Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date.
Christopher Bostick, IF/OF for the 2017-18 Pirates. He was a 44th round draft pick of the Oakland A’s in 2011 at 18 years old out of Aquinas Institute (high school) in Rochester, New York. Bostick is the only player to ever be drafted out of that school. He signed with the A’s in late July, then played just 14 games of rookie ball in the Arizona League that year, though he put up a .442 batting average and a 1.136 OPS during that time. He moved up to the short-season New York-Penn League in his first full year in pro ball, where he put up a mediocre .694 OPS in 70 games with Vermont. He hit .251 that year, with 41 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 29 RBIs and 12 steals. Bostick moved up to Beloit of the Low-A Midwest League in 2013, where he hit .282 in 129 games, with 75 runs, 25 doubles, eight triples, 14 homers, 89 RBIs, 51 walks, 25 stolen bases and an .806 OPS. He was traded to the Texas Rangers after the 2013 season. He advanced to High-A Myrtle Beach of the Carolina League in 2014, where he saw similar power/speed/walk numbers, though his .251 average led to a 72 point drop in his OPS. Bostick had 81 runs, 31 doubles, eight triples, 11 homers, 62 RBIs, 47 walks and 24 steals in 130 games that season. The Rangers dealt him to the Washington Nationals almost exactly one year after acquiring him. He split the 2015 season between Potomac of the Carolina League and Harrisburg of the Double-A Eastern League. He finished with a .259 average, 57 runs, 22 doubles, eight triples, 12 homers, 58 RBIs, 31 steals and a .710 OPS between the two stops. He attended the Arizona Fall League after the 2015 season, where he had a .268 average, four homers, six steals and an .883 OPS in 20 games.
Bostick began 2016 back in Harrisburg, where he put up a .290 average and an .818 OPS in 71 games. He was moved up to Syracuse of the Triple-A International League in late June, then batted just .203 in 64 games, while posting a .559 OPS. He combined to bat .250 over 135 games in 2016, with 61 runs, 22 doubles, ten triples, eight homers, 51 RBIs and a .700 OPS. The Pirates gave up minor league catcher Taylor Gushue to acquire Bostick from the Nationals at the end of the 2016 season. Bostick played briefly with the Pirates during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, seeing more time in 2017, before being sold to the Miami Marlins in August of 2018. He batted .276/.382/.345 in 22 games with the Pirates, with three starts at second base, one in left field and 18 games off of the bench. He did well in 20 games in 2017, putting up a .296/.406/.370 slash line in 32 plate appearances. His time with the 2018 Pirates amounted to two at-bats in two games at the beginning of August. He earned those big league shots by showing versatility in Triple-A Indianapolis, while also putting up solid numbers at the plate. He made starts at second base, third base and all three outfield spots in 2017. He hit .294 for Indianapolis in 2017, with 75 runs, 43 extra-base hits (33 doubles), 57 RBIs and a .779 OPS in 124 games. He then put up a .295/.351/.436 slash line in 78 games for Indianapolis during the 2018 season, before moving on to Miami. Bostick batted .214/.313/.286 in 13 big league games (3-for-14 with two walks) with the Marlins in 2018. He also had a .281 average and a.635 OPS over 16 games with New Orleans of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He then spent the entire 2019 season with Norfolk of the International League, as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He hit .258 that year, with 59 runs, 22 doubles, 12 homers, 50 RBIs and a .744 OPS in 106 games. He became a free agent after the season, which ended his pro career.
