This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: May 25th, Randall Simon, Brad Lincoln and a Deal with the Orioles

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a trade from the 1950’s.

The Players

Brad Lincoln, pitcher for the 2010-12 Pirates. Lincoln was a first round pick in 2006, who dealt with some injuries coming up through the minors. He was originally drafted in the 28th round out of high school by the Texas Rangers in 2003, but he decided to attend the University of Houston. That decision ended up paying off for him. He was selected fourth overall by the Pirates three years later. He made six starts during his first year of pro ball, throwing shutout ball in two rookie level Gulf Coast League outings, before posting a 6.75 ERA in four games with Hickory of the Low-A South Atlantic League. He had Tommy John surgery in April of 2007, then missed the entire season and a small part of the following year. He returned in 2008 to make 19 starts, splitting his time between Hickory and Lynchburg of the High-A Carolina League. He combined to go 6-10, 4.69 in 103.2 innings, with a 1.26 WHIP, 75 strikeouts, and an impressive total of just 17 walks. He split the 2009 season between Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League and Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League. He went 1-5, 2.28 in 75 innings at the lower level, while posting a 6-2, 4.70 record in 12 starts and 61.1 innings at Indianapolis. Combined between both stops that year, he went 7-7, 3.37 in 136.1 innings, with 107 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. He began the 2010 season in Indianapolis, before joining the Pirates in June. He made nine big league starts before returning to Triple-A. He came back to Pittsburgh in late September for two relief appearances. He ended up with a 6.66 ERA, 25 strikeouts and a 1.54 WHIP in 52.2 innings for the 2010 Pirates. He made 17 starts that year for Indianapolis, posting a 4.12 ERA, 84 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP in 94 innings.

Lincoln made eight starts and four relief appearances for the 2011 Pirates, putting up a 4.72 ERA in 47.2 innings, with 29 strikeouts and a 1.47 WHIP. He made a spot start for the Pirates during a doubleheader on July 2nd, then returned a month later to finish out the season. Lincoln had a 4.19 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 94 strikeouts in 111.2 innings over 19 starts at Indianapolis that year. He was mostly pitching in relief in 2012, before he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Travis Snider. Lincoln had a 2.73 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 59.1 innings with the Pirates that year, making five starts and 23 relief appearances. He then put up a 5.65 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP and 28 strikeouts in 28.2 innings over 24 relief appearances with the Blue Jays to finish out the season. He split the 2013 season between Toronto and Buffalo of the International League. He had a 3.98 ERA, a 1.58 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 31.2 innings over 22 relief appearances with the Blue Jays, while posting a 2.05 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over 26.1 innings with Buffalo. He was with the Philadelphia Phillies briefly in 2014, giving up three runs over 2.1 early season innings. The rest of the year was spent as a starting pitcher for Lehigh Valley of the International League. Lincoln went 6-11, 5.11 over 22 starts and five relief appearances for Lehigh Valley, with 112 strikeouts and a 1.47 WHIP in 123.1 innings. He signed with the Pirates as a minor league free agent for 2015, but was released without appearing in the majors. He had a 4.18 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP in 60.1 innings at Indianapolis that season, making four starts and 35 relief appearances. That ended up being his final year in pro ball. Over five big league seasons, he went 9-11, 4.74 in 222.1 innings, making 22 starts and 77 relief appearances. He had 1.69 strikeouts and a 1.39 WHIP. He was 7-9, 4.62 in 159.2 innings with the Pirates.

