit .245 in 117 games, with 47 runs, 26 extra-base hits, 59 RBIs and a .642 OPS. The Pirates took the 26-year-old outfielder in the 1945 Rule 5 draft from the New York Giants, after he hit .283 in 109 games for San Francisco, with 37 runs, 20 extra-base hits, 35 RBIs and a .706 OPS. He was on the Pirates 1946 Opening Day roster, and he pinch-hit in his first game (team’s fifth game). He flew out to center field in the fourth inning, hitting for pitcher Jim Hopper, who allowed five runs in three frames. Four days later, Guintini went 0-for-2 while playing right field. He started the game, but left after six innings for pinch-hitter Johnny Barrett. The Pirates shipped Guintini back to the Pacific Coast League (then a Triple-A level) after that two-game trial. He spent his final 11 days with the Pirates on the bench, before getting optioned to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League on the same day (May 7th) that the Pirates outright released veteran star pitcher Bob Klinger.
Guintini broke his toe late in the 1946 season and missed a chance at a September recall. He spent part of that year with San Diego of the Pacific Coast League, combining with his Hollywood stats to hit .257 in 72 games, with 29 runs, 20 extra-base hits and 24 RBIs. He played with Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association in 1947, which was another affiliate of the Pirates. He hit .302 in 126 games that year, with 21 doubles, 16 homers, 70 RBIs and an .850 OPS. Indianapolis sold him to his old team in San Francisco in April of 1948, after a dispute came up with the team. He refused to report to the Pirates farm club in Indianapolis due to a salary dispute, with Indianapolis saying they wouldn’t give him a raise because his lack of hustle resulted in him hitting into too many double plays. Guintini hit .220 in 78 games during the 1948 season, finishing with 21 runs, 20 extra-base hits, 25 RBIs and a .671 OPS. After that one down season in San Francisco, he hit .306 for Dallas of the Double-A Texas League in 1949. He had 109 runs, 32 doubles, 32 homers, 95 RBIs, 70 walks and a .981 OPS. That performance earned him another big league look.
Guintini got a three-game trial with the 1950 Philadelphia A’s at the beginning of the season. He pinch-hit twice and started once in left field. He played that entire game in left field, though it was called after just six innings due to darkness. He was sent to the minors a short time later and remained there until the end of the 1951 season, playing for four different teams during that stretch. Guintini went 0-for-7 in his five big league games. After his stint with the A’s, he finished the 1950 season with 34 games for Dallas, and 69 games with Baltimore of the Triple-A International League. He compiled a .219 average that year, with 11 doubles, three triples and 14 homers. The 1951 season was split between Dallas, Oakland of the Pacific Coast League, and Fort Worth of the Texas League. He played a total of 106 games, finishing with a .241 average, 12 doubles, one triple and eight homers. Guintini played semi-pro ball in 1952, then retired from baseball.
Spades Wood, pitcher for the 1930-31 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 20 years old in 1929, playing for Salisbury-Spencer of the Class-C Piedmont League. Wood went 12-13, 3.87 in 207 innings over 34 games that year. He went 22-3, 2.65 in 197 innings over 25 games for Wichita of the Class-A Western League in 1930, earning an August call-up to the Pirates. A story printed in the August 17, 1930 edition of the Bristol Herald Courier said he got his nickname when he drew a perfect hand of 13 spades while playing a card game at Wofford College with friends, but when the story got out, they were found to be playing cards on a Sunday, which got them kicked out of school. That led to his minor league baseball career, which led into him pitching so well in the minors over two seasons that he was purchased by the Pirates. His real first name was Charles, but he was often referred to as Charley. Wood was called to the majors on August 12, 1930 when pitcher Leon Chagnon was sent to Wichita for more seasoning. Wood’s late-season trip to the majors in 1930 resulted in a 4-3, 5.12 record in 58 innings over nine games (seven starts). The ERA wasn’t that good, though two things stand out about it. The 1930 season was one of the highest offense years in baseball history, so a lot of pitchers got hit hard that season. The second thing that stands out is the fact Wood threw two complete game shutouts. Those shutouts came in his second and third career starts, and both were the first game of a doubleheader. So while his overall ERA wasn’t bad for that season, he didn’t do so well in those seven other games in which he didn’t throw shutouts.
