Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date.
Babe Adams, pitcher for the 1907, 1909-16 and 1918-26 Pirates. In Pirates franchise history, he ranks tied for second with Sam Leever in wins with 194, trailing only Wilbur Cooper. He is third in innings pitched (2991.1) behind Cooper and Bob Friend. He ranks sixth in strikeouts, fourth in games started, sixth in complete games and first in shutouts with forty-four. Adams walked just 430 batters in his career, four times leading the league in lowest walks per inning and best strikeout per walk ratios. Adams is best known for his exploits during the 1909 season. He went 12-3, 1.11 in 130 regular season innings, then won all three starts during the World Series, including a shutout performance in game seven over the Detroit Tigers. He is the only player who was a member of the 1909 and 1925 World Series champs. Adams led the NL in WHIP (not a stat during his time obviously) five times. His 0.85 WHIP in 1909 is a Pirates team record. His 1.11 ERA in 1909 is also a Pirates single season record. His only big league game without the Pirates was one start for the 1906 St Louis Cardinals.
Adams debuted in pro ball in 1905 with Parsons of the Class-C Missouri Valley League at 23 years old. He won 21 games and had a 2.05 ERA in 276 innings. That helped earn him an Opening Day spot with the Cardinals in 1906, but he lasted one game in which he allowed eight runs in four innings. He finished the season in the minors, going 9-10, 3.01, with a 1.20 WHIP in 155.1 innings with Denver of the Class-A Western League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He spent the 1907 season with Denver, going 24-13, 1.99 in 325.2 innings. The Pirates decided to go big with adding talent in the Rule 5 draft and through player purchases as the 1907 season came to a close. They picked up 15 new players, including Adams, with all of the deals approved by baseball’s National Commission on August 31st, though the purchase for Adams was completed back on August 9th between the Pirates and Denver. Adams met the Pirates in St Louis for their series on September 15th. He pitched game two of a doubleheader the next day, giving up four runs in five innings. He made three more starts before the season ended, including a rough outing on the final day of the season. He gave up 16 hits and 13 runs that day during a game called in the seventh inning due to darkness. He allowed 25 runs in 22 innings for the Pirates that season, while posting a 1.95 WHIP. Adams spent 1908 in the minors, going 22-12, with an 0.97 WHIP and 118 strikeouts over 312 innings for Louisville of the Class-A American Association. He went through Spring Training with the Pirates that year, but got cut from the team on April 12th, just three days before Opening Day. The Pirates picked up his option in the spring ($1,000 price tag), then he went to Spring Training with the club in 1909.
Adams made the 1909 Opening Day roster, but he was part of a loaded pitching staff that included veterans Sam Leever, Deacon Phillippe, Vic Willis, as well as younger strong pitchers in Howie Camnitz, Lefty Leifield and Nick Maddox. Adams saw somewhat limited work throughout the season because of those players, but he was still able to put together a big season, which helped keep him popular in Pittsburgh for years to come. He wasn’t getting regular starts until late August, going into that first game in which he was permanently in the rotation on August 28th with an 8-1 record, mostly brought along by quality long relief outings. He pitched 63 of his 130 innings over the final five weeks of the season. His strong game seven performance in the World Series wasn’t his only big game. He also started off the series with a 4-1 complete game win in game one of the series. His game five performance wasn’t up to par with the other two outings, but the Pirates put up eight runs, so his four runs (three earned) in a complete game was more than enough for an easy win. He scattered six hits and a walk in game seven, just three days after pitching the Pirates to a game five victory.