Randall Simon, first baseman for the 2003-04 Pirates. He is one of 16 players born in Curacao to make it to the majors. The Atlanta Braves signed him out of his home country in 1992 at 17 years old. After a year in the Dominican Summer League (no stats available), he moved up to the short-season Appalachian League in 1993, where he hit .254 in 61 games for Danville, with 28 runs, 17 doubles, three homers, 31 RBIs and a .664 OPS. Simon spent 1994 with Macon of the Low-A South Atlantic League, where he had a .293 average in 106 games, with 45 runs, 23 doubles, ten homers and 54 RBIs. He managed to walk just six times (twice intentional) in 368 plate appearances, resulting in a .752 OPS. He moved up to Durham of the High-A Carolina League, where he hit .264 in 1995, with 56 runs, 18 doubles, 18 homers, 79 RBIs and a .767 OPS in 122 games. He improved to 36 walks that year. He moved up one level again in 1996, spending the season in Greenville of the Double-A Southern League. He hit .279 over 134 games, with 74 runs, 26 doubles, 18 homers, 77 RBIs and a .779 OPS. Simon put everything together in Triple-A in 1997, while playing with Richmond of the International League. He batted .308 that year, with 62 runs, 45 doubles, 14 homers, 102 RBIs and an .814 OPS in 133 games. The Braves called him up when rosters expanded in September. He played 13 games during his first big league trial, though he started just two games. He went 6-for-14 at the plate, with a double and a walk.

Simon batted .256 for Richmond in 1998, with 52 runs, 20 doubles, 13 homers, 70 RBIs and a .674 OPS in 126 games. His big league time that year was limited to seven mid-season games in which he hit .188/.177/.188, while driving in four runs. Simon saw limited time during his first two Major League trials, until the Braves gave him a chance to play regularly for most of 1999. He got into 90 games that year, hitting for a .317 average, with 26 runs, 16 doubles, five homers, 25 RBIs and an .826 OPS. He also stole two bases that year, which turned out to be the only stolen bases of his eight-year big league career. Despite the strong average, he spent the entire 2000 season in the minors, though the writing may have been on the wall earlier. Simon started just three games during the final six weeks of the 1999 season. During the 2000 calendar year, Simon was a member of four different organizations, starting the year with the Braves, who released him at the end of Spring Training. He signed with the Florida Marlins for a month, spending that time with Calgary of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He then went to the New York Yankees, where he played 94 games for Columbus of the International League. He finished up the calendar year by signing with the Detroit Tigers for the 2001 season. He combined to hit .271 over 116 games in 2000, with 57 runs, 23 doubles, 18 homers, 85 RBIs and a .788 OPS. He began the 2001 season with Toledo of the International League, where he hit .338/.400/.532 over 59 games. He joined Detroit in mid-June, where he quickly became a regular in the lineup, while splitting time between first base and DH. He batted .305 in 81 games, with 28 runs, 14 doubles, six homers, 37 RBIs and a .786 OPS.

Simon’s 2002 season was the best of his career. He hit .301 in a career high 130 games, finishing with 51 runs, 17 doubles, 19 homers and 82 RBIs, setting career highs in the latter four categories. His .779 OPS was just shy of his career best set during the previous season. The Pirates acquired Simon from the Tigers in November of 2002, getting him in exchange for two minor league pitchers. He hit .274 for the 2003 Pirates, with 34 runs, 14 doubles, ten homers, 54 RBIs and a .722 OPS through 91 games. The Pirates traded him to the Chicago Cubs in August of 2003 for outfielder Ray Sadler. Simon batted .282/.318/.485 in 33 games after the deal, with 13 runs, three doubles, six homers and 21 RBIs. Simon became a free agent at the end of the 2003 season, then signed back with the Pirates in February of 2004. He started the season off slow, before missing a month with hamstring strain. He then came back and hovered around .200 until the Pirates sent him to Nashville of the Pacific Coast League, where he had a .266 average and a .669 OPS in 17 games. He batted .194/.264/.280 in 61 games for the Pirates that year, with 14 runs, nine extra-base hits and 14 RBIs. He was released in August, then signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to finish the season. He hit just .118/.286/.118 in eight games for Tampa. His only Major League experience after that point came with the 2006 Philadelphia Phillies, where he was used strictly as a pinch-hitter in 23 games, going 5-for-21 with two walks. He played in Japan and Mexico in 2005 with vastly different results. He had a .501 OPS over 16 games in Japan. He hit .363/.394/.634 over 64 games in Mexico. He also played winter ball in Mexico during the 2005-06 off-season.

