Nine former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, including a player from the 1991-92 National League East champs. There’s also one game of note at the bottom.
Chris Archer, pitcher for the 2018-19 Pirates. He was a fifth round pick of the Cleveland Indians out of high school in 2006. He struggled with two short-season teams at 17 years old in his first year in pro ball, posting a combined 7.71 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 21 innings between the Gulf Coast League Indians and Burlington of the Appalachian League. He didn’t do much better during the 2007 season in the Gulf Coast League, putting up a 1-7, 5.64 record, a 1.46 WHIP and 48 strikeouts over 52.2 innings. He also made one start for Lake County of the Low-A South Atlantic League that year, in which he allowed four runs in four innings. Archer spent the entire 2008 season with Lake County, where he started to slowly get on track. He finished that season with a 4-8, 4.29 record in 115.1 innings over 27 starts, with 106 strikeouts and a 1.53 WHIP. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs in December of 2008, then spent the 2009 season at Peoria of the Low-A Midwest League, where he went 6-4, 2.81 in 109 innings, with 119 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP. The 2010 season was split between Daytona of the High-A Florida State League and Tennessee of the Double-A Southern League, with strong results at both levels. Archer combined to go 15-3, 2.34 in 142.1 innings, with 149 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays after the season, then spent most of 2011 at Montgomery of the Southern League, along with making two starts for Durham of the Triple-A International League. The two Durham starts were outstanding (one earned run in 13 innings), but he mostly struggled in Double-A, going 8-7, 4.42 in 134.1 innings. He had 130 strikeouts and a 1.58 WHIP in 147.1 innings that season.
Archer made it to the majors during the 2012 season for two games in June, before coming back in September for four more outings. He had a 3.66 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and 139 strikeouts in 128 innings over 25 starts with Durham that year. He put up a 4.60 ERA in 29.1 innings with the Rays, with 36 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP. The 2013 season saw him make ten starts in Durham (5-3, 3.96 in 50 innings) and 23 starts in the majors. He went 9-7, 3.22 for the Rays, with 101 strikeouts and a 1.13 WHIP in 128.2 innings, which led to a third place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting. Archer followed that up with a 10-9, 3.33 record in 32 starts during the 2014 season. He had 173 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP over 194.2 innings. He was an All-Star in 2015, when he had a 12-13, 3.23 record and a 1.14 WHIP in 212 innings over 34 starts. He had 252 strikeouts, which ranked second in the American League. He finished fifth in the Cy Young voting that season. Archer finished second again in strikeouts (233) during the 2016 season, doing that despite leading the league with 19 losses, to go along with nine wins. He had a 4.02 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 201.1 innings. He was an All-Star again in 2017, when he had a 10-12, 4.07 record and a 1.26 WHIP in 201 innings. He had 249 strikeouts, which ranked him third in the American League. He had a 3-5, 4.31 record, a 1.39 WHIP and 102 strikeouts in 96 innings (17 starts) before the Pirates traded Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and first round pick Shane Baz to acquire him at the 2018 trade deadline. The Pirates, who also picked up reliever Keone Kela that day, were hoping to not only make a playoff run that season, but Archer had a team friendly contract beyond that season. However, injuries sidetracked his career after the trade.
Archer made ten starts for the 2018 Pirates, going 3-3, 4.30 in 52.1 innings, with 60 strikeouts and a 1.36 WHIP. He made 23 starts during the 2019 season, despite multiple stints on the disabled list. He went 3-9, 5.19 in 119.2 innings, with 143 strikeouts and a 1.41 WHIP. He was on the injured list for the entire shortened 2020 season. The Pirates cut ties with him prior to the 2021 season, buying out his option instead of keeping him for a $9M salary. That proved to be a great decision, as he re-signed with the Rays and was injured for nearly the entire 2021 season. He pitched just 19.1 innings total before landing on the injured list for a second time in mid-September. He made just as many minor league rehab appearances (six) as big league appearances that year. Archer signed a 2022 contract with the Minnesota Twins, where he had a 2-8, 4.56 record in 25 starts, with 84 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP over 102.2 innings. Archer did not play during the 2023 season. He has a career 63-89, 3.93 record in 1,357 innings over 240 starts and three relief appearances, with a 1.26 WHIP and 1,454 strikeouts. He threw three complete games in his career, with all three being shutouts.