That World Series performance landed Adams a starting role full-time in 1910. He had an 18-9, 2.24 record in 245 innings that season, with 101 strikeouts and a 1.13 WHIP. He completed 16 of his 30 starts, including three shutouts. He won 22 games (with 11 losses) during the 1911 season, which ended up being his career high. He had a 2.33 ERA in 293.1 innings, and he completed a career best 24 games, while throwing six shutouts. Adams had a 1.01 WHIP that season, best in the National League. He had 133 strikeouts, which ranked eighth in the league. He received mild MVP support that season, finishing 27th in the voting. He saw a bit of limited use in June and July of 1912, though he pitched three games each month. He went 11-9, 2.91 in 170.1 innings that season over 20 starts and eight relief appearances, finishing with 63 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. That was followed by an incredible 1913 season. He won 21 games that year, while posting a 2.15 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in a career high 313.1 innings pitched. His 144 strikeouts were also a season high, and good enough for fifth most in the league, which was his best finish in that category. Adams completed 24 of his 37 starts, finishing with four shutouts. That performance led to him receiving mild MVP support (22nd place) for the second (and final) time in his career, though they didn’t vote for MVPs during most of his career. The Pirates dropped below .500 in 1914, and his record suffered along with the team. Adams went 13-16, 2.51 in 283 innings, with 91 strikeouts. His 1.03 WHIP was the best in the league. He completed 19 of 35 starts, throwing three shutouts. He was 14-14, 2.87 over 245 innings in 1915, dropping down to 62 strikeouts, to go along with a 1.07 WHIP. He had 30 starts, ten relief appearances, 17 complete games and two shutouts. His record that year had a bit of good luck, as the Pirates were a below .500 team that year. His ERA looks solid, but it was actually 16 points above league average during the peak stretch of the deadball era.
Adams had a shocking downturn in 1916. He was a strong starting pitcher for seven seasons before going 2-9, 5.72 in 72.1 innings, with 22 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP. That ERA is made worse by the fact that the league ERA dropped to 2.61 that season. That wasn’t the worst of it. On August 3rd, he was given his unconditional release. It was said that he could retire to farming in Missouri. Luckily for him, he decided to return to baseball in 1917, when he went 20-13, 1.75, with a 0.90 WHIP in 313 innings for St Joseph/Hutchinson of the Class-A Western League. He posted a 14-3 record for Kansas City of the Double-A American Association (highest level of the minors at that time) in 1918, before the league shut down early due to the ongoing war. Adams became a free agent at that point, then quickly signed with the Pirates, where he put up a 1.19 ERA in 22.2 innings. A line drive off of his hand in his third start ended his season early, but he had a regular spot back with the team.
Adams went 17-10, 1.98 in 263.1 innings in 1919, leading the league with an 0.90 WHIP. He completed 23 of his 29 starts that year, and he had six shutouts. He had 92 strikeouts, which was his high over his final 12 seasons in the majors. Adams went 17-13, 2.16 in 263 innings during the 1920 season. He led the league with an 0.98 WHIP and with eight shutouts. He made 33 starts, which included 18 complete games. His 14-5 record in 1921 led to a league best winning percentage for pitchers. He had a 2.64 ERA in 160 innings, with 55 strikeouts and a league best 1.08 WHIP. He completed 11 of 20 starts, with two shutouts. Adams saw a down tick in his stats in 1922, though that was league wide with new rules from 1920 that favored hitters, such as outlawing certain pitches and new baseballs in play more often. He went 8-11, 3.57 in 171.1 innings, with a 1.20 WHIP, 39 strikeouts and 12 complete games in 19 starts. He pitched another four seasons, but he recorded the final four shutouts of his career that year at 40 years old. His ERA went up to 4.42 in 1923, and his 1.39 WHIP was close to his career worst, but he still managed a 13-7 record. Adams played three more seasons for the Pirates, but his work was limited each year. He had a strong stretch during the 1924 season after pitching just one game (recording one out) before the final week of August. Over the last five weeks of the season, he had an 0.91 ERA in 39.1 innings. An arm injury, described as both elbow and shoulder pain, had kept him out of action and led to him being sent home for a time during the year. He returned in mid-August and slowly worked his way back into the lineup.