Besides his time with the 2006 Phillies, Simon played 63 games that year in Mexico, while also seeing brief time with Oklahoma City of the Pacific Coast League for the Texas Rangers. He tore up Mexico again, batting .348/.422/.635 over 63 games. He also did well for Oklahoma City, putting together a .318 average and an .833 OPS in 19 games. Simon played 44 games of winter ball in Venezuela during the 2006-07 off-season, finishing his time with a .331 average and an .887 OPS. He then played a total of 69 games for two teams in Mexico during the 2007 season, combining to hit .299/.369/.474 over 298 plate appearances. The 2008-10 seasons were spent in independent ball, seeing time with four different teams during that three-year period. Simon batted .321 over 100 games for Newark of the Atlantic League in 2008, with 45 runs, 21 doubles, 11 homers, 62 RBIs and an .814 OPS. He played for Fargo-Moorhead of the Northern League in 2009, where he had a .281 average over 75 games, with 42 runs, 11 doubles, 13 homers, 51 RBIs and a .769 OPS. Simon hit .295/.326/.496 over 58 games split between Rockford and Gary of the Northern League in 2010. He finished his pro career by batting .161/.188/.161 over 11 games of winter ball in Venezuela during the 2010-11 off-season. He hit .283 over 537 games in his big league career, with 172 runs, 71 doubles, 49 homers, 237 RBIs and a .742 OPS. He hit .245 in 152 games for the Pirates, with 13 homers and 65 RBIs. Even without stats from his first season and one year of winter ball included, Simon had 2,012 hits and 631 extra-base hits in his entire pro career.

Will Pennyfeather, outfielder for the 1992-1994 Pirates. He had a 19-year career in pro ball despite going undrafted out of Syracuse University. He signed with the Pirates after college in 1988, then played 33 games in short-season rookie ball that year at 20 years old. He had a .282 average, with 17 runs, two homers, 12 RBIs, ten steals and a .695 OPS. He played 17 games in the Gulf Coast League that year, then another 16 games for Princeton of the Appalachian League. Pennyfeather looked to be a long shot at ever reaching the majors after his second season in the minors. He hit .190/.223/.263 in 75 games of short-season ball with Welland of the New York-Penn League in 1989, putting up a low walk rate that followed him throughout his career. He put up 34 runs, 14 extra-base hits, 26 RBIs and 18 steals that year. Even in his first year of full-season ball with Augusta of the Class-A South Atlantic League in 1990, his overall numbers were not impressive. He had a .262 average in 122 games, with 69 runs, 22 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 23 walks and a .635 OPS. He stole a career high 21 bases that season, though he was also caught 12 times. Pennyfeather was moved to Salem of the High-A Carolina League in 1991, then finished the year with Carolina of the Double-A Southern League. Although his stats were better overall, they were still far from strong, due to a very low walk rate and limited power. He had a .269 average between both stops, with 48 runs, 33 extra-base hits, 55 RBIs, 14 steals (in 24 attempts) and a .673 OPS in 123 games.

