Six former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including one who was related to a United States President. Before we get into those players, current Pirates pitcher Quinn Priester turns 23 today.
Parker Markel, relief pitcher for the 2019 Pirates. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 32nd round in 2009 out of high school, but didn’t sign until 2010 when the Tampa Bay Rays selected him in the 39th round out of Yavapai College. He debuted in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, where he had a 1.74 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in 10.1 innings over seven appearances. He moved up to the short-season New York-Penn League in 2011, where he went 3-4, 3.14 over 13 starts for Hudson Valley, with 44 strikeouts and a 1.13 WHIP in 57.1 innings. The 2012 season was spent with Bowling Green in the Low-A Midwest League. Markel had an 11-5, 3.53 record in 120 innings over 24 starts, with 96 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP. He struggled a bit with Charlotte of the High-A Florida State League during the 2013 season, going 4-7, 6.37 in 82 innings over 16 starts and two relief outings, with 71 strikeouts and a 1.63 WHIP. That was particularly rough considering that the league is considered to be very pitcher-friendly. He switched permanently to relief in 2014, then split the season between Charlotte and Montgomery of the Double-A Southern League. Markel went 2-4, 4.82 in 65.1 innings over 45 appearances that season, with 51 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP. He spent most of 2015 in Montgomery, posting a 3.23 ERA and three saves in 53 innings. He also had a five-game stint in Durham of the Triple-A International League, where he allowed four runs in 7.1 innings. He combined to go 5-3, 3.43 in 60.1 innings, with three saves, 46 strikeouts and a 1.51 WHIP. Most of 2016 was spent in Durham, after putting up a 4.22 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 10.2 innings during the first month of the season with Montgomery. He did better at the higher level that season, finishing with a 2.52 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 60.2 innings over 34 games. He had a 1.36 WHIP over 71.1 innings that year. He became a minor league free agent after the season.
Markel signed to play in Korea for the 2017 season, but then decided to sit out the entire year. He signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks in December of 2017, though he was released before Opening Day in 2018. He played independent ball in 2018, going 1-1, 4.14 in 41.1 innings with Sioux City of the American Association. He had four saves, a 1.43 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in his 37 appearances. He then signed with the Seattle Mariners over the 2018-19 off-season. Most of his time with Seattle was spent with Tacoma of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he had a 2.60 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 44 strikeouts in 27.2 innings. He was picked up off of waivers by the Pirates on July 27, 2019 from the Mariners. Markel made his big league debut earlier that season, pitching 4.2 innings over five appearances. He allowed nine runs on ten hits and four walks. He made another 15 appearances after joining the Pirates. He had a 5.71 ERA, a 1.67 WHIP and 21 strikeouts over 17.1 innings. He was sold to the Los Angeles Angels after the 2019 season, but he never pitched during the shortened 2020 season. He signed a free agent deal with the San Diego Padres in November of 2020, then spent the entire 2021 season in Triple-A with El Paso, going 3-2, 4.42 over 41 appearances, with 91 strikeouts and a 1.46 WHIP in 57 innings. He signed with the Oakland A’s for 2022, where he made three scoreless big league appearances before being lost on waivers to the Chicago White Sox. Despite throwing shutout ball for the A’s, he walked five batters in three innings. He pitched in Triple-A the rest of the season after joining Chicago, though things went very poorly. He posted a 10.29 ERA and a 2.19 WHIP over 21 innings for Charlotte of the International League. He was released in early September of 2022, and did not play during the 2023 season. He has a 6.84 ERA, a 1.96 WHIP and 27 strikeouts in 25 innings over 23 games in the majors.
Rich Robertson, lefty reliever for the 1993-94 Pirates. He was a ninth round pick by the Pirates in the 1990 draft out of Texas A&M. Robertson was drafted 23 rounds later by the San Diego Padres in 1989, but chose not to sign. He debuted with Welland in the short-season New York-Penn League, where he had a 3-4, 3.08 record in 64.1 innings, with 80 strikeouts and a 1.65 WHIP. He split the 1991 season evenly between Augusta of the Low-A South Atlantic League and Salem of the High-A Carolina League, with extremely similar results at each level. He finished with a combined 6-11, 4.96 record, a 1.67 WHIP and 94 strikeouts in 119.2 innings. Robertson made six starts for Salem and 20 for Carolina of the Double-A Southern League during the 1992 season, with slightly better results at the higher level. He combined to go 9-7, 3.12 in 161.2 innings, finishing with 134 strikeouts and a much improved 1.28 WHIP. He was always a starter coming up through the minors, but he was switched to a relief role when he joined the Pirates. Robertson pitched two early season games for Pittsburgh in 1993, making his debut on April 30th. He was then recalled in September, when he pitched another seven times. He threw a total of nine innings for the 1993 Pirates, winding up with six runs allowed on 15 hits, four walks and five strikeouts. He made 23 starts that season for Buffalo of the Triple-A American Association, where he went 9-8, 4.28 in 132.1 innings, with 71 strikeouts and a 1.46 WHIP.
