Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a significant debut of note and a record-tying game by Rennie Stennett. Before we get into that stuff, current Pirates infielder/outfielder Tucupita Marcano turns 24 today.
Michael Martinez, utility player for the 2014 Pirates. He began his career late for an international player, signing with the Washington Nationals in 2005 at 22 years old out of the Dominican Republic. He played at three levels during his debut season in 2006, splitting his time between short-season ball with Vermont of the New York-Penn League (45 games), Potomac of the High-A Carolina League (seven games) and 30 games for Savannah of the Low-A South Atlantic League. He hit .264 in 82 games that year, with 36 runs, ten extra-base hits (one homer), 25 RBIs and a .630 OPS. He spent the entire 2007 season with Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League, hitting .250 in 115 games, with 54 runs, 21 doubles, no homers, 32 RBIs, 13 steals and a .627 OPS. He played winter ball for the first time during the 2007-08 off-season in the Dominican, where he hit .268/.316/.310 over 44 games against much more experienced competition. He spent the entire 2008 season at Potomac, where he batted .266 over 104 games, with 63 runs, 34 extra-base hits, 58 RBIs, 25 steals and a .697 OPS. He put up a .226 average and a .630 OPS over 42 games in the Dominican during the 2008-09 off-season. Martinez split the 2009 season between Potomac (49 games) and Harrisburg of the Double-A Eastern League (65 games), combining to bat .259 over 114 games, with 62 runs, 33 extra-base hits, 37 RBIs and a .719 OPS. He put up a .290 average during the 2009-10 off-season in the Dominican, though his OPS only improved slightly over the previous season, finishing with a .670 mark in 39 games. The 2010 season saw him reach Syracuse of the Triple-A International League for 33 games, while also playing 100 games in Harrisburg. He hit .272 between the two stops, with 57 runs, 38 extra-base hits, 56 RBIs, 23 steals and a .720 OPS. He hit .298/.340/.367 over 46 winter league games during the 2010-11 off-season. The Philadelphia Phillies selected him in the December 2010 Rule 5 draft. He stayed with the club for the entire 2011 season.
Martinez hit .196 over 88 games as a rookie for the 2011 Phillies, finishing with 25 runs, five doubles, three homers, 24 RBIs and a .540 OPS. He played six more years in the majors, but never reached double-digits in RBIs again. He had a rough winter in 2011-12, posting a .113/.200/.127 slash line over 19 games. He batted .174 for the 2012 Phillies, with ten runs, three doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and a .461 OPS in 45 games, while also putting in 36 games in the minors (which included some rehab time). He had another rough winter, putting up a .203 average and a .502 OPS over 23 games in the Dominican. He played 29 games for the 2013 Phillies, though he batted just 40 times total. He posted a .175/.175/.175 slash line that year, thanks to no walks or extra-base hits. He did well in 71 games with Lehigh Valley of the International League that season, putting up a .300 average and a .760 OPS over 266 plate appearances. In the middle of his seven-year big league career spent with five different teams, Martinez played one season with the Pirates. He was signed as a minor league free agent in December of 2013, then left via free agency right after the 2014 season ended. He had a .621 OPS over 17 games during the 2013-14 off-season. He spent most of the 2014 season with Indianapolis of the International League, but he also played 26 games for the Pirates. Martinez hit .128/.206/.154 in Pittsburgh, going 5-for-39 during that time, with two runs, a double, two RBIs and four walks. He hit .244 over 91 games for Indianapolis, with 34 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs and a .614 OPS. He had a .208 average and a .686 OPS in 15 games during the 2014-15 winter league season.
