Ten former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, including a member of the 1979 World Series champs. We also have one game of note.
Chris Volstad, pitcher for the 2015 Pirates. He was a first round pick out of high school by the Florida Marlins in 2005, taken 16th overall. He spent four seasons in Florida’s rotation (2008-11), then pitched for the 2012 Chicago Cubs and the 2013 Colorado Rockies, before his stint with the Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 18 years old, posting a 2.22 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and 55 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched over 13 starts. His time was split between the rookie level Gulf Coast Leagues Marlins and Jamestown of the short-season New York-Penn League. He spent the entire 2006 season at Greensboro of the Low-A South Atlantic League, where he went 11-8, 3.08 in 152 innings over 26 starts, with 99 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP. Volstad pitched 126 innings for Jupiter of the High-A Florida State League in 2007, then another 42.2 innings with Carolina of the Double-A Southern League. He combined to go 12-11, 4.16 in 168.2 innings, with 118 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP. The 2008 season was split between Carolina and the majors. He had a 4-4, 3.36 record in 91 innings over 15 starts for Carolina, with 56 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP. He had a 6-4, 2.88 record in 84.1 innings with the Marlins finishing with 53 strikeouts and a 1.33 WHIP. Volstad went 9-13, 5.21 for the 2009 Marlins, with 107 strikeouts in 159 innings over 29 starts. The record improved with a slightly better ERA in 2010. He went 12-9, 4.58 in 30 starts, with 102 strikeouts and a 1.41 WHIP over 175 innings. He set a career high with 117 strikeouts during the 2011 season, when he had a 5-13, 4.89 record and a 1.42 WHIP in 165.2 innings over 29 starts.
Volstad was traded to the Chicago Cubs in January of 2012. He had a rough season in Chicago, going 3-12, 6.31 in 111.1 innings over 21 starts, with 61 strikeouts and a 1.62 WHIP. Part of that season was spent with Iowa of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he had a 5.17 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 12 starts. He became a free agent at the end of the year, then signed with the Colorado Rockies, where he spent most of the 2013 season with Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League. He went 7-6, 4.58 in 127.2 innings for Colorado Springs, with 57 strikeouts and a 1.57 WHIP. He appeared in six games with the Rockies, allowing ten runs and 19 hits in 8.1 innings. He played winter ball in the Dominican during the 2013-14 off-season, posting a 5.40 ERA over 21.2 innings. Volstad spent part of 2014 in the minors for the Los Angeles Angels, while the rest of the year was spent in Korea. He struggled in both spots, finishing with a 6.18 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP in 39.1 innings with the Angels at Salt Lake City of the Pacific Coast League, which followed him posting a 6.21 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP over 87 innings in Korea.
Volstad was signed by the Pirates as a minor league free agent prior to the 2015 season. He was designated for assignment shortly after being called up mid-season. He pitched two scoreless innings on June 24th, which ended up being his only appearance with the Pirates. He spent the rest of the 2015 in the minors after clearing waivers, finishing up with an 11-7, 3.18 record, 97 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP in 155.2 innings for Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League. He signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox in 2016, then ended up staying there for his final three seasons of pro ball. He spent all of 2016 at Charlotte of the International League, going 8-11, 4.79 in 176.2 innings, with 84 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP. Volstad had a 3-10, 5.57 record, a 1.56 WHIP and 71 strikeouts over 118 innings for Charlotte in 2017, but he got a shot at the majors as well. He posted a 4.66 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 19.1 innings over six games (two starts). He was with the White Sox for most of 2018, making 33 appearances (one start) that year. He had one start for Charlotte. Volstad had a 1-5, 6.27 record, 29 strikeouts and a 1.63 WHIP in 47.1 innings that season for the White Sox, which ended up being his last year in pro ball. He had a 37-58, 5.00 record, a 1.45 WHIP and 481 strikeouts in 772.1 innings over nine seasons in the majors. He made 126 starts and 44 relief appearances, while picking up three complete games and two shutouts. After not pitching at all in 2019, he attempted a comeback in 2020 with the Cincinnati Reds, though they released him early in Spring Training.
Dennis Lamp, pitcher for the 1992 Pirates. He was a third round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1971 out of high school. He made the majors in 1977, spending his first four years with the Cubs, then moved across town for three more seasons. He moved on to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1984 for three seasons. Lamp spent one year in Oakland, then four years with the Boston Red Sox, before joining the Pirates for his last season of pro ball. His minor league career started out rough at 18 years old with Caldwell of the short-season Pioneer League, where he had a 6.46 ERA in 46 innings, with 32 walks, 43 strikeouts and a 1.80 WHIP. Lamp moved down to the rookie level Gulf Coast League in 1972, where he went 7-2, 1.93 in 70 innings over 14 games (six starts), while cutting his walk rate in half. He had 56 strikeouts and a 1.10 WHIP. He jumped to the Class-A Midwest League with Quincy in 1973, while also spending part of the season at Midland of the Double-A Texas League. He combined to go 8-8, 3.35 in 137 innings, with 94 strikeouts and a 1.18 WHIP. He had much better results and more work at the lower level that year. Lamp had a similar split in 1974 between Key West of the Class-A Florida State League and a return to Midland. He went 2-6, 3.22 in 109 innings, with 62 strikeouts and a 1.33 WHIP. That split included a 1.74 ERA at the lower level. He also moved to a bullpen role that year with Midland, where all 24 of his appearances were in relief.