Robertson was called up in mid-July during the 1994 season, when he saw more time on the mound, getting extended outings during blowout games. He threw 15.2 innings over eight appearances through early August, giving up 12 runs on 20 hits and ten walks. The rest of the season was canceled due to the strike. The Pirates put him on waivers in November of 1994, where he was picked up by the Minnesota Twins. He went 5-10, 3.11 in 118.2 innings with Buffalo that year, finishing up with 71 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP. Robertson pitched four more years in the majors after leaving Pittsburgh, two of them as a regular in the Twins rotation. He had a 2-0, 3.83 record, 38 strikeouts and a 1.53 WHIP in 51.2 innings over 25 appearances (four starts) for the 1995 Twins. He also had a 5-0, 2.44 record, 40 strikeouts and an 0.97 WHIP in 44.1 innings over seven starts for Salt Lake City of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He had a 7-17, 5.12 record, 114 strikeouts and a 1.68 WHIP in 186.1 innings for the 1996 Twins, while making 31 starts and five relief appearances. He led the American League with 116 walks, though he also led with three shutouts.
Robertson went 8-12, 5.69 in 147 innings over 26 starts and five relief appearances during the 1997 season. He had more walks than strikeouts during both seasons as a starter for the Twins, finishing the second year with a 70:69 BB/SO ratio and a 1.63 WHIP. He became a free agent after the 1997 season, then signed with the Anaheim Angels for 1998. He pitched his last five big league games that season, giving up 11 runs in 5.2 innings. The rest of the year was spent with Vancouver of the Pacific Coast League, where he went 11-12, 3.81 in 175 innings over 27 starts, with 123 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP. He signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers for 1999, but ended up spending time with four different clubs in the minors, including a seven-game stint at Nashville of the Pacific Coast League for the Pirates. His Texas time was spent with Oklahoma of the Pacific Coast League. He also spent time with the Colorado Rockies (returned to Carolina of the Southern League) and Cincinnati Reds (Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League) that year, combining between all four stops to go 5-6, 5.56 in 89 innings over 13 starts and 17 relief appearances, winding up with 82 strikeouts and a 1.73 WHIP. The Pirates acquired him on April 18th after they needed to call up two pitchers. They got him during a series between Nashville and Oklahoma, in which he pitched against Nashville on the 17th and then against Oklahoma on the 18th. He was released by the Pirates on May 21st after four straight poor starts. Robertson finished his career in independent ball in 2000, putting up an 8-8, 4.05 record, 119 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP in 144.1 innings with Somerset of the Atlantic League. He had a 17-30, 5.40 record in 114 big league games (61 starts), with a 1.67 WHIP and 237 strikeouts over 415.1 innings pitched.