After his time with the Pirates, Martinez moved on to the Cleveland Indians for the 2015 season. He batted .267/.290/.333 in 32 plate appearances over 16 games that year. The rest of the year was spent with Columbus of the International League, where he had a .289 average, 53 runs, 24 doubles, five homers, 42 RBIs and a .768 OPS in 102 games. His winter league struggles continued, as he posted a .172/.206/.203 slash line over 21 games during the 2015-16 off-season. He split the 2016 season between the Indians and Boston Red Sox, though it was an odd split. He was purchased by Boston in early July, then put on waivers less than a month later, where he was claimed by the Indians. He hit .238/.267/.307 in 106 plate appearances over 63 games between both clubs. His minor league time that year was limited to a .793 OPS over 27 games for Columbus. Martinez had a .652 OPS over 16 winter league games during the 2016-17 off-season. He split his final big league season in 2017 between the Indians and Tampa Bay Rays, seeing limited time in both spots. He hit .162 in 27 games, though that was split between a .364 average with Cleveland and an .077 mark with Tampa. He failed to collect an RBI that season. The rest of the year was spent back in Columbus, where he had a .277 average and a .688 OPS in 63 games. He had one of his best winter seasons following the 2017 season, hitting .313/.346/.354 over 15 games.
Martinez was not in pro ball during the summer or winter of 2018. He returned in 2019 with Lancaster of the independent Atlantic League, where he had a .252 average, 56 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs and a .663 OPS in 97 games. He had a .238 average and a .592 OPS over 19 games of winter ball during the 2019-20 off-season. He did not play during the shortened 2020 season or the following winter. He has played with High Point of the independent Atlantic League during the 2021-23 seasons. He hit .287/.354/.422 in 51 games during the 2021 season. He posted a .745 OPS over nine winter league games. That was followed by a .304 average and a .794 OPS over 75 games for High Point in 2022. He had a .517 OPS over 11 winter league games in Australia during the 2022-23 off-season. Those were his only winter games outside of the Dominican. He also played two games in the Dominican during that winter. Martinez has hit .242 over 82 games for High Point in 2023 at age 40, with 36 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 59 RBIs and a .636 OPS. He finished with a .194/.243/.261 slash line over 294 big league games, with 67 runs, 16 doubles, six homers and 42 RBIs. He played every position except catcher and first base during his career. He played all three outfield spots and second base while with the Pirates. Despite some decent stolen base seasons in the minors, he stole just four bases in eight attempts in the majors. Martinez has played 14 seasons of winter ball in his career, putting up a .243 average in 338 games.
Brandon Moss, outfielder for the 2008-10 Pirates. He was an eighth round pick out of high school in 2002 by the Boston Red Sox. His pro debut didn’t look like one that would lead to an 11-year career in the majors. He batted .204 in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, with ten runs, six doubles, no homers, six RBIs and a .587 OPS in 42 games. He then played with Lowell in the short-season New York-Penn League during the 2003 season, where he hit .237 over 65 games, with 29 runs, 15 doubles, seven homers, 34 RBIs and a .720 OPS. He split 2004 between Augusta of the Low-A South Atlantic League and Sarasota of the High-A Florida State League, with great results at both levels. He combined to hit .353 over 132 games, with 82 runs, 27 doubles, seven triples, 15 homers, 111 RBIs, 53 walks, 21 steals and a .931 OPS. The 2005 season was spent in Portland of the Double-A Eastern League, where he hit .268 over 135 games, with 87 runs, 31 doubles, 16 homers, 61 RBIs, 53 walks and a .778 OPS. He played in the Arizona Fall League after the 2005 season, where he hit .236/.291/.389 in 22 games, with ten runs, three doubles, two homers and five RBIs. Moss repeated Double-A in 2006, when he hit .285 over 133 games for Portland, with 76 runs, 36 doubles, 12 homers, 83 RBIs and a .796 OPS. He played briefly in winter ball (Dominican) that off-season, hitting .327 over 14 games, with five runs, three doubles, three homers, ten RBIs and a .965 OPS. The 2007 season started in Pawtucket of the Triple-A International League, where he batted .282 over 133 games, with 66 runs, 41 doubles, 16 homers, 78 RBIs, 61 walks and an .834 OPS. He joined the Red Sox in August, then batted .280/.379/.440 in 29 plate appearances over 15 games. He played Dominican winter ball again during the 2007-08 winter, hitting .322/.355/.390 over 15 games.