Jordan Luplow, outfielder for the 2017-18 Pirates. He was a third round pick of the Pirates in the 2014 draft out of Fresno State. He went to Jamestown of the short-season New York-Penn League that season, where he hit .277 over 62 games, with 33 runs, 15 doubles, six homers, 30 RBIs and a .782 OPS. He spent the 2015 season with West Virginia of the Low-A South Atlantic League, where the Pirates moved him from outfield to third base in a failed experiment. He hit .264 over 106 games, with 74 runs scored, 36 doubles, 12 homers, 67 RBIs, 59 walks and an .830 OPS. He moved up to Bradenton in the pitcher-friendly High-A Florida State League in 2016, where he was back in the outfield. He hit .254 over 104 games that year, with 63 runs, 23 doubles, ten homers, 54 RBIs, 60 walks and a .784 OPS. Luplow had a breakout year in the minors in 2017, which led to a call up to the majors in late July. He hit .287 in 73 games at Double-A Altoona of the Eastern League, putting up 45 runs, 15 doubles, 16 homers, 37 RBIs and a .904 OPS. That was followed by a .325 average, 25 runs, seven doubles, seven homers, 19 RBIs and a .914 OPS in 44 games with Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League. He had two separate stints for the 2017 Pirates, hitting .205/.276/.385 over 28 games, with six runs, three doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs. Luplow began the 2018 season in Indianapolis, where he posted a .287 average, 41 runs, 36 extra-base hits, 49 RBIs and an .829 OPS in 88 games. He joined the Pirates in early July, then played 37 games over the rest of the season. He hit .185/.272/.359 over 103 plate appearances, with 16 runs, one double, three triples, three homers and seven RBIs. The Pirates traded him to the Cleveland Indians after the 2018 season, as part of a five-player deal.
Luplow had a strong 2019 season in a platoon role, batting .276 over 85 games, with 42 runs, 15 doubles, 15 homers, 38 RBIs and a .923 OPS in 261 plate appearances. He struggled in the shortened 2020 season, hitting .192/.304/.359 over 28 games, with eight runs, five doubles, two homers and eight RBIs. He didn’t do any better with the Indians in 2021, though his average hid a solid OPS that was driven by some power and a decent walk rate. He hit just .173 in 36 games, with seven homers and 21 walks, giving him a .769 OPS. He was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays at the July trade deadline, where he hit .246/.319/.477 with four homers in 26 games. He combined to hit .203 over 62 games, with 23 runs, eight doubles, 11 homers, 28 RBIs and a .780 OPS. He also played a total of 19 minor league rehab games due to ankle injuries with both the Indians and Rays. He was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in November of 2021, then put up a .176 average over 83 games in 2022, with 26 runs, five doubles, 11 homers, 28 RBIs and a .635 OPS. He signed a free agent deal with the Atlanta Braves for 2023, but they let him go after just three Triple-A games. He was claimed on waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays, who kept him for four months, before losing him on waivers to the Minnesota Twins. The Twins placed him on waivers in mid-September of 2023. Luplow has put up a .760 OPS over 54 minor league games (mostly with the Blue Jays) in 2023, while hitting .231/.342/.369 over 33 big league games split between Toronto (seven games) and Minnesota. Through mid-September 2023, he has a .214 career average in 356 big league games over six seasons, with 130 runs, 40 doubles, 47 homers, 125 RBIs and 124 walks. Luplow’s great-uncle Al Luplow played for the 1967 Pirates, making them one of 26 groups of relatives to play for the Pirates.
Daniel McCutchen, pitcher for the 2009-12 Pirates. He came to the Pirates from the New York Yankees in a six-player deal that involved Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. McCutchen was drafted four times before he finally signed with the Yankees in 2006. He was taken in the 47th round of the 2003 draft by the Yankees out of Grayson College. He transferred to the University of Oklahoma in 2004, where he went in the 29th round to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The next year the St Louis Cardinals selected him in the 12th round. He finally signed in 2006 as a 13th round pick of the Yankees. McCutchen pitched well during that first year of pro ball, which was split between short-season ball with Staten Island of the New York-Penn League and Charleston of the Low-A South Atlantic League. He posted a combined 1.86 ERA, an 0.79 WHIP and 29 strikeouts in 29 innings. He split the 2007 season between Tampa of the High-A Florida State League and Trenton of the Double-A Eastern League. He had twice as much time at the lower level, but he put up strong results at both stops. He combined to go 14-4, 2.47 in 142 innings, with 103 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP. He made nine starts in Trenton (2.55 ERA in 53 innings) and 11 starts in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the Triple-A International League (3.58 ERA in 70.1 innings) during the 2008 season, before the July trade to the Pirates. He went to Indianapolis of the International League after the deal, where he had a 4.69 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 48 innings over eight starts. His combined totals between three stops that year show an 11-12, 3.57 record, 151 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP over 171.1 innings.
McCutchen spent most of 2009 in Indianapolis, where he went 13-6, 3.47 over 24 starts, with 110 strikeouts and a 1.22 WHIP in 142.2 innings. He made six starts for the 2009 Pirates, where he had a 4.21 ERA in 36.1 innings, with 19 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP. The 2010 season was split between 13 starts in Indianapolis and 28 appearances with the Pirates, split between nine starts and 19 relief outings. McCutchen went 4-8, 3.99 in 78 innings for Indianapolis, with 39 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. He had a 2-5, 6.12 record in 67.2 innings for the 2010 Pirates, with 38 strikeouts and a 1.64 WHIP. His best season in Pittsburgh was the 2011 campaign, when he pitched 73 times in relief. He had a 5-3, 3.72 record in 84.2 innings that year, with 47 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP. Most of the 2012 season was spent pitching in relief in Indianapolis, where he went 7-2, 2.98 in 63.1 innings, with 55 strikeouts and a 1.07 WHIP. He appeared just once with the Pirates that year, facing two batters in the tenth inning of a loss on August 21st. He walked the lead-off batter, then gave up a two-run walk-off homer. The Pirates released McCutchen after the 2012 season. He spent all of 2013 in the minors with the Baltimore Orioles, after pitching poorly during winter ball in the Dominican, where he had a 10.13 ERA in three starts and two relief appearances. He went 4-2, 3.43 over 60.1 innings in 2013, split between Norfolk of the International League and Bowie of the Eastern League.
