Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, including the man who helped name the Pirates.
Louis Bierbauer, second baseman for the Pirates from 1891 until 1896. The abbreviated version of old story goes that after the Player’s League folded in 1890, Pittsburgh “pirated” players from other teams that didn’t put those players on the reserve list. The Player’s League was only around for one season, and most players returned to their 1889 teams because they were reserved. Pittsburgh signed Bierbauer (and others), then a few of the other opposing teams referred to them as the Pirates. An odd twist on the story is that they never went by that team name in 1891, or even within the next few years. The local papers still often referred to them as the Alleghenys, which was the accepted name before then. Others called them “Allies”, the “Hanlons” for manager Ned Hanlon, or just the “Pittsburghs”. Back then the town didn’t have an H at the end, though most papers still used it. The “Pirates” name, when seen in print in the early years, was almost always from a game recap sent from the road by a writer from a different city, and many of those references didn’t have the Pirates name capitalized.
When manager Bill McGunnigle took over the team in late July of 1891, he ran practice with a whistle. The local newspapers took to calling the team the “Pets”, which stuck through the end of the season. During the middle of the 1893 season, the team started going by the name “Braves”, which stuck into early 1895. The nickname Pirates wasn’t used by the team itself until the 1895 season. Even then it wasn’t fully embraced, as manager Bill Watkins changed the team name (and team colors) for the 1898 season to the Patriots because he didn’t like the Pirates name. The actual name of the team didn’t include the word Pirates for the longest time. The official name starting in 1891 was the Pittsburgh Athletic Company, and technically, the 1891 team was actually a brand new club, different from the 1882-90 version. When the National League met in January of 1891, the 1882-90 Alleghenys team was dropped by the league and a consolidated team between the owners of that team and the Pittsburgh Player’s League team joined the league in place of that team (I’ll cover that more one day).
Having said all that, it’s easier to just say they started using the name Pirates in 1891 because that’s the earliest reference to it. The owner J. Palmer O’Neil referred to himself a few times as the “Pirate King” after a character in the play at the time, helping the name stay alive long enough that the club eventually embraced it.
Back to Bierbauer the player, who was a star second baseman at the time that he was signed by Pittsburgh. He debuted in pro ball in 1885, playing for three different minor league teams at 19 years old. His stats are incomplete that season, but he’s credited with playing 26 games between Erie of the Interstate League and Guelph and Hamilton Primrose of the Canadian League. Whatever he did during that short time got him notice, even though available stats credited him with a .195 average, 13 runs and three extra-base hits during that time. He was the everyday second baseman of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association by 1886. He hit .226 as a rookie that season, with 56 runs, 24 extra-base hits, 47 RBIs, 19 stolen bases and a .545 OPS in 137 games. He improved to a .272 average in 1887, with 74 runs scored, 27 extra-base hits, 82 RBIs, a .629 OPS and a career high 40 steals over 126 games. The 1888 season saw him bat .267 over 134 games, with 83 runs, 20 doubles, nine triples, 80 RBIs, 34 steals and a .640 OPS. During his final season for the Athletics (1889), Bierbauer hit .304 in 130 games, with 80 runs, 27 doubles, seven triples, seven homers, 105 RBIs, 17 steals and a .761 OPS. He showed an improvement in that latter category each season during his time in Philadelphia.
When the Player’s League formed for 1890, Bierbauer jumped to the Brooklyn Ward’s Wonders. That club was named after player/manager John Ward, which shows you that the previously mentioned “Hanlons” name for the Pirates in 1891 wasn’t that odd for the time. Bierbauer excelled in the new league, hitting a career best .306 in 133 games, with 11 triples, seven homers and 99 RBIs. He set career highs that year with 128 runs scored, 31 doubles, 40 walks and a .781 OPS. He also led all second baseman in double plays and assists. Bierbauer had an awful first year back in the National League in 1891 (-0.4 WAR), then rebounded to have a decent career with the Pirates, though it fell short of expectations when they signed him. He hit just .206 during that first season in Pittsburgh, a drop of exactly 100 points from the previous year. He had 60 runs, 20 extra-base hits and 47 RBIs over 121 games. His .514 OPS was easily the lowest full-season OPS during his career, though his defense was above average that season. It should be noted that there were 24 Major League teams in 1890 and 16 in 1891, so the competition level was much higher during the latter year. Bierbauer hit .236 over 152 games in 1892, with 81 runs, 37 extra-base hits, 65 RBIs and a .595 OPS. While that OPS was a major improvement for him, it was still 49 points below league average. He finished second in the league in fielding percentage for second basemen. The American Association ceased operations after the 1891 season, so the competition level improved once again in 1892. Only four teams were lost during that time, as the National League expanded from eight teams to 12 teams.
