This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: March 7th, A Minor Transaction and Four Obscure Players

Four Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, plus one transaction to mention. Before we get into those players, current catcher Jason Delay turns 28 years old today. He debuted in the majors during the 2022 season.

The Transaction

The only transaction of note on this date for the Pirates is a minor one. On this date in 1990, the Pirates signed pitcher Mark Huismann as a free agent. He was 31 years old at the time, with parts of eight seasons in the majors, though his only full season happened four years earlier. He spent the 1989 season playing for the Baltimore Orioles, where he made eight appearances and allowed eight runs in 11.1 innings. Huismann would re-sign with the team for the 1991 season, but his contribution to the 1990-91 playoff teams was minimal. It also ended up being his final big league experience. He pitched three innings over two games in 1990, then five innings over five games in 1991. In those eight innings, Huismann allowed a total of 11 runs, with seven of them being earned. He was released in June of 1991, then finished the season in the minors with the Kansas City Royals. He finished his career 13-11, 4.40, with 11 saves in 296.1 innings over 152 games.

The Players

Albert Hall, outfielder for the 1989 Pirates. He played parts of eight seasons in the majors prior to joining the Pirates, all of those years with the Atlanta Braves. He was drafted in the sixth round of the amateur draft by the Braves in 1977 out of Jones Valley HS in Birmingham, Alabama. Hall had a rough debut in pro ball, batting .162/.279/.162 over 35 games in the short-season Appalachian League with Kingsport. He actually moved down during his second season, playing in the Gulf Coast League in 1978, where he hit .293 in 34 games, with 15 runs, six extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and a .771 OPS. After moving up to Class-A Greenwood of the Western Carolinas League in 1979, Hall batted .288 in 105 games, with 84 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs, 60 walks, a .728 OPS and 66 stolen bases in 76 attempts. While playing for Durham of the Class-A Carolina League in 1980, he batted .283 in 125 games, with 95 runs, 27 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs, 77 walks, a .757 OPS and 100 stolen bases in 127 attempts. He topped his previous three-season combined totals in doubles, triples and homers that year. The next three seasons saw him steal a combined 168 bases in the minors, while also made brief appearances in the majors each year without collecting a single base hit in any year.

Hall hit .308 over 133 games in 1981 for Savannah of the Double-A Southern League. His finished with 83 runs, 28 doubles, ten triples, five homers, 27 RBIs, 64 walks, 60 steals and an .830 OPS, which led to him going to the majors in September of 1981 without any Triple-A experience. He was basically used as a pinch-runner during his first cup of coffee, getting just two at-bats in six games with the Braves. Hall put up a .729 OPS, 97 runs and 62 steals (in 73 attempts) with Richmond of the Triple-A International League in 1982. He batted just .263, but he drew 74 walks, while managing to collect 18 doubles and 15 triples. His September recall to the Braves that year consisted of five pinch-running appearances and no plate appearances. He batted .294 over 130 games for Richmond in 1983, with 120 runs scored, 28 doubles, 11 triples, 42 RBIs, 46 steals, 66 walks and a .772 OPS. Hall was a September recall for a third time that year. On September 4, 1983, he made his first big league start, going 0-for-4 in a 6-5 win over the Pirates. He ended up going 0-for-8 at the plate, though he walked twice and scored two runs. After three September trials, he was 0-for-10 in 21 games.

Hall spent all of 1984 in the majors, then split the next two years between Triple-A/Braves. He played 87 games (26 starts) for the 1984 Braves. He had a .261 average, 25 runs, eight extra-base hits, nine RBIs, six steals and a .647 OPS. He finally collected his first big league hit in the fifth game of his fourth stint in the majors. He played 54 games in the majors in 1985, while making just one start all season. Hall batted .149/.286/.192 in 57 plate appearances, with five runs, a triple, three RBIs and one steal. His time with Richmond that season was brief, and he did not do well, finishing with a .225 average and a .610 OPS in 38 games. He had four extra-base hits all season between both stops, and all four were triples. Hall hit .270 over 125 games for Richmond in 1986, with 73 runs, 18 doubles, 72 steals, 70 walks and a .717 OPS. He came up to the majors in mid-September, where he saw his first string of consistent starts, batting .240/.309/.280, with six runs, eight steals and five walks over the final 16 games of the season.