The Pirates won their second World Series in 1925, when Adams was used as a spot starter and reliever throughout the season. He tossed 101.1 innings that year, putting up a 5.42 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP in ten starts and 23 relief outings. He pitched one scoreless inning in the World Series against the Washington Senators. Adams was a 44-year-old reliever in 1926, mostly doing mop-up work. He had a 6.14 ERA in 36.2 innings, when he got caught up in a major team issue. The club was upset about having Fred Clarke on the bench as a coach because he was acting as a second manager. Players were receiving mixed signals between Clarke and manager Bill McKechnie, which led to some player fines. On August 13th, it was announced that the Pirates were parting ways with veterans Carson Bigbee, Max Carey and Adams, in what became known as the ABC Affair (the first letters of their last name). There was a team vote to get rid of Clarke, and it received just six votes against him, with three of the players deemed to be young players who felt obligated to vote due to veteran pressure. Clarke received word of the meeting and demanded that the three veteran “ringleaders” be let go, which is what happened. It was extremely unpopular with the local fans, who voiced their opinions vigorously on the subject, but to no avail. Adams was released immediately, and he finished his pro career in the minors in 1927, seeing brief time with two different Class-C teams. He pitched a total of nine games for Springfield of the Western Association and Johnstown of the Middle Atlantic League, combining for a 6-1 record in 71 innings. He finished his big league career with a 194-140, 2.76 record in 354 starts and 128 relief appearances. He had 205 complete games, 44 shutouts and 16 saves (not an official stat at the time). He threw 2,995.1 innings total and finished with 1,036 strikeouts. Adams was a decent hitting pitcher, batting .212 in his career, with 49 extra-base hits. Keep in mind that a majority of his at-bats came during the deadball era.
Joakim Soria, pitcher for the 2015 Pirates. He was signed out of Mexico at 17 years old in 2001 by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was released after the 2004 season, pitching just five innings total during the 2002-04 seasons due to missing a large chunk of time after having Tommy John surgery. All of those innings came during the 2002 season in the rookie level Gulf Coast League. He signed with the San Diego Padres a year after being released by the Dodgers. He had a 5-0, 4.48 in 66.1 innings over five starts and 25 relief appearances in Mexico during the 2005 season. Soria pitched seven games for Fort Wayne of the Low-A Midwest League in 2006, but a majority of his season was spent back on loan in Mexico. He had a 2.31 ERA and an 0.60 WHIP in 11.2 innings for Fort Wayne, along with a 3.89 ERA and 15 saves in 37 innings over 39 appearances in Mexico. He played winter ball in Mexico that year as well, going 9-1, 2.41 in 13 starts, with 79 strikeouts in 78.1 innings. The Padres lost him in the Rule 5 draft in December of 2006 to the Kansas City Royals, which completely changed his career path. Soria slid right into a Major League bullpen role, despite limited lower level experience in the minors. He posted a 2.48 ERA, an 0.94 WHIP and 75 strikeouts in 69 innings over 62 appearances with the Royals in 2007, while picking up 16 saves. He earned a seventh place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting.