Bierbauer batted .284 during the 1893 season, with 84 runs, 34 extra-base hits, 94 RBIs and a .719 OPS in 128 games. That season is valued at 2.8 WAR, which is the second best mark of his career. Offense was up around baseball that year due to the new rules for pitchers and increased distance from the pitching rubber to home plate. The major increase in hitting happened in 1894, which was one of the best years for offense in baseball history. Bierbauer hit .303 in 1894, with 87 runs, 36 extra-base hits and a career best 109 RBIs over 131 games. That looks like a big season at the plate without context, but his .744 OPS was actually sixth best on the Pirates (technically the “Braves”), who were not one of the top three hitting teams in the league. That OPS was his high mark with the Pirates. Offense started to drop around baseball in 1895, and Bierbauer declined with it. He batted .260 over 118 games that year, with 54 runs, 25 extra-base hits, 71 RBIs and a .632 OPS. He was doing well early in 1896 until a leg injury on July 3rd ended his season. On a slide into second base on a stolen base attempt, “his foot became mixed up with the bag”. He suffered what was first thought to be a sprain, but ended up being worse. He had to have two teammates carry him off of the field. He never played for the Pirates again. He finished that season with a .287/.300/.372 slash line in 59 games, with 33 runs, 16 extra-base hits and 39 RBIs. He was sold to the St Louis Browns for $1,500 on February 27, 1897. Bierbauer didn’t want to play for St Louis, so his stay there lasted just 16 games total over the 1897-98 seasons. He left the team in the middle of the night on May 9, 1897 after playing just 12 games that year, then played the rest of the season for an outlaw team. He returned in 1898 for four games before St Louis released him, ending his big league career. He went to the minors for the rest of 1898 and played pro ball until 1902 before retiring. He batted .182/.192/.182 during his time with St Louis, picking up one run and one RBI in 59 plate appearances.
Bierbauer’s minor league time has a lot of missing stats, though most of his whereabouts are accounted for online. He played for Erie of the Iron and Oil League during the 1898 season, which was his hometown team. The 1899 season was spent with Columbus/Grand Rapids of the Western League, which was a team that transferred mid-season (no stats are available from those two seasons). The American League was designated as a Major League during the 1901 season, though it existed prior to that season. It was considered to be a Class-A league in 1900, which is the highest level of the minors. Bierbauer split the season almost evenly between three teams in the American League, playing 40, 42 and 44 games for Buffalo, Cleveland and Milwaukee. He’s credited with hitting .229 in those 126 games, with 41 runs, 21 doubles and one triple. He played for Buffalo and Hartford of the Class-A Eastern League in 1901, where he combined to hit .241 in 109 games, with ten extra-base hits (all doubles). He finished up his pro career in 1902 with a .116 average over 18 games with Newark of the Eastern League. He also spent time that year with Troy of the Class-B New York State League, though no stats are available..
Bierbauer was an above average defender for most of his career, who led the league three times in assists while with the Pirates, and five times total in his career. He had one main issue on defense, and that was completing close plays, especially with runners attempting to steal. He shied away from contact after a severe spiking injury. His range and sure hands still made him an above average second baseman. He was a career .267 hitter in 1,385 games, with 821 runs scored, 209 doubles, 95 triples, 34 homers, 839 RBIs and 206 stolen bases. He hit .260 in 709 games for the Pirates, with 399 runs scored, 95 doubles, 56 triples, 17 homers, 425 RBIs and 78 steals.