Hall had his best MLB season in 1987, hitting .284 in 92 games, with 54 runs, 20 doubles, 24 RBIs, 33 stolen bases, 38 walks and a .780 OPS. That was his peak, but his stats and playing time dropped the next year. He hit .247 for the 1988 Braves, with 27 runs, nine extra-base hits, 15 RBIs, a .612 OPS and a rough success rate in steals, going 15-for-25 in his base running endeavors. He played 85 games that year and had 80 fewer plate appearances than the previous season. He was released by the Braves late in spring of 1989, then signed with the Pirates near the end of May. He played 90 games with Buffalo of the Triple-A American Association, and another 20 games with the Pirates as a September call-up. He hit .304 for Buffalo, with 63 runs, 22 extra-base hits, 33 RBIs, 31 steals, 28 walks and a .767 OPS. He started six games for the Pirates, hitting .182/.250/.303 in 36 plate appearances, with four runs, three extra-base hits and three stolen bases. That would be his last season in baseball. The Houston Astros selected him in the Rule 5 draft after the season, but he did not play in 1990. He played 375 Major League games over nine season, putting up a .251 average, with 125 runs scored, 37 doubles, eight triples, five homers, 53 RBIs and 67 stolen bases. He hit for the cycle on September 23, 1987, becoming the first Braves player in 77 years to accomplish that feat, which didn’t happen again until 2008, giving him the only franchise cycle over a 97-year time-frame.

Dick Rand, catcher for the 1957 Pirates. He signed with the St Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent at 18 years old in 1949, then played over 100 games for eight straight seasons in the minors before joining the Pirates. He debuted in 1949 at Fresno of the Class-C California League, where he had a .236 average and 16 extra-base hits in 118 games, though he walked 71 times, which led to a .353 OBP. He also had 65 runs and 72 RBIs that year. He was with Pocatello of the Class-C Pioneer League in 1950, where he hit .321 in 120 games, with 31 doubles, five triples and 11 homers. Rand moved up a level in 1951, putting up a .280 average, with 59 runs, 35 extra-base hits, 53 RBIs, 60 walks and an .819 OPS in 103 games for Winston-Salem of the Class-B Carolina League. He skipped over two levels to Columbus of the Triple-A American Association in 1952, and did well with the big jump in competition. He put up a .712 OPS in 109 games, finishing with a .256 average, 39 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 51 RBIs and 50 walks. Despite holding his own, the next two seasons were spent a level lower with Houston of the Double-A Texas League, where he had two very similar seasons. Rand hit .284 over 114 games in 1953, with 37 runs, 23 doubles, four homers, 46 RBIs, 53 walks and a .757 OPS. That led to a nine-game trial in late September, where he hit .290/.333/.323 in 34 plate appearances with the Cardinals. He hit .273 over 103 games for Houston in 1954, with 40 runs, 17 doubles, six triples (no homers), 42 RBIs, 51 walks and a .744 OPS. The Cardinals gave Rand brief September trials in 1953 and 1955, but he didn’t see big league time during the 1954 season.

Rand earned that 1955 big league stint by putting up a .257 average for Omaha of the American Association, with 50 runs, 28 extra-base hits, 50 RBIs, 67 walks and an .805 OPS in 115 games. He went 3-for-10 in three games that September, with a homer, three RBIs and a walk. The Pirates traded catcher Toby Atwell to the Cardinals early in the 1956 season. After the season ended, they received Rand as a player to be named later in the deal. He played for Rochester of the International League in 1956, where he batted .278 over 115 games, with 36 runs, 30 doubles, 12 homers, 44 RBIs, 48 walks and an .828 OPS. The 1957 season with the Pirates was his only full year in the majors. Rand played 60 total games, 57 behind the plate, and 34 of those games as a starter. He hit .219/.288/.286 in 122 plate appearances, with seven runs, four extra-base hits and nine RBIs. He threw out 29% of runners attempting to steal, and his five errors led to a .973 fielding percentage. He was a late cut by the Pirates during Spring Training of 1958, getting sold outright to Columbus of the Triple-A International League on April 5th. He played all of 1958 in the minors for Columbus, hitting .276 in 126 games, with 41 runs, 16 doubles, 12 homers, 55 RBIs, 61 walks and an .804 OPS.

Prior to the 1959 season, the Pirates/Columbus traded Rand back to the Cardinals for minor league 1B/OF Tom Burgess, who was 31 years old, with 17 games of big league experience. It was actually a different Burgess (no relation to Tom) that led to this trade of minor league players. When the Pirates acquired Smoky Burgess on January 30, 1959, that gave them an extra catcher, which they agreed to send to Columbus at a later date. That made Rand available to trade for a replacement outfielder to cover for the players they sent to the Cincinnati Reds in the Burgess deal. Rand played two more seasons in the minors after the trade before retiring. He was back in Rochester in 1959, where he batted .244 in 91 games, with 25 runs, 17 extra-base hits, 28 RBIs and a .702 OPS. He retired during the 1960 season due to an injury, but returned in 1961 with Dallas-Fort Worth of the Texas League, where he played just 19 games in his final season before being released on June 3rd. He had a .650 OPS over 31 plate appearances that year. He was a .272 minor league hitter, with 197 doubles and 64 homers in 1,133 games. He batted .240 over his three seasons in the majors, with 11 runs, three doubles, two homers and 13 RBIs in 72 games.