Moss was traded to the Pirates in July of 2008, as one of four players going to Pittsburgh in the Jason Bay deal. He had a .295/.337/.462 slash line, seven runs, five doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs in 34 games for the Red Sox that year before the trade. He also had an .874 OPS in 43 games for Pawtucket. He played 45 games for the Pirates during the 2008 season, hitting .222/.288/.424 in 177 plate appearances, with 12 runs, ten doubles, six homers and 23 RBIs. Moss was the Pirates starting right fielder for most of the 2009 season. He hit .236 in 133 games, with 47 runs, 20 doubles, seven homers, 41 RBIs and a .668 OPS. He was down in Triple-A for most of the 2010 season, playing at Indianapolis of the International League. He hit .266 over 136 games, with 73 runs, 32 doubles, 22 homers, 96 RBIs and an .800 OPS. He played just 17 games for the 2010 Pirates, putting up a .154 average and a .378 OPS in 27 plate appearances. Moss was released after the 2010 season, then signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. He barely played in the majors in 2011, getting just six at-bats in five games. The rest of the season was spent with Lehigh Valley of the International League, where he hit .275 over 124 games, with 66 runs, 31 doubles, 23 homers, 80 RBIs and an .877 OPS. He split the 2012 season between Sacramento of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and the Oakland A’s. He had a .952 OPS in 51 games with Sacramento. Moss then hit .291 over 84 big league games, with 48 runs, 18 doubles, 21 homers, 52 RBIs and a .954 OPS. He showed power during each of the next four seasons, though it came with a low average and poor defense, so his overall value wasn’t high.
Moss had his best season in 2013, batting .256 in 145 games for the A’s, with 73 runs, 23 doubles, a career high 30 homers, 87 RBIs and an .859 OPS. He hit .234 over 147 games in 2014, with 70 runs, 23 doubles, 25 homers, 81 RBIs, 67 walks and a .773 OPS. A faster start to that season led to his only career All-Star appearance. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians in the 2014-15 off-season, then they dealt him to the St Louis Cardinals in July of 2015. He hit .226 that year in 145 games between both stops, finishing with 47 runs, 24 doubles, 19 homers, 58 RBIs and a .711 OPS. He spent the 2016 season with the Cardinals, where he batted .225 over 128 games, with 66 runs, 19 doubles, 28 homers, 67 RBIs and a .784 OPS. He wound up his career in 2017 with the Kansas City Royals, where he hit .207 over 118 games, with 41 runs, 14 doubles, 22 homers, 50 RBIs and a .708 OPS. Moss finished his career with a .237 average, 419 runs, 159 doubles, 160 homers and 473 RBIs in 1,016 Major League games. He batted .228 in 195 games with the Pirates, compiling 61 runs, 31 doubles, 13 homers and 66 RBIs. He hit 145 homers over his final six seasons. His career WAR finished at 5.0 in 11 seasons.