Grant Jackson, pitcher for the 1977-82 Pirates. He is the winner of the last World Series game in franchise history. Jackson was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961 as an amateur free agent. It took him four years to make the majors, debuting in September of 1965. He debuted in pro ball during the 1962 season at 19 years old, going 4-5, 5.79 in 96 innings for Bakersfield of the Class-C California League. He had some big control issues his first year, with a 71:86 BB/SO ratio, which led to a 1.66 WHIP. He repeated Bakersfield in 1963, improving to 12-8, 3.89 in 176 innings, with 87 walks, 159 strikeouts and a 1.43 WHIP. That was a nice decline in his walk rate over one year, though the control issues returned somewhat in 1964, while being accompanied by a big strikeout rate. He spent most of that 1964 season at Eugene of the Class-A Northwest League, while also getting a promotion to Chattanooga of the Double-A Southern League. Jackson went 8-12, 4.26 in 148 innings between both stops, with 93 walks, 179 strikeouts and a 1.61 WHIP. He went 9-11, 3.95 over 155 innings for Arkansas of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 1965, before making his big league debut. He had a 60:158 BB/SO ratio and a 1.36 WHIP that season. He went 1-1, 7.24 in 13.2 innings over two starts and four relief appearances for the 1965 Phillies. He pitched just twice in relief for the 1966 Phillies, while spending the rest of the year with San Diego of the Pacific Coast League. He went 10-8, 3.96 during that minor league time, with 132 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP in 134 innings. His big league time that year consisted on one run allowed over 1.2 innings.
Jackson’s first full season in the majors was 1967, when he posted a 2-3, 3.84 record, a 1.53 WHIP and 83 strikeouts in 84.1 innings over four starts and 39 relief appearances. He was even better the next season despite finishing the year with a 1-6 record. He had a 2.95 ERA in six starts and 27 relief appearances, with a 1.30 WHIP and 49 strikeouts over 61 innings. Jackson spent his only full big league season as a starter for the 1969 Phillies, when he had a 14-18, 3.34 record and a 1.30 WHIP in 253 innings. That performance led to his lone career All-Star appearance. He had 180 strikeouts, 13 complete games and he threw four shutouts. He had just one other shutout in his big league career. His ERA rose to 5.29 over 149.2 innings in 1970, when he split his time between 23 starts and nine relief appearances. He had a 5-15 record that year, while playing for a team that was 15 games under the .500 mark. He finished with 104 strikeouts and a 1.54 WHIP. He was one of three players traded after the 1970 season to the Baltimore Orioles for outfielder Roger Freed, who ended up putting up -0.1 WAR for his new team. Jackson spent the next 5 1/2 seasons in Baltimore as a strong reliever, who occasionally closed out games, so the Orioles got the much better end of the deal just from him alone.
Jackson went 4-3, 3.13 in 77.2 innings over nine starts and 20 relief appearances in his first season with Baltimore. He had a 1.18 WHIP and 51 strikeouts. He had one scoreless appearance against the Pirates during the 1971 World Series. He had a 2.63 ERA in 41 innings over 32 relief outings during the 1972 season, with eight saves, 34 strikeouts and a 1.02 WHIP. Jackson was strong in 1973, going 8-0, 1.90 over 45 games, with nine saves, 47 strikeouts and an 0.97 WHIP in 80.1 innings. He pitched 66.2 innings over 49 appearances in 1974, when he finished with a 6-4, 2.57 record, 12 saves, 56 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP. He went 4-3, 3.35 over 41 games during his final full season for the Orioles, finishing with seven saves, 39 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP in 48.1 innings. Major League Baseball had a June 15th trade deadline during the 1976 season. The Orioles and New York Yankees combined for ten-player trade that day, with Jackson heading to New York. He had a 5.12 ERA prior to the deal, then went 6-0, 1.69 in 58.2 innings after the trade. He combined that season for a 7-1, 2.54 record, 39 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP in 78 innings. The Yankees went to the World Series that year, though he had a rough postseason with five runs allowed in seven innings. The Seattle Mariners selected him in the Expansion Draft after the 1976 season, then traded him to the Pirates a month later. Jackson had a 5-3, 3.86 record, 41 strikeouts, a 1.32 WHIP and four saves in 91 innings over 49 appearances during his first season in Pittsburgh. He improved to a 7-5, 3.26 record over 60 appearances during the 1978 season, when he had five saves, a high 1.56 WHIP and 45 strikeouts in 77.1 innings.