McCutchen made his final big league appearance for the Texas Rangers in 2014, allowing three runs in 2.1 innings during his only game. He spent the rest of the year in the Triple-A, where he had an 8.13 ERA, 72 strikeouts and a 1.66 WHIP in 86.1 innings. He split that 2014 season between Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League (Rangers) and Charlotte of the International League (Chicago White Sox). He went to Venezuela during the 2014-15 winter, where he got tuned up in nine innings, allowing 12 earned runs on 17 hits and four walks. He pitched in the minors in 2015-16 for the San Diego Padres before retiring. He actually did well during the 2015 season in a starting role, putting up a 3.60 ERA, 86 strikeouts and a 1.18 WHIP over 132.1 innings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League with El Paso. However, he pitched poorly during his final season in pro ball, spending part of the year with San Antonio of the Double-A Texas League. The rest of the year was back in El Paso. Between the two stops, McCutchen had an 11-11, 6.23 record in 154.2 innings, with 87 strikeouts and a 1.67 WHIP. In his time with the Pirates, he went 8-11, 4.77 in 188.2 innings over 15 starts and 93 relief appearances, with a 1.49 WHIP and 104 strikeouts.
Yurendell de Caster, infielder for the 2006 Pirates. He was originally signed out of Curacao in 1996 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at 16 years old. He debuted in the Dominican Summer League in 1997 (no stats available), then came to the U.S. in 1998, where he hit .236/.315/.328 in 56 games in the Gulf Coast League. He had 25 runs, nine extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and ten steals. The 1998 season was spent in the short-season Appalachian League with Princeton, where he hit .257 over 48 games, with 37 runs, 12 doubles, 11 homers, 36 RBIs and an .849 OPS. The 2000 season was spent with Charleston of the Low-A South Atlantic League, where he batted .240 over 69 games, with 34 runs, 21 doubles, seven homers, 28 RBIs and a .712 OPS. The Pirates acquired de Caster in the minor league portion of the 2000 Rule 5 draft from the Devil Rays. He spent most of the 2001 season with Hickory of the South Atlantic League, while also getting 13 games at Lynchburg of the High-A Carolina League. He combined to hit .267 over 110 games, with 57 runs, 19 doubles, 19 homers, 78 RBIs and an .824 OPS. The 2002 season saw de Caster player for Lynchburg for the entire season. He hit .252 in 125 games, with 54 runs, 25 doubles, 15 homers, 62 RBIs and a .738 OPS. He remained in Lynchburg for another season, but he did not do well compared to the 2002 season. He batted .230 in 2003, with 50 runs, 24 doubles, 13 homers, 56 RBIs and a .710 OPS over 97 games. He made it up to Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League in 2004, where he hit .279 over 97 games, with 54 runs, 18 doubles, 15 homers, 42 RBIs and an .807 OPS.
The 2005 season saw de Caster moved up to Indianapolis of the International League, where he became more of a super utility player, seeing time at five different positions. He hit .282 in 120 games, with 60 runs, 31 doubles, 11 homers, 61 RBIs and an .804 OPS. He hit .273 during the 2006 season, with 47 runs, 22 doubles, 11 homers, 51 RBIs and a .748 OPS in 119 games for Indianapolis. De Caster made his big league debut as a pinch-runner on May 21, 2006. He received his first at-bat 15 days later as a pinch-hitter, then pinch-hit again two days later, in what turned out to be his final big league at-bat. He was with the Pirates for five more days before being sent to the minors when Joe Randa came off the disabled list. He went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in three games for the Pirates, which ended up being his only big league time over an 18-year pro career. De Caster played 47 games of winter ball in Venezuela during the 2006-07 off-season, where he hit .232/.295/.399 over 186 plate appearances. He hit .280 in 120 games for Indianapolis during the 2007 season, with 55 runs, 25 doubles, nine homers, 54 RBIs and a .793 OPS. He was let go after the season, then played for another eight seasons in the minors/winter ball/independent ball before retiring. He spent his affiliated time during that stretch with the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees. He played the 2007-08 off-season back in Venezuela, where he put up a .261/.341/.389 slash line over 62 games.