Corey Hart, 1B/RF for the 2015 Pirates. He was an 11th round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers out of Greenwood HS in Kentucky in 2000. It’s a school that has produced just two draft picks ever, and Hart is the only one to make the majors. He spent his first two seasons playing for Ogden in the short-season Pioneer League, putting up much better numbers in his second season. He had a decent debut in 2000, hitting .287 in 57 games, though low walk/power numbers led to a .698 OPS. He had 32 runs, 12 extra-base hits and 30 RBIs. Hart had a .340 average over 69 games in 2001, with 53 runs, 18 doubles, 11 homers, 62 RBIs, a .937 OPS and 14 steals in 15 attempts. He moved up to High-A in 2002, where he played in the high offense environment of the California League, while also playing in one of the better parks for hitters in league. Hart hit .288 for High Desert, with 76 runs, 26 doubles, ten triples, 22 homers, 84 RBIs, 24 steals and a .928 OPS in 100 games. He moved up to Huntsville of the Double-A Southern League to finish the season, hitting .266/.340/.362, with 16 runs, three doubles, two homers and 15 RBIs in 28 games. Hart remained in Huntsville for the entire 2003 season, hitting .302 in 130 games, with 70 runs, 40 doubles, 13 homers, 94 RBIs, 25 steals and an .807 OPS. He made his big league debut with the Brewers on May 25, 2004, though it ended up being just that one game. The rest of the season was spent with Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League, where he hit .281 in 121 games, with 68 runs, 29 doubles, eight triples, 15 homers, 67 RBIs, 17 steals and an .828 OPS.
Hart spent most of 2005 back in Triple-A, with the Brewers moving their affiliate to Nashville of the Pacific Coast League). He hit .308 that year, with 85 runs, 29 doubles, nine triples, 17 homers, 69 RBIs, 31 steals and a .913 OPS in 113 games. He batted .193/.270/.368 in 21 games for the Brewers that season, with nine runs, five extra-base hits and seven RBIs. Hart tore up the Arizona Fall League after the 2005 season, hitting .353/.405/.647 in 21 games. He spent all but one month of the 2006 season in the majors. His time with Nashville that year saw him post a .320 average and a .951 OPS in 26 games. He had a .283 average, with 32 runs, 13 doubles, nine homers, 33 RBIs and a .796 OPS in 87 games for the 2006 Brewers. Hart had a breakout 2007 season, batting .295 in 140 games, with 86 runs, 33 doubles, 24 homers, 81 RBIs and 23 steals. His .892 OPS was his career best. He was an All-Star in 2008, even though he saw a 133-point decline in his OPS. Hart batted .268 that year, with 76 runs, 45 doubles, 20 homers, 91 RBIs, 23 steals and a .759 OPS. Due to a low walk rate, he finished with a .300 OBP. He missed time in 2009 with an appendectomy and a hand injury, limiting him to 115 games. He had a .260 average, with 64 runs, 24 doubles, 12 homers, 48 RBIs and a .753 OPS. He bounced back in a big way in 2010. Hart made his second All-Star appearance, hitting .283 that year, with 34 doubles and an .865 OPS, while setting career highs with 91 runs, 31 homers and 102 RBIs. He received MVP votes for the only time in his career, finishing 25th in the voting.
Hart hit .285 over 130 games in 2011, with 80 runs, 25 doubles, 26 homers, 63 RBIs and a career best 51 walks. He finished that year with an .866 OPS. He reached 30 homers for the second time during his final season in Milwaukee. He hit .270 that year, with 35 doubles, 30 homers, 83 RBIs and an .841 OPS, while tying his career high with 91 runs scored. He played a total of nine seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting .276 in 945 games, with 529 runs, 211 doubles, 154 homers, 508 RBIs, 83 steals and an .824 OPS. Hart had knee surgery that cost him the entire 2013 season. He then signed with the Seattle Mariners as a free agent in 2014. He batted .203/.271/.319 over 68 games during his only season in Seattle, with 17 runs, nine homers, six homers and 21 RBIs. He also had a .922 OPS in 19 games with Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League that year. He signed with the Pirates as a free agent prior to the 2015 season. Hart lasted just 35 games in Pittsburgh, with most of that time off of the bench (he made 11 starts). He hit .222/.246/.352, with three runs, one double, two homers and nine RBIs. He injured his shoulder in June, and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. He played 13 games of rehab with Indianapolis, where he had a .167 average and a .519 OPS. Once the minor league season ended, the Pirates announced that he wouldn’t be activated, effectively ending his time in Pittsburgh. He retired after the season, playing just 103 big league games over his final three years. He finished as a .271 hitter in 1,048 games, with 549 runs, 221 doubles, 162 homers and 538 RBIs. He collected his 1,000th hit while with the Pirates.