Lamp spent the entire 1975 season back with Midland, where he had his first success at the level. He had a 7-5, 3.33 record, 71 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP over 127 innings, with nine starts and 28 relief appearances. He moved up to Wichita of the Triple-A American Association for the 1976 season, where he had an 8-14, 4.06 record, 98 strikeouts and a 1.53 WHIP in 153 innings, with 25 of his 30 appearances coming as a starter. He repeated Wichita in 1977, going 11-4, 2.93 over 129 innings, while walking just 23 batters. He had 52 strikeouts and a 1.08 WHIP. He got called up to the majors in late August, then posted a 6.30 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP in 30 innings over the rest of the season, making three starts and eight relief appearances. Lamp made 36 starts for the 1978 Cubs, going 7-15, 3.30 in 223.2 innings, with 73 strikeouts and a 1.24 WHIP. He had six complete games that year, while throwing three of his seven career shutouts. The next year saw his ERA rise just slightly, but his win-loss record improved greatly. Lamp had a 11-10, 3.50 record and a 1.34 WHIP in 200.1 innings over 32 starts and six relief appearances. He threw six complete games again, while recording one shutout. He was never much of a strikeout pitcher, but his 86 that year set a career high. He went 10-14, 5.20 in 202.2 innings during the 1980 season, while leading the league with 117 earned runs allowed. He had 82 walks, 83 strikeouts and a 1.68 WHIP. He made 37 starts that year, finishing with two complete games and one shutout. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox at the end of Spring Training in 1981.
Lamp went 7-6, 2.41 in 127 innings over ten starts and 17 relief appearances during the strike-shortened 1981 season. He had 71 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP. The 1982 season saw him go 11-8, 3.99 in 27 starts and 17 relief appearances, with 78 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP over 189.2 innings pitched. He had three complete games, including his final two career shutouts. He also picked up his first five career saves. Lamp took on a closer role during the 1983 season, helping the White Sox to a division title by going 7-7, 3.71 in 116.1 innings, with 44 strikeouts, a 1.31 WHIP and 15 saves over 49 appearances (five starts). He made three relief appearances during the ALCS, where all he gave up was an unearned run, though he didn’t allow any hits. He became a free agent after the 1983 season, then signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 8-8, 4.55 in 56 games (four starts) during the 1984 season, with 45 strikeouts, a 1.59 WHIP and nine saves over 85 innings pitched. He had an 11-0, 3.32 record, 68 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP over 105.2 innings in 1985, when he made 52 relief appearances and one start. He had his highest career strikeout rate that season (5.8 per nine innings). He received mild MVP support, finishing 21st in the voting. He threw 9.1 scoreless innings in relief during the playoffs that year. Lamp faltered the next year, going 2-6, 5.05 over 40 games (two starts), with 30 strikeouts, a 1.59 WHIP and two saves in 73 innings. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in February of 1987, but they released him a month later. He then spent the 1987 season with the Oakland A’s, where he went 1-3, 5.08 in 36 games (five starts), with 36 strikeouts and a 1.73 WHIP over 56.2 innings pitched.
Lamp signed with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent prior to the 1988 season. He went 7-6, 3.48 in 82.2 innings over 46 appearances that year, with 49 strikeouts and a 1.34 WHIP. That was the first year that all of his appearances came out of the bullpen, though he ended up starting just one game over his final five seasons in the majors. He was used in more of a long relief role in 1989, when he had a 4-2, 2.32 record, a 1.09 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 112.1 innings over 42 games. He picked up his final two career saves that season. The next year saw him get nearly as much work, though his results began to drop off. Lamp went 3-5, 4.68 in 105.2 innings over 47 appearances, finishing with 49 strikeouts and a 1.36 WHIP. He pitched 51 games during the 1991 season, going 6-3, 4.70 in 92 innings, with 57 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP. He became a free agent after the season, then signed with the Pirates as a minor league free agent in early March of 1992. He was called up from Buffalo of the American Association after three appearances, returning to the majors as a replacement for Bob Walk, who went on the disabled list. In the last season of his 16-year career, Lamp had a 5.14 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 28 innings over 21 relief appearances for the 1992 Pirates. He was released in mid-June when the Pirates claimed pitcher Jeff Robinson off of waivers. Lamp finished his career with a 96-96, 3.93 record, 857 strikeouts, a 1.38 WHIP, 21 complete games, seven shutouts and 35 saves in 639 games (163 starts) over 1,830.2 innings pitched. He finished with 15.6 career WAR.
Jim Winn, pitcher for the 1983-86 Pirates. He was a first round pick (14th overall) of the Pirates in 1981, who was in the majors 22 months after he signed out of John Brown University. He is the last draft pick from that school, and the only drafted player from that school to make the majors. In his first season of pro ball, Winn pitched one game in the rookie level Gulf Coast League at the start of his pro career, while also making 12 starts that year with Buffalo of the Double-A Eastern League. He went 2-5, 4.30 over 69 innings between both stops, with 50 strikeouts and a 1.22 WHIP. The 1982 season saw him pitch just 34.2 innings, with time spent at Alexandria of the Class-A Carolina League, as well as a return trip to Buffalo. He began the year in the disabled list due to an elbow injury. He went 1-4, 4.15 over nine starts and one relief appearance between both stops, with 27 strikeouts and a 1.53 WHIP. He was pitching most of the 1983 season in relief for Hawaii of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he had a 3.96 ERA, a 1.84 WHIP, a 22:22 BB/SO ratio and three saves in 38.2 innings. Winn struggled in his initial trial with the Pirates at the beginning of that 1983 season, posting a 7.36 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP in 11 innings over seven appearances. He didn’t return to the team when rosters expanded in September. Winn pitched slightly more for the Pirates in 1984, seeing separate stints with the club in July, August and September. He lowered his ERA to 3.86 in 18.2 innings during that second trial, but he still spent most of his time in Triple-A that year. He had 11 strikeouts and a 1.50 WHIP during that brief big league time. He had a 6-1, 3.43 record, a 1.61 WHIP and a 28:28 BB/SO ratio in 44.2 innings over 21 relief appearances with Hawaii. He missed some time that year due to minor shoulder and back injuries.