Jackson dropped down to a 2.96 ERA over 72 outings during the 1979 season, finishing the year with 39 strikeouts and a 1.24 WHIP in 82 innings. He picked up 14 saves and eight wins that season, helping the Pirates to the postseason. After five shutout performances in the playoffs, Jackson came in on relief during game seven of the 1979 World Series. He threw 2.2 scoreless innings to pick up the win. He also won game one of the NLCS over the Cincinnati Reds. The 1980 season was another solid performance, as he finished the year with a 2.92 ERA, 31 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP in 71 innings over 61 games. He picked up eight wins and nine saves that year. He was sold to the Montreal Expos during the middle of the strike-shortened 1981 season. He had a 2.51 ERA in 32.1 innings before the deal, then posted a 7.59 ERA in ten outings with the Expos. He combined for a 2-2, 3.77 record, a 1.47 WHIP and 21 strikeouts over 43 innings. Montreal traded him to the Kansas City Royals in January of 1982. Jackson pitched for the Royals during the first half of the 1982 season, before being released with a 5.17 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP in 38.1 innings over 20 games. He re-signed with the Pirates, then pitched his final big league game on September 8th, in what ended up being his only appearance with Pittsburgh that season. Jackson had a 29-19, 3.23 record over 354.1 innings for the Pirates, with 36 saves in 278 games. He finished his 18-year career with an 86-75, 3.46 record in 1,358.2 innings over 692 appearances. He had 889 strikeouts, a 1.31 WHIP, 83 starts, 16 complete games, five shutouts and 79 saves. He finished with a 3-0, 2.55 record in 17.2 innings over 13 postseason games. He finished with 14.0 career WAR.
Leon Chagnon, pitcher for the 1929-30 and 32-34 Pirates. He didn’t debut in pro ball until he was 25 years old in 1928, spending that first season with Lynn of the Class-B New England League. He had an 8-12, 2.95 record and a 1.28 WHIP in 177 innings during his pro debut. The Pirates purchased his contract on August 30, 1928. It was announced at the time that he was 21 years old, despite actually being four years older. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates in 1929, where he was one of the final cuts on April 7th. He was with Columbia of the Class-B South Atlantic League in 1929, where he had a 20-13, 3.38 record and a 1.33 WHIP in 274 innings. He debuted in the majors during that 1929 season, making one start that occurred just after his 27th birthday. He rejoined the Pirates on September 4th, but didn’t make that start until October 5th. He allowed seven runs that day on 11 hits in seven innings. Chagnon was with the Pirates for most of 1930, struggling with the high offense in the league that year like almost every other pitcher. He had an 0-3, 6.82 record, 27 strikeouts and a 1.85 WHIP in 62 innings, which were spread over four starts and 14 relief appearances. The Pirates acquired pitcher Spades Wood from Wichita of the Class-A Western League in exchange for Chagnon on August 11, 1930. Wichita sold him to Fort Worth of the Class-A Texas League on December 4, 1930. He spent all of 1931 with Fort Worth, where he had a 20-10, 2.53 record and a 1.21 WHIP in 267 innings. The Pirates repurchased him on September 12, 1931 from Fort Worth.
Chagnon was released on option to Mission of the Double-A Pacific Coast League (highest level of the minors at the time) on February 3, 1932, although that didn’t last long. The Pirates recalled him on April 27th, after he went 1-4 in 41 innings over six appearances for Mission. The odd thing about his age in the papers at that point is that he was listed as being 26 years old. His age somehow gained one year, but it was still off by three years. He went 9-6, 3.94 in 128 innings for the 1932 Pirates, while making ten starts and 20 relief appearances. He had a 1.36 WHIP, four complete games and his only career shutout. His 52 strikeouts that season set a career high. Chagnon spent his first full season in the majors in 1933, posting a 6-4, 3.69 record, 35 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP over 100 innings. He made five starts and 34 relief appearances that year. He was limited to 58 relief innings over 33 appearances in 1934. He finished the year with a 4-1, 4.81 record, 19 strikeouts and a 1.59 WHIP. The Pirates traded him to the New York Giants for 21-year-old pitcher Jack Salverson after the 1934 season. Chagnon lasted 14 games (one start) for New York in 1935, posting a 3.52 ERA, an 0.97 WHIP and 16 strikeouts over 38.1 innings, before being sent to Montreal of the Double-A International League. He played in the minors until his retirement after the 1937 season. He had a 4-2 record over eight games with Montreal in 1935. He remained in Montreal for the 1936 season, going 10-10, 4.83 in 177 innings, with 67 strikeouts and a 1.55 WHIP. Chagnon pitched for three teams in 1937, including a 1-5, 7.12 record over 43 innings for Baltimore of the International League. He also had a 4-5, 4.35 record in 60 innings for Wilkes-Barre of the New York-Penn League. He saw brief time with Nashville of the Class-A Southern Association that year (no stats available). He pitched 101 times in relief and 20 times as a starter during his five season for Pittsburgh, posting a 19-14, 4.61 record in 355 innings, with 137 strikeouts and a 1.44 WHIP.