Junior Walsh, pitched for the 1946 and 1948-51 Pirates. He played two years of semi-pro ball before signing with an affiliate of the Pirates in 1941 at 22 years old. He then spent his entire five-year big league career in Pittsburgh. Walsh debuted for Oil City of the Class-D Pennsylvania State Association in 1941. He went 16-10, 3.83 in 207 innings, with a 1.50 WHIP. He moved up a level in 1942 to Hutchinson of the Class-C Western Association, where he went 11-13 in 196 innings, with a 1.47 WHIP. He allowed an average of 6.02 runs per nine innings (the ERA stats are unavailable for the league). He had 178 strikeouts, while also setting a league record with 16 strikeouts in one game. He pitched for York of the Class-B Interstate League in 1943, where he went 7-4, 4.19 in 73 innings, with 62 strikeouts and a 1.73 WHIP. He also pitched for Albany of the Class-A Eastern League at the beginning of the year, though stats are unavailable. However, the papers noted that he was getting attention from scouts in Albany, and there was a strong belief that he would end up pitching in the majors. Walsh signed with the Pirates in January of 1944, but the military came calling before he could pitch a game for them. He reported for active duty on February 26th. He missed the entire 1944-45 seasons, before rejoining the Pirates in 1946. He signed his contract for that season in mid-February, shortly after being discharged. He spent the season in the minors, putting up a 7-12, 4.33 record in 133 innings spread out over two teams, playing for York again, and Birmingham of the Double-A Southern League. He had 79 strikeouts and a 1.19 WHIP in 73 innings for York, but his time two levels higher in Birmingham saw him post a 6.00 ERA in 60 innings, with 48 walks (45 strikeouts) and a 1.93 WHIP. Walsh joined the Pirates in September of 1946 for two starts and two relief appearances. He allowed six runs and ten walks over 10.1 innings.

Walsh spent the entire 1947 season in the minors, playing for York for the third season, while also spending part of the year back with Albany. He did an excellent job at both levels, despite not getting a big league chance. He put up a combined 12-6, 2.58 record in 157 innings, with 123 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP. He made the Pirates Opening Day roster in 1948 and pitched twice in relief over the first month of the season, allowing five runs in 4.1 innings. On May 14th, he was released outright to Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association, where he went 4-2, 4.79 in 47 innings, with a 1.57 WHIP. Walsh remained in Indianapolis until the Pirates purchased him back on August 5, 1949. At the time of the purchase, he was 15-4, 3.88 in 181 innings. Those numbers were decent, but they came with a 93:94 BB/SO ratio and a 1.51 WHIP. He started five days after rejoining the Pirates, putting together a nice outing against the Chicago Cubs, in which he allowed two runs over six innings in a loss. Eight days later, Walsh threw a complete game shutout against the Cubs, the only shutout of his big league career. Things went rough after that game, with a 7.16 ERA in his final 27.2 innings.

Walsh remained with the Pirates for all of the 1950-51 seasons, as the club put up back-to-back 90+ loss seasons. Pitching almost strictly in relief, he had a 5.05 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP in 62.1 innings over 38 appearances (two starts) in 1950. That was followed by a 6.87 ERA, a 1.88 WHIP and a 46:32 BB/SO ratio in 73.1 innings over 36 games (one start) in 1951. Despite those poor stats, Walsh was a holdout in 1952, and he didn’t sign with the Pirates until mid-March. On March 29th, he was sold outright to Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League (then an Open classification, which was basically Triple-A), ending his time with the Pirates. Walsh average 173 innings pitched over the next four seasons in the Pacific Coast League, playing three years for Hollywood and the final year for San Francisco. He had a 44-35 record during that time, topping out at 16 wins in 1953. He went 10-9, 3.19 in 172 innings in 1952. He followed that up with a 16-9, 3.13 record over 190 innings in 1954. He had a 10-7, 3.21 record over 168 innings in 1955. His one season in San Francisco saw him go 8-10, 4.45 in 166 innings. His WHIP was consistent during that four-year stretch, with a high of 1.40 and a low of 1.33. Walsh finished his pro career with two games for Buffalo of the Triple-A International League at 37 years old in 1956. His first name was James, but he was occasionally referred to as Junior, and more often than not he was called Jim in the papers. His final stats for the Pirates show a 4-10, 5.88 record in 193 innings over 12 starts and 77 relief appearances. His only career shutout was also his only complete game.