John Ericks, pitcher for the 1995-97 Pirates. He was a first round pick of the St Louis Cardinals in the 1988 draft out of the University of Illinois. He debuted in 1988 with Johnson City of the short-season Appalachian League, where he went 3-2, 3.73 over 41 innings, with 41 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP. He went 11-10, 2.04 over 167.1 innings for Savannah of the Low-A South Atlantic League during the 1989 season, with 211 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. Ericks was limited to eight starts during the 1990 season due to elbow surgery. He had strong results for St Petersburg of the High-A Florida State League in four outings, and very poor results in Arkansas of the Double-A Texas League. He went from a 1.57 ERA and an 0.96 WHIP over 23 innings for St Petersburg, to a 9.39 ERA and a 2.35 WHIP over 15.1 innings at the higher level. He was a top 100 prospect in baseball prior to both the 1990 and 1991 seasons, but he hit a real stumbling block at Double-A. He spent the entire 1991-92 seasons at Arkansas, where he went 5-14, 4.77 over 139.2 innings in 1991, with 103 strikeouts and a 1.59 WHIP. He then had a 2-6, 4.08 record over 75 innings in 1992, with 71 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP. The Cardinals released him after the 1992 season, then he signed a minor league deal that winter with the Pirates. Ericks was inactive during the entire 1993 season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He returned in 1994, when he split his season between Salem of the High-A Carolina League and Carolina of the Double-A Southern League, making a total of 16 starts and 12 relief appearances. He went 6-6, 2.88 in 109.1 innings between both stops, with 135 strikeouts and a 1.13 WHIP.
Ericks was making his big league debut by June of 1995, after just five starts in Triple-A Calgary of the Pacific Coast League. He had a 2.48 ERA, 25 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP in 29 innings during his brief minor league time that year. Ericks went 3-9, 4.58 in 18 starts and one relief outing for the 1995 Pirates, with 80 strikeouts in 106 innings. That ended up being his best big league season. He pitched mostly in relief in 1996, including some closing work, while splitting the season between the majors and Triple-A. He had a 4.20 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP and 40 strikeouts in 30 innings for Calgary that year. He went 4-5, 5.79 for the 1996 Pirates, with eight saves, 46 strikeouts and a 1.61 WHIP in 46.2 innings over 28 games (four starts). The 1997 season was more of the same, though he also spent time on the disabled list. He pitched very poorly in the minors that year, allowing 11 runs in seven innings with Calgary. He had success in his ten relief appearances with the Pirates, allowing two runs over 9.1 innings, while picking up six saves. He missed part of the season due to a neck injury. Ericks was released by the Pirates after the 1997 season. He then signed with the Cleveland Indians for 1998, but he never pitched in pro ball again. He had shoulder surgery on January 9, 1998, then spent the entire 1998 season rehabbing. He retired after the 1998 season. He had an 8-14, 4.78 record, 132 strikeouts, a 1.51 WHIP and 14 saves in 162 innings for the Pirates, while making 22 starts and 35 relief appearances.
Scott Medvin, reliever for the 1988-89 Pirates. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Detroit Tigers in 1983 just after his 22nd birthday. He attended Baldwin Wallace University, a school that has produced just three big league players, with Medvin being the last one. He debuted for Wausua of the Midwest League during the 1984 season, where he went 4-2, 3.56 over 40 relief appearances, with 53 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP in 65.2 innings. His split the 1985 season between Lakeland of the Class-A Florida State League and Birmingham of the Double-A Southern League. He had a combined 8-7, 2.89 record, a 1.26 WHIP and 64 strikeouts in 74.2 innings over 44 relief outings, with similar results at each level. Medvin was traded to the San Francisco Giants in December of 1985, as the player to be named later in a six-player deal made two months earlier. He played for Shreveport of the Double-A Texas League for all of 1986, as well as part of the 1987 season. He went 8-6, 2.40 in 93.2 innings over 49 appearances during the 1986 season, with 68 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP. He went 7-1, 1.72 in 78.2 innings over 37 games with Shreveport during the 1987 season, finishing his time there with 71 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP. He then got bumped up to Phoenix of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League before the Giants traded him to the Pirates in a deal for Rick Reuschel on August 21, 1987. He pitched just one game after the deal due to the late timing, appearing with Vancouver of the Pacific Coast League. He had a 5.14 ERA in 12 games for Phoenix, then he allowed one run and three walks in 1.1 innings with Vancouver.