Pennyfeather seemed to put everything together out of nowhere with Carolina in 1992, hitting .337 in 51 games, with 28 runs, 20 extra-base hits, 25 RBIs and an .863 OPS, earning himself a brief promotion to the majors at the end of June. He collected a bunt single off of John Wetteland in his first big league at-bat. Pennyfeather was soon sent to Buffalo of the Triple-A American Association, where he hit .238 in 55 games, with 19 runs, nine extra-base hits, 12 RBIs and a .579 OPS. He came back to the Pirates for a second short stay in early August, then returned again as a mid-September call-up. He played 15 games total that first year in the majors for the 1992 National League East champs, though he received just nine at-bats and one start. He began to show a little power with Buffalo in 1993, although the walks were still low, plus he had trouble stealing bases when he did get on, getting thrown out 12 times in 22 attempts. Pennyfeather hit .250 in 112 games for Buffalo that season, with 54 runs, 18 doubles, 14 homers, 41 RBIs and 18 walks, while compiling a .671 OPS. He came up to Pittsburgh for a month in 1993, playing with them from mid-June through his final game on July 11th. He didn’t return in September. He played a big league career high 21 games that season, hitting .206/.206/.235 in 34 plate appearances. He made the Pirates out of Spring Training in 1994, but was used just three times as a pinch-hitter and once as a pinch-runner, before being sent to the minors. That move turned out to be the end of his Major League career. Pennyfeather was picked up off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds in May of 1994, then spent the next twelve years playing both affiliated and independent ball before retiring in 2006. Between ten games with Buffalo and 93 games with Indianapolis of the American Association in 1994, he finished the season with a .270 average, to go along with 54 runs, 27 doubles, seven homers, 48 RBIs, 14 steals and a .718 OPS.

Pennyfeather played just one game during the 1995 season, missing time due to a Spring Training knee injury. That lone appearance was a rehab outing with Princeton of the Appalachian League. He spent the 1996 season in Triple-A with the California Angels, putting up a .283 average and a .736 OPS in 108 games for Vancouver of the Pacific Coast League. The 1997 season was spent in Triple-A with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he dropped down to a .254 average, while improving to a .752 OPS in 115 games for Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League. He collected 17 homers, while going 11-for-22 in steals that year. The 1998 season was split between Mexico (no stats available) and independent ball with Atlantic City of the Atlantic League. Pennyfeather hit .298 over games for Atlantic City, with 81 runs, 25 doubles, 16 homers, 69 RBIs and an .883 OPS. He was with the Anaheim Angels for part of 1999, seeing both Double-A (Erie of the Eastern League) and Triple-A (Edmonton of the Pacific Coast League time. He combined to hit .210/.262/.312 over 45 games. He then played indy ball the rest of the way out, mostly playing in the Atlantic League, where he saw time with four different clubs between 1998 and 2006. He was back with Atlantic City during the 1999-2001 seasons. Pennyfeather put up a .752 OPS over 42 games during the 1999 season. He followed that up with a .244 average and a .721 OPS over 125 games in 2000, while hitting a career best 20 homers. He also had 83 runs, 28 doubles, 69 RBIs and 14 steals. He batted .251 over 102 games in 2001, with 58 runs, 24 doubles, 16 homers, 56 RBIs and a .757 OPS.

Pennyfeather played 117 games for Somerset of the Atlantic League in 2002. He had a .299 average that year, with 59 runs, 27 doubles, 15 homers, 76 RBIs and an .817 OPS. He split 2003 between Bridgeport of the Atlantic League and Sioux Falls of the Northern League. He hit .230/.286/.329 between both stops. The 2004-05 seasons were spent with Bridgeport. He hit .266 over 100 games in 2004, with 64 runs, 26 extra-base hits, 67 RBIs and a .747 OPS. He played 93 games in 2005, finishing with 35 runs, 13 doubles, 11 homers, 46 RBIs and a .687 OPS. Pennyfeather ended his career in 2006 while playing for Newark of the Atlantic League. He had a .289 average over 98 games that year, with 51 runs, 19 doubles, 13 homers, 65 RBIs and a .779 OPS. His big league career consisted of 47 plate appearances over 40 games and he didn’t draw a single walk. Pennyfeather batted .196 in his three years with the Pirates, finishing with six runs, a double and two RBIs. His stats from his partial season in Mexico are unknown, but the rest of his career shows that he played 1,834 games total (including majors), finishing up with 174 homers and 193 stolen bases.