Everett Booe, outfielder for the 1913 Pirates. He played two years for Petersburg of the Class-C Virginia League before the Pirates purchased his contract on August 20, 1911, under the recommendation of scout Howard Earle. Booe debuted in pro ball 1910 with Petersburg (the team started the year in Portsmouth) at 18 years old. He hit .228 over 100 games that year, with 15 doubles and three triples. He hit .303 over 122 games in 1911, with 23 doubles, eight triples and two homers. He went to Spring Training with the 1912 Pirates, but he was released on April 6, 1912 to Indianapolis of the Double-A American Association (highest level of the minors at the time), who then sent him to Wheeling of the Class-B Central League for more seasoning. He hit .325 in 127 games with Wheeling, picking up 27 doubles, seven triples and three homers (his online stats say that he played for Petersburg that season, but he didn’t). He was a Rule 5 draft pick by the Pirates in September of 1912, selected from Fort Wayne of the Central League. Booe was extremely fast, with newspapers at the time claiming that he got down to first base on a bunt in three seconds flat. He helped that he was a lefty and probably got a running start, but the speed was legit. He was also a very smart player, graduating college early, while planning to attend medical school in Baltimore over the 1912-13 off-season.
During his brief time with the Pirates, Booe hit .200/.256/.250 over 29 games, with nine runs, two triples and two RBIs. Most of his playing time came in May as a center fielder. He was sent to Springfield of the Class-B Three-I League as partial payment for outfielder Fred Kommers on June 24, 1913. For the Pirates to get Kommers right away, they needed to send an outfielder to replace him in Springfield, so Booe was sent there on option. He ended up finishing the year with St Paul of the American Association, where he was supposed to play in 1914 as well, until he signed a deal to play in the upstart Federal League. That league was considered to be a Major League during the 1914-15 seasons, though the American League/National League considered it to be an outlaw league due to signing players away. Booe played for two teams in the Federal League in 1914, then couldn’t get a big league job after the league folded, which happened to quite a few marginal MLB players during that time. He hit .224 in 96 games during that 1914 season, with 34 runs, ten doubles, two triples, 20 RBIs, 12 steals and .575 OPS. He played pro ball until 1930, collecting over 2,000 hits in the minors. He played independent ball for Statesville, NC as a player/manager during the 1915 season. He had a .278 average and 23 extra-base hits in 125 games for Springfield of the Class-B Eastern League during the 1916 season. Booe was with San Antonio of the Class-B Texas League in 1917, for the first of seven season with the team. The last five seasons saw the league bumped up to Class-A. He hit .245 over 142 games during his first year in San Antonio, finishing the year with 21 extra-base hits.
Booe missed the 1918-19 seasons serving in the Army during WWI. He rejoined San Antonio in 1920, where he hit .296 in 153 games, with 29 extra-base hits. He hit .294 over 148 games in 1921, with 30 extra-base hits. The league changed to Class-A during that season. The 1922 season saw him bat .311 in 153 games, with 30 doubles, 13 triples and two homers. Booe batted .310 over 113 games in 1923, with 21 extra-base hits. He had a .310 average in 123 games during the 1924 season, with 14 doubles, 12 triples and seven homers. He hit .328 in 106 games during his final season for San Antonio, with 23 doubles and ten homers. He was with Fort Smith of the Class-C Western Association in 1926, where he hit .320 in 136 games, with 40 doubles, nine triples and 11 homers. Booe moved up to Danville of the Class-B Three-I League in 1927, where he had a .260 average and 14 extra-base hits in 87 games. He played for Dayton of the Class-B Central League in 1928, hitting .314 over 91 games, with 50 runs, nine doubles, six homers, 57 walks and an .835 OPS. Booe joined Fort Wayne of the Central League in 1929, when he hit .303 over 90 games, with 49 runs, 20 extra-base hits, 35 RBIs and an .805 OPS. His last season of pro ball was split between a .295 average in 32 games for St Joseph of the Class-A Western League, and a .318 average in 26 games for Greensboro of the Class-C Piedmont League. All 13 of his extra-base hits that year were doubles. He also had five years of managerial experience in the minors, working in a player/manager role during each of his final five seasons.