Medvin was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Houston Astros in December of 1987, but he was returned to the Pirates just before the 1988 season started. He was back in Triple-A to start 1988 (Pirates switched affiliates to Buffalo of the American Association), though he made his big league debut in early May with the Pirates. While he didn’t stick in the majors during that first stint, Medvin had a total of 17 appearances that season for the Pirates, going 3-0, 4.88 in 27.2 innings, with 16 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. He had a 2.41 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, 12 saves and 49 strikeouts in 56 innings for Buffalo. Most of his big league time came after he was recalled when rosters expanded in September. He made six April appearances for the 1989 Pirates, before being sent to the minors for the rest of the season. He gave up five runs over 6.1 innings during that brief big league time. He went 7-6, 2.30 in 86 innings over 54 games with Buffalo that year, finishing with ten saves, a 1.29 WHIP and 84 strikeouts. He was pitching well in Buffalo in early 1990, putting up a 1.46 ERA and an 0.97 WHIP in 24.2 innings through mid-May. Pittsburgh then traded him to the Seattle Mariners to acquire pitcher Lee Hancock. Medvin pitched five times for Seattle, allowing four runs in 4.1 innings, in what ended up being his last Major League action. The rest of the season was spent with Calgary of the Pacific Coast League, where he had a 4.97 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP, 31 strikeouts and 11 saves in 50.2 innings. He spent his last three seasons (1991-93) of pro ball in Mexico, though no stats are available from that time. He had a 5.03 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and 20 strikeouts in 34 innings over 23 appearances for the Pirates.
Mark Parent, catcher for the 1995 Pirates. He played 13 years in the majors total, seeing time with seven different teams. He was signed by the San Diego Padres as a fourth round draft pick out of high school in 1979. It took him seven years before he debuted in the majors. He then played sporadically in the minors through the 1993 season, finally sticking in the majors for good in 1994. Parent debuted in pro ball at 17 years old in 1979, playing that year for Walla Walla of the short-season Northwest League. He hit .191 over 40 games, with eight runs, four doubles, one homer, 11 RBIs and a .481 OPS. He moved up to Reno of the Class-A California League with Reno for part of the 1980 season, though a majority of his work (66 games) was back in the short-season Northwest League with Grays Harbor. He hit .222 between both stops that year, with 37 runs, 14 doubles, seven homers, 44 RBIs and a .601 OPS in 96 games. Parent played for Salem of the Class-A Carolina League in 1981, where he hit .235 over 123 games, with 44 runs, 16 doubles, six homers, 47 RBIs and a .622 OPS. Most of 1982 was spent back in Salem, though he also played 26 games for Amarillo of the Double-A Texas League that season. Between both stops, he hit .218 over 125 games, with 51 runs, 28 extra-base hits, 54 RBIs and a .605 OPS. The 1983-84 seasons were spent with Beaumont of the Texas League. He hit .252 over 81 games in 1983, with 38 runs, 22 doubles, seven homers, 33 RBIs and a .742 OPS. That was followed by a .287 average over 111 games in 1984, with 52 runs, 24 doubles, seven homers, 60 RBIs and a .769 OPS.
Parent moved up to Las Vegas of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 1985, where he hit .241 over 105 games, with 36 runs, 23 doubles, 45 RBIs and a .676 OPS. He finished with seven homers for the third straight season. He repeated Triple-A during the 1986 season, when he batted .288 in 86 games, with 29 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 40 RBIs and a .752 OPS. He got a trial for the Padres that September, hitting .143/.200/.143 in 15 plate appearances over eight games. Parent saw little time in the majors in 1987, going 2-for-25 in 12 games. He was with the Padres at the start of the season and the end of the year. In between, he put up a .292 average, 50 runs, 23 doubles, four homers, 43 RBIs and a .748 OPS in 105 games with Las Vegas. He got a bigger chance with the Padres in 1988 as the backup for Benito Santiago. Parent batted .195/.232/.373 in 125 plate appearances over 41 games, with nine runs, three doubles, six homers and 15 RBIs. He played 52 games (36 starts) for the 1989 Padres, hitting .191/.229/.369 over 154 plate appearances, with 12 runs, four doubles, seven homers and 21 RBIs. He saw more time in 1990, then responded with a .222 average, 13 runs, 11 doubles, three homers, 16 RBIs and a .611 OPS in 65 games. Parent was traded to the Texas Rangers in December of 1990, which turned out to be a small setback for his career. He had just one at-bat over three big league games that year, before becoming a free agent at the end of the season. He also played just five minor league games that year. He was involved in a home plate collision early in Spring Training and tore an ACL. He was lucky to get in those eight late season games, as the initial timeline said he would miss the entire season.