Gus Dugas, outfielder for the Pirates in 1930 and 1932. After a few years of semi-pro ball, his pro career began in 1930 at 23 years old, playing for Wichita of the Class-A Western League. He hit .349 in 143 games, with 24 doubles, 12 triples and 26 homers during his first season of pro ball. In September of 1930, the local Wichita papers noted that the Pirates were interested in Dugas and fellow outfielder Woody Jensen. Days later when the Pirates decided to purchase Dugas, the papers expressed surprise at their decision to take him instead of Jensen. The Pirates eventually got Jensen, who turned out to be the much better big league player. When Dugas joined the Pirates in September of 1930, it was his first shot at the big leagues. He had the unenviable task of trying to break into an outfield that had two Hall of Famers (the Waner brothers) and 24-year-old Adam Comorosky, who had a .313 average, with 47 doubles, a league leading 23 triples and 119 RBIs that season. His debut in a Pirates uniform came on September 8th, when he replaced Lloyd Waner in the fourth inning of an exhibition game against Buffalo, which was a night game, played 4 1/2 years before the first MLB night game. Dugas homered that day, though the Pirates lost 13-3. His official big league debut came eight days later. He hit well in his nine games with the 1930 Pirates, batting .290/.421/.355 in 39 plate appearances, with eight runs, a double and seven walks. Due to that outfield depth of the Pirates, he was back in the minors for the following season.
Dugas was actually with the 1931 Pirates on Opening Day, and may have stuck with the team if he didn’t get hurt during workouts before the team’s home opener. He got knocked unconscious during practice, when he collided with shortstop Ben Sankey. Dugas was said to have cut his mouth badly and loosened some teeth, though it was later reported that he had a fractured jaw. Once he was able to play, he was sent back to the minors on June 14th. He would have to really impress the Pirates to earn a spot back in the majors, and he did just that in a short time. While playing for Kansas City of the Double-A American Association (highest level of the minors at the time) for the duration of the 1931 season, he hit .419 in 93 games, with 25 doubles, 11 triples and eight homers. Dugas was with the Pirates the entire 1932 season, playing mostly off the bench. He started just 14 games all year, including five of the last six games of the season. He hit .237/.289/.423 in 55 games, with 13 runs, three doubles, three triples, three homers and 12 RBIs.
The Pirates traded Dugas to the Philadelphia Phillies in December of 1932, as part of a three-team deal that saw them acquire Freddie Lindstrom from the New York Giants. With Lindstrom in center field for 1933, the Pirates then had three future Hall of Famers in the outfield, and another two in the infield, with Pie Traynor and Arky Vaughan on the left side. Dugas played two more seasons in the majors and another ten in the minors before retiring. He had a rough go with the 1933 Phillies, batting .169/.181/.211 in 37 games, with four runs, three doubles, nine RBIs and one walk. He spent a portion of that year with Albany of the Double-A International League, where he had a .379 average and 14 extra-base hits in 38 games. That time in Philadelphia didn’t go well, but it was better than his 1934 performance for the Washington Senators. Dugas went 1-for-19 in 24 games for Washington, with a double and three walks. He also batted .371 that year in 57 games for Albany, so it was no surprise that he was getting chances in the majors. He was a .327 minor league hitter in 1,361 total games. After his final big league game, he spent four years playing for Montreal of the International League, and another four years with Nashville of the Class-A Southern Association. He had a .309 average in 125 games for Montreal in 1935, collecting 29 doubles and 22 homers. He followed that up with a .308 average in 1936, with 82 runs, 26 doubles, 15 triples, 18 homers, 91 RBIs, 73 walks and a .958 OPS. His 1937 season was limited to 84 games due to a lung illness that cost him the last two months of the season. He hit .324 that year, with 48 runs, 28 doubles, 11 homers, 62 RBIs and a .965 OPS.