Soria became a dominant closer in 2008, posting a 1.60 ERA, an 0.86 WHIP and 66 strikeouts in 67.1 innings over 63 appearances. He had 42 saves (second most in the American League) that year, as well as his first All-Star appearance. He had a 2.21 ERA in 2009, with 69 strikeouts, a 1.13 WHIP and 30 saves in 53 innings over 47 appearances. He put together another dominant season in 2010, by posting a 1.78 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 43 saves. Soria pitched 66 games that year, finishing up with 71 strikeouts in 65.2 innings. He made his second (and final) All-Star appearance, plus he received Cy Young and MVP votes for the only time in his career. He finished tenth in the Cy Young voting and 19th in the MVP race. His career fell off quickly in 2011, and it took him a few years to recover. He still had 28 saves during the 2011 season, but his ERA shot up to 4.03 in 60.1 innings over 60 games, while his 1.28 WHIP was easily his highest to that point. Soria became a free agent after the 2012 season, which was spent on the disabled list due to his second Tommy John surgery. He signed a deal with the Texas Rangers for 2013, then returned to action in July. He had seven scoreless rehab appearances in which he allowed one base runner over seven innings. Soria posted a 3.80 ERA, 28 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP in 23.2 innings over 26 appearances for the Rangers that season. He didn’t get any work as a closer that year, but he slipped back into the role for most of 2014. He started off that 2014 season strong, putting up a 2.70 ERA and 17 saves through 35 outings, before being sent to the Detroit Tigers in a trade on July 23rd to help their playoff run. After the deal, he had a 4.91 ERA in 13 appearances. In the playoffs, he allowed five runs in his only inning of work. Between both stops that years, he combined to go 2-4, 3.25 in 44.1 innings, with 18 saves, 48 strikeouts and an 0.99 WHIP.
Soria had a 2.85 ERA in 43 games with the Tigers in 2015, finishing with 23 saves, 36 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP in 41 innings. He joined the Pirates on July 30, 2015, in a trade with Detroit for minor leaguer JaCoby Jones. Soria posted a 2.03 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP and one save over 26.2 innings and 29 appearances with the Pirates. He then tossed a scoreless inning in the playoffs. Between both teams in 2015, he combined to set a career high with 72 appearances. He was let go via free agency after the season, then spent the next two years back with the Royals. He went 5-8, 4.70 over 70 appearances in 2016, with 68 strikeouts and a 1.46 WHIP in 66.2 innings. That was followed up by a 4-3, 3.70 record in 2017, with 64 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP in 56 innings over 59 games. He had one save each season with the Royals. Soria split the 2018 season between the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. He did much better in Chicago at the start of the year, posting a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings, while picking up 16 saves. After a July trade, he had a 4.09 ERA and no saves with the Brewers in 22 innings. He struck out 75 batters and posted a 1.14 WHIP in 60.2 innings that season. He allowed four runs in two innings of work during the NLCS that year. He signed with the Oakland A’s in 2019, then spent two seasons there. He had a 4.30 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 69 innings over 71 appearances in 2019. During the shortened 2020 season, Soria posted a 2.82 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 22 appearances, while throwing 22.1 innings. He had another rough time in the playoffs, which left him with a 10.13 postseason ERA over 14 outings for his career.
Soria spent the start of his 14th seasons in the majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks during the 2021 season. He went 1-4, 4.30 in 29.1 innings, with six saves, before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on July 30th. He struggled with his new team, posting a 7.88 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in ten appearances. He announced his retirement in November of 2021. In 773 big league appearances (one start), he put up a 36-45, 3.11 record, with 229 saves, a 1.13 WHIP and 831 strikeouts in 763 innings pitched. At the time of his retirement, he ranked 42nd all-time in saves.
Nelson Figueroa, pitcher for the Pirates during the 2003-04 seasons. He was drafted by the Mets in the 30th round of the 1995 draft out of Brandeis University. He is the only big league player ever drafted out of that school. Figueroa debuted with Kingsport in the short-season Appalachian League, where he had a 3.07 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 76.1 innings over 12 starts. He moved up to Capital City of the Low-A South Atlantic League in 1996, where he went 14-7, 2.04 in 185.1 innings, racking up 200 strikeouts, to go along with an 0.96 WHIP. He had four shutouts and eight complete games in 25 starts. That led to him skipping High-A in 1997, though he struggled a bit in Double-A that year, posting a 4.34 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 143 innings with Binghamton of the Eastern League. He struck out 116 batters, though it was a large drop in his strikeout rate from the previous season. He repeated Double-A in 1998, going 12-3, 4.66 in 21 starts for Binghamton, with 116 strikeouts and a 1.43 WHIP in 123.2 innings. He was traded on July 31, 1998 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a four-player/cash deal. He finished the year with Tuscon of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he had a 3.70 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in 41.1 innings over seven starts. Figueroa went 11-6, 3.94 in 1999, with 106 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP in 128 innings for Tuscon. The 2000 season started back in Tuscon, where he went 9-4, 2.81 in 112 innings, with 78 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP. He made his Major League debut on June 3, 2000, taking the loss in a game in which he allowed four runs in 6.1 innings. He made just three starts for the Diamondbacks before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in a four-for-one deal for Curt Schilling on July 26, 2000. Figueroa spent the rest of the 2000 season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the Triple-A International League after the trade, going 4-3, 3.78 in 50 innings over eight starts. He was 0-1, 7.47 over 15.2 innings during his big league time that year.