Wood was seldom used by the Pirates during the following year, pitching 15 games (ten starts) spread out over the entire season. He went 2-6, 6.15 in 64 innings, in what would be his last big league season. He was still Pirates property for the next two seasons in the minors, and he pitched pro ball until 1934. His shot at coming back to the majors in 1932 was hampered by an appendicitis operation that limited him to 70 innings on the season with Tulsa of the Western League. He had a 6-4 record, but it came with a 2.00 WHIP, due in part to 69 walks in his 70 innings. His ERA isn’t available for that season, but it’s known that he allowed 7.46 runs per nine innings. Wood competed for an Opening Day spot with the Pirates in 1933, but he didn’t make the team. He was sent first to Kansas City of the Double-A American Association (highest level of the minors at the time), then back to Tulsa on May 30th, which was then in the Class-A Texas League. He struggled with both teams, finishing the season 3-14, 4.46 in 124 innings. His final season in 1934 saw him pitch just six games total split between Tulsa and St Joseph of the Western League. He had a 2-2 record that year, pitching 24 innings with Tulsa and two games with St Joseph. He played semi-pro ball in 1934, then started playing outfield in semi-pro ball in 1935, where made a name for himself as one of the league’s top hitters. He’s also credited with briefly playing pro ball in 1938 for Cooleemee of the Class-D North Carolina State League, but only as a hitter. There were reports that said he didn’t throw hard, but he had such a good changeup that he could sneak his fastball by hitters looking for the slower pitches.
Fred Schulte, outfielder for the 1936-37 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball in 1924 at 23 years old, spending most of the season with Waterloo of the Class-D Mississippi Valley League, where he hit .368 with 26 doubles, 25 triples and nine homers in 117 games. He played for the Milwaukee Brewers of the Double-A American Association (highest level of the minors at the time) for two games in 1924, then was there for the full seasons in 1925-26, before debuting in the majors in 1927. He did some pitching in 1924, but gave the position up that season. During the 1925 season, Schulte hit .275 in 74 games, with eight doubles, four triples and two homers. The next year he batted .347 in 150 games, with 30 doubles, 14 triples and 13 homers. Milwaukee traded him to the St Louis Browns last in the 1926 season for three players and cash. He debuted in the majors in 1927, hitting .317 in 60 games, with 32 runs, 24 extra-base hits, 34 RBIs and an .882 OPS. Despite the limited playing time, he actually got mild MVP support, finishing 18th in the voting. He batted .286 in 146 games during the 1928 season, finishing with 90 runs, a career high 44 doubles, 85 RBIs, 51 walks and a .771 OPS. He followed that up in 1929 with a .307 average in 121 games, collecting 63 runs, 32 extra-base hits, 71 RBIs and 59 walks, while posting a .793 OPS.
Schulte batted .278 in 113 games during the 1930 season, ending up with 59 runs, 33 extra-base hits, 62 RBIs and a career high 12 steals, to go along with a .748 OPS. That was actually a down year considering that offense was at an all-time high that season. His OPS was 24 points below league average. Schulte batted .304 in 1931, with 100 run, 32 doubles, seven triples, nine homers, 65 RBIs, 56 walks and an .805 OPS in 134 games. During his final season in St Louis in 1932, he batted .294 in 146 games, with a career high 106 runs, 35 doubles, nine homers, 73 RBIs, a .797 OPS and a career best 71 walks. In December of 1932, he was sent to the Washington Senators in a six-player/cash deal that included Hall of Fame outfielder Goose Goslin. Schulte hit .295 over 144 games in his first season in Washington, finishing with 98 runs, 42 extra-base hits, 87 RBIs, 61 walks and a .768 OPS, while posting 27 strikeouts in 623 plate appearances. He hit .298 in 136 games during the 1934 season, collecting 72 runs, 32 doubles, 73 RBIs, 53 walks and a .762 OPS.
Schulte was 35 years old, and already had nine seasons in at the Major League level when the Pirates purchased him for $8,000 from the Senators in January of 1936. He hit .294 or better in six of those seasons, but was coming off a down year in 1935, in which he hit .265/.344/.354 and saw his playing time diminish to 76 games. While he was never a true power hitter, his .698 OPS in 1935 was the lowest of his career up to that point, so all signs pointed to him being on the downside of his career. He mostly played center field for the Pirates in 1936, while getting plenty of pinch-hitting appearances as well. He hit .261 that year, with 28 runs, 11 extra-base hits and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Much of his playing time came earlier in the year when starting center fielder Lloyd Waner got off to a very slow start. When Waner started hitting later in the season, Schulte saw less playing time. He got some time in right field in August, but barely played in September. He hit .310 during the first half of the season, then batted .217 during the second half. Schulte was almost glued to the bench for all of 1937, playing 29 games spread out over the entire year, with just two starts all season. He hit .100/.280/.100 over 25 plate appearances, in what would be his final season in the majors. The Pirates released him at the end of the season.