Pete Compton, outfielder for the 1916 Pirates. He played six seasons in the majors between 1911 and 1918, seeing time with five different big league clubs. Compton went 1-for-16 in five games in Pittsburgh during the middle of the 1916 season. The Pirates picked him up as a waiver claim from the Boston Braves on July 3rd, then returned him 11 days later. There was some dispute over his claim by the Pirates. Boston had put him on waivers with the idea to trade him to Louisville of the Double-A American Association. In fact, the two teams already had a deal worked out. Owner Barney Dreyfuss refused to waive his claim, so Compton joined the Pirates, where it was said that his play was unsatisfactory. Manager Jimmy Callahan asked that he be placed back on waivers, then Boston immediately picked him back up for the $1,500 waiver cost. Boston then sent him to Louisville, as per the original deal. Compton played a total of 19 seasons in the minors and collected over 2,600 hits as a pro, with 186 coming in the majors.
Compton debuted in pro ball in 1909 at 19 years old, hitting for a .217 average and one extra-base hit over 26 games that year for Lancaster of the Class-D Ohio-State League. That league was four levels from the majors at the time, so it doesn’t sound like the start of a future big league player, but he quickly turned things around. He hit .253 for Beeville of the Class-D Southwest Texas League during the 1910 season, finishing the year with 20 extra-base hits. He moved up to Battle Creek of the Class-C Southern Michigan League in 1911, where he had a .352 average, 28 doubles, 25 triples and four homers over 125 games. That led to a late-season trial with the St Louis Browns, where he hit .271/.302/.328 over 28 games, with nine runs, four doubles and five RBIs. He batted .280 in 103 games for the 1912 Browns, finishing up with 26 runs, 12 extra-base hits, 30 RBIs, 11 steals and a .694 OPS. Compton batted .180/.274/.330 in 63 games for the 1913 Browns, with 14 runs, nine extra-base hits and 17 RBIs. He finished the 1913 season in the minors with Kansas City of the American Association, where he also spent all of the 1914 season. He hit .262 in 36 games for Kansas City to finish out the 1913 season, with 15 runs, 12 extra-base hits and seven steals. He hit .325 over 166 games in 1914, with 89 runs, 33 doubles, 13 triples, 11 homers, 58 steals, 63 walks and an .864 OPS. He batted .343 during the first half of the 1915 season in Kansas City, then joined St Louis of the Federal League for two games (2-for-8 with three RBIs), before returning to Kansas City. The Boston Braves purchased his contract two weeks later. He he hit .241/.290/.345 over 35 games for the 1915 Braves, with ten runs, nine extra-base hits and 12 RBIs.
Before his time with the 1916 Pirates, Compton was hitting .204/.264/.225 in 34 games with Boston. His Pirates time lowered him to a .458 OPS for the season. He had a .291 average and 20 extra-base hits in 73 games, after finally being sold to Louisville. The 1917 season was split evenly between Louisville and New Orleans of the Class-A Southern Association. He combined to hit .243 over 127 games, with 25 extra-base hits. He played for both teams again in 1918, while doing better in each place than the previous season. Compton combined to hit .336 in 85 games, with 50 runs and 18 steals. He returned to the majors for the New York Giants late in the 1918 season, where he hit .217/.277/.250 in 21 games, with five runs, a triple and five RBIs. He played another ten years of pro ball before retiring without a return trip to the majors. His big league career shows a .241 average in 291 games, with 78 runs, 24 doubles, eight triples, five homers and 80 RBIs. He often went by the nickname “Bash”, which was a shortened version of his middle name Sebastian. His actual first name is Anna, so you could imagine why he went by nicknames instead.