Figueroa spent most of the 2001 season with the Phillies, going 4-5, 3.94 in 89 innings over 13 starts and six relief appearances, with 61 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP. He had a 2.47 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in 87.1 innings with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre that season. Philadelphia lost him on waivers to the Milwaukee Brewers right before Opening Day in 2002. He would go 1-7, 5.03 in 11 starts and 19 relief appearances during the 2002 season, while setting a career high with 93 innings. He had 51 strikeouts and a 1.43 WHIP. Figueroa did well with Indianapolis of the International League that year, going 5-0, 3.63 in six starts. Milwaukee released him in October of 2002, then he signed with the Pirates three months later. Figueroa spent most of the 2003 season at Nashville of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he went 12-5, 2.97 in 151.1 innings over 23 starts, with 121 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. He was called up by the Pirates in August of 2003. He went 2-1, 3.31 in 35.1 innings over 12 outings, with 23 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. His first three appearances came as a starter, before moving to the bullpen for the rest of the season. His 2004 season was very similar to the previous one, though he didn’t pitch as well. He pitched one more inning than the previous year with Nashville, posting a 12-8, 4.19 record in 152.1 innings over 23 starts, finishing with 129 strikeouts and a 1.34 WHIP. He was once again called up by the Pirates in August, then made three starts and seven relief appearances. The results were not good during his limited big league time in 2004, going 0-3, 5.72 in 28.1 innings, with ten strikeouts and a 1.52 WHIP.
Figueroa was released by the Pirates in October of 2004. He then underwent off-season rotator cuff surgery, which caused him to miss all of the 2005 season. He moved around a lot before making it back to the majors. He spent most of 2006 with the Washington Nationals in Triple-A, playing for New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League, where he went 3-5, 4.38 in 76 innings. He also playing some independent ball that year with Long Island of the Atlantic League, as well as winter ball in the Dominican. He played summer ball in Mexico and China during the 2007 season, then winter ball in Mexico. Between summer/winter ball that year, he won 14 games and pitched 217.2 innings. He signed with the New York Mets in 2008, then made the team out of Spring Training, though a majority of the season (May-September) was spent in Triple-A with New Orleans. He had a 4.57 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP in 45.1 innings with the Mets, making six starts and ten relief appearances. He went 4-7, 4.43 in 113.2 innings with New Orleans. Figueroa had a 4.09 ERA, 59 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP in 70.1 innings over ten starts and six relief outings with the 2009 Mets. He spent half of that year in Triple-A with Buffalo of the International League, going 7-5, 2.25 in 17 starts, with 94 strikeouts and a 1.03 WHIP in 112 innings. He returned to the Phillies in 2010 as a waiver pickup at the start of the year. He was lost to the Houston Astros on waivers in mid-July. He went 7-4, 3.29 in 93 innings between the two stops, making 11 starts and 20 relief appearances. He had 73 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP.