The 1985 season for Winn was mostly spent in the majors. He made seven starts for Hawaii, where he had a 5-2, 3.38 record in 44.2 innings, with 33 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. He pitched a total of 75.2 innings for the Pirates that season in seven starts and 23 relief appearances. He finished the year with a 3-6, 5.23 record, a 1.43 WHIP and a 31:22 BB/SO ratio. Winn had his best season in 1986, while making three starts and 47 relief appearances. He had a 3.58 ERA in 88 innings, with three saves, a 1.40 WHIP and a career high 70 strikeouts. Winn had a 7-11, 4.47 record, 106 strikeouts and a 1.43 WHIP in 193.1 innings over ten starts and 86 relief appearances during his four seasons with the Pirates. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox for John Cangelosi during Spring Training in 1987. He lasted one full season in Chicago, posting a 4-6, 4.79 record, a 1.67 WHIP and a 62:44 BB/SO ratio, while setting career highs with 94 innings, 56 appearances and six saves. He was released after the season, then signed with the Minnesota Twins. He finished his big league career with a 6.00 ERA and a 2.05 WHIP in 21 innings over nine outings during the 1988 season. Winn spent half of that season with Portland of the Pacific Coast League, where he put up a 3.99 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, 21 strikeouts and seven saves in 29.1 innings. He also missed time that year due to an arm injury that bothered him for most of the season. The Twins released him in December of 1988. He ended up having Tommy John surgery in April of 1989, but a shoulder injury during his rehab ended his career. He had a 12-17, 4.67 record over 308.1 innings during his six big league seasons, finishing with a 1.55 WHIP, 159 strikeouts and ten saves in 161 games.
Jim Morrison, third baseman for the Pirates from 1982 until 1987. He was drafted three times before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies as a fifth round pick in 1974 out of Georgia Southern University. He originally attended South Georgia College, where he was drafted twice by the Pirates in 1972, taken in the fifth round in the January portion of the draft, followed by a first round pick (22nd overall) in the June portion. Morrison went right to full-season ball after signing, where he hit .259 in 75 games, with 31 runs, 11 doubles, five homers, 27 RBIs and a .697 OPS. He played briefly that year for Spartanburg of the Class-A Western Carolinas League, but a large majority of his time came with Rocky Mount of the Class-A Carolina League, which was considered an Advanced-A level. He remained with Rocky Mount for all of 1975, where he hit .288 in 140 games, with 98 runs scored, 24 doubles, six triples, 20 homers, 88 RBIs, 22 steals, 65 walks and an .854 OPS. He skipped up to Triple-A in 1976, playing for Oklahoma City of the American Association for the first of four straight seasons. He hit .289 during the 1976 season, with 79 runs, 17 doubles, six triples, 18 homers, 71 RBIs, 17 steals and an .841 OPS in 126 games. Morrison batted .294 over 127 games in 1977, with 72 runs, 23 doubles, 12 homers, 71 RBIs and a .791 OPS. His OPS dropped 50 points that year over the previous season, but he still got a five-game trial with the Phillies in late September. He went 3-for-7 with an RBI and a walk.
Morrison split the 1978-79 seasons fairly evenly between Triple-A and the majors. He hit just .157/.235/.269 in 123 plate appearances over 53 games for the 1978 Phillies, with 12 runs, five extra-base hits and ten RBIs. He put up an .850 OPS in 54 games with Oklahoma City, finishing that season with a .275 average, 37 runs, six doubles, ten homers and 28 RBIs. He improved greatly on those big league numbers in 1979, after being traded to the Chicago White Sox on June 10th. Morrison was blocked in Philadelphia by Mike Schmidt at third base, so the trade gave him a chance to play regularly. He was at Oklahoma City the entire time with Philadelphia that year, where crushing the ball. He had a .320 average, 59 runs, 37 extra-base hits, 61 RBIs and a 1.011 OPS in 79 games. He then hit .275 in 67 games for Chicago to finish out the season, with 38 runs, 14 doubles, 14 homers, 35 RBIs, 11 steals and an .833 OPS. The White Sox got him into all 162 games during the 1982 season, with Morrison getting 160 starts at second base. He hit .283 that season, while setting career highs with 66 runs and 40 doubles, to go along with 15 homers, 57 RBIs and a .753 OPS. He moved to third base during the strike-shortened 1981 season, when he hit .234/.261/.372 over 90 games, with 27 runs, eight doubles, ten homers and 34 RBIs. The Pirates acquired him in a trade for Eddie Solomon in the middle of the 1982 season. Morrison lasted six seasons in Pittsburgh, playing more than half of his career games with the team. Prior to the trade, he was had a .223/.279/.428 slash line for the White Sox, with 17 runs, seven doubles, seven homers and 19 RBIs in 51 games. He batted .279/.309/.488 for the 1982 Pirates, with ten runs, four doubles, four homers and 15 RBIs in 44 games, though he only batted 96 times. He got 16 starts at third base that year for the Pirates, who had Bill Madlock starting at the position.