Dugas split the 1938 season between Montreal and Baltimore of the International League. He combined to hit .314 in 152 games, with 100 runs, 35 doubles, 16 homers, 81 RBIs and 105 walks. He played for Baltimore for a small part of 1939, hitting .156 in 27 games, though four homers pushed him to a .645 OPS. The rest of the year was spent with Nashville, where he hit .291 in 88 games, with 13 doubles and 22 homers. Dugas remained in Nashville for the next three seasons. He hit .336 over 146 games in 1940, with 34 doubles, six triples and 22 homers. He played just 59 games in 1941, finishing the year with a .320 average, 14 doubles and 11 homers. His season ended on June 14th when he injured his ankle sliding into second base. His 1942 season saw him bat .309 in 145 games, with 35 doubles and 19 homers. He played for Toronto of the International League in 1943, hitting .283 in 48 games, with 23 runs, eight doubles, three homers and 27 RBIs. Toronto had a working agreement with the Pirates at the time. His last year in pro ball was 1946 at 39 years old. He came back for a brief time with Providence of the New England League, after playing semipro ball the previous two seasons. He had a .260 average and an .842 OPS in 16 games for Providence. In his big league career, Dugas hit .206 in 125 big league games, with 27 runs, nine doubles, three homers and 23 RBIs. His great-grandson Andrew Carignan was a relief pitcher for the 2011-12 Oakland A’s.
Pat Veltman, catcher for the 1934 Pirates. He played in the majors for five different seasons prior to joining the 1934 Pirates, but he got into a grand total of just 11 games over that time. Veltman debuted in pro ball in the majors, spending five weeks with the 1926 Chicago White Sox at 20 years old, with only semi-pro experience before his debut. He won a job during Spring Training, then played five games for the White Sox. He saw one inning in the field at shortstop, which ended up being the only time he played shortstop in the majors. He went 1-for-4 with a walk during his first cup of coffee. He went to the minors to finish the season, where he hit .289 in 107 games for Lincoln of the Class-A Western League, with 16 doubles and nine triples. Veltman spent the 1927-28 seasons with Springfield of the Class-B Three-I League. He hit .312 over 122 games in 1927, with 20 doubles, 17 triples and four homers. He batted .343 in 1928, with 22 doubles, eight triples and 11 homers in 129 games. His second appearance in the majors came as a member of the 1928 New York Giants. Veltman started in center field on September 30th, in the final game of the season. He went 1-for-3 with a triple, walk and run scored. He spent the 1929 season playing for Bridgeport of the Class-A Eastern League, where he batted .321 in 126 games, with 33 doubles, seven triples and six homers. He returned to the Giants at the end of the year to play two games off of the bench. He appeared on October 5th and 6th, going 0-for-1 with two walks.
Veltman spent the entire 1930 season back in Bridgeport, where he hit .297 in 136 games, with 22 doubles, 11 triples and five homers. He played just one game all season in 1931, getting a pinch-hit at-bat for the 1931 Boston Braves on May 1st. He actually caught an entire game on May 7th, but it was an exhibition game. He was set to rejoin Bridgeport in June, but a back injury prevented his return. Veltman split the 1932 season between Jersey City of the Double-A International League (highest level of the minors at the time) and Winston-Salem of the Class-B Piedmont League. He hit .240 between both stops, with seven doubles and four homers in 47 games. He then played two early September games with the Giants to finish his 1932 season, getting just one at-bat in his fourth big league trial. Veltman spent the entire 1933 seasons in the minors with the Oakland Oaks of the Double-A Pacific Coast League, where he hit .332 in 144 games, with 30 doubles, one triple and 12 homers in exactly 500 at-bats. Pittsburgh took him in the October 1933 Rule 5 draft from Oakland. Veltman, who was 28 years old at the time, was with the Pirates the entire 1934 season, though he barely played. After starting four of the first nine games behind the plate, he played just eight more games all season. He went to bat just 11 more times over those final 142 games of the season. Veltman batted .107/.107/.107 in 28 at-bats for the Pirates, finishing with one run and the only two RBIs of his big league career. One RBI came in his first game of the year, and the other in his last game.