Parent signed with the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent for 1992. He saw limited playing time in two seasons for Baltimore, going to the plate 101 times over 39 games. He also played 193 games for Rochester of the Triple-A International League during that time. He did well in Rochester in 1992, posting a .287 average and an .845 OPS in 101 games. He had 52 runs, 24 doubles, 17 homers and 69 RBIs. His big league time that year saw him hit .235/.316/.441 in 40 plate appearances over 17 games. His stats at Rochester in 1993 slipped to a .247 average, 47 runs, 15 doubles, 14 homers, 56 RBIs and a .746 OPS in 92 games. He played 22 big league games that year, finishing with a .259/.293/.519 slash line in 61 plate appearances, with seven runs, two doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs. Parent next signed with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent over the 1993-94 winter. He got a better chance there, hitting .263 over 44 games, with eight runs, four doubles, three homers, 16 RBIs and a .742 OPS during the strike-shortened 1994 season. Parent was a waiver pickup by the Pirates from the Cubs after the 1994 season. He played 69 games for the 1995 Pirates, finishing with a .232 average, 25 runs, nine doubles, 15 homers, 33 RBIs and a .764 OPS. He was traded back to the Cubs on August 31, 1995. He had a .908 OPS over 12 games for the 1995 Cubs. He hit a total of 18 homers total during the 1995 season (shortened to 144 games due to the strike), yet never hit more than nine in any other season in the majors. Parent played for the Orioles and Detroit Tigers during the 1996 season, combining to hit .226/.252/.475 in 56 games, with 17 runs, seven doubles, nine homers and 23 RBIs.
Parent signed a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Phillies in December of 1996, then spent his last two seasons of pro ball there as a backup. Parent hit .150/.198/.177 during the 1997 season, with four runs, three doubles, no homers and eight RBIs in 39 games. That was followed by a .221 average, seven runs, four doubles, one homer, 13 RBIs and a .561 OPS in 34 games during the 1998 season. He finished his 13-year career as a .214 hitter, with 112 runs, 50 doubles, 53 homers and 168 RBIs in 474 games. He hit zero triples during his career. He finished with 3.2 dWAR, with his best defensive numbers coming during his time in Pittsburgh. He threw out 34% of base runners during his career.
Chuck Brinkman, catcher for the 1974 Pirates. He was a 1966 draft pick of the Chicago White Sox, who was selected in the 16th round out of Ohio State. He debuted in pro ball with Lynchburg in the Class-A Carolina League, where he hit .186 over 47 games, with 15 runs, three extra-base hits, seven RBIs and a .482 OPS. Brinkman moved to Appleton of the Class-A Midwest League in 1967, where he hit .260 over 103 games, with 28 runs, 16 extra-base hits (15 doubles), 28 RBIs and a .633 OPS. He was back in Lynchburg in 1968, where he had a .204/.293/.257 slash line over 76 games, with 20 runs, five doubles, one homer and 20 RBIs. Despite the lack of success at the lower level, it didn’t take much longer before he was in the majors. Brinkman played 28 games with Columbus of the Double-A Southern League, 23 games with Tuscon of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and 14 with the White Sox during the 1969 season. He didn’t exactly hit his way to the majors, putting up a .237/.309/.252 slash line in his 51 minor league games, with seven runs, two extra-base hits (both doubles) and 15 RBIs. He was mainly used off of the bench in his first big league trial, getting three starts and 18 plate appearances for the 1969 White Sox. He picked up just one hit, while posting a .192 OPS. He batted .231 during the 1970 season for Tuscon, with 30 runs, 14 doubles, no homers, 30 RBIs and a .550 OPS in 115 games. He then played nine games with the White Sox, seeing big league time in May and September. Brinkman put up a .250/.348/.300 slash line in 23 plate appearances during that second big league trial. He spent the entire 1971 season with the White Sox, though he barely played. He got into 15 games total, with five starts and 24 plate appearances all year. He had no runs, no extra-base hits and one RBI, while finishing with a .200 average and a .504 OPS.