Figueroa had a rough go of things early in 2011 with the Astros, posting an 8.69 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP in 29 innings over five starts and three relief appearances. Most of that season was spent with Oklahoma City of the Pacific Coast League, where he had a 6.50 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP in 81.2 innings. He was released by the Astros in August, then never pitched in the majors again. He remained in pro ball through 2014, spending his final two seasons in China. Figueroa returned to the Pirates organization for three starts after leaving the Astros in 2011. He had a 4.00 ERA in 18 innings with Indianapolis of the International League. During the 2012 calendar year, he was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks, but only played minor league ball with the Red Sox and Yankees, combining to go 12-5, 3.89 in 115.2 innings split between Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Pawtucket of the International League. Figueroa saw some brief time in Triple-A for the Diamondbacks in 2013, posting a 12.76 ERA in 18.1 innings with Reno of the Pacific Coast League, before going to China to finish his career. He went 10-4, 2.72 in 109.1 innings with Uni-President during the 2013 season. He finished up with an 8-7, 3.39 record over 138 innings in 2014. While working as a pitching coach for Staten Island of the Atlantic League in 2022, he ended up starting a game and throwing seven innings, with 119 pitches. He also made one relief appearance, doing that work at 48 years old. Figueroa had a 20-35 career record in nine big league seasons, with a 4.55 ERA in 499 innings. He made 65 starts and 80 relief appearances, finishing with one complete game, one shutout and one save. In all levels of pro ball, he won 194 games and threw 2,956.1 innings.
Ken Hamlin, shortstop for the 1957 and 1959 Pirates. He signed with the Pirates as an amateur free agent in June of 1957 out of Western Michigan, then went right to the majors. Usually that treatment was reserved for high bonus players (Bonus Baby rule), but Hamlin didn’t get a large enough bonus to qualify. The Pirates weren’t forced to keep him in the majors, though he did sign a big league deal with the club. He signed on June 4th, then reported to the team 11 days later. He made his Major League debut as a pinch-runner on June 17th, two days after joining the team. He got his first at-bat as a pinch-hitter three days later. Hamlin was then sent to the minors on June 25th, going to Lincoln of the Class-A Western League, where he hit .254 in 84 games, with 37 runs, 16 extra-base hits, 23 RBIs, a .755 OPS and an impressive total of 61 walks. He spent all of 1958 in the minors, and didn’t return to the Pirates until September of 1959. Hamlin was with the Columbus Jets of the Triple-A International League for part of 1958, hitting .295/.333/.438 in 34 games. He spent the rest of the year in Mexico, where he hit .261 in 84 games for Mexico City, with 48 runs, 27 extra-base hits, 34 RBIs and a .757 OPS. He rejoined the Pirates in late 1959, after he hit .251 in 148 games for Columbus, with 19 doubles, ten triples, ten homers, 69 RBIs, 54 walks and a .701 OPS. Hamlin returned to the majors on September 14th, after Columbus made a playoff run. He pinch-ran in his first appearance for the 1959 Pirates on September 22nd, then started the last two games of the season at shortstop. He batted lead-off in his first start, collecting a ninth inning single off of former Pirate Bob Purkey for his first big league base hit. He also turned an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play with Bill Mazeroski in the third inning. The next day he went 0-for-3 with two walks, in what ended up being his final game with the Pirates.
Hamlin was traded on December 9, 1959 to the Kansas City A’s, along with two other players, in exchange for catcher Hal Smith. Hamlin would play five seasons in the majors after the deal, with his last year coming in 1966. He played a career high 140 games with the 1960 A’s, finishing the season with a .224 average, 51 runs, 14 extra-base hits, 24 RBIs, 44 walks and a .568 OPS. He started 127 games at shortstop that year. He was lost in the expansion draft after the 1960 season to the Washington Senators (Texas Rangers version), then was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Angels, who were also in their first season. He hit .209/.298/.275 in 42 games for the 1961 Angels, before being traded to Toronto of the Triple-A International League. He finished off the season by hitting .267 in 97 games, with 46 runs, 22 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs and a .681 OPS. Hamlin ended up returning to the majors with the Senators in 1962, when he batted .253 over 98 games, with 29 runs, 12 doubles, three homers, 22 RBIs, 22 walks and a .628 OPS.
