A total of 12 former Pittsburgh Pirates have been born on this date, including two Hall of Famers.
Pie Traynor, third baseman for the 1920-35 and 1937 Pirates. Considered to be the greatest third baseman in the first 100 years of baseball according to a 1969 centennial team voting held by Major League Baseball, Traynor spent his entire career with the Pirates. He put in 17 years as a player, and six seasons (1934-39) as a manager, finishing with a 457-406 record. His .320 career average ranks ninth in team history. In Pirates history, he also ranks seventh with 1,941 games played, sixth with 1,183 runs scored, fourth with 2,416 hits, fifth with 3,289 total bases, sixth with 371 doubles, fourth with 164 triples and fourth with 1,273 RBIs.
Traynor was from the Boston area, so he tried out for both local major league teams. Neither signed him, although the Boston Red Sox liked him enough to recommend him to a team from Portsmouth, Virginia in the Class-B Virginia League, with the understanding that they would sign him when they thought he was ready. The owner of Portsmouth however had other ideas, deciding to sell Traynor when he had the chance. Both the New York Giants and Washington Senators tried to sign him after he put up a .270 average and 30 extra-base hits in 104 games during the 1920 season, which was his first year of pro ball. However, neither team would not match the high price the Portsmouth owner put on Traynor. The Pirates ended up paying the $10,000 price tag after scouting him, and they never looked back on that decision. Pie (first name was Harold) ended up hitting .212/.268/.308 in 17 games as a shortstop for the 1920 Pirates, finishing with six runs, four extra-base hits and two RBIs. He returned to the minors for the 1921 season, where he would put up a .336 average, 22 doubles, 13 triples and five homers in 131 games for Birmingham of the Class-A Southern Association. Traynor was called up by the Pirates in September of 1921 for seven games. He hit .263/.300/.263 in 20 plate appearances, then never returned to the minors.
Traynor had a strong rookie season as the starting third baseman, though he still put in 17 starts at shortstop. He hit a career low .282 over 142 games in 1922, with 89 runs, 17 doubles, 12 triples, 81 RBIs, a .694 OSP and 17 steals in 20 attempts. It was just a sign of things to come for him, as 1923 proved to be quite a season. He hit .338 that year in 153 games, with 108 runs, 50 extra-base hits, 101 RBIs and an .866 OPS. He led the National League in triples with 19, while also adding career highs in hits (208), homers (12) and stolen bases (28). He slipped from those numbers a little in 1924, when he hit .294 over 142 games, with 82 runs, 44 extra-base hits, 86 RBIs, 24 steals and a .756 OPS. He bounced back quickly at an important time for the franchise. The Pirates won the World Series during the 1925 season, and Traynor was a big part of that team. He hit .320 over 150 games, with career highs of 114 runs scored and 39 doubles. He also had 14 triples, 106 RBIs, 15 steals, 52 walks and an .840 OPS. He led all National League third baseman in putouts, double plays, fielding percentage and assists. He hit .346 during the seven-game World Series, with two runs, two triples, a homer and four RBIs. He finished eighth in the MVP voting that year.
Traynor hit .317 over 152 games in 1926, with 83 runs scored, 45 extra-base hits, 92 RBIs and a .796 OPS, which led to a 13th place finish in the MVP voting. He led National League third basemen that year in putouts and double plays. The Pirates went to the World Series again in 1927, as Traynor was a big part of that pennant winning team. He hit .342 over 149 games, with 93 runs, 46 extra-base hits, 106 RBIs and an .825 OPS. That performance led to a seventh place finish in the MVP voting. It was his third season of at least 100 RBIs up to that point. It also started a streak of five straight seasons in which he passed the century mark for RBIs, driving in a total of 560 runs over that span. He struggled a bit in the four-game World Series, going 3-for-15 with a double and a run scored. Traynor hit .337 over 144 games in 1928, with 91 runs scored, 38 doubles, 12 triples, an .832 OPS and a career high 124 RBIs. He led the league in sacrifice hits for a second straight year, putting up a career high 42 that season. That all led to a sixth place finish in the MVP voting, which was his best finish. Traynor batted .356 over 130 games in 1929, with 94 runs scored, 43 extra-base hits, 108 RBIs and an .865 OPS. He struck out just seven times that year in 597 plate appearances. He finished seventh in the MVP voting.