Brinkman saw a little more big league time in 1972, when he batted .135/.196/.135 in 35 games, with one run scored, no extra-base hits and no RBIs. The 1973 season was his big year in the majors. He played 63 games (48 starts) that year, hitting .187/.252/.252 in 162 plate appearances, with 13 runs, ten RBIs and seven of his eight career extra-base hits, including his only career homer. Brinkman played just eight games (three starts) through the first three months of the 1974 season. He had a .343 OPS in 15 plate appearances, before he was purchased by the Pirates from White Sox in July of 1974. After joining the Pirates, he went 1-for-7 in four games over a three-week stretch. Those turned out to be his last games in the big leagues. The Pirates needed a catcher to replace the injured Mike Ryan, who was serving as the backup to Manny Sanguillen. Brinkman didn’t make his first appearance until 18 days after being acquired. Brinkman was sent to Charleston of the Triple-A International League after Ryan returned in August, where he played the final 12 games of his pro career. He went 1-for-21 after being sent down, though eight walks helped him to a .310 OBP. The Pirates tried to trade him to the Minnesota Twins in the off-season, but he decided to retire instead. He was a career .172 hitter in 149 games, with 22 runs, seven doubles, one homer and 12 RBIs. He was a solid defensive catcher, who made 81 starts and was used as a defensive replacement 66 times. He’s credited with 0.6 dWAR for his career. His brother Ed Brinkman played 15 years in the majors. He was also known more for defense than his bat. Chuck Brinkman turns 79 today.
Con Dempsey, pitcher for the 1951 Pirates. The Pirates purchased the 28-year-old Dempsey from the San Francisco Seals of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League following the 1950 season. He was returned to San Francisco in early May of 1951, after he posted a 9.00 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance. He actually pitched well in the relief outing, throwing two shutout innings, but the two starts saw him give up seven runs in five innings. That ended up being his only big league experience. According to reports, Dempsey was a sidearm pitcher and Pirates GM Branch Rickey tried to get him to throw overhand instead, which didn’t work. Dempsey later said that the Pirates ruined his arm by making the change. The Pirates purchased him in a conditional deal, where they had until May 17, 1951 to decided whether to keep him and pay the reported $65,000-$75,000 price tag, or return him for nothing. They made that decision to return him on May 13th. He also got a trial with the Philadelphia Phillies during Spring Training of 1952, which didn’t pan out. Before playing pro ball, he served four years in the Navy during WWII and was a highly decorated soldier, which is why he had a semi-late start to his career.