Morrison was a utility man during the 1983 season, when he saw the majority of his defensive time at second base. He hit .304 over 66 games, with 16 runs, seven doubles, six homers, 25 RBIs and an .834 OPS. He got more playing time in 1984, when he had a .286 average over 100 games, with 38 runs, 14 doubles, 11 homers, 45 RBIs and a .782 OPS. He saw time at all four infield spots that year, though he saw twice as much time at third base compared to the other three spots combined. He slumped down a bit in 1985, when he hit .254 over 94 games, with 17 runs, ten doubles, four homers and 22 RBIs, while watching his OPS (.622) drop 160 points compared to the previous season. Morrison got his chance to play full-time in 1986, after the Pirates traded away Madlock. He hit .274 that year, with career highs of 23 homers and 88 RBIs in 154 games. He had 58 runs, 35 doubles and an .816 OPS. The Pirates traded him late in the 1987 season to the Detroit Tigers for Darnell Coles and Morris Madden. At the time of the deal, Morrison had a .264 average, with 41 runs, 22 doubles, nine homers, 46 RBIs and a .726 OPS in 96 games. He hit .205/.221/.333 over 34 games for the 1987 Tigers, with 15 runs, four homers and 19 RBIs. His low OPS came from the fact that he had just one double and two walks in 122 plate appearances. Morrison finished his career in 1988, splitting that final season between the Tigers and Atlanta Braves. He struggled at both stops, finishing with a .181 average, 13 runs, seven doubles, two homers, 19 RBIs and a .482 OPS in 179 plate appearances over 75 games. He had a .274 average and a .764 OPS in 552 games for the Pirates, with 180 runs, 92 doubles, 57 homers and 241 RBIs. In his 12-year career, he was a .260 hitter over 1,089 games, with 371 runs, 170 doubles, 112 homers and 435 RBIs. He had 12.0 career WAR, with a mix of slightly below average and slightly above average seasons on defense.
Jim Rooker, pitcher for the 1973-80 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 17 years old during the 1960 season as a hitter with the Detroit Tigers organization, spending his first three years in Class-D ball as an outfielder. He was with Decatur of the Midwest League during that first year, when he hit .221 in 69 games, with 33 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 18 RBIs and a .581 OPS. He actually put up strong stats after that slow first season, hitting .268 at Jamestown of the New York-Penn League in 1961, with 83 runs, 39 extra-base hits, 88 RBIs and 66 walks in 125 games. His OPS improved 209 points that season. The problem was that he had 164 strikeouts, which is still a lot now in the minors, but well beyond acceptable at that time. He improved to .281 average during the 1962 season for Jamestown, with 101 runs scored, 16 homers, 80 RBIs, 27 steals , 66 walks and an .831 OPS over 119 games, while cutting his strikeouts down to 134 in slightly more plate appearances that the previous year. Rooker actually pitched three times that season and did poorly (ten runs in ten innings), but he didn’t make the move to pitching until two years later. He moved up to A-Ball during his final year as a full-time batter, hitting .272 in 115 games for Duluth-Superior of the Northern League, with 82 runs scored, 12 doubles, 11 triples, 19 homers, 78 RBIs and an .851 OPS.
Rooker did split work between hitting and pitcher in 1964, playing most of the year with Duluth-Superior, though he also played 27 games for Knoxville of the Double-A Southern League. He had a .215 average, 40 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 51 RBIs and a .677 OPS in 104 games that year. He finished his pitching time with a 5.29 ERA, 60 walks, 51 strikeouts and a 1.73 WHIP over 63 innings. He went to the Fall Instructional League after the 1964 season, where he had a 2.89 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP over 28 innings. The 1965 season saw him take up pitching full-time. He went 2-11, 4.15 in 115 innings, with a 1.41 WHIP, 95 strikeouts and 70 walks. He spent time that year with Rocky Mount of the Class-A Carolina League, while also putting in 47 innings with Montgomery of the Southern League. He struggled in a brief stint for Montgomery in 1966, allowing 11 runs in seven innings. He did terrific that year at Rocky Mount, posting a 12-5, 2.05 record, a 1.19 WHIP and 99 strikeouts in 145 innings. He attended the Fall Instructional League again, where he had a 4.21 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP over 47 innings. That was followed by splitting the 1967 season between Montgomery and Toledo of the Triple-A International League, with solid/decent results at both levels. He combined to go 10-7, 3.46 in 156 innings, with 137 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP.
Rooker debuted in the majors at 25 years old in 1968, then put up mediocre stats over five seasons before joining the Pirates. He made two mid-season relief appearances for the 1968 Tigers, which were sandwiched between 14 wins, a 2.61 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP and 206 strikeouts in 190 innings in Toledo. He allowed two runs in 4.2 innings during that first cup of coffee in the majors. He was traded to the New York Yankees after the season, but they lost him to the Kansas City Royals in the expansion draft. That opened the door for him to pitch full-time in the majors, though he was playing for a poor team at that point. Rooker went 4-16, 3.75 over 158.1 innings in 1969, with 108 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP over his 22 starts and six relief appearances. He dominated in four minor league starts that season, with four complete games, three earned runs allowed, and 43 strikeouts over 36 innings. The 1970 season was his first full year in the majors. He had a 10-15, 3.54 record that year, with 203.1 innings spread out over 29 starts and nine relief appearances. He had six complete games, three shutouts, a 1.43 WHIP and 117 strikeouts. He saw more relief work during the 1971 season, when he posted a 2-7, 5.33 record, 31 strikeouts and a 1.54 WHIP in 54 innings spread over seven starts and 13 relief appearances. He also spent part of the year with Omaha of the Triple-A American Association, putting up a 2.74 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in 46 innings over six starts. He did even better in eight starts for Omaha in 1972, posting a 1.74 ERA over 62 innings, with 53 strikeouts and a 1.11 WHIP. He went 5-6, 4.38 in 72 innings with the Royals that season, making ten starts and eight relief appearances. He had 44 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP. The Pirates sent Gene Garber to the Kansas City Royals to acquire Rooker in October of 1972.