Traynor received MVP votes in all but one of nine seasons from 1925 through 1933. He actually set a few personal highs during the year that he didn’t get any votes. He batted .366 during the 1930 season, with 90 runs, 42 extra-base hits and 119 RBIs in 130 games. That average was his career high, as was his .932 OPS, yet he didn’t get a single MVP vote. He batted .298 over 155 games in 1931, with 81 runs, 37 doubles, 15 triples, 103 RBIs and a .771 OPS. His 54 walks that year set a career high. He finished 13th in the MVP voting. Traynor batted .329 over 135 games in 1932, with 74 runs, 39 extra-base hits, 68 RBIs and an .806 OPS. He missed 100 RBIs that year for the first time since 1926. His performance was still enough to earn him an eighth place finish in the MVP race. The All-Star game was created in 1933. Traynor made the team during both years that he was still an everyday player. He hit .304 during the 1933 season, while leading the league with 154 games played. He had 85 runs scored, 34 extra-base hits, 82 RBIs and a .714 OPS. He finished eighth in the MVP voting that year.
Traynor was the Pirates manager from 1934-39. He never won an National League pennant, but he finished with a winning record over that time, topping out with a second place finish in 1938. He hit .309 in 119 games during his first season as a player-manager, finishing with 62 runs scored, 33 extra-base hits, 61 RBIs and a .751 OPS. He made his second/final All-Star appearance that year. That was also his last full season as a player. He hit .279/.323/.373 over 57 games in 1935, with 24 runs, 13 extra-base hits and 36 RBIs. He was the starting third baseman early, then switched to a bench role in May after a slow start. He finished that season strong, so it’s a bit surprising that he barely played after 1935. He put up a 1.131 OPS over his final 16 games that season. An arm injury limited his effectiveness on defense late in his career, so it was said early during Spring Training of 1936 that he would only get into games if his arm allowed him to play. He ended up not playing at all during the 1936 season. He played his final five games during the 1937 season, pinch-running once in June and once again in August, while starting three games at third base on July 20-22. Infielders Lee Handley and Arky Vaughan were both injured during the time. Traynor himself suffered a finger injury during the July 22nd game, but finished the game in the field. He made the Hall of Fame in 1948, after missing by two votes in 1947. The Pirates retired his number 20 in 1972. He ranks 30th all-time in triples, and he’s fifth all-time in putouts at third base. While he was recognized as a great defensive player throughout his career, modern metrics only credit him with 2.0 dWAR in his career, and no seasons among the top ten in the league. That differs greatly from the opinions of people who saw him play regularly.
Rabbit Maranville, shortstop/second baseman for the 1921-24 Pirates. He played 23 years in the majors and recorded 2,605 hits, but it was his glove that got him the most recognition. Maranville is considered one of the best defensive players in baseball history, posting a 30.8 dWAR, which ranks seventh all-time. He is the all-time leader for putouts at shortstop, plus he has more assists than anyone in the history of baseball at any position. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1954.
Maranville began his pro career at 19 years old with New Bedford of the Class-B New England League in 1911, where he hit .227 over 117 games, with 28 extra-base hits. He returned to New Bedford in 1912, where he improved to a .283 average and 30 extra-base hits over 122 games. He joined the Boston Braves at the end of the 1912 season, then took over the starting shortstop position. He hit .209/.292/.233 in 26 games, with nine runs, two doubles and eight RBIs. He hit .247 over 143 games in 1913, with 68 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs, 25 steals, 68 walks and a .638 OPS. He put up strong defense that year, which would get even better the next season. Maranville finished third in the MVP voting in 1913, then ended up second in the voting during the 1914 season, when he hit .246 over 156 games, with 74 runs scored, 33 extra-base hits, 78 RBIs, 28 steals and a .632 OPS. His 4.2 dWAR that year rated as the best in the league (tied for 12th best all-time). Maranville was well-known for his outstanding defense long before the modern metric dWAR existed, so that number just proves what we already knew about him from contemporary sources. He led all shortstops in putouts, assists and double plays during the 1914 season. The “Miracle Braves” won the World Series that year, while Maranville put up a .308 average and three RBIs in the four-game sweep. It was a team that went 69-82 during the 1913 season, then improved to 94-59 in 1914.