Jim Marshall, first baseman for the 1962 Pirates. He signed with the Chicago White Sox as a 19-year-old in 1950. It took him eight seasons to make it to the majors, finally getting there for Opening Day with the 1958 Baltimore Orioles. Marshall started in Class-C ball in 1950, where he put up strong numbers for Albuquerque of the West Texas-New Mexico League. He hit .336 that first year, with 19 doubles, 17 triples and 15 homers in 88 games. He also played four games one step from the majors with Oakland of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Marshall split the 1951 season between two vastly different levels, playing for Wenatchee in the Class-B Western International League, as well as spending the other half of the year with Oakland. He combined to hit .248 in 152 games, with 89 runs, 20 doubles, ten triples, 20 homers, 92 RBIs, 65 walks and a .752 OPS. He did better as you would expect at the lower level, but it wasn’t a huge difference, posting a .683 OPS with Oakland, and a .791 OPS with Wenatchee. The 1952 season was spent with Nashville of the Double-A Southern Association, where he batted .296 in 154 games, with 38 doubles, four triples and 24 homers. The next three years were spent back in the Pacific Coast League with Oakland, where he showed some big power numbers and solid walk rates.

Marshall hit .273 in 1953, with 73 runs, 27 doubles, 24 homers, 99 RBIs, 50 walks and an .816 OPS in 151 games. The was followed by a .285 average over 166 games in 1954, with 90 runs, 19 doubles, 31 homers, 123 RBIs, 85 walks and an .864 OPS. He hit just .240 over 169 games in 1955, but it came with 91 runs, 22 doubles, 30 homers, 86 RBIs, 93 walks and a .770 OPS. Marshall was back in the Southern Association in 1956, hitting .264 for Memphis, with 93 runs, 20 doubles, 13 triples, 28 homers, 106 RBIs, 65 walks and an .850 OPS. That was still not enough to get him to the majors, so he was back in the Pacific Coast League for the 1957 season. He batted .264 that year, with 98 runs, 37 doubles, 30 homers, 102 RBIs, 57 walks and an .836 OPS in 168 games for Vancouver. The Baltimore Orioles acquired him in a seven-player trade with the Chicago White Sox in December of 1957, in a deal that also included Hall of Famer Larry Doby. Marshall finally made the majors in 1958, where he hit .215/.280/.346 through 85 games with the Orioles, before they put him on waivers. He was picked up by the Chicago Cubs, where he finished out the season by hitting .272 in 26 games. He had a combined .232 average  in 111 games during that rookie season, with 29 runs, 19 extra-base hits (ten homers), 30 RBIs and 30 walks, resulting in a .694 OPS. He then had his best Major League season for the 1959 Cubs, hitting .252 in 108 games, with 39 runs, ten doubles, 11 homers, 40 RBIs and a .729 OPS.

Marshall was traded to the Boston Red Sox after the 1959 season, but before he played a regular season games for them, he was sent to the San Francisco Giants on March 29, 1960. The Red Sox actually dealt him to the Cleveland Indians two weeks earlier, but that trade was voided when one of the other players involved in the deal refused to report.  Marshall hit .237 over 75 games in 1960, with 19 runs, six extra-base hits, 13 RBIs and a .670 OPS. He was buried deep on the bench in 1961, getting 40 plate appearances in 44 games with the Giants. He started just one game all season, and he ended up playing just two innings that day. He batted .222/.275/.306 in his limited time, with a homer and seven RBIs. He was sold to the expansion New York Mets shortly after the end of the 1961 season. He had an amazing stretch at the plate with New York, especially compared to the rest of his big league career. He hit .344 in 17 games, with six runs, three homers, four RBIs and a 1.056 OPS. The Pirates acquired him on May 7, 1962 in exchange for pitcher Wilmer “Vinegar Bend” Mizell. Marshall played 55 games for Pittsburgh, getting twenty starts at first base. He hit .220/.319/.350 in 116 plate appearances, with 13 runs, five doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs. After being released by the Pirates that October, he signed to play in Japan, where he spent three years before retiring. He hit 78 homers during his three seasons in Japan, giving him 309 homers during his career in pro ball. He hit .258 over 138 games in 1963, with 65 runs, 24 doubles, 28 homers, 92 RBIs and an .807 OPS. He batted .280 in 1964, with 64 runs, 21 doubles, 31 homers, 88 RBIs, 74 walks and an .891 OPS over 131 games. He finished up with a .266 average in 1965, with 60 runs, 24 doubles, 19 homers, 72 RBIs and a .761 OPS. Marshall batted .242 in 410 big league games, with 111 runs, 24 doubles, 29 homers, 106 RBIs and 101 walks. He turns 92 years old today.