Doc Scanlan, pitcher for the 1903-04 Pirates. He played three years of minor league ball before joining the Pirates at the end of the 1903 season. He was with Ogdenburg of the Northern New York League in 1901 (no stats available), and then Ilion of the Class-B New York State League in 1902-03. Scanlan pitched 16 games in 1902. No other pitching stats are available from that year, but it’s known that he put up a .265 average in 49 at-bats. He pitched 38 games in 1903, when he hit .292 in 113 at-bats. Pittsburgh had already clinched their third straight National League pennant a week before he joined the team, so with two games left in the season on September 24th, Pirates manager Fred Clarke let Scanlan start against the second place New York Giants. His mound opponent was Red Ames, who was his teammate with Ilion during the 1903 season. Ames debuted in the majors just ten days earlier. Scanlan, who was referred to as “Scanlon” that day, threw a complete game, losing 7-2, while walking eight batters. He must have impressed the Pirates enough to bring him back for the next season, despite a broken deal with Ilion that caused some issues. Barney Dreyfuss worked out a deal to purchase Scanlan, but Ilion’s owner backed out of the deal because it was done by the team’s manager (soon to be ex-manager), who supposedly couldn’t negotiate the sale. Since no money changed hands, Scanlan was sent back to his old team during the off-season. On February 11, 1904, the two sides agreed on a sale price, so Scanlan was back with the Pirates.  He made two early season starts in 1904, winning his first game, then losing 15-3 in his second outing. He didn’t make his third start until two months later, and it would be his last one for Pittsburgh. He was sold to the Brooklyn Superbas on August 1, 1904, after making just four appearances all season (he lost his only relief appearance). He had a 4.91 ERA and 20 walks in 22 innings for the 1904 Pirates. He ended up winning 64 games over seven seasons with Brooklyn, including a high of 18 victories in 1906, before he retired from baseball to take up a medical practice.

Scanlan finished the 1904 season by going 6-6, 2.16 in 104 innings over 12 starts and one relief outing with Brooklyn. He had 11 complete games, three shutouts and a 1.29 WHIP. He went 14-12, 2.92 in 249.2 innings in 1905, with a 1.30 WHIP and a career high 135 strikeouts. He made 28 starts and five relief appearances, finishing with 22 complete games and two shutouts. He had a 18-13 record in 1906, despite the fact that Brooklyn finished 66-86. He led the league with 127 walks, though he did pitch 288 innings that year, so his rate wasn’t that bad. His 3.19 ERA was 57 points above league average during that deadball era season, so it was quite an odd win-loss record in his favor, but the fact that he tossed six shutouts helped his case. Scanlan went 6-8, 3.20, with a 1.41 WHIP over 107 innings in 1907. He season started in late May after a contract squabble early in the year. He completed ten of 15 starts, throwing two shutouts. He missed the entire 1908 season due to a sickness brought on by an appendicitis operation in December of 1907, which caused him to lose 30 pounds. During his off-time, he played some semi-pro ball to stay in shape and worked as a doctor, though he announced in June of 1908 that he would return the next season to Brooklyn.

Scanlan went 8-7, 2.93 in 141.1 innings during the 1909 season. He had a 1.34 WHIP over his 17 starts and two relief appearances. He completed 12 games, including two shutouts. He was better the next season, but the Superbas finished 64-90 record, leading him to a 9-11, 2.61 record and a 1.34 WHIP in 217.1 innings. He made 25 starts and nine relief appearances that year, finishing with 14 complete games, two saves (not an official stat at the time) and a 116:103 BB/SO ratio. His 4.9 WAR was fifth best among National League pitchers. It was the only time he finished among the top ten in that category. In his final season of pro ball, Scanlan went 3-10, 3.64 in 113.2 innings over 15 starts and seven relief appearances. Helped by pitching in the deadball era, he had a career 3.00 ERA in 1,252 innings, though that came with a 65-71 record due to playing for some poor teams in Brooklyn. He made 149 starts, complete 102 games, and he threw 15 shutouts. He failed to collect a shutout in his last 42 starts. He led all pitchers with a 1.000 fielding percentage in 1910, handling all 53 chances he had that year. His first name was William, but the “Doc” nickname was used very often. He had a brother named Frank, who pitched in the majors with the 1909 Philadelphia Phillies.