De Caster played for Harrisburg of the Double-A Eastern League and Columbus of the Triple-A International League for the Nationals during the 2008 season, combining to hit .262 in 104 games, with 54 runs, 38 extra-base hits, 63 RBIs and a .789 OPS. His winter time during the 2008-09 off-season amounted to a .212 average and a .610 OPS in 29 games for Magarita of the Venezuelan league. He played 53 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the International League for the Yankees in 2009, posting a .301 average and an .815 OPS. The rest of the year was spent with Fargo-Moorhead of the independent Northern League, where de Caster had a .344 average and a 1.083 OPS in 37 games. He then played summer and winter ball in Mexico from the 2009-10 off-season through part of the 2012 summer season. He put up huge numbers during the 2009-10 off-season, posting a .372 average and a 1.023 OPS in 24 games. He hit .339 for Reynosa during the 2010 season, with 71 runs, 37 doubles, 15 homers, 66 RBIs and a .977 OPS in 101 games. The 2010-11 winter saw him put up a .319 average and a .907 OPS over 62 games for Guasave. He hit .338 during the 2011 season, with 51 runs, 28 doubles, six homers, 47 RBIs and an .881 OPS. De Caster followed with a .629 OPS over 33 games during the 2011-12 winter season. His 2012 season in Mexico consisted of just seven games. He also played for Winnipeg of the independent American Association in 2012, where he had a .327 average and an .876 OPS in 89 games. De Caster played in Mexico and Winnipeg again during the 2013 season. He had a .342/.399/.523 slash line over 71 games for Monclave in Mexico that year. He had a .233 average and a .653 OPS over 23 games for Winnipeg. After playing just 12 games of winter ball in Mexico during the 2013-14 off-season, his only other pro experience was 14 games played Mexico during the 2015 summer. His 1997 stats aren’t available, but his pro totals at all levels over his other 17 seasons shows a .281 average in 1,822 games, with 954 runs, 405 doubles, 225 homers and 999 RBIs. He’s also played extensive time with the national team from the Netherlands during and after his pro career.
Brian Shouse, pitcher for the 1993 Pirates. The Pirates selected him in the 13th round of the 1990 draft out of Bradley University. He made his debut in the short-season New York-Penn League during the 1990 season, posting a 5.22 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP and 39 strikeouts in 39.2 innings with Welland. He did much better during the 1991 season, splitting his time that year between Augusta of the Low-A South Atlantic League and Salem of the High-A Carolina League. He combined to go 4-4, 3.06 over 43 appearances, with 57 strikeouts, 11 saves and a 1.25 WHIP in 64.2 innings. Shouse spent all of 1992 at Carolina of the Double-A Southern League, where he posted a 2.44 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 77.1 innings over 59 appearances. He moved up to Buffalo of the Triple-A American Association for 1993, when he had a 3.83 ERA, a 1.37 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 51.2 innings over 48 games. Despite averaging over a strikeout per inning during the 1992 season, he fell short of striking out one batter every two innings in Buffalo. The Pirates called him up in late July of 1993. He made his last appearance for the team on August 23rd. During that brief time in Pittsburgh, he gave up four runs over four innings in six relief appearances. Shouse spent the 1994 season at Buffalo, going 3-4, 3.63 in 52 innings over 43 games, with 31 strikeouts and a 1.13 WHIP. He was converted to a starter in 1995. It ended up being a brief experiment, and he never pitched as a starter during his ten-year big league career. That 1995 season saw him go 11-10, 4.91 over 28 starts and one relief appearance, with 93 strikeouts and a 1.39 WHIP in 154 innings. He split the season between Carolina and Triple-A, with the Pirates moving their affiliate to Calgary of the Pacific Coast League that season.
Shouse started the 1996 season back in Calgary. He was let go in May, then signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles. He ended up pitching 86 games for Rochester of the Triple-A International League over the 1996-97 seasons without a stint with the Orioles. His combined record during the 1996 season finished at 2-2, 5.74 over 44 games (one start), with 57 strikeouts and a 1.52 WHIP in 62.2 innings. He was much better in 1997, but still didn’t get a big league chance after going 6-2, 2.27 over 54 appearances, with nine saves, an 0.97 WHIP and 81 strikeouts in 71.1 innings. He signed a free agent deal with the Boston Red Sox for 1998, when he made it back to the majors for the first time in five years. He ended up allowing five runs in eight innings over seven big league appearances. Shouse spent part of that season playing in Japan, where he had a 6.49 ERA in 26.1 innings. He pitched well for Pawtucket of the International League that year, posting a 2.90 ERA, 25 strikeouts, an 0.90 WHIP and six saves in 31 innings over 22 games. The entire 1999 season was spent in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization at Tuscon of the Pacific Coast League, where he had a 3-4, 6.25 record in 30 games, with 32 strikeouts and a 1.81 WHIP over 44.2 innings. Shouse then split the 2000 season in Triple-A between the Orioles (Rochester) and New York Mets (Norfolk of the International League). He combined to go 4-5, 3.39 in 61 innings over 47 appearances, with 53 strikeouts and a 1.39 WHIP. The entire 2001 season was spent in the Houston Astros system, where he posted a 2.89 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and 56 strikeouts in 53 innings with New Orleans of the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