Schulte played pro ball until 1944, plus he managed during three seasons in the minors, two as a player/manager. After playing 11 years in the majors, he returned to that same Milwaukee team that helped him get his big league starts, playing there during the 1938-39 seasons. He batted .300 over 124 games in 1938, with 56 runs, 20 doubles, nine homers, 70 RBIs and a .774 OPS. That was his last full season of work in pro ball. Schulte had a .298 average and 21 extra-base hits in 76 games during the 1939 season. He played nine games for Oshkosh of the Class-D Wisconsin State League in 1941. He was the manager of that team, leading them to a 33-75 record. He played two games for Louisville of the Double-A American Association in 1943, then saw a total of 37 games in 1944, splitting his time between Indianapolis and St Paul of the American Association. He’s credited with hitting .192 in 99 at-bats, with five doubles and five RBIs. He was a .291 career hitter in 1,179 big league games, with 686 runs scored, 249 doubles, 54 triples, 47 homers, 593 RBIs and more walks (462) than strikeouts (361). Schulte led all American League center fielders in assists in 1928, and led all AL outfielders in fielding percentage in 1929 and put outs in 1933. He put up a career mark of 16.4 WAR, with -1.2 dWAR, though that number was a positive during the early part of his career.
Edward “Goat” Anderson, outfielder for the 1907 Pirates. He replaced star center fielder Ginger Beaumont after Beaumont was traded to the Boston Doves during the 1906 off-season. Anderson played the first four seasons of his pro career for South Bend of the Class-B Central League. Stats from those years are limited, but we know that he debuted at 23 years old in 1903 and hit .257 in 127 games. The next year he batted .253 in 107 games. The 1905 stats are limited to just hits (116) and games played (137). He hit .315 with 16 extra-base hits in 150 games in 1906, which gained him the interest of Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss, who signed him in early January at the same time they released veteran catcher Henie Peitz. The 27-year-old Anderson hit .206 in 127 games, with five extra-base hits and 12 RBIs in 510 plate appearances during his only season in the majors. While those numbers look awful, he did manage to take 80 walks, steal 27 bases and score 73 runs, though Beaumont led the National League in hits that year, so Anderson couldn’t quite fill the big shoes left for him in Pittsburgh. Beaumont’s .790 OPS was third in the National League, and 222 points higher than Anderson’s .568 mark. The Pirates used Anderson mostly in right field, where he played 89 games. He also saw time in center field (26 games), as well as a handful of starts at second base, and a few (literally) innings in left field.
Anderson played ten total seasons in the minors, six after the Pirates released him on January 4, 1908 to Rochester of the Class-A Eastern League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He spent three seasons (1908-10) with Rochester and never approached those 1906 numbers that got him a big league shot. He hit .222 over 124 games in 1908, with 63 runs, five doubles, three triples and 21 steals. Anderson had a .201 average in 1909, with eight doubles and nine triples in 136 games. He finished up his Rochester time by hitting .138 over 48 games in 1910, with one extra-base hit (a triple). He played for four teams over his final three seasons of pro ball, splitting 1911 between two clubs in the Class-A Western League (Omaha and Des Moines), and then one year each with Wheeling and Terre Haute of the Central League. He had a .238 average between both stops in 1911, finishing with nine doubles and three triples. He had a .249 average with Wheeling in 1912, collecting seven doubles and a homer in 68 games. Anderson played 125 games in his final season. He had a .221 average, with 57 runs, 13 doubles, a triple, 21 steals and 76 walks.
There were reports in the papers that Anderson received a lot of help from the official scorers in South Bend when he batted .315 in 1906, and his lack of hitting with the Pirates showed that to be true. Those reports said that he would have a tough time ever making it back to the majors, and that turned out to be true as well, even if the reports were based on speculation. He never hit higher than .257 in any of his other nine minor league seasons, and his slightly incomplete minor league career line shows just three homers total in 1,022+ games. His only home run in the majors was an inside-the-park homer off of Chicago Cubs star pitcher Ed Reulbach. Anderson holds the Pirates rookie record for walks. One early explanation for his nickname said that he was always butting in, like goats butting heads. He already had the nickname during his first season. He was known by then for arguing a lot on the field. He retired before the 1914 season to go into the cigar business.