That time with the 1934 Pirates ended up being his last season in the majors. He returned to the minors for three seasons before retiring, spending two seasons (1935-36) with Los Angeles of the Pacific Coast League, followed by a year as a player/manager for Ponca City of the Class-C Western Association. Veltman’s 1935 stats show him going 6-for-20 in five games. He missed most of the year due to arthritis. He batted .347 over 23 games in 1936, with four runs, four doubles and six RBIs. The arthritis limited his movement and ability to throw to bases that year, and eventually led to him being released in May. His season with Ponca City saw him hit .297 over 89 games, with 36 runs, 12 doubles, 33 RBIs and a .734 OPS. He retired due to poor health after the 1937 season, but he lived out a long life after baseball, passing away in 1980. He went 5-for-38 in the majors during his six seasons, and his only extra-base hit was a triple. His real first name was Arthur, and he was often referred to as Art, though Pat (his middle name) is the name most associated with him now.
Mike Mowrey, third baseman for the 1914 Pirates. He was a Pennsylvanian native, who debuted in pro ball in 1904 at 20 years old, splitting the season between two independent minor league teams from his home state. No stats are available for his time that year with Chester of the Pennsylvania League and Williamsport of the Tri-State League. Mowrey spent the 1905 season playing for Savannah of the Class-C South Atlantic League, where he hit .285 in 120 games. He joined the Cincinnati Reds in late September of 1905 for seven games. He hit .267/.290/.300 in 31 plate appearances, with four runs, a double and six RBIs. After getting just three at-bats through the first 39 games of the 1906 season, the Reds sent him to Baltimore of the Class-A Eastern League (highest level of the minors at the time), where he batted .265 in 68 games, with 17 extra-base hits. He returned to Cincinnati in late August to bat .340 in 17 games. He had a .321/.379/.377 slash line over 58 plate appearances that year, with three runs, three doubles and six RBIs. Mowrey was the starting third baseman for the 1907 Reds, while also seeing occasional starts that year at shortstop. He hit .252 in 137 games, with 43 runs, 16 doubles, six triples, a homer and 44 RBIs. His .629 OPS was below average, even during the deadball era, but it got worse the next season. He saw limited time in 1908, batting .220 in 77 games, with 17 runs, nine doubles, no homers, 23 RBIs and a .534 OPS, while playing four different positions. Modern metrics rate him as average defensively during his first four seasons, with two years of 0.1 dWAR and two with -0.1 dWAR.
Mowrey split the 1909 season between the Reds and St Louis Cardinals. He hit just .191/.311/.235 over 38 games with Cincinnati, then played just 12 games after the trade on August 22nd that sent him to St Louis. He combined to hit .201 in 50 games that year, with 13 runs, six doubles, nine RBIs and 24 walks, giving him a decent .315 OBP, that came with a low .243 slugging percentage. Despite the poor season, Mowrey became the starting third baseman for the Cardinals in 1910. He responded by hitting .282 in 143 games, with 69 runs scored, 24 doubles, 70 RBIs, 21 steals and 67 walks. He led National League third basemen in assists and double plays, but also in errors. His .744 OPS was a career high for a full season. He put up a .714 OPS over 137 games in 1911, finishing with a .268 average, 59 runs, 29 doubles, seven triples, 61 RBIs, 15 steals and 59 walks. His online stats show him playing for Birmingham of the Southern Association for 12 games in 1911, but that was actually an outfielder named Joe Mowrey. Mike Mowrey then saw a dip in production in 1912, when he batted .255 in 114 games, with 59 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 50 RBIs, 19 steals and a .675 OPS, which was down 39 points from the previous season. Mowrey’s OPS dropped for a third straight season in 1913, going down to a .660 mark in 132 games. He batted .260 that year, with 61 runs, 18 doubles, four triples, 33 RBIs and 53 walks. He wasn’t too successful in the stolen base department, going 21-for-36.