Shouse finally made it back to the majors in 2002, though most of the year was spent in Triple-A with the Astros (New Orleans) and Kansas City Royals (Omaha of the Pacific Coast League). He went 1-0, 4.24 during his Triple-A time that year, with a 1.20 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in 23.1 innings over 24 games. He got his third big league shot while with the Royals. Shouse had a 6.14 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP in 14.2 innings over 23 appearances that season for Kansas City. He got another shot with the Texas Rangers in 2003, when he stayed in the majors for nearly the entire season. After six appearances with Oklahoma of the Pacific Coast League, he posted a 3.10 ERA, 40 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP in 61 innings over 62 games with the Rangers. He was even better for Texas during the 2004 season, when he had a 2-0, 2.23 record, 34 strikeouts and a 1.22 WHIP in 44.1 innings over 53 games. He still made nine appearances that year with Oklahoma, where he had a 6.14 ERA and a 2.18 WHIP over 7.1 innings. Shouse had a 3-2, 5.23 record over 64 appearances for the 2005 Rangers, with 35 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP in 53.1 innings pitched. It was his first full season in the majors. He was traded early in the 2006 season to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Shouse went 1-3, 3.99 in 65 appearances in 2006, with the Brewers throwing him into a lefty specialist role, which limited him to 38.1 innings. He finished the year with 23 strikeouts and a 1.51 WHIP. He had a 3.02 ERA in 73 games during the 2007 season, with 32 strikeouts and a 1.36 WHIP over 47.2 innings. It was more of the same in 2008, when he finished the year with a 5-1, 2.81 record, 33 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP in 51.1 innings over 69 games. He signed with the Tampa Bay Rays as a free agent for the 2009 season, when he had a 4.50 ERA, 17 strikeouts and a 1.36 WHIP in 28 innings over 45 games. Shouse signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in 2010, but he got released before pitching a game. He then re-signed with the Rays, though he spent the rest of the year in the minors, which ended up being his final season in pro ball. He actually saw time as a starter during that final season, which is a bit misleading, as they were rehab appearances in the lower levels. He combined over three levels to go 0-3, 4.15 in 30.1 innings. He ended up pitching 467 games in the majors over ten seasons, and he threw 565 games in the minors over 18 years. Shouse went 13-10, 3.72 in 350.2 innings in the majors, picking up six saves. He had 233 strikeouts and a 1.33 WHIP.
Steve Buechele, third baseman for the 1991-92 Pirates. He was a first round pick in 1979 out of high school, taken ninth overall by the Chicago White Sox. He decided to attend Stanford, where he slipped to the Texas Rangers in the fifth round three years later. Buechele performed well at Double-A right after signing, hitting .296 in 62 games, with 21 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 33 RBIs and an .808 OPS for Tulsa of the Texas League. He spent most of the 1983 season back in Tulsa, with another nine games thrown in for Oklahoma City of the Triple-A American Association. He hit .276 in 126 games between both stops, with 66 runs, 17 doubles, 15 homers, 66 RBIs, 58 walks and a .782 OPS. He spent the entire 1984 season in Oklahoma City, where he hit .264 over 131 games, with 48 runs, 35 extra-base hits, 59 RBIs, 36 walks, and a .701 OPS. He was back in Oklahoma City to start 1985. He hit .297/.363/.471 in 89 games, with 56 runs, 36 extra-base hits and 64 RBIs, before joining the Rangers in mid-July for the rest of the season. Buechele hit .219/.271/.356 during his rookie season, with 22 runs, six doubles, six homers and 21 RBIs in 69 games. He batted .243 during his first full season in the majors, with 54 runs, 19 doubles, 18 homers, 54 RBIs and .712 OPS over 153 games. That was followed in 1987 by a .237 average, 45 runs, 20 doubles, 13 homers, 50 RBIs and a .690 OPS in 136 games.
Buechele batted .250 over 155 games in 1988, with 68 runs scored, 21 doubles, 16 homers, 58 RBIs and a career best 65 walks, giving him a .746 OPS that was his best mark up to that point. He put up almost identical power numbers and playing time in 1989, albeit with a much lower OBP. He had a .235 average in 155 games, with 60 runs, 22 doubles, 16 homers, 59 RBIs and a .680 OPS. His low average and total of 36 walks left him with a .294 OBP, while he also finished with a career high 107 strikeouts. He hit .215/.294/.339 for the 1990 Rangers, with 30 runs, ten doubles, seven homers and 30 RBIs in 91 games. The Pirates acquired him on August 30, 1991 from the Rangers for two minor league pitchers. He was batting .267 at the time of the deal, with 58 runs, 17 doubles, 18 homers, 66 RBIs and a .783 OPS in 121 games. He hit .246/.315/.412 over the last 31 games of the season for the Pirates, with 16 runs, five doubles, four homers and 19 RBIs. His combined total of 22 homers and 85 RBIs that season both set career highs. Buechele hit .304 in the playoffs, with two runs, two doubles and four walks in seven games.
Buechele was traded to the Chicago Cubs in early July of 1991 for Danny Jackson. He was batting .249 at the time of the deal, with 27 runs, 14 doubles, eight homers, 43 RBIs and a .721 OPS in 80 games for the Pirates. He ended up playing four seasons with the Cubs. Buechele batted .276 in 65 games after the trade, though he managed to hit just one homer, which led to a .690 OPS. He combined to hit .262 over 145 games that year, with 52 runs, 23 doubles, nine homers, 64 RBIs and a .707 OPS. He hit .272 over 133 games in 1992, with 53 runs, 15 homers and 65 RBIs, while setting career highs with 27 doubles and a .782 OPS. He was having a typical season in 1994, before the strike halted play in mid-August. He finished that year with a .242 average and a .729 OPS in 104 games, while collecting 33 runs, 11 doubles, 14 homers and 52 RBIs. He split his final season (1995) between the Cubs and Rangers, hitting .177/.262/.215 in 41 games, with ten runs, two doubles, one homer and nine RBIs. The Cubs released him on July 6th. He then spent 19 days with the Rangers before they released him on July 31st. Buechele played 1,334 games over his 11-year big league career, finishing with a .245 average, 501 runs scored, 183 doubles, 137 homers and 547 RBIs. He was an above average defensive player for most of his career, finishing with 5.4 dWAR. He led all American League third basemen in fielding twice, including a .991 mark in 1991 that ranks as the American League’s all-time best mark in a season at third base for any player with at least 800 innings played.