Compton hit .294 for Seattle of the Double-A Pacific Coast League during the 1919 season, finishing with 42 extra-base hits in 167 games. He stayed in the Pacific Coast League with Los Angeles in 1920. He played exactly 200 games that year, finishing with a .307 average, 228 hits, 33 doubles, four triples and 14 homers. He batted .278 over 166 games for Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League in 1921, winding up the year with 29 doubles, seven triples and 18 homers. The 1922 season was split between Sacramento and San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League. He had a .306 average, 21 doubles, eight triples and eight homers in 126 games. He hit .325 over 134 games for San Francisco in 1923, with 37 doubles, five triples and seven homers. Compton moved down a level to Houston of the Class-A Texas League for the 1924-25 seasons. He hit .317 during the 1924 season, with 36 doubles, 14 triples and 11 homers in 151 games. He batted .315 over 143 games in 1925, with 33 doubles, three triples and ten homers. He played for Fort Worth of the Texas League and Wichita of the Class-A Western League in 1926, combining to hit .328 over 139 games, with 37 doubles, eight triples and four homers. He had a .345 average and 20 extra-base hits over 70 games for Denver of the Western League in 1927. His pro career finished with Miami of the Class-D Arizona State League in 1928, where he hit .310 over 67 games, with 21 extra-base hits.
Harley Young, pitcher for the 1908 Pirates. He had quite a pro record before making his big league debut, though his available stats are limited. He was 21 years old in 1905, when he went 18-3 in 201 innings for Pittsburg of the Class-C Missouri Valley League. His ERA isn’t available, but it’s known that he allowed 2.51 runs per nine innings. He was still in Class-C ball in 1906, when he had a 24-17 record over 48 appearances for Springfield of the Western Association. He got a spring tryout with the 1906 St Louis Browns, but remained in the minors. He posted a 29-4 record for Wichita of the Western Association in 1907, picking up the decision in all 33 games he pitched. The Pirates purchased Young from Wichita on August 5, 1907. He was allowed to finish the season with his minor league team, then joined the Pirates for Spring Training in 1908. He made three starts and five relief appearances during his short time in Pittsburgh, posting an 0-2, 2.23 record in 48.1 innings, with 17 strikeouts and a 1.03 WHIP. The Pirates traded Young and outfielder Tommy McCarthy mid-June of 1908 to the Boston Doves for workhorse pitcher Irv Young. The interesting part of the trade is that the Pirates tried to acquire Irv Young right before signing Harley, offering Boston two players and $10,000. Boston wasn’t satisfied with the players included so they passed. Harley Young had an 0-1, 3.29 record and a 1.21 WHIP in 27.1 innings over two starts and four relief appearances after the trade, so he really didn’t get a great shot with either team that season. The 1908 season ended up being Young’s only season in the majors. He spent part of that season with Jersey City of the Class-A Eastern League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He had a 2-7 record and a 1.14 WHIP in 74 innings pitched over nine starts for Jersey City. He was sold to Oklahoma City of the Class-C Texas League during Spring Training in 1909.
Young pitched in pro ball from 1905 until 1920, picking up at least 153 career wins (some stats are incomplete). He had a 17-10 and a 1.09 WHIP during the 1909 season, with 257 innings pitched over 36 games for Oklahoma City. He allowed 3.15 runs per nine innings. He remained at Oklahoma City in 1910, where he had a 5-18 record and a 1.26 WHIP over 174 innings, while allowing 3.93 runs per nine innings. He put in a lot of work for Oklahoma City during the 1911 season (league reclassified to Class-B that year), going 18-17 in 299.1 innings over 38 games. Young had a 1.29 WHIP and gave up 4.12 runs per nine innings. He moved to the Class-A Western League in 1912, which was the first year of Double-A ball, so Class-A was no longer the highest level of the minors. Young went 11-15 over 263 innings for Topeka in 1912, with a 1.19 WHIP and 3.86 runs allowed per nine innings. He had a 3.90 ERA (no record available) and a 1.40 WHIP over 198.2 innings for Sioux City in 1913. He has no pro teams listed for 1914-16, then returned briefly in 1917 for Tulsa of the Class-D Western Association. When he joined Tulsa, it was said that he’s been retired for some time, running a citrus plantation in Florida. He played for Seattle of the Class-B Pacific Coast International League and Shreveport of the Class-B Texas League in 1918. Young went 13-6 that season, with all of his wins coming for Seattle. He has no pro stats for 1919, before returning for his final season in 1920, when he played for Petersburg of the Class-B Virginia League and Victoria of the Pacific Coast International League. He posted a combined 16-15 record in 279 innings that year, with a 2.58 ERA in his 101 innings for Petersburg.