Mowrey was part of an eight-player trade between the Pirates and Cardinals in December of 1913. Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss gave up too much to acquire first baseman Ed Konetchy, who he was after for a long time. The deal was a poor one to begin with, but got much worse when Konetchy jumped after one year from the Pirates to the Pittsburgh Rebels of the newly-formed Federal League, which had Major League status for two seasons. Mowrey hit just .254 in 79 games with the Pirates, putting up his fourth straight season with a lower OPS (.640). He had 24 runs, 13 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs. He was put on waivers in early August. When no teams put in a claim, he received his unconditional release on August 17th. Some papers said he had a knee injury that was bothering him and resulted in the poor play, while others claimed that he just quit on the team. He was playing with a local team just a week after being released, then joined his teammate Konetchy on the Pittsburgh Rebels for the 1915 season. Mowrey had a solid season in 1915, proving his knee was okay by batting .280 in 151 games, with 56 runs, 26 doubles, six triples, 49 RBIs, 66 walks and 40 stolen bases. His .725 OPS was his best since his career year in 1910. Mowrey was sold to the Brooklyn Robins prior to the 1916 season, then played his final two seasons in the majors back in the National League. He hit .244 over 144 games in 1916, with 57 runs, 22 doubles, six triples, 60 RBIs, 50 walks and a .633 OPS. The next seasons saw him hit just .214/.292/.284 in 83 games, with 20 runs, 14 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs. He continued to play minor league ball until 1923, with the final four years coming as a player-manager.
Mowrey played for Hagerstown of the Class-D Blue Ridge League after being released by Brooklyn in August of 1917. No stats are available, but a newspaper report said that his performance did not look like that of a Major League player. He played semi-pro ball during the 1918-19 seasons, then returned to Hagerstown in 1920 as the manager. He batted .333 over 77 games, with 17 extra-base hits in 1920. He also led the team to a league title He struggled in 1921, hitting .191 in 14 games, then resigned as manager in July. He returned to the Blue Ridge League for the 1922-23 seasons with Chambersburg. Mowrey hit .351 over 75 games in 1922, with 26 doubles, two triples and ten homers. He hit just .196 over 15 games in 1923, collecting two doubles and two homers. He managed one more season, taking the helm of Scottdale in the Class-C Middle Atlantic League during the 1926 season. Mowrey was a .256 hitter in 1,276 big league games, with 485 runs, 183 doubles, 54 triples, seven homers, 461 RBIs and 167 stolen bases. He led all Federal League third basemen in fielding percentage in 1915, then repeated the feat with Brooklyn in 1916. Despite the Pirates being a strong team for most of his career, his best hitting came against them. He had a .700 OPS in 154 games against Pittsburgh, his highest mark against any National League team.
Roy Thomas, outfielder for the 1908 Pirates. He was in his tenth season with the Philadelphia Phillies when his contract was purchased by the Pirates on June 1, 1908. At 34 years old, his skills had somewhat diminished, but he was adept at getting on base and using his speed to score runs. Thomas had led the National League in walks during seven of his nine full seasons in Philadelphia. The other two seasons he finished second and third in the league. He got a late start in pro ball due to playing college ball at the University of Pennsylvania, and semi-pro ball in 1898. The New York Giants tried to sign him in 1896, but he said at the time that he wasn’t ready for pro ball. As a 25-year-old rookie in 1899, with no minor league experience, he hit .325 for the Phillies, with career highs of 137 runs scored, 115 walks and 42 steals in 150 games. He had 16 extra-base hits and 47 RBIs. His .819 OPS ended up being his career high, though he almost matched it four years later. He was trying to win the first base job in Spring Training that year, but he ended up playing 135 games in center field instead. That rookie year was followed by a .316 average over 140 games in 1900, while leading the league with 132 runs, 115 walks and 675 plate appearances. He hit just seven extra-base hits that season, and he didn’t collect his first big league homer until his third year. He stole 37 bases that year, then never reached the 30+ steal mark again. He finished the season with 33 RBIs and a .786 OPS
Thomas batted .309 over 129 games in 1901, with 102 runs scored, a league leading 100 walks and 27 steals. Once again the power numbers were extremely low, with eight extra-base hits, including an inside-the-park homer in game 137 of a 140-game season. He had 28 RBIs and a .771 OPS. He led all Major League center fielders that year with a .967 fielding percentage. He hit .286 over 138 games in 1902, with a league leading 107 walks, which in turn helped him lead the league with a .414 OBP. He had 89 runs, 24 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. He had 11 extra-base hits, which includes seven triples. He led all National League center fielders with 23 assists. He had quite a 1903 season as far as getting on base. His .327 average was his career best, while a league leading 107 walks led to a league best .453 OBP. Thomas scored 88 runs that year, with 14 extra-base hits, 27 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. His .818 OPS was one point off of his career high. He led all National League outfielders in putouts that year, and he led all NL center fielders in assists.