Jud Smith, third baseman for the 1896 and 1901 Pirates. Smith spent a long time as a player in pro ball (1890-1909), but he played just 103 Major League games spread out of four seasons, and even those seasons were spread out. He debuted in pro ball at 21 years old with Portland of the Pacific Northwest League, where he hit .196 in 11 games. His online stats credited him with playing for Wheeling of the Ohio State League in 1887, but more modern research has uncovered that the Smith playing for Wheeling was a different player. From Portland in 1890, he went to La Grande of the Pacific Interstate League in 1891, and Butte of the Class-B Montana State League in 1892 (neither league has stats available). The next season saw him play for two big league teams and two minor league teams. He hit .196 with a homer and ten walks while playing for the Cincinnati Reds (17 games) and St Louis Browns (four games) in 1893. He also saw time with Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre of the Eastern League, though no stats are available. Smith then next appeared in the majors with the 1896 Pirates. He spent the 1894 season with three different teams, seeing time with Jacksonville of the Western Association, Buffalo of the Eastern League and Grand Rapids of the Western League. His Buffalo stats show a .365 average and nine extra-base hits in 24 games. He hit .167 in five games with Grand Rapids, and nothing is available for Jacksonville. He had a full-time job with Toronto of the Eastern League in 1895, and he did great work at the plate, hitting .373 in 113 games, with 108 runs scored, 21 doubles, 12 triples, 14 homers and 18 steals.
Smith was back in Toronto in 1896 (no stats available) before joining the Pirates in June, where he hit .343/.395/.457 in ten games, with six runs, three extra-base hits and four RBIs. He was replacing an injured Denny Lyons at third base. When Lyons returned from injury, Smith lost his spot with the team. He joined the Pirates on June 8th and debuted the same day. He left for his old team in Toronto on June 20th, so he was around for just 12 days. He did well with Syracuse of the Eastern League in 1897, hitting .313 in 134 games, with 120 runs, 27 doubles, ten triples, six homers and 36 steals. He spent the first half of the 1898 season with Syracuse, putting up a .297 average in 76 games, with 56 runs, 21 extra-base hits and 20 steals. The second half of the season was spent back in the majors with the Washington Senators, where he hit .303/.378/.415 in 66 games, with 33 runs, 15 extra-base hits and 28 RBIs. Despite the big league success in two trials, he was back with Toronto in 1899. He batted .312 in 107 games that year, with 78 runs, 23 extra-base hits and 24 steals. He saw time with three teams in 1900, including Worcester and Providence in the Eastern League, and Buffalo in the American League, one year before that league became a Major League. The only available stats from that season show a .175 average in 14 games with Buffalo.
Smith moved again to a familiar place in 1901, going back to Syracuse, though the team played part of the year in Brockton. He batted .264 in 98 games that year, with 24 doubles, four triples and a homer. The end of the 1901 season saw him play six games and hit .143/.250/.191 for the first place Pirates, the first team in franchise history to win the pennant. He was brought to the team on September 6th as an emergency player in case any injuries occurred. He started at first base for the Pirates on September 11th, then moved to third base for five games played on three days between September 13th and 15th. Despite the games all coming during a five-day stint, he ended up playing in three different cities, including two home games. A leg injury to third baseman Tommy Leach during that September 11th game helped Smith get into the next five games. In fact, his start at first base was the only game Kitty Bransfield missed during the 1901 season, so his entire time with the Pirates over two seasons only happened just by chance due to three injuries. In late September, two weeks after his final big league game, Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss left Smith off the Reserved List for 1902, saying that he had plenty of good players lined up for the following season and Smith wouldn’t be needed.
Smith has a laundry list of minor league stops through his 20 seasons of pro ball, though he managed to play six full seasons for Los Angeles of the Pacific Coast League from 1903-05 and 1907-09. In between, he played for two other west coast clubs. He played for 16 other minor league teams over the years, making multiple stops in a few cities. Smith spent 1902 with Toledo of the American Association, where he hit .268 in 132 games, with 36 doubles, three triples and six homers. He batted .290 over 198 games for Los Angeles in 1903, collecting 42 doubles, 12 triples and a homer. The Pacific Coast League was an independent league in 1903, then became Class-A in 1904, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. Smith batted .272 in 193 games during the 1904 season, finishing with 49 doubles and five triples. He hit .249 in 198 games in 1905, with 46 extra-base hits, including 40 doubles. He also saw time with Fresno California State League that season, then played for Portland of the Pacific Coast League in 1906. Smith hit .277 for Portland, with 22 doubles and seven triples in 143 games. He returned to Los Angeles for his final three seasons. He had a .243 average and 15 extra-base hits in 118 games in 1907. That was followed by a .239 average in 1908, with 67 runs, 26 doubles, five triples and 28 steals in 161 games. He had a .223 average over 212 games in 1909, with 22 doubles and three homers. He played Spring Training games in 1910, but quit because he wanted more money and the team wouldn’t pay his demands. He wanted to return in 1911, but nothing came of that. His minor league stats aren’t 100% complete, but they show that he played at least 2,180 games in pro ball. He hit .280 in the majors in 103 games, with 48 runs, 21 extra-base hits, 37 RBIs and 15 steals.