Bobby Shantz, pitcher for the 1961 Pirates. He won 119 games over 16 years in the majors, while spending half of his career as a reliever. He played just one season of minor league ball at 22 years old for Lincoln of the Class-A Western League during the 1948 season. He went 18-7, 2.82 in 214 innings that year, with 212 strikeouts and a 1.09 WHIP. He debuted in the majors with the 1949 Philadelphia Athletics, going 6-8, 3.40 in 127 innings, with seven starts and 26 relief appearances. He had 58 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP. He went 8-14, 4.61 in 214.2 innings during the 1950 season, with 23 starts, 13 relief outings, six complete games and one shutout. He had 93 strikeouts and a 1.53 WHIP. The 1951 season saw Shantz post an 18-10, 3.94 record, 77 strikeouts and a 1.38 WHIP in 205.1 innings, while making 25 starts and eight relief appearances. He completed 13 starts and tossed three shutouts. He made his first All-Star game that year, while also receiving mild MVP support, finishing 21st in the voting. As a full-time starter in 1952, he led the American League with 24 wins (just seven losses) and WHIP (1.05), which led to him winning the MVP award and gaining his second All-Star appearance. He had a 2.48 ERA in 279.2 innings, with 27 complete games and five shutouts. He had 152 strikeouts that season (third most in the league), which was the only time he cracked the century mark in a season for strikeouts. Shantz couldn’t back up that big season with success. He was injured late in the year when he was hit on his pitching wrist while batting, which was just the start of injuries for him. He went 5-9, 4.09 over 16 starts during the 1953 season, with 58 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP in 105.2 innings. He missed time that year due to a sore shoulder. He pitched just eight innings in 1954. He was dealing with shoulder soreness the rest of the season, which ultimately led to him averaging fewer innings per year from that point on. He was actually quoted in numerous papers in May of 1954 saying that his career could be over, but he ended up stringing together a decent finish to his MLB time.
Shantz went 5-10, 4.54 in 125 innings for the 1955 A’s (who moved to Kansas City that season), spreading out his work over 17 starts and six relief appearances. He had 58 strikeouts and a 1.52 WHIP. He pitched 101.1 innings over 45 appearances (two starts) in 1956, finishing the year with a 2-7, 4.35 record, 67 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP. Things were about to turn around for Shantz. It all started with a 13-player traded that sent him to the New York Yankees. He led the American League in ERA during the 1957 season, finishing with a 2.45 mark in 173 innings. That was easily his highest innings total during his final 12 seasons in the majors. He went 11-5 in 21 starts and nine relief outings that season, throwing nine complete games, with one shutout, five saves, 72 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP. He made his third (and final) All-Star appearance that season, while also receiving mild MVP support, finishing 26th in the voting. He also won his first Gold Glove that season. He went 7-6, 3.36 over 13 starts and 20 relief appearances during the 1958 season. Shantz had 80 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP over 126 innings, while picking up his second Gold Glove in the process. He started just four of his 33 games during the 1959 season, finishing that year with a 7-3, 2.38 record in 94.2 innings, with a 1.02 WHIP and 66 strikeouts. Despite starting just four games, he tossed two shutouts that season. He also picked up three saves, which was not an official stat until 1969. He won his third Gold Glove that season, then picked up the fourth the next year during a special season for his future Pirates team. He went 5-4, 2.79 in 42 appearances during the 1960 season, finishing with 11 saves, a 1.20 WHIP and 54 strikeouts in 67.2 innings. Shantz pitched against the Pirates three times during the 1960 World Series, giving up three runs in 6.1 innings.
The Pirates acquired Shantz during the 1960-61 off-season from the Washington Senators, who had just picked him up in the Expansion Draft two days earlier. The Pirates worked out a deal with the Senators in which they shared scouting reports in exchange for Washington picking up Shantz. The Pirates then sent three players to Washington in a trade to acquire him. He went 6-3, 3.32 in six starts and 37 relief appearances during his only year with the Pirates. He had 61 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP in 89.1 innings. He won his fifth straight Gold Glove award that year. He would also take the award during the 1962-64 seasons. He was lost to the Houston Colt .45’s in the Expansion Draft immediately after the 1961 season ended. His official time with the Pirates was ten months. Shantz was traded to the St Louis Cardinals after making three starts with Houston in 1962. Those starts ended up being the final ones of his career. He combined to go 6-4, 1.95 in 78.1 innings over 31 appearances during the 1962 season, with 61 strikeouts and a 1.09 WHIP. He had a 6-4, 2.61 record over 55 appearances during the 1963 season, with 70 strikeouts and an 0.91 WHIP in 79.1 innings. He pitched for three different teams during the 1964 season, which was his last in the majors. He made 16 appearances with the Cardinals, 20 with the Chicago Cubs, and 14 with the Philadelphia Phillies. Shantz went 2-5, 3.12 in 60.2 innings between all three stops that year, with 42 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP. In his 16-year career, he finished up 119-99, 3.38 in 1,166.2 innings over 171 starts and 366 relief appearances. He had a 1.26 WHIP, 1,072 strikeouts, 78 complete games, 15 shutouts and 48 saves. His brother Billy Shantz was a catcher for three seasons in the majors, all spent as a teammate with Bobby Shantz (1954-55 and 1960). Bobby was tiny for a pitcher, even back then, standing 5’6″, 139 pounds for most of his career. He turns 98 years old today, making his the fourth oldest living baseball player.