Thomas hit .290 in 1904, with 92 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 29 RBIs, 28 steals and 102 walks in 139 games. He hit three homers that year, which nearly represented half of his career total. He led National League center fielders in assists and fielding percentage, and he led all NL outfielders in putouts. That was his fifth straight year of leading the league in walks, which was a streak that got snapped in 1905. He reached base 251 times in 1904 to lead the league for the fifth time in six years. Despite missing out on the walk crown in 1905, he led the league by reaching base 275 times that season. He hit .317 in 1905, with 118 runs, 17 extra-base hits, 31 RBIs, 23 steals and 93 walks, resulting in a .775 OPS over 147 games. He had 27 assists, which led NL center fielders for a fourth straight season. He led all Major League center fielders with a .983 fielding percentage. Thomas led all National League outfielders with a .986 fielding percentage in 1906. He also took back his walk crown that year, hitting .254 in 142 games, with 81 runs, 17 extra-base hits, 16 RBIs, 22 steals and 107 walks. He hit .243 over 121 games in 1907, with 70 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 23 RBIs, 11 steals and a league-leading 83 walks, helping him to a .674 OPS, which was his lowest OPS to that point in his career.
Thomas played just six games in 1908 prior to being purchased by the Pirates. He had a .397 OPS over 26 plate appearances at the time.After joining Pittsburgh, he went right into the everyday center field spot. He would hit .256 that year for the Pirates, with 52 runs, 11 doubles, a career high ten triples, 24 RBIs, 11 steals, 49 walks and a .692 OPS in 102 games. He led all National League outfielders in fielding range in 1908, something he also did three times with Philadelphia. The Pirates released him in the middle of 1909 so he could sign with the Boston Doves. He wasn’t with the Pirates early in the year because he got a head coaching job for the University of Pennsylvania. He had an agreement with Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss that he didn’t need to report until June 15th, after the college season was over. He was unconditionally released by the Pirates on June 18th. Thomas batted .263/.369/.302 over 82 games for Boston in 1909, with 36 runs, ten extra-base hits, 11 RBIs and 47 walks. He signed a three-year deal to coach at the University of Pennsylvania that off-season. During the 1910-11 seasons, he joined the Phillies after the college season ended, playing a total of 44 games between the two seasons. The extra time off didn’t help him, as he hit .183/.266/.239 over 23 games in 1910, followed by a .167/.342/.233 slash line over 21 games in 1911.
Thomas retired as a player in 1911, though he did some managing in the minors during the 1921-23 seasons, which led to him playing 17 games at age 48 in 1922 for Fort Smith of the Class-C Western Association. He hit .309 during that brief time, with a double and a triple in 55 at-bats. He was a career .290 hitter in 1,470 games, with 1,011 runs, 1,537 hits, 299 RBIs, 244 stolen bases and 1,042 walks. His .413 OBP is the 29th best mark in baseball history. He led the league in OBP twice, and he finished second another three times. He hit just seven homers in his career, and five of them were inside-the-park homers. The other two came five days apart in 1904. His younger brother Bill Thomas was his teammate for a brief time on the 1902 Phillies, which was his only big league experience.