Dennis Moeller, lefty reliever for the 1993 Pirates. The Kansas City Royals drafted Moeller in the 17th round of the 1986 amateur draft at 18 years old out of Los Angeles Valley College. He went to the short-season Northwest League that year, where he posted a 4-0, 3.06 record in 61.2 innings, with 65 strikeouts and a 1.43 WHIP. He moved up to the Class-A Midwest League in 1987, for the first of two seasons with Appleton. He struggled mightily his first year, posting a 7.20 ERA, a 2.13 WHIP, 45 walks and 49 strikeouts in 55 innings over 13 starts and five relief appearances. The next year was a major turnaround, with a 3.18 ERA in 99 innings over 18 starts and two relief outings. He finished that year with a 1.29 WHIP, 88 strikeouts and 34 walks. Moeller had an outstanding 1989 season, which was split between Baseball City of the Class-A Florida State League and Memphis of the Double-A Southern League. He went 9-0, 1.77 in 71 innings over 11 starts for Baseball City. He had a 2.84 ERA in 25.1 innings over five starts for Memphis. He combined for a 10-1, 2.06 record, a 1.09 WHIP, 85 strikeouts and 30 walks in 96.1 innings. He was in Memphis for half of 1990 season, where he had a rough go of things, finishing with a 6.25 ERA in 67.2 innings over 14 starts. The rest of the year was spent with Omaha of the Triple-A American Association, where he went 5-2, 4.02 in 65 innings over 11 starts. He combined to go 12-8, 5.16 in 132.2 innings, with 95 strikeouts and a 1.52 WHIP. Moeller had a fairly even split between Memphis and Omaha during the 1991 season, posting a 2.55 ERA in 53 innings at the lower level, while bumping that up to a 3.22 ERA in 78.1 innings over 14 starts with Omaha. He had a 1.39 WHIP that year, to go along with 105 strikeouts, which was his minor league high for a season.
Moeller made his big league debut at the end of July in 1992. He had a 2.46 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in 120.2 innings that season with Omaha, while striking out just 56 batters. Before joining the Pirates, his only Major League experience was five games (four starts) for the 1992 Royals. He went 0-3, 7.00 in 18 innings during that first cup of coffee. The Pirates acquired Moeller and pitcher Joel Johnston from the Kansas City Royals on November 19, 1992, in exchange for Jose Lind. He pitched ten games in relief for Pittsburgh in 1993, getting hit hard in five of those games. Moeller lasted with the Pirates from Opening Day until the end of May, finishing with a 9.92 ERA and a 2.02 WHIP in 16.1 innings. He went to Buffalo of the American Association for the rest of the season, where he had a 4.34 ERA, 38 strikeouts and a 1.38 WHIP in 76.2 innings. He was let go after the 1993 season. He re-signed with the Royals, though he never made it back to the majors again. He spent 1994 back in Omaha as a reliever, going 7-6, 3.84 in 70.1 innings, with 46 strikeouts and a 1.49 WHIP. He then signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 1995. He went to camp with them while the big league players were still on strike from the previous August. Moeller refused to play exhibition games that spring, partially due to shoulder tendinitis, which was keeping him out of action early. He was released due to the injury in late March of 1995, then was out of baseball until making a comeback attempt in independent ball during the 1998-99 seasons. Moeller had a 4.10 ERA, 82 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP in 125 innings with Pacific of the Western League during the 1998 season. He lasted just two rough starts with Sioux Falls of the Northern League Central in 1999 before his career ended. He picked up his only big league win while with the Pirates on April 15, 1993. He threw two scoreless innings that day against the San Diego Padres, as the Pirates won 5-4 in 13 innings. His final big league stats show a 1-3, 8.39 record in 34.1 innings, with a 1.98 WHIP and 19 strikeouts.
Dave Pagan, reliever for the Pirates on September 27, 1977. The Pirates acquired Pagan from the Seattle Mariners on July 27, 1977 in exchange for pitcher Rick Honeycutt. Pagan ended up pitching just one Major League game after the trade, while Honeycutt began a Major league career that August which lasted 21 seasons. Pagan’s one appearance for the Pirates came in the sixth inning of a late-season game that the Pirates were losing 7-1 to the New York Mets. He struck out the side in his first inning, then punched out the first batter he saw in the seventh inning. Pagan finished the game by retiring five of the last six batters he faced, allowing just a single to Lee Mazzilli. That three-inning scoreless appearance ended up being his last big league game. He remained in the Pirates system until 1979, which was his last year of pro ball. He pitched parts of five seasons (1973-77) in the majors prior to joining the Pirates, appearing with the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and the Mariners. Pagan went 4-9, 4.96 in 232.1 innings over 85 big league games (18 starts), finishing with 147 strikeouts and a 1.50 WHIP.