Rooker immediately turned things around during his first season in Pittsburgh, posting a 10-6, 2.85 record in 170.1 innings over 18 starts and 23 relief appearances. He had six complete games, three shutouts and five saves. He finished year with a 1.14 WHIP and 122 strikeouts, which was briefly his career best in the latter category. Rooker moved into a full-time starter role in 1974, when he had a 15-11, 2.78 record and a 1.18 WHIP in a career high 262.2 innings over 33 starts. He set career highs with 15 complete games and 139 strikeouts. That was followed by a 13-11, 2.97 record, 102 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP in 196.2 innings over 28 starts during the 1975 season. He made one playoff start each year in 1974-75, giving up two runs over seven innings in his first game, followed by four runs over four innings in the 1975 start. Rooker had his best record for a season (15-8) during the 1976 campaign, though his ERA was up to 3.35 in 198.2 innings. He completed ten of his 29 starts that season, while finishing with 92 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP.
Rooker went 14-9, 3.08 in 204.1 innings over 30 starts for the 1977 Pirates, with 89 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP. He completed seven games that year, including his final two career shutouts. His performance slipped in 1978, dropping down to 9-11, 4.24 record and a 1.48 WHIP in 163.1 innings over 28 starts. He completed just one start, while compiling more walks (81) than strikeouts (76). He went 4-7, 4.60 in 17 starts and two relief outings during the 1979 season, with 44 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP over 103.2 innings. Rooker started game five of the World Series that year, with the Pirates down 3-1 in the series. He gave up one run over five innings, as the Pirates ended up winning the game 7-1. Rooker threw 3.2 shutout innings of relief in game one of the series. He pitched briefly for the 1980 Pirates before hurting his arm in his fourth start, which ended his career. He was 2-2, 3.50 in 18 innings that year. He went 82-65, 3.29 in 1,317.2 innings over 187 starts and 26 relief appearances for the Pirates. He had a career record of 103-109, 3.46 in 1,810.1 innings in 13 seasons. He had 976 strikeouts, a 1.32 WHIP, 66 complete games, 15 shutouts and seven saves. He became a broadcaster after his playing career ended, then remained in that role until 1993.
Dino Restelli, outfielder for the Pirates in 1949 and 1951. He debuted in pro ball at 19 years old in 1944, playing for San Francisco of the Double-A Pacific Coast League (highest level of the minors at the time, as Triple-A came along in 1946). It was a strong debut, batting .343 over 38 games, with 23 runs, 16 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs, but he had to wait to build on that early success. Restelli missed the 1945 season while serving during WWI. He returned to San Francisco for part of 1946 and struggled upon his return, hitting .103 in 26 games, with two RBIs, nine walks and no runs or extra-base hits. He got back on track in 1947, when he hit .292 over 119 games, with 61 runs, 20 doubles, ten homers, 55 RBIs and an .806 OPS. He played 145 games for San Francisco in 1948, finishing that year with a .289 average, 86 runs, 43 doubles, ten homers, 80 RBIs and an .827 OPS. He began the 1949 season still in San Francisco, where he had a breakout year. He batted .351 over 72 games, with 47 runs, 21 doubles, ten homers, 65 RBIs and a .989 OPS. The Pirates acquired Restelli on June 10, 1949 from San Francisco for pitcher Hal Gregg, outfielder Cully Rikard and an undisclosed amount of cash. Gregg was being sent to San Francisco on option, so he was still technically property of the Pirates. Restelli hit .241 over 93 games during his two seasons in Pittsburgh, seeing most of his time during the 1949 season. He hit .250 over 72 games as a rookie in 1949, with 41 runs, 11 doubles, 12 homers, 40 RBIs and an .811 OPS. Most of his time on defense that year was spent in center field.
Restelli spent all of 1950 in the minors, playing part of the year with Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association, and a bigger part of the year back with San Francisco. He hit .302 between the two stops, with 75 runs, 20 doubles, 18 homers, 68 RBIs and an .887 OPS in 120 games. He returned to Pittsburgh for the first two months of the 1951 season. He hit .184/.225/.290 in 40 plate appearances over 21 games during his second stint with the Pirates, getting just seven starts (all in left field). He had one run, one double, one homer and three RBIs. Restelli was sold to the Washington Senators in September of 1951, but the Pirates ended up being his only big league club. He spent a total of 11 seasons in pro ball, retiring after the 1955 season. He finished off the 1951 season with Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .282 over 76 games, with 51 runs, 32 extra-base hits, 46 RBIs and an .869 OPS. Restelli played for four teams in 1952, seeing very brief action with Indianapolis again, Tulsa and Oklahoma City of the Double-A Texas League, and Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League, where he spent most of his season. He had a .357 average and a .953 OPS over 69 games for Portland that year, while finishing the season with a .334 average over 108 games between all four spots. He batted .340/.388/.570 in 73 games for Portland in 1953, with 47 runs, 21 doubles, 12 homers and 41 RBIs. He remained in Portland in 1954, when he hit .261 over 117 games, with 53 runs, 12 doubles, 12 homers, 44 RBIs a .749 OPS. His finals season of pro ball saw him play 21 games for Portland and six games for Channel Cities/Reno of the Class-C California League. Restelli batted .316 in both stops that year, getting a total of 76 at-bats for the season.