Al Lawson, pitcher for the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He was born in London, England. He debuted in pro ball at 20 years old with Bloomington of the Illinois-Indiana League in 1889. It was said at the time that he played his first ball with a team from Frankfort, Indiana in 1887, then saw time with a local club in Goshen, Indiana in 1888. No pro records are available for his 1889 season, but the papers noted that between Bloomington and a team from Appleton, Wisconsin, he won 33 of his 35 starts that year. He played the early part of the 1890 season with Wilmington of the Atlantic Association, where he didn’t do well, but he was being pursued by Frank Selee, the Hall of Fame manager of the Boston Beaneaters, after he pitched two strong Spring Training games against big league teams. One of those teams was the Chicago Colts (current day Cubs), who also tried to purchase his contract afterwards. The interesting note here is that the owners of Wilmington said that Lawson wasn’t for sale for any price during the spring, but just weeks later, one day after losing 11-1, and a week after getting knocked out of a game early, they changed their tune. He started his big league career with the Beaneaters on May 13, 1890, facing off against future Hall of Fame pitcher Mickey Welch of the New York Giants. Welch walked away with the 7-2 win, while Lawson allowed 12 hits and four walks. Boston had apparently seen enough that day, then two weeks later he was pitching for Pittsburgh.
The 1890 Alleghenys went 23-113, the worst record in franchise history, but their start wasn’t nearly as bad as you would think with that overall record. They were 8-16 when Lawson joined the team for his first game. They used a total of 46 players during the season, and he was the first of 28 players added after the season started. He was signed on May 27th, the day before his first start for Pittsburgh. In the first game of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 28th, he lost a 12-10 slugfest. Just five days later, the Chicago Colts (Cubs) knocked Lawson out of the game, going on to win 14-1. It would be his last game in the majors. The next day (June 3rd) it was announced that he was released, though he never actually signed with the Alleghenys. Teams were allowed to keep players for a short time who weren’t on contract, so they moved on from him before requiring his signature on a piece of paper. Lawson may not have actually had a chance to succeed with Pittsburgh. Owner J. Palmer O’Neil hired James Randall to watch the players to make sure they weren’t drinking, but he was also a scout hired to acquire new talent. Lawson was his first signing, and it was said that the players weren’t happy about Randall being around. The team committed at least 12 errors in Lawson’s second start (some sources say 14 errors), leading one to believe that they phoned it in that day as a bit of a payback.
Lawson’s big league career was over exactly one month after he was purchased by Boston. He had already played for three teams that year, and he ended up playing for three more before it was over, which was a sign of things to come in his seven-year career. He played minor league ball until 1895, and also managed a few seasons in the minors, during and after his playing days. Most of his minor league stats are unavailable, partially due to him moving around so much. Old record books used to only include the final stats for players who got into ten games, to help them save on space. After leaving Pittsburgh, Lawson played for Cobleskill and Albany of the New York State League, and Harrisburg of the Atlantic Association, to finish out the 1890 season. His available stats show that he didn’t have any more success in the minors, going 0-4 in four starts. He played for four teams in four different leagues in 1891, seeing time with Meadville of the New York-Penn League, Spokane of the Pacific Northwestern League, Oakland of the California League and Pendleton of the Pacific Interstate League. He went 2-2 in four starts according to his available stats for Spokane and Meadville.
You could say that Lawson settled down during the 1892-94 seasons, playing for “just” five teams total in three years, including just one team in 1893. He pitched for Atlanta of the Class-B Southern Association in 1892, going 10-4 in 123 innings, with a 1.07 WHIP and 3.80 runs per nine innings (ERA isn’t available). Lawson is also credited with playing one game in 1892 for Troy of the Eastern League. His 1893 season was spent only with Sandusky of the Ohio-Michigan League, though that might be due to the fact that he allowed 70 runs in his 61 innings of work. He’s credited with hitting .311 in ten games for Sandusky, with 15 runs and two homers. There are no 1894 stats available for his time with Pawtucket of the Class-B New England League, and Albany of the Class-B New York State League. In his final season as a player in 1895, he played for four different teams in three different leagues. Lawson went 1-2, 2.33 in three starts that year for Norfolk of the Class-B Virginia League. Those are his only pitching stats available that year. He also played for Troy of the New York State League, as well as both Lowell and Fitchburg of the independent New England Association. He played for 19 teams in his seven seasons of pro ball, and never lasted more than a year with one team. He managed Pottsville in 1894, though they weren’t one of the two teams he played for that season. He moved around almost as much as a manager, taking the helm of six teams from 1900 through 1907, never spending more than a year with one team.