Dempsey began his pro career in Salt Lake City in 1947 at 24 years old, playing Class-C ball in the Pioneer League. He went 16-13, 2.95 in 241 innings, with 173 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP. He moved up to San Francisco the next year, which at the time was a jump of four levels in the minors. Dempsey went 16-11, 2.10 in 219 innings during the 1948 season, with 171 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. He had a 17-14 record for the Seals in 1949, though his ERA doubled to a 4.23 mark in 262 innings. His walks nearly doubled as well, going from 61 to 113, which led to a 1.46 WHIP. His strikeouts dropped slightly to 164, despite adding 43 innings over the previous season. He went 9-9, 4.36 over 194 innings for San Francisco in 1950, with 78 walks, 100 strikeouts and a 1.43 WHIP. After the Pirates returned him to San Francisco, he finished the 1951 season by putting up a 3.91 ERA in 92 innings, with 53 walks, 51 strikeouts and a 1.49 WHIP. The Phillies took him in the Rule 5 draft after the 1951 season, but once he couldn’t pitch during Spring Training of 1952 due to an arm injury, they tried to sell him to Seattle of the Pacific Coast League. When he reported there still injured, the deal was called off and Dempsey sat out the entire season. He attempted to return in 1953 with Oakland of the Pacific Coast League, but he retired after posting a 4-10, 5.18 record in 106 innings, with 61 walks, 62 strikeouts and a 1.68 WHIP. His first name was Cornelius.
Sam Moran, pitcher for the 1895 Pirates. He was a 24-year-old, lefty-throwing rookie, who joined the Pirates in August of 1895. Moran started his pro career with Altoona of the Pennsylvania State League in 1893, though records show that he played just two games. He spent the following two seasons playing for Nashville of the Class-B Southern Association, while also seeing a bit of time with Lynchburg of the Virginia League in 1894. While full stats are missing for his 1894 season, the records show that he had a 7-4 record for Nashville in 1894. He completed ten of his 13 starts, with one being a shutout. Moran was said to be the best pitcher in the Southern Association when the Pirates picked him up in mid-August of 1895. Manager Connie Mack was reportedly trying to purchase his contract for two months prior to Moran joining the Pirates on August 21st. Besides strong pitching, he was also said to be a good hitter and an excellent fielder. He played 20 games in the outfield and 16 as a pitcher for Nashville during the 1894 season. Moran came highly recommended by Pirates pitcher Brownie Foreman, who saw him pitch in Lynchburg in 1894. Moran struggled in his late-season trial with the Pirates, but they gave him plenty of chances to show his stuff over that last month of the season. His first start came two days after his debut in relief. During the second game of a doubleheader of August 30th, he faced the powerhouse Baltimore Orioles team, who were winners of three straight National League pennants (1894-96). He got no support on offense, and was defeated 10-0 that day. Moran made six starts and four relief appearances that season for the Pirates, going 2-4, 7.47 in 62.2 innings, with 78 hits allowed, 51 walks and 19 strikeouts.
That 1895 season turned out to be Moran’s only big league experience. He was back in the minors in 1896 with Toronto of the Class-A Eastern League (no stats available). The Pirates signed him to an 1896 contract before they added to their pitching ranks, so Moran was sent to Toronto on loan. There was a report in the Pittsburgh papers in August of 1896 that his pitching was getting stronger by each game. While he never returned to the Pirates, he was still on their reserve list at the end of the season. The Pirates sold him in February of 1897 to Columbus of the Class-A Western League, but ill health led to him returning home to Rochester, NY in April. He ended up with Batavia of the Class-C New York State League instead. The Batavia team was able to secure his services, though he was taken on in more of a coaching role. Unfortunately, Moran didn’t make it to the end of the year. He passed away at 26 years old in August 1897 from chronic nephritis (kidney failure). No stats are available from that final season.
Our first ever Game Rewind article covered the Major League debut of the great Willie Stargell, which happened on this date in 1962. You can read the full recap here. Stargell had a chance to win the game, coming up with Bill Mazeroski on second base and a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the tenth inning. He struck out for the second out, before Smoky Burgess hit a walk-off homer.
On this date in 1975, Rennie Stennett went 7-for-7 in a 22-0 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. He became the second player in baseball history to go 7-for-7 in a game, joining Hall of Famer Wilbert Robinson, who accomplished the feat in 1892. No one has joined them since. Stennett had five runs, two RBIs, two doubles and a triple. Dave Parker drove in five runs. Frank Taveras, Willie Stargell and Richie Hebner each had three RBIs. John Candelaria tossed seven shutout innings. Here’s the boxscore.