Pagan was signed by the Yankees at 20 years old as a non-drafted free agent in 1970. He played two levels of short-season ball that year, going a combined 5-4, 3.68 in 13 games (11 starts), with a 1.24 WHIP 82 strikeouts in 83 innings for Johnson City of the Appalachian League and Oneonta of the New York-Penn League. He moved up to Fort Lauderdale of the Class-A Florida State League in 1971, where he went 9-10, 4.12 over 155 innings, with 123 strikeouts and a 1.54 WHIP. He was with Kinston of the Class-A Carolina League for the 1972 season, going 14-9, 2.53 in 26 starts. He had 12 complete games, four shutouts, a 1.17 WHIP and 192 strikeouts in 185 innings. Pagan excelled in Double-A West Haven of the Eastern League and Triple-A Syracuse of the International League in 1973, which led to two stints that year for the Yankees. He had a two-game trial in July, as well as a recall in September for two more games. He had a 2.84 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 12.2 innings with the Yankees that season. He also posted an 8-5, 2.03 record over 18 starts that year, finishing up with a 1.19 WHIP and 111 strikeouts in 133 minor league innings. Most of 1974 was spent in the majors, where he made six starts and ten relief appearances. Pagan posted a 5.11 ERA in 49.1 innings for the 1974 Yankees, with 39 strikeouts and a 1.56 WHIP. He had a 2.89 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 28 innings with Syracuse that season.
Pagan had a fairly even split between Syracuse and the majors in 1975. He put up a 4.06 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 31 innings over 13 games with the Yankees, along with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP in 32 innings with Syracuse. He spent the entire 1976 season in the majors, going 1-1, 2.28 in 23.2 innings at the start of the year with the Yankees, followed by a 1-4, 5.98 record in 46.2 innings with the Baltimore Orioles, after the two teams completed a ten-player trade on June 15th. He combined to go 2-5, 4.73 over 70.1 innings, with 47 strikeouts and a 1.41 WHIP. The Mariners selected him as the 29th pick in the 1976 expansion draft shortly after the 1976 season ended. Before joining the Pirates, he was 1-1, 6.14 in 66 innings over 24 appearances for Seattle. He also saw some Triple-A time before and after the deal. Pagan went 2-1, 3.79 over 39 innings for Columbus of the Triple-A International League in 1977, before joining the Pirates. He joined the Pirates on September 6th for the rest of the season, but he played just that one game, as the team was competing for first place. The Pirates finished second in 1977, so they were awarded a bonus by the league for that finish. Pagan was voted a 1/7th share of the prize money, which amounted to $269.80. He went to Spring Training with the 1978 Pirates, but he was cut in late in the spring, getting sent to Columbus. He technically became a free agent due to his big league time, but he agreed to go to Columbus after receiving no other big league offers. Pagan went 6-8, 4.27 over 99 innings as a starting pitcher in 1978, finishing with 51 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP. He had a 5.57 ERA in 21 innings with Portland of the Pacific Coast League in 1979, which was the new Triple-A affiliate of the Pirates. He was released on May 8th, which ended his career.
Fritz Ostermueller, lefty pitcher for the 1944-48 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 18 years old in 1926, and didn’t retire until 22 years later. He didn’t make the majors until 1934, despite some huge seasons in the minors. He pitched a total of 169 innings for his hometown team, Quincy of the Class-B Three-I League, during his first two seasons of pro ball. He put up mediocre results during that time, starting with a 3-1, 4.50 record and a 1.72 WHIP in 36 innings during the 1926 season. That was followed by a 7-8, 4.87 record and a 1.64 WHIP over 133 innings in 1927. He also spent some brief time with Wheeling of the Class-C Middle Atlantic League during that 1927 season, going 1-1 in two games. He played Class-C ball for Topeka of the Western Association in 1928, where he had a 12-12, 4.05 record and a 1.41 WHIP over 211 innings. He went 20-12, 2.74 in 279 innings for Shawnee of the Western Association during the 1929 season, when he improved to a 1.30 WHIP. Ostermueller struggled in stints with St Joseph of the Class-A Western League and Rochester of the Double-A International League (highest level of the minors at the time) during the 1930 season, combining for a 4-12, 6.75 record and a 2.02 WHIP in 128 innings. From there he dropped back down to Class-C, playing for Greensboro of the Piedmont League during the 1931 season. He had a 15-9 record and a 1.50 WHIP over 189 innings. He ERA isn’t available, but it’s known that he allowed 5.43 runs per nine innings. The 1932 season saw him stay in Greensboro, though the Piedmont League was considered to be Class-B that year. He went 21-9, 3.35 in 271 innings, with 140 walks and a 1.43 WHIP. Ostermueller also pitched two games for Rochester that year, allowing seven runs in seven innings.