Joe Sullivan, lefty pitcher for the 1941 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 19 years old in 1930, playing for Tuscon the Class-D Arizona State League (no available stats). He was with Tuscon in 1931 as well, though they played in the Class-D Arizona-Texas League that year. He had a 23-8 record while throwing 279 innings over 39 appearances. He played briefly that year three levels higher for Beaumont of the Class-A Texas League (three innings over two appearances), then stayed there for the next two seasons. He had a 3-4, 3.60 record and a 1.51 WHIP over 105 innings in 1932. That was followed by a 13-15, 3.40 record and a 1.37 WHIP in 238 innings during the 1933 season, when he walked 131 batters. Sullivan played for Hollywood of the Double-A Pacific Coast League (highest level of the minors at the time) in 1934, where he went 25-11, 2.88 over 288 innings, with 132 walks and a 1.37 WHIP. That performance led to his first shot at the majors. He was with the 1935 Detroit Tigers, where he had a 6-6, 3.51 record in 125.2 innings over 12 starts and 13 relief appearances, finishing with 53 strikeouts, a 1.51 WHIP and five complete games. He struggled with the 1936 Tigers, posting a 2-5, 6.78 record, 32 strikeouts and a 1.90 WHIP in 79.2 innings, while making four starts and 22 relief outings. He had more walks than strikeouts in both seasons for Detroit.
Sullivan spent 1937 with Toledo of the Double-A American Association, then he was with Toronto of the Double-A International League for the 1938 season. He went 14-14, 4.66 over 228 innings in 1937, making 29 starts and eight relief appearances. He had 126 strikeouts, a 1.50 WHIP and 14 complete games. He improved to 18-10, 3.76 over 220 innings in 1938, when he completed 16 of his 29 starts. He had 94 strikeouts, a 1.52 WHIP and four shutouts that year. He returned to the majors in 1939 with the Boston Bees (the name changed back to Braves in 1941), where he had a 6-9, 3.64 record, 46 strikeouts and a 1.44 WHIP in 113.2 innings over 11 starts and 20 relief appearances. He followed that up with a 10-14, 3.55 record, 64 strikeouts and a 1.39 WHIP over 177.1 innings in 1940, when he made 22 starts and 14 relief outings. The Bees finished a total of 47 games under .500 during those two seasons. That poor team record is reflected in his own record, as his ERA was below league average each season. Sullivan started off 1941 with a 2-2, 4.13 record, 11 strikeouts and a 1.64 WHIP in 52.1 innings with the Braves, while starting just two of his 16 appearances. He was purchased by the Pirates mid-season from the Braves in 1941. He went 4-1, 2.97 in 39.1 innings over four starts and 12 relief appearances for the Pirates, with ten strikeouts and a 1.58 WHIP.
Sullivan was sent to minors after the 1941 season, where he played another seven years without returning to the big leagues. He was actually with the Pirates on Opening Day in 1942 (April 14th), but his contract was sold outright to Toronto four days later, ending his time with the Pirates. Sullivan went 30-37, 4.01 in 588 big league innings over 55 starts and 95 relief appearances, finishing with a 1.53 WHIP, a 298:216 BB/SO ratio, 20 complete games and five saves. His pro career spanned 19 seasons from 1930 to 1949. He went 6-14, 3.07 over 129 innings in 1942, with 46 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP. Sullivan remained with Toronto in 1943, going 6-7, 3.66 over 91 innings, with 27 strikeouts and a 1.19 WHIP. He played for both Portland and Oakland of the Pacific Coast League during the 1944 season, combining for a 3-14 record and 41 strikeouts over 134 innings pitched. He missed the 1945 season while working as a fireman in a Naval shipyard. According to his SABR bio, he only pitched home games with Bremerton of the Class-B Western International League during the 1946-49 seasons, while retaining his job as a fireman. Despite that fact, he still managed to pick up 13 wins during both the 1947 and 1948 seasons. He had a 7-6, 3.71 record over 85 innings in 1946. That was followed by a 13-5, 2.68 record in 1947, with 97 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP over 178 innings. He went 13-5, 2.86 in 1948, with 84 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP over 145 innings. He wrapped up his career by going 6-8, 3.38 during the 1949 season, with 44 strikeouts and a 1.51 WHIP in 120 innings. His minor league records, which are not complete, show that he had at least 147 wins and 2,109 innings pitched in 13 seasons. During his only season in Pittsburgh, the Pirates got money from the league for their fourth place finish, which was standard for the time. Of the 38 players for the 1941 Pirates, 23 received full shares of $361.08 as part of the bonus pool. Sullivan was one of two players who received half shares, while 13 others didn’t receive anything.