Al Krumm, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys on May 17, 1889. Krumm had a brief minor league career, and an even shorter big league career. He spent two seasons in the Tri-State League and he had just one tough outing for the 1889 Alleghenys. He was signed by Pittsburgh on May 16, 1889, and given a train ticket to New York so he could make a start the very next day. He was a local mill worker in town, who also pitched for a strong amateur team in town. He faced the best amateur team (the East End Athletics) in Pittsburgh just days earlier, succeeding by holding them to two hits over seven innings. There were reportedly multiple suitors lined up to sign him at the time, including two local minor league teams. According to a detailed report printed in the local paper, he was still working in the mill 400 miles away, just 25 hours before he took the mound in New York. He was also working with no prior knowledge that he was about to pitch a big league game the next day. It was also noted that the amateur game he pitched days earlier was his first game of the season.
Going up against the New York Giants in his Major League debut, Krumm had some wildness, issuing ten walks (some newspapers from the time say nine), which helped the Giants to an 11-7 victory. He was signed by Pittsburgh when injuries to Pud Galvin, Ed Morris and Pete Conway left three of their four starting pitchers unable to play. Following his only big league game, it sounded like Krumm would get a second chance, as a front office member told the local paper that they were satisfied with his showing against New York and they would keep him around for the time being. He was even announced as the probably starter for May 21st, though Harry Staley ended up pitching instead. Pittsburgh then had a rain out, while also signing a local kid named Alex Beam, as well as a 17-year-old named Andy Dunning. Both of those pitchers got two starts for the Alleghenys without any success. Due to their presence with the team, Krumm never pitched again.
Krumm was with the team working out, and said that he felt so good about his control getting better, that he offered to buy a hat for any opposing player than was able to draw a walk off him in his next start. Obviously the hat makers in Pittsburgh were never able to profit from that claim. Krumm was again listed as the probable for May 29th, but that game ended up being the second start from Alex Beam instead. The final straw for Krumm’s career was a natural disaster, in the form of the Johnstown flood. It occurred on May 31, 1889, and it kept the Alleghenys from returning home from a road trip. It also caused them to play just one game over a six-day stretch. Krumm and Beam were scheduled for a home doubleheader against Indianapolis on June 5th, but rain wiped away both games. Prior to those scheduled games, the Alleghenys manager Horace Phillips said that Krumm would be left behind, while the rest of the team made a road trip, though he was instructed to report to Recreation Park (Alleghenys home park) each day and practice. When they were finally able to resume play, both Pud Galvin and (eventually) Ed Morris returned to the team, and the services of the young players were no longer needed. Krumm was released on June 24th, giving ten-days notice, which back then meant that the team paid them for ten days and they couldn’t sign elsewhere, but they could be brought back if needed. He signed with Dayton of the Tri-State League after leaving the Alleghenys, but his time there was so short that his contract and release were both listed in the same group of transaction announcements, which newspapers picked up occasionally throughout the year. His two transactions were announced on August 19th, with no specific dates, though from research I figured out that he was at least there between July 17th and August 2nd. The was also word in The Sporting Life just after his release from Pittsburgh that he signed with the Galveston club, and the Hamilton club was trying to buy his release, but neither happened.
Krumm was a Pittsburgh kid, who asked a local writer in November of 1887 to make an announcement that he was ready to join a pro team. He wanted to start at a lower level, saying that he had the skills, but not the experience needed to pitch at a higher level. His career started with Lima of the Tri-State League in 1888 at 23 years old, though he was released already by May 15th. It was said at the time that he would join Zanesville, also of the Tri-State League, but there’s no record of him pitching, and it was noted that he arrived home in Pittsburgh on May 23rd. A short time later, there was word that Pittsburgh president William Nimick was helping Krumm get pitching work, so the two had a connection before his time with the Alleghenys. After his big league career was done, there was word in April of 1890 that he was wanted by a minor league team in Canton, OH., but he was playing for a local team (Homestead) in Pittsburgh during the season. In 1891, Krumm pitched for an amateur team from McKeesport.