Maranville hit .244 during the 1915 season, with 51 runs, 31 extra-base hits, 43 RBIs and 18 steals in 149 games. He finished with a same amount of doubles (23), triples (six) and walks (45) as the previous season, while also posting a matching .632 OPS, which wasn’t that bad considering that it was still the deadball era. Maranville put up a .235 average over 155 games in 1916, with 79 runs, 16 doubles, 13 triples, 38 RBIs, 50 walks, a .620 OPS and a career high 32 stolen bases. His 3.2 dWAR that season was the best in the league. He batted .260 in 1917, with 69 runs, 19 doubles, 13 triples, 43 RBIs, 27 steals and a .668 OPS over 142 games. He was in the Naval Reserves in 1918, but actually got to play 11 games with the Braves in July during a two-week furlough. He put up a .749 OPS during that brief stint, which was actually better than his career high for a full season. He returned full-time to baseball in 1919, when he hit .267 over 131 games, with 44 runs scored, 18 doubles, ten triples, 43 RBIs and a .696 OPS. His five home runs that season set a career high. He would then hit just eight homers total over his final 15 seasons. Maranville batted .266 over 134 games in 1920, with 48 runs scored, 19 doubles, 15 triples, 43 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and a .676 OPS.
Rabbit (real first name was Walter) had already played nine seasons before he joined the Pirates in 1921, coming over from the Boston Braves in a trade for three players and cash. Included in that group was Hall of Fame manager Billy Southworth, who was an outfielder at the time. Maranville was very strong on defense, plus he had good speed, but he wasn’t much of a hitter during the deadball era. He was usually around league average during a down period of offense, but that era was over going into the 1920s. He carried a .251 average into the 1921 season, while his career high for runs was 79 at that point. He also topped 50 RBIs just once in his first nine years. The trade to the Pirates, who were a better overall team that the Braves, helped Maranville set new career highs right away in runs scored (90), hits (180) and batting average with a .294 mark. He also had 25 doubles, 12 triples, 70 RBIs and 25 steals during that first year. His .727 OPS was a new career best that lasted one season. It would get even better in 1922, when he topped his previous season’s average by one point (.295), while also setting career highs with 115 runs and 198 hits. He also set single season Major League records at the time for at-bats (672) and plate appearances (747). He had 26 doubles, 15 triples, 63 RBIs, 61 walks and a career best .733 OPS.
Maranville slacked on the offense side in 1923, but his defense was strong. He led National League shortstops that year in assists, putouts and fielding percentage. His 2.3 dWAR was the best in the league at any position. He batted .277 over 141 games in 1923, with 78 runs, 29 extra-base hits, 41 RBIs and a .673 OPS. He batted .266 over 152 games in 1924, finishing the year with 62 runs, 71 RBIs and a .706 OPS, while setting career highs with 33 doubles and 20 triples. That performance led to a seventh place finish in the MVP voting. Following the 1924 season, the Pirates traded Maranville to the Chicago Cubs, along with Wilbur Cooper (the Pirates all-time win leader) and Charlie Grimm, in exchange for Al Niehaus, Vic Aldridge and George Grantham. Maranville hit .283 for the Pirates, with 345 runs and 245 RBIs in 601 games.
Maranville missed the start of the 1925 season with an ankle injury, then never really recovered that year. He hit .233 in 75 games, with 37 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 23 RBIs and a .602 OPS. He managed the Cubs in the middle of the season for 53 games, posting a 23-30 record. He was taken off of waivers by the Brooklyn Dodgers after the 1925 season. He hit .235/.312/.312 for the 1926 Dodgers, with 32 runs, 13 extra-base hits and 24 RBIs in 78 games, before being released in August of 1926. He began 1927 in the minors with Rochester of the Double-A International League (highest level of the minors at the time), but he worked his way back to the majors by putting up a .298 average and 36 extra-base hits in 135 games. He joined the St Louis Cardinals in September for nine games, then played with them throughout the 1928 season. Maranville batted .241/.290/.276 over 31 plate appearances during his brief stint in 1927. He followed that up by hitting .240 over 112 games in 1928, with 40 runs, 25 extra-base hits, 34 RBIs and a .652 OPS. His defense helped him to a tenth place finish in the MVP voting. The Cardinals lost in the World Series to the New York Yankees that year, but he batted .308 in the postseason.
Maranville was sold to the Boston Braves after the 1928 season. He hit .284 in 1929, with 87 runs scored, 36 extra-base hits, 55 RBIs and a .710 OPS in 146 games. That helped earn him a 15th place finish in the MVP voting. He batted .281 over 142 games in 1930, with 85 runs, 36 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs and a .711 OPS, which was his highest since the 1922 season in Pittsburgh. Maranville batted .260 over 145 games in 1931, with 69 runs, 27 extra-base hits, 33 RBIs and a .646 OPS. He had another tenth place finish in the MVP voting. His offense dropped even more during the next two seasons, but he still got mild MVP support due to the defense. He hit .235 in 149 games during the 1932 season, with 67 runs scored, 24 extra-base hits, 37 RBIs and a .579 OPS. During his final full season in the majors in 1933, he batted .218 over 143 games, with 46 runs scored, 19 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs and a .539 OPS. An injury knocked Maranville out for the 1934 season, then he struggled at 43 years old in 1935, hitting .149/.186/.179 over his last 23 big league games. He was the player-manager for Elmira of the Class-A New York-Penn League in 1936, where he put up a .323 average over 123 games, with 65 runs, 17 extra-base hits, 54 RBIs and a .766 OPS. He had a very impressive 53:12 BB/SO ratio that year. He continued to manage in the minors for another four seasons, and even saw a handful of games at 47 years old in 1939 for Albany of the Class-A Eastern League. He finished his big league career with a .258 average, 1,256 runs scored, 380 doubles, 177 triples, 28 homers, 884 RBIs and 291 stolen bases in 2,670 games. He ranks 36th all-time in games played, and he’s 19th all-time in triples.
Jason Grilli, pitcher for the 2011-14 Pirates. He played 15 years in the majors from 2000 until 2017, spending four of those seasons in Pittsburgh, where he had an ERA under 3.00 during each of his first three seasons. Grilli was originally a 24th round draft pick by the New York Yankees in 1994. He made the right decision to head to college (Seton Hall), because the San Francisco Giants made him the fourth overall pick in the entire 1997 draft. He made his pro debut in 1998, when he had 21 starts for Shreveport of the Double-A Texas League and eight starts with Fresno of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Grilli went 9-13, 4.14 in 165.1 innings between both stops, with 137 strikeouts and a 1.31 WHIP, while putting up better results at the lower level. He made 19 starts for Fresno at the beginning of the 1999 season, before he was traded to the Florida Marlins in late July for Livan Hernandez. Grilli had a 5.54 ERA in 100.2 innings before the deal, and a 7.68 ERA in 41 innings with Calgary of the Pacific Coast League after the deal. He combined to go 8-10, 6.16 in 141.1 innings, with 103 strikeouts and a 1.71 WHIP. He was with Calgary for eight starts in 2000. He made one start with the Marlins on May 11th, giving up four runs on 11 hits in 6.2 innings during his big league debut. At the time of his call-up, he had a 7.19 ERA in 41.1 innings, with more walks (23) than strikeouts (21). He missed the rest of the season due to elbow problems, which limited him to 95.1 innings as a starter during the 2001 season. He made 14 minor league starts that season over four levels, combining for a 3.28 ERA, 58 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP in 58.2 innings. The rest of his time was spent with the Marlins, where he went 2-2, 6.08 in 26.2 innings over five starts and one relief appearance, finishing with 17 strikeouts and a 1.54 WHIP.
Those elbow issues ended up costing Grilli almost all of 2002, when he had to get Tommy John surgery. His only appearance was a start with Calgary, in which he allowed one run over 5.2 innings, while striking out eight batters. He split the 2003 season between seven starts for Jupiter of the High-A Florida State League and 12 starts at Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League, with the lower level assignment being rehab work from his Tommy John surgery. He combined to go 10-4, 3.05 in 109.1 innings, with 68 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP. The Chicago White Sox took him as a Rule 5 pick after the 2003 season. Grilli had a 7.40 ERA, a 1.60 WHIP and 26 strikeouts in 45 innings over eight starts with the 2004 White Sox. A majority of the 2004 season was spent in Triple-A, where he had a 9-9, 4.83 record, a 1.45 WHIP and 101 strikeouts in 152.2 innings over 25 starts with Charlotte of the International League. He was released by Chicago in 2005, then signed with the Detroit Tigers. Grilli had a 12-9, 4.09 record, a 1.36 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 167.1 innings over 28 starts for Toledo of the International League during the 2005 season. He also had a 3.38 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 16 innings with the Tigers, making two starts and one relief appearance. He switched to relief for 2006, when he finally lasted a full season in the majors. He went 2-3, 4.21 in 62 innings over 51 games that year, with 31 strikeouts and a 1.39 WHIP. Grilli had a 5-3, 5.20 record, 62 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP in 79.2 innings over 57 appearances during the 2007 season. He began 2008 with the Tigers, but he was traded to the Colorado Rockies on April 30th, after making just nine appearances. He combined to go 3-3, 3.00 over 60 games, with 69 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP in 75 innings. The Rockies sold him to the Texas Rangers in June of 2009. He put up a 2-3, 5.32 record, 49 strikeouts and a 1.69 WHIP in 45.1 innings over 52 games that year, with slightly better results after the trade.
A knee injury caused Grilli to miss all of 2010. He was with the Philadelphia Phillies during the first half of the 2011 season, before being released in July without a big league appearance. He had a 4-1, 1.93 record at the time, with a 1.16 WHIP and 43 strikeouts in 32.2 innings over 28 appearances for Lehigh Valley of the International League. He signed the next day with the Pirates, where he stayed until being traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Ernesto Frieri in June of 2014. Grilli went 2-1, 2.48 over 28 appearances for the 2011 Pirates, with a 1.19 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 32.2 innings. He saw the exact same game/innings for the Pirates that he saw in the minors that season. He had a 1-6, 2.91 record, a 1.14 WHIP and an outstanding total of 90 strikeouts in 58.2 innings over 64 appearances during the 2012 season. He had just three saves total in his first two seasons with the Pirates, then took over the closer role in 2013. That year he was an All-Star for the only time in his career. He had a 2.70 ERA in 50 innings over 54 games, with 33 saves, a 1.06 WHIP and 74 strikeouts. Prior to his deal to the Angels in 2014, Grilli had a 4.87 ERA in 20.1 innings over 22 outings, with 11 saves, 21 strikeouts and a 1.62 WHIP. After the trade, he posted a 3.48 ERA, 36 strikeouts, a 1.16 WHIP and one save in 33.2 innings and 40 appearances. He became a free agent after the 2014 season, then signed with the Atlanta Braves. He had a 2.94 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 45 strikeouts over 33.2 innings,while finishing with 24 saves in 36 games. He started 2016 with the Braves, before he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on May 31st. That was after posting a 5.29 ERA in 17 innings over 21 games for the Braves. He had a 3.64 ERA in 42 innings over 46 appearances with Toronto after the trade. He had 81 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP in 59 innings that season.
Grilli pitched 46 games in 2017, which were split between the Blue Jays and Texas Rangers. The Rangers acquired him in a July 2nd trade. During what ended up being his final season of pro ball, he had a 6.30 ERA, a 1.60 WHIP and 48 strikeouts in 40 innings over 46 appearances. Grilli played for nine different big league clubs during his career. He threw a total of 684.2 innings over 595 appearances, with all but 16 of those games coming in relief. He had a 34-47, 4.22 record, 79 saves, a 1.37 WHIP and 694 strikeouts. He had a 3-11, 3.01 record in 161.2 innings over 168 appearances with the Pirates, while picking up 47 saves. He pitched in the playoffs during four different years, including 2013 with the Pirates. He didn’t allow a single run in 16 postseason appearances. His father Steve Grilli was a Major League reliever for four seasons. Jason Grilli was twice ranked among the top 100 prospects by Baseball America, who put him in the 54th spot before he pitched a game, followed by ranking him #44 prior to the 1999 season.
Kyle McPherson, pitcher for the 2012 Pirates. He was a 14th round draft pick in 2007 out of the University of Mobile by the Pirates. He debuted in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, while spending part of his first season with State College of the short-season New York-Penn League. He had a 4-3, 3.41 record in 66 innings between both stops, with 41 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP. He returned to State College in 2008, where he made seven starts and eight relief appearances. He posted a 1-3, 4.37 record in 55.2 innings, with a 5:41 BB/SO ratio and a 1.2 WHIP. McPherson began the 2009 season at West Virginia of the Low-A South Atlantic League, going 5-2, 4.94 in 51 innings, with 32 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. He then went back to State College for a third stint, where he went 4-3, 2.99 in 75.1 innings over 13 starts, with a 1.08 WHIP and 57 strikeouts. Almost the entire 2010 season was spent at West Virginia, where he went 9-9, 3.59 in 117.1 innings, with 124 strikeouts and a 1.08 WHIP. He also made two appearances with Bradenton of the High-A Florida State League, where he put up 4.2 shutout innings and seven strikeouts. McPherson was a surprise 40-man roster addition by the Pirates after the 2010 season, then his stats showed a strong improvement in 2011 to back up that decision. He split that year between Bradenton and Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League, going 12-6, 2.96 in 161 innings between both stops, with 142 strikeouts and a 1.02 WHIP.
McPherson began 2012 in Altoona, then ended it with Pittsburgh, with a short stint at Triple-A between those spots. He had a 3.22 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 67 innings between Altoona and Indianapolis of the International League. A shoulder injury during Spring Training caused him to miss the first two months of the season. The Pirates called him up in late August of 2012, where he did well to finish out the season. He had an 0-2, 2.73 record, 21 strikeouts and a 1.18 WHIP in 26.1 innings over ten appearances (three starts) with the Pirates. His career was quickly derailed by injuries, and that one season in Pittsburgh ended up being his only big league season. After a very poor one-game stint in the Dominican winter league over the 2012-13 off-season, he made just two starts with Indianapolis during the 2013 season, before Tommy John surgery ended his year early. He allowed ten earned runs over 4.2 innings that year. The Pirates tried rehab first (which didn’t work), so his surgery happened three months after his final game. That delay ended up costing him all of the 2014 season as well. The Pirates let McPherson go after the 2014 season. He signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, where he pitched a total of 40 innings in the minors over the 2015-16 seasons. He saw time at four difference levels, while compiling a 9.00 ERA during that two-year stretch. His 2015 season was mostly spent struggling at Montgomery of the Double-A Southern League, where he had a 7.48 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP over 27.2 innings. His last pro experience was in April of 2016, when he gave up 14 runs over 6.1 innings with Durham of the International League. He ended up allowing a total of 59 runs over 47.2 innings following his brief big league stint.
JR House, catcher for the 2003-04 Pirates. He was a fifth round draft pick of the Pirates out of high school in 1999. House developed into one of the top prospects in baseball during the 2001-02 seasons, when Baseball America ranked him 21st (2001) and 41st overall. Injuries derailed him at that point, then he played a total of 76 games during the 2002-03 seasons, including one game for the Pirates. His pro career began with the rookie level Gulf Coast League Pirates at 19 years old in 1999, but he saw time with Williamsport of the short-season New York-