Lino Donoso, lefty reliever for the 1955-56 Pirates. He was a 32-year-old rookie from Cuba in 1955, though that “rookie” status has been changed by recent developments in baseball. The Pirates acquired him from the Mexican League, where he had spent the previous four seasons (those stats are unavailable). He also played Negro League ball in 1947, which is now included in his Major League stats due to MLB declaring that the 1920-48 Negro Leagues are now considered to be Major League Baseball. He went 5-2, 2.30 in 78.1 innings for the 1947 New York Cubans, during what is now his rookie season. Full stats aren’t known from the league as more research is being done, but that ERA is rated the best in the league at this point. The Pirates signed Donoso in February of 1954, then immediately assigned him to their affiliate in Waco of the Big State League. He ended up spending the 1954 season with Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League, which also had a working agreement with the Pirates. That league was considered to be in an Open level at that time, though it was basically Triple-A. He had a 19-8, 2.37 record, a 1.10 WHIP, 141 strikeouts and four shutouts in 205 innings with Hollywood during the 1954 season. He opened up the 1955 season back in Hollywood, where he had a 3.26 ERA, 42 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP in 58 innings, before getting called up to Pittsburgh. The Pirates sent George Freese and Ben Wade to Hollywood on June 15, 1955 to acquire the rights of Donoso, in a move that was said to be done to help balance their bullpen by adding a lefty. Donoso went 4-6, 5.31 in 95 innings for the 1955 Pirates, with 38 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP over his nine starts and 16 relief appearances.
Donoso’s 1956 season consisted of him spending the first few weeks in the majors, before being sent to the minors on May 3rd. He threw a total of 1.2 scoreless innings over three appearances for the 1956 Pirates. He was sent to Hollywood on option, though he never returned to the majors. He remained in the minors until 1962, spending most of that time back in the Mexican League. Donoso finished the 1956 season split between Hollywood, where he had a 2-2, 5.09 record and a 1.48 WHIP in 46 innings, and Mexico City of the Mexican League, where he was 6-4, 2.90 in 93 innings, with 49 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP. He played for the Pirates Triple-A affiliate at Columbus of the International League in 1957, but a majority of the year was spent back with Mexico City. He went 1-2, 4.74 in 38 innings for Columbus, with 18 strikeouts and a 1.55 WHIP. He had an 8-2, 2.57 record, 59 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP in 112 innings with Mexico City. He pitched once for Mexico City in 1958, then spent the rest of the year in the Class-C Arizona-Mexico League, where he was 16-14, 3.19 in 234 innings, with 231 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP. His last four seasons (1959-62) were spent with Veracruz of the Mexican League, which was classified as Double-A at the time. He saw his workload drop every season druing that stretch, starting with 212 innings in 1959, when he went 16-10, 2.84 over 21 starts and 22 relief appearances. He had 151 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP. That was followed by a 13-9, 4.17 record over 175 innings in 1960, with 94 strikeouts and a 1.47 WHIP. He had a 10-6, 4.84 record, 86 strikeouts and a 1.56 WHIP over 160 innings in 1960. His final season at 39 years old saw him go 4-7, 3.15 in 13 starts and nine relief outings, with 48 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP over 100 innings. His name can often be found in old newspapers misspelled as “Dinoso”.
Johnny Mokan, outfielder for the 1921-22 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 21 years old, when he played 86 games for Fort Dodge of the Class-D Central Association during the 1917 season. Limited available stats show him with a .274 average over 328 at-bats. Mokan played for three teams in 1918, seeing time with Waco of the Class-B Texas League, Chattanooga of the Class-A Southern Association and Toronto of the Double-A International League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. While his full stats are incomplete, they show that he had a .301 average and 32 extra-base hits in 69 games for Waco, while putting up a .212 average and ten extra-base hits in 55 games for Toronto. He spent the entire 1919 season with Waco, where he had a .258 average, 28 doubles, two triples and ten homers in 145 games. A large majority of the 1920 season was spent with Wichita Falls of the Texas League, where he had a .303 average, 26 doubles, four triples and nine homers in 150 games. He also saw brief time with Minneapolis of the Double-A American Association (no stats available). Under the recommendation of scout Don Curtis, the Pirates purchased Mokan and his teammate Jimmy Zinn from Wichita Falls on August 20, 1920. Both were said to be reporting to the Pirates after their minor league season ended, but only Zinn got into a game with the 1920 Pirates. Mokan spent the first two months of the 1921 season with the Pirates, hitting .269/.333/.404 in 59 plate appearances over 19 games, before being sent to the minors. He had seven runs, five extra-base hits and nine RBIs. He wasn’t actually sent down to Minneapolis until July 27th. He was first sent to the hospital at the end of June that year due to stomach troubles, then didn’t return to play until after he was already optioned to the minors. He finished the season by putting up a .336 average and ten extra-base hits in 41 games for Minneapolis.