John Hofford, pitcher for the 1885-86 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He began his pro career in 1884 at 21 years old, playing for two independent minor league teams from Pennsylvania. No stats are available, but we know that he was with Littlestown of the Keystone Association and Franklin of the Iron and Oil League that year. He was a well sought after pitcher by 1885, after posting a 38-13, 0.59 record, with 389 strikeouts and an 0.72 WHIP in 457 innings for Augusta of the Southern League. Hofford completed all 50 starts he made that year, throwing eight shutouts. He batted .258 in 72 games for Augusta, while hitting out of the lead-off spot for part of the season (he also hit third). He also saw brief time at five other spots besides pitcher. He joined the Alleghenys during the last week of that 1885 season, starting three of the last five games, including his MLB debut on the day he joined the team. Also along for the ride was his catcher Frank Ringo, which led to The Sporting Life saying that “Pittsburgh gobbled up Augusta’s great battery of Hofford and Ringo”. Hofford lost all three of his starts during a six-day period, although two of the games came against Bobby Mathews, a 297-game winner in the majors. Hofford allowed 16 runs in 25 innings, with ten of those runs being earned. His 21 strikeouts (7.7 per nine innings) were an impressive total for that era. He finished with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. When Hofford joined Pittsburgh, they were without Hall of Famer Pud Galvin and fellow pitcher Frank Mountain, who were both injured. They were also without Ed Morris, a 39-game winner, who returned home to his ailing wife during the final week of the season. Those things opened up a spot to try a new pitcher and Hofford filled that role.

Hofford was with Pittsburgh for most of the 1886 season, but made just nine starts all year. He went 3-6, 4.33 in 81 innings, with a 1.58 WHIP and 25 strikeouts. He played his last Major League game on July 24th. The Alleghenys played an in-season exhibition game on April 25th against the Cincinnati Red Stockings in which Hofford collected five hits. It wasn’t quite the fluke it seems to be, as he hit .294 in his nine games that year. Pittsburgh manager Horace Phillips released both Hofford and Ringo on August 3, 1886. At the time it was said that there were too many men on the payroll and neither player was doing good work. It was revealed that Hofford was dealing with a shoulder injury for much of the season, and he blamed his results on his ailment. He pitched and won one game for Rochester of the International League during that 1886 season. He then stuck around minor league baseball for another ten years before retiring, playing regularly at almost every position at some point in his career. His career minor league stats are far from being completely researched at this point, but the known stats show that after winning 38 games in 1885, he won just eight games over five more seasons of pitching. Seven of those wins came for Kansas City of the Western League in 1887, where Ringo was his teammate. Hofford went 7-4, 3.81 in 99 innings, with a 1.89 WHIP. Hofford pitched/lost one game for Memphis of the Southern League in 1888, then lost two games for Macon of the Class-B Southern Association in 1892. His last recorded pitching appearances came with Danville of the Pennsylvania State League in 1893, where he went 0-5, 4.99 in 48.2 innings, with a 2.24 WHIP.