Bob Coleman, catcher for the 1913-14 Pirates. He spent the first four years of his pro career playing for Davenport, Iowa in the Class-B Three-I League. He also spent part of his first season in 1910 at 19 years old with Springfield of the same league. Full stats aren’t available during that time, but his records show that he hit .149 over 37 games between both stops in 1910. He then had a .221 average over 116 games for Davenport in 1911. That was followed by a .286 average over 139 games in 1912. Before joining the 1913 Pirates, he had a .250 average, seven doubles and a triple in 45 games for Davenport. The Pirates purchased his contract in June of 1913, then he batted .180/.281/.220 in 60 plate appearances over 24 games during his rookie season. He had five runs, two doubles and nine RBIs. Coleman joined the Pirates on an emergency basis, as they had injuries to all three of their catchers (George Gibson, Bill Kelly and Mike Simon), so owner Barney Dreyfuss wired all around baseball to get a catcher as soon as possible. Coleman was the first available one he could find who could jump right into big league action. He played his first game almost immediately (within hours) of arriving to the team from Davenport. After the catching ranks were healthy again in Pittsburgh, his contract was sold to Columbus of the Double-A American Association (highest level of the minors at the time) on September 12, 1913. However, the Pirates purchased him back from Columbus on February 2, 1914.
Coleman spent all of the 1914 season with the Pirates, hitting .267 in 73 games, with 11 runs, six extra-base hits, 14 RBIs and a .660 OPS. That OPS was actually nine points above league average during the peak of the deadball era. He didn’t start his first game that year until the 59th game of the season, but he ended up making 47 starts over the final 100 games of the season. He was sold to Columbus again on February 27, 1915, this time going there along with pitcher Dixie McArthur. Coleman hit .245 during his time in Pittsburgh, with 16 runs, six doubles, one homer and 23 RBIs in 97 games. He hit .264 over 131 games for Columbus in 1915, with 36 runs, 14 doubles, a triple, nine steals, 48 walks and a .636 OPS. He batted .232 during the 1916 season, with 15 extra-base hits in 74 games for Columbus. His only other big league time outside of Pittsburgh was a brief stint with the 1916 Cleveland Indians, after they acquired him in August of 1916, as part of a trade with Columbus. He batted .214/.371/.286 in 19 games with the Indians, finishing with three runs, two doubles and four RBIs.
Coleman played minor league ball until 1927, while catching over 1,300 minor league games in his 17-year pro career. He returned to Columbus in 1917, where he had a .242 average and 15 extra-base hits over 114 games. He played nine games for Minneapolis of the Double-A American Association in 1918, then spent the rest of the year a level lower with Mobile of the Class-A Southern Association. He batted .240 in both spots, while playing a total of 66 games. He hit .216 during the 1919 season, with 15 extra-base hits in 139 games for Mobile. He remained with the same team in 1920, when he batted .247 in 109 games, while collecting 15 extra-base hits for the fourth time in five seasons (his 1918 extra-base hit totals are unavailable). Coleman surpassed that magic extra-base hit total in 1921 with Terre Haute of the Class-B Three-I League. He hit .280 in 129 games that year, with 21 doubles, four triples and two homers. He had 129 games played for Terre Haute in 1922, when he finished with a .320 average, 21 doubles, four triples and three homers. The next three seasons were spent with San Antonio of the Class-A Texas League, where he hit .281 over 28 games in 1923, with four extra-base hits (all doubles). He then put up a .312 average and 12 extra-base hits over 87 games in 1924. His final season there saw him bat .227 over 31 games, with three doubles and two homers. His last pro experience was 37 games for Knoxville of the Class-B South Atlantic League in 1927. Coleman hit .259 that year, with two extra-base hits (both doubles).
Coleman managed a total of 38 seasons in pro ball, starting in 1919. His first eight years were as a player-manager. He spent three of those 38 years in the majors, at the helm of the Boston Braves, compiling a 128-165 record over one full season and two partial years. He was there during the war years, taking over in 1943 for Casey Stengel after he was in a car accident right before the season opener. Stengel returned after 46 games, but Coleman got the job back for the 1944 season. His lone home run in the majors was a bounce home run, which by today’s standards would be a ground rule double. He hit it on September 18, 1914 at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia over the center field wall 408 feet away. That rule changed in 1930 in the National League.
On this date in 1906, Pirates pitcher Lefty Leifield threw the first no-hitter in franchise history. During the second game of a doubleheader, Leifield no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies. The game was limited to six innings due to darkness. He hit one batter and walked two others. In game one, Hall of Fame pitcher Vic Willis threw a 5-0 shutout. Here’s the boxscore for Leifield’s game. At one time Leifield’s game was considered to be an official no-hitter, but a rule change around 20 years ago eliminated any shortened games from being official. Regardless of the change, he threw a complete game with no hits, it’s a no-hitter.