Mokan was back with the Pirates at the starts of the 1922 season. He batted .258/.327/.315 over 31 games, while once again seeing time at all three outfield spots. He had nine runs, four extra-base hits and eight RBIs. His time in Pittsburgh ended when he was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies in July of 1922. Mokan remained in Philadelphia until his big league career ended in 1927. The Pirates actually tried to trade Mokan to Sioux City of the Western League for young outfielder Roy Elsh, but the Chicago White Sox said that they had a claim in on Elsh. The Sioux City deal was called off at that point, so he was sent to the Phillies instead. Mokan hit .252 for the 1922 Phillies, with 20 runs, seven doubles, three homers, 27 RBIs and a .698 OPS in 47 games. He hit .313 over 113 games in 1923, with career highs of 78 runs, 23 doubles, ten homers and 53 walks. His 48 RBIs and .861 OPS were both highs to that point, but he would top them both later in his career. He batted .260 over 96 games in 1924, with 50 runs, 15 doubles, seven homers, 44 RBIs and a .684 OPS. Mokan played just 75 games in 1925, though he managed to set career bests with his .330 average and .905 OPS. He had 30 runs, 19 extra-base hits and 42 RBIs, while finishing with 27 walks and nine strikeouts in 247 plate appearances. He set a career high with 127 games played in 1926. He hit .303/.365/.415 that year, with 68 runs scored, 33 extra-base hits and a career high 62 RBIs. He batted .286 over 74 games during his final year in the majors, though lower power numbers (15 extra-base hits/no homers) brought him down to a .728 OPS. He finished with 22 runs and 33 RBIs. His career finished in the minors in 1928, splitting 90 games between Buffalo and Rochester of the Double-A International League. He combined for a .317 average, 15 doubles, six triples and eight RBIs.Mokan batted .291 in 582 big league games, with 282 runs, 98 doubles, 17 triples 32 homers and 273 RBIs. He hit .262 during his 50 games for the Pirates, with 16 runs scored and 17 RBIs. He was considered a below average defensive player, who finished with a -5.8 dWAR and 1.1 career WAR.
Joe Kelly, outfielder for the 1914 Pirates. He spent six seasons in the minors before the Pirates acquired him from St Joseph of the Western League. Kelly debuted in Tulsa of the Class-D Oklahoma-Kansas League at 21 years old in 1908. He had a .302 average and 25 extra-base hits in 65 games during his first season of pro ball. He hit .243 during the 1909 season, with 38 doubles, 12 triples and four homers in 120 games for Pittsburg of the Class-C Western Association. He was playing in the same league for Joplin during the 1910 season, when he batted .300 over 115 games, with 20 doubles, 11 triples and seven homers. He moved up two levels to St Joseph of the Class-A Western League in 1911, then remained there for three seasons. The level of Class-A was the highest in the minors for that 1911 season, but Double-A was added in 1912. The Western League remained as a Class-A level at that time, so he actually dropped down in competition during his final two season at St Joseph. Kelly hit .271 over 166 games in 1911, with 29 doubles, nine triples and two homers. He followed that up with .287 average, 38 doubles, 15 triples and four homers over 168 games in 1912. He hit .318 during the 1913 season before joining the Pirates, with 28 doubles, 13 triples and six homers in 161 games. The Pirates purchased Kelly and his teammate George Watson on June 23, 1913, after manager Fred Clarke saw both players on a scouting trip. The Pirates tried to get Kelly for the 1913 season, but the club owner wouldn’t give him up because he was the manager and captain of the team.
Kelly joined the Pirates in the spring of 1914. He started 136 games in center field that season, showing great range, though he also led all National League center fielders with 19 errors. He hit .222 that season, with 47 runs, 19 doubles, nine triples, 48 RBIs, 21 steals and a .584 OPS in 141 games. That ended up being his only season with the Pirates. He was sold to Indianapolis of the Double-A American Association after the conclusion of the 1914 season. Kelly played 147 games for Indianapolis in 1915, where he had a .300 average, 107 runs, 20 doubles, five triples, 61 steals, 54 walks and a .723 OPS. He started the 1916 season back in Indianapolis, where he batted .298 over 35 games, with seven extra-base hits. Kelly made it back to the majors in July of 1916 with the Chicago Cubs. They wound up trading him to the Boston Braves in 1917, where he played his final three big league seasons. He hit .254 over 54 games for the 1916 Cubs, with 18 runs, seven doubles, two homers, 15 RBIs and a .639 OPS in 54 games. He batted .222 for the 1917 Braves, with 41 runs, 20 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs, 21 steals and a .567 OPS in 116 games. He saw a lot less time during the 1918 season, which was shortened due to WWI. He hit .232 over 47 games, with 20 runs scored, six extra-base hits (four triples), 15 RBIs, 12 steals and a .562 OPS. Kelly got called into the naval reserves that year just before his final two games, which took place during a July 4th doubleheader.
Kelly was back for the start of 1919, when he batted just .141/.154/.156 in 18 games, with three runs, a double and three RBIs. He played his final game on May 27th, before going to the minors for the rest of his career. Kelly was a .224 hitter over 376 big league games, with 129 runs, 38 doubles, 22 triples, six homers, 117 RBIs and 66 steals. He played pro ball until 1930, spending the 1921-25 seasons with San Francisco of the Double-A Pacific Coast League. During that final season in San Francisco, the team also had Paul and Lloyd Waner patrolling the outfield. Kelly played for Toledo of the Double-A American Association to finish out the 1919 season, where he batted .252 over 128 games, with 29 extra-base hits. He hit .298 over 166 games for Toledo in 1920, with 38 extra-base hits. He batted .284 over 168 games during his first season in San Francisco, with 39 doubles, eight triples and four homers. Kelly hit .333 over 156 games in 1922, with 32 doubles, eight triples and five homers. He followed that up with a .348 average in 107 games during the 1923 season, when he collected 38 doubles among his 46 extra-base hits. He batted .301 over 149 games in 1924, finishing with 55 doubles, three triples and eight homers. The 1925 season was split between San Francisco and Vernon of the Pacific Coast League, as well as Omaha of the Class-A Western League. He spent most of the year in Omaha, where he hit .323 in 95 games, with 26 extra-base hits. He’s credited with hitting .268 over 24 games during his time in the Pacific Coast League that year.