Hamlin played for Rochester of the International League in 1963. He hit .249 over 151 games, with 63 runs, 29 doubles, eight triples, 13 homers, 50 RBIs, 13 steals and a .690 OPS. He was back in Toronto in 1964, where he batted .232 in 144 games, with 43 runs, 31 extra-base hits, 44 RBIs and a .607 OPS. Despite seeing a slip in his minor league stats, he returned to the majors for his final two seasons of pro ball, which were both spent with the Senators. Hamlin hit .273 over 117 games in 1965, with 45 runs, 26 extra-base hits (21 doubles), 22 RBIs and a .704 OPS. He made 62 starts at second base that year, and 31 starts at shortstop. He hit .215 in 66 games during the 1966 season, while making 40 starts at second base. He had 13 runs, nine extra-base hits, 16 RBIs and a .558 OPS that year, which was a 146 point drop from the previous year. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins on February 16, 1967, but he retired from baseball in April of 1967 to begin teaching the sport to kids at a summer camp near his home. Hamlin finished his seven-year career with a .241 average over 468 games. He had 143 runs, 54 doubles, 11 homers and 89 RBIs. His big league defense fluctuated between good and below average according to modern metrics, which gives him a 0.3 dWAR for his career, with three seasons of 0.6 to 0.8 dWAR ratings mixed into his seven seasons.
Bill Batsch, pinch-hitter for the Pirates on September 9, 1916. He was a graduate of Bethany College in West Virginia. He’s one of just four Major League players who attended that school, and none have played in the majors since 1957. Batsch was signed by the Pirates on June 21, 1916, with the understanding that he would join the team after Labor Day. At the time of his signing, he was playing his second season for the Pittsburgh Collegians, a team composed of former college stars. He reported to the Pirates on September 5th, then got into his first game four days later. In the first game of a doubleheader on September 9, 1916, the Pirates were losing to the Cubs 2-0 in the 8th inning. The lead-off batter reached base, bringing up the pitcher’s spot in the order. The Pirates pulled Erv Kantlehner and sent up Batsch (spelled Batch in the papers) to make his Major League debut. He drew a walk off of Hippo Vaughn. He moved to second on a bunt play, with the out being recorded at third base. Hall of Fame center fielder Max Carey then came to the plate and hit one back to Vaughn, who bobbled the ball. His throw to first base was also bobbled. Batsch rounded third, then was sent home by the third base coach. He was out at the plate, keeping the Pirates off the board, in what ended up as a 3-0 loss. Those chain of events were the entire extent of Batsch’s big league career.
The local papers in Pittsburgh said that Batsch went with the Pirates on their final eastern road trip of the 1916 season, which included 23 games over 18 days, including eight doubleheaders and a seven-game series against the Boston Braves. Despite the tough schedule, he was never put into a game. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1917, but he didn’t make the team. He was released to the Springfield Reapers of the Class-B Central League on April 10th (the day before Opening Day) along with teammate Joe Coffindaffer, who ended up never making the majors. Batsch was with Springfield through late May. There are no stats available from that time, though he was playing some games in the outfield. He was one of four players released on May 22nd, when the team had to get down to a lower roster limit per league rules. Batsch was in the service during WWI in 1918, and even got a chance to play baseball during that time. He then played on a military team that traveled Germany and France in 1919, before being discharged that year in August. He signed with Akron of the Double-A International League in 1920, but when they tried to transfer his rights to the Joplin Miners of the Class-A Western League, he asked for his unconditional release. He declared he would rather play semi-pro ball than accept his transfer to the Western League. That decision led to him being suspended by baseball and it ended his pro career, though he continued to play semi-pro ball, starting in 1920 for a team from Ohio called the American Sweepers. His online pro stats only show his one game for the Pirates.