Ostermueller finally had success at a high level in 1933, posting a 16-7, 2.44 record and a 1.38 WHIP in 192 innings for Rochester, which led to his first big league chance. The Boston Red Sox purchased his contract from the St Louis Cardinals in September of 1933. He went 10-13, 3.49 in 198.2 innings for the 1934 Red Sox, with 23 starts and ten relief appearances. He had 99 walks, 75 strikeouts and a 1.51 WHIP. He then had a 7-8, 3.92 record over 137.2 innings in 1935, finishing with a 1.55 WHIP, 78 walks and 41 strikeouts. He completed ten of 19 starts that year, while also throwing three games in relief. He struggled in 1936, going 10-16, 4.88 over 180.2 innings, while making 23 starts and 20 relief appearances. He had 84 walks, 90 strikeouts and a 1.63 WHIP. Ostermueller saw less work in 1937, making seven starts and 18 relief appearances. He had a 3-7, 4.98 record over 86.2 innings, with 44 walks, 29 strikeouts and a 1.67 WHIP. He turned his record around during the 1938 season, but the ERA was only slightly better. He finished the year 13-5, 4.58 in 176.2 innings, with 46 strikeouts and a 1.45 WHIP. He completed ten of 18 starts, while also pitching 13 times in relief. He lowered the ERA a bit more in 1939, going 11-7, 4.24 in 159.1 innings over 20 starts and 14 relief appearances. He had 61 strikeouts and a 1.45 WHIP. He had a 5-9, 4.95 record during his final season for Boston, finishing up with 80 strikeouts and a 1.64 WHIP in 143.2 innings over 16 starts and 15 relief appearances.
Ostermueller was sold to the St Louis Browns in December of 1940. He was used sparingly over the next two seasons, throwing a total of 89.2 innings over 25 appearances. He went 0-3, 4.50 in 46 innings over two starts and 13 relief appearances during the 1941 season. He had 20 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP during that season. He spent the early part of the 1942 season in the minors, after being sold to Toledo of the Double-A American Association in March. Ostermueller was purchased back on July 27th, then finished the season with the Browns. He went 11-9, 3.23 in 145 innings with Toledo, then finished with a 3-1, 3.71 record, 21 strikeouts and a 1.44 WHIP in 43.2 innings over four starts and six relief appearances for the Browns. He was with St Louis until July 15, 1943, when he was sold to the Brooklyn Dodgers. He had a 4.18 ERA, 19 strikeouts and a 1.46 WHIP in 56 innings between both stops that season, making four starts and 14 relief appearances. He opened the 1944 season with Brooklyn, but didn’t last long there, putting up a 2-1, 3.24 record in 41.2 innings over four starts and six relief outings. The Pirates purchased Ostermueller on June 1, 1944 from Syracuse of the International League. He was sold to Syracuse after Brooklyn put him on waivers and no one put a claim on him. He refused to report, so he was put back on the market, where Pittsburgh was able to purchase his contract.
Ostermueller was in his 11th season in the majors, with a career record standing at 65-73 at the time he joined the Pirates. He won at least ten games in a season four times, with the last time coming in 1939. He went right into the 1944 Pirates rotation, then pitched the best ball of his career over the rest of the season. Ostermueller went 11-7, 2.73 over 204.2 innings for the Pirates, with 80 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP. He completed 14 of 24 starts, while also pitching four times in relief. He set a season high with 97 strikeouts that year. He missed three months of the 1945 season, after he was called into service during WWII. He returned to the Pirates in August of 1945. While that season finished slow with a 5-4, 4.57 record in 80.2 innings, he was back to his 1944 form by the start of 1946. Ostermueller went 13-10, 2.84 during that 1946 season, with 57 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP. He led the Pirates in wins that year, as they finished with a 63-91 record. He completed 16 of 25 starts that year, including two shutouts. The Pirates were just as bad in 1947, but Ostermueller still finished 12-10, 3.84 over 183 innings, with 66 strikeouts and a 1.36 WHIP. He led the team in wins again, as they finished with a 62-92 record. He completed 12 of 24 starts, while setting a career high with three shutouts. At the age of 40 in 1948, he went 8-11, 4.42 in 134.1 innings over 22 starts and one relief outing, with 43 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP. The Pirates released him at the end of the season, which ended his playing career. He went 49-42, 3.48 in 796 innings over 118 games (106 starts) for the Pirates. His career record for 15 season stood at 114-115, 3.99 in 2,066.2 innings over 246 starts and 144 relief appearances. He had a career 1.45 WHIP and 774 strikeouts. Ostermueller threw 112 complete games, 11 shutouts and he had 15 saves. He also won 110 minor league games.