Hofford played for Utica of the International Association in 1887 (no stats available). He saw time with Ashland of the Central Pennsylvania League in 1888, as well as playing for both Fort Worth and San Antonio of the Texas League that year. His only available stats from that season are from his time with Memphis mentioned above. He hit .164 in 14 games for Chattanooga of the Southern League in 1889. He has no stats from his time with Utica of the New York State League in 1890. It appears that he was playing semi-pro ball around the Philadelphia area in 1891. He did some umpiring after playing a total of eight games for Macon in 1892. After playing 14 games total with Danville in 1893, he was with Lynchburg of the Virginia League in 1894. No stats are available for his final three seasons (1894-96). He spent the 1895-96 seasons with four different teams in three different leagues in the northeast, seeing time with Portland and Brockton of the Class-B New England League in 1895, Haverhill of the New England Association in 1895, and Torrington of the Naugatuck Valley League in 1896. He was umpiring again by the end of 1896.

A story ran in the Pittsburgh Post  in 1893 saying that managers from two other teams were in a hurry to get down to see Hofford during the 1885 season in Augusta, but Pittsburgh manager Horace Phillips was the first to get there and signed him right away. Baltimore manager Bill Barnie and Louisville manager Jim Hart got there late and they settled on signing pitchers Matt Kilroy and Toad Ramsey respectively. Assuming that is true, then being the early bird was bad luck for the Alleghenys because Kilroy set the still-standing single-season strikeout record as a rookie in 1886 (are you just finding out Nolan Ryan doesn’t hold that record?) and Ramsey won a total of 75 games during the 1886-87 seasons.

Hofford’s throwing hand is listed as unknown, but a search for any references to him being left-handed came up almost empty. A Louisville paper that never saw him before 1886, called him a lefty twice in a game preview, then never mentioned it in the game recap the next day. It was popular back in the day to only mention the throwing hand for lefty pitchers, and it can be found a lot for other pitchers in stories that also included Hofford’s name. However, a list of all of the left-handed pitchers in the Southern League in 1885 didn’t have his name on it, and he was already establishing a name for himself by then. So all signs point to him throwing right-handed.

The Trade

On this date in 1954, the Pirates traded outfielder Cal Abrams to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Dick Littlefield. The lefty throwing Littlefield was 28 years old at the time of the trade. He was in his fifth season in the majors, and the Orioles were his fourth Major League team, all American League clubs. He got off to a poor start in 1954, allowing seven runs and 14 base runners over just six innings in his three relief outings. He had a 7-12. 5.08 record during the 1953 season, with a 1.56 WHIP and a career high 104 strikeouts in 152.1 innings over 36 games (22 starts). Abrams was 30 years old, playing in his sixth season in the majors. His first year with the Pirates in 1953 was his best season up to that point. He batted .286 in 119 games, with 66 runs, 15 homers, 43 RBIs, 58 walks and an .803 OPS. He was batting just .143/.308/.214 through 17 games with the 1954 Pirates at the time of the trade.

Abrams had a strong finish to the 1954 season with Baltimore, hitting .293 in 115 games, with 66 runs, 35 extra-base hits, 73 walks and an .821 OPS. He improved on an already strong walk rate during the following year, but he had a .243 average and six homers, resulting in a  .773 OPS over 118 games. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 1955, where he played four games before finishing his career in the minors. Abrams had 5.8 WAR during his time in Baltimore. Littlefield pitched well for a Pirates team that lost 101 games in 1954. He went 10-11, 3.60 in 155 innings over 21 starts and two relief appearances, with a 1.45 WHIP and 92 strikeouts. The Pirates were nearly as bad the next season. Littlefield struggled on the mound, going 5-12, 5.12 in 130 innings, with a 1.66 WHIP and 70 strikeouts. He was dealt to the St Louis Cardinals early in the 1956 season, as part of a trade that brought Bill Virdon to Pittsburgh. After the trade to St Louis, Littlefield pitched a total of 178.2 innings in the majors, while playing for four different teams over three seasons. While the Orioles won this trade (5.8 WAR vs 1.7 WAR), the Pirates did okay with Littlefield as a trade piece by getting Virdon in return.