Kelly returned to St Joseph of the Western League in 1926, where he had a .312 average over 141 games, with 22 doubles, ten triples and a homer. He played for Amarillo of the Western League in 1927, hitting .338 over 116 games, with 23 doubles, 11 triples and five homers. He dropped down to the Class-B South Atlantic League for the 1928-29 seasons, playing both years with Columbia. Kelly had a .327 average and 28 extra-base hits in 137 games during the 1928 season. That was followed by a .292 average and 30 extra-base hits over 147 games in 1929. His final season was spent with Oklahoma City of the Western League, though he hit just .061 in 16 games, going 2-for-33, with a single and a triple. He was a player-manager for each of his final five seasons. Including his big league stats, Kelly had exactly 3,200 hits as a pro in 2,879 games.
Cy Neighbors, outfielder for the 1908 Pirates. He played left field for the Pirates during the final inning on April 29, 1908, then never played in the majors again. Neighbors spent 14 seasons in the minors. In the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs during that April 29, 1908 game, Fred Clarke sent in a pinch-hitter for himself, putting in backup catcher Paddy O’Connor. He singled home a run to make it 1-1, and then the Pirates took the lead on a Honus Wagner single. Without that hit from O’Connor, which was his first MLB hit, Neighbors wouldn’t have been used that day. When they came out on defense for the bottom of the ninth, Neighbors took Clarke’s position in left field. He watched Lefty Leifield close out the game with two strikeouts and a grounder to second base. His debut/only game nearly flew under the radar when none of the local papers included him in the boxscore. Just a few papers around the U.S. on April 30th actually mentioned him by name. Neighbors was sent to Kansas City of the Class-A American Association a short time later, where he remained for the duration of the season. While his minor league stats aren’t complete, the known games (over 1,400) show that he was a .302 hitter in those seasons.
Neighbors debuted in pro ball in 1905 at 24 years old, splitting his first season between Duluth of the Class-D Northern League, and Toledo of the Class-A American Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. Neighbors batted .294 in 111 games that season, collecting two extra-base hits (both doubles) during his 27 games with Toledo. The 1906 season was spent with Burlington of the Class-D Iowa League of Professional Baseball Clubs, where he hit .320 in 121 games. He was back at A-Ball during the 1907 season for Memphis of Southern Association, where he had a .268 average, 63 runs and 20 steals in 137 games. The Pirates picked him up in the Rule 5 draft after the 1907 season, paying $1,000 to acquire his rights. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1908, where he made quite an impression early while playing another sport, showing off his billiards skills. The early scouting reports said that he had a strong arm and a fine eye at the plate. His Spring Training was immediately slowed by an infection/hospitalization he received from a laceration on his hand, which kept him out of action for a week. Neighbors made the Opening Day roster and accompanied the team on a trip to St Louis to start the season. When that three-game series ended, five players went from St Louis to Pittsburgh, while the rest of the team went to Cincinnati for three games. He remained with the Pirates for ten days after his lone big league game before being released on May 9th. During his time in Pittsburgh, he was mostly referred to by his first name of Cecil, but Cy was an often used nickname. His bio online doesn’t have what hand he threw with listed, but there’s a photo of him in a Pirates uniform showing that he threw right-handed.
Neighbors hit .283 in 122 games for Kansas City over the rest of the 1908 season, finishing with 66 runs, 21 extra-base hits and 26 steals. The 1909 season saw him split the year between three teams, including his old teams in Kansas City and Memphis, as well as Mobile of the Southern Association. The limited stats show him with a .235 average in 103 games. He had eight runs, four extra-base hits and two steals during his 20 games with Kansas City that year. The 1910-11 seasons were spent with Sioux City of the Class-A Western League. He had a .333 average and 43 extra-base hits (35 doubles) over 166 games in 1910. He batted .323 in 114 games during the 1911 season, with 28 extra-base hits. Neighbors moved to Tacoma of the Class-B Northwestern League in 1912, for the first of three seasons with that team. While it appears that he dropped one level with that move to Tacoma, Class-A was the highest level until Double-A came along in 1912, so he was actually three steps below the majors with Tacoma. He hit .305 during the 1912 season, with 30 extra-base hits in 164 games. He then followed it up with a .287 average and 23 extra-base hits over 152 games in 1913. Neighbors hit .315 over 148 games during his final season for Tacoma, with 68 runs, 33 extra-base hits and 20 steals.
Neighbors joined Spokane of the Northwestern League in 1915, where he hit .308 over 143 games, with 31 extra-base hits. From that point on, few stats are available, plus his play was sporadic in pro ball. He split 1916 between Spokane and Seattle of the Northwestern League, getting credited with a .179 average over 39 games played. He has no 1917 pro stats, as he retired for a time to own a billiards hall, though he did play some semi-pro ball late that year. He returned to Spokane of the Pacific Coast International League in 1918, while also seeing time with Vancouver in the same league. He also spent time that year with two different semi-pro teams. He’s credited with a .250 average and three doubles over 26 games during his pro time that year. He played semi-pro ball in 1919, then reappeared in the Pacific Coast International League in 1920 at 39 years old with Victoria. He hit .264 over 28 games during his final pro experience. He was originally signed for Victoria for 1921, but he ended up playing semi-pro ball instead.
On this date in 1956, the Pirates drew 44,932 fans, which was the largest crowd in Forbes Field history. The Pirates lost 8-3 to the Dodgers, although the game was suspended due to rain in the ninth inning, then finished the next day. The local papers on September 24th said that between 8,000 and 10,000 fans were turned away at the gate, while one fan died during the game. Here’s the boxscore.