Sadly, Ostermueller gained unwarranted notoriety long after he passed away when the movie 42 came out about Jackie Robinson, where he was portrayed by name as hitting Robinson in the head on purpose and then telling him he didn’t belong in the majors. That part was completely fictional and no way represented Ostermueller correctly. The only thing true about the scene was that the two teams played on that date. It’s a shame that the makers of the movie took such unnecessary creative liberties, while using a real player by name, just to create something that didn’t happen.
Elmer Cleveland, third baseman for the 1888 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He debuted in pro ball at 20 years old in 1883 in Johnstown, Pa., playing in the Western Interstate League. The 1884 season was started in the Iron and Oil League, where he played for the team from Oil City, Pa. No stats are available for either of those stops. He would finish the 1884 season at a much higher level. Cleveland’s only Major League experience prior to his season with the Alleghenys came in 1884 for the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds of the Union Association. That was a short-lived Major League that was well below the level of competition that the American Association or National League provided at that same time. He hit .322 that year for Cincinnati, with 24 runs scored, nine doubles, two triples and a .779 OPS in 29 games. He played for Atlanta of the Southern Association in 1885, where he hit .236 in 87 games, with 68 runs, nine doubles, six triples and four homers. He then spent the 1886-87 seasons with St Paul of the Northwestern League. His 1886 stats aren’t available, but he earned a trip back to the majors during that 1887 season by hitting .379 over 106 games, with 104 runs, 32 doubles, eight triples, 16 homers and 25 steals. He began the 1888 season with the New York Giants, though he played just nine games over the first seven weeks of the season. He did well thanks to some power, hitting for a .235 average, with six runs, two triples, two homers, seven RBIs and an .827 OPS.
The Alleghenys traded third baseman Art Whitney to the Giants for Cleveland on June 16, 1888. Whitney was a holdout that season, so Pittsburgh had to move him or they would’ve ended up getting nothing. Cleveland hit .222/.270/.315 over 30 games for the 1888 Alleghenys, with ten runs, five extra-base hits and nine RBIs. His defense was well-below average, resulting in 14 errors. He hit two homers against Mark Baldwin of the Chicago White Stockings on August 29th, which ended up being his only two homers while with the team. It was the second and third time he homered off Baldwin that year, with the first one coming in early May, which was also his first Major League homer. The odd part about that success against Baldwin was the fact that Cleveland only hit four career home runs. Cleveland’s time in Pittsburgh ended on September 13, 1888, when he asked for his release so he could go home early for the off-season. He stated that he tired from the wear and tear of the season, so he was not able to play up to his full potential. He asked for his release prior to the game that day, though he still played the game. The Alleghenys released him afterwards, then immediately signed local player Pete McShannic to take his place for the final 26 games.
Cleveland returned to the minors in 1889, playing two more seasons before finishing his Major League career in 1891 with the Columbus Solons of the American Association. He played for Omaha of the Western Association during the 1889-90 season. Cleveland hit .327 over 112 games in 1889, with 142 runs, 16 doubles, 16 triples, 20 homers and 23 steals. His 1890 stats aren’t available. That third big league stint with Columbus was another brief trial. He finished with a .171 average over 12 games, though he had a .370 OBP due to 12 walks. He had 12 runs, zero extra-base hits, four RBIs and four steals. He finished out the 1891 season with 24 games for Troy of the Class-A Eastern Association (highest level of the minors at the time), where he had a .204 average, nine runs, five extra-base hits and one steal. The 1892 season was his last in pro ball, and he ended up right back where he started. He was playing and briefly managing for a team from Johnstown, Pa., though he final game came with the team from Danville, which was also in the Class-B Pennsylvania State League. He had a .307 average in 186 at-bats for Johnstown, with 34 runs, nine extra-base hits and 16 steals. He went 0-for-3 in his game with Danville. He finished with a .255 average, 52 runs, 11 doubles, five triples and four homers in 80 big league games. Elmer was the cousin of U.S. President Grover Cleveland, who was in officer during most of his pro career.