Young has a little more notoriety than your average one-year player from 100+ years ago. The popular thing to do back in that era was give players with the same last name, the same nickname. The great Cy Young was nearing the end of his brilliant career back then, and the aforementioned Irv Young got the unfortunate nickname of “Cy the Second”. In fact, he was often just called Cy Young, while the original Cy Young would get the nickname “Old” Cy Young. Imagine stealing the nickname of one of the greatest pitchers ever. That’s not too much pressure for a young (pardon the pun) pitcher, is it? So when Harley came around in 1908, he got the nickname “Cy the Third/Cy Young III”. In fact, he already had the nickname in the minors. Just like with Irv, sometimes Harley was just called Cy Young. Harley fell exactly 511 wins short of Cy Young’s career total, while Irv won 63 big league games.
Bill Nelson, pitcher for the 1884 Alleghenys. He started and finished three games for the 1884 Alleghenys, winning one. That brief trial turned out to be his only MLB experience. Nelson debuted on September 3rd, then pitched his final game seven days later, suffering a 10-2 loss to Columbus in his last game. He was actually slated to pitch his first game on September 1st, but he got hit on the hand with a pitch in the top of the first and had to leave the game before throwing a pitch. That game isn’t credited to him for some reason, but it should be cited as his debut. His lone win came over a Hall of Famer Hank O’Day (he’s in the Hall as an umpire) in a 10-3 victory on September 6th. In what would seem extremely odd by today’s standards, Nelson batted sixth in the lineup during his first big league start. He was in the ninth spot for the final two games (he went 2-for-12 at the plate). After the Alleghenys game on September 13th, Nelson and outfielder Conny Doyle were both released. The Alleghenys signed outfielder Billy Reid to replace Doyle, but they didn’t bring on another pitcher. One really interesting note about bringing in Nelson when the Alleghenys did, is that he hit Charlie Eden of Grand Rapids a month earlier with a pitch, then Eden made an attempt to attack him with his bat, which eventually led to the game being called. Eden was the center fielder for the Alleghenys by the time Nelson arrived.
Nelson pitched for Muskegon of the Northwestern League to begin the 1884 season. He was 20 years old and in his first season of pro ball. He played for a team from his hometown of Terre Haute, which joined the same league as Muskegon in 1884, so it’s a bit of a surprise that he actually switched teams. He was called the “well-know Terre Haute pitcher” at the time of his signing in January of 1884. Before his first pro game, he faced a big league team tied to the Alleghenys. The Columbus Buckeyes of the American Association played an exhibition game against Muskegon on April 20, 1884, with Nelson pitching the entire game. The lineup that day included eight future players for the Alleghenys, as Columbus folded after the 1884 season and sold their players to Pittsburgh. The pitcher that day was Ed Morris, who holds almost all single-season franchise records for the Pirates as a pitcher. Morris shut out Muskegon that day and struck out 14 batters. Nelson pitched the entire game, in which he allowed 29 runs. He had a 9-18 record for Muskegon, though it came with a 1.72 ERA, 95 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP in 245.1 innings.
Nelson played in the minors until 1889. His stats for the minors are far from complete, but they show that he struggled in trials with two teams in 1885, allowing 37 runs in 29 innings. He pitched three games that year for the Hamilton Clippers of the Canadian League, and one game for Toledo of the Western League. He played for Lincoln of the Western League in 1886-87, with no stats available for the 1886 season. He had awful stats over three pitching appearances in 1887, resulting in 46 runs over 22 innings, though his records show that just ten of the runs were earned. He also played some games at first base and center field in 1887, hitting .196 for the season, with nine runs and a double in 11 games. There are no stats available (pitching or hitting) for his final two seasons. He appeared with Dubuque of the Central Interstate League in 1888, then joined his hometown team of Terre Haute in the Illinois-Indiana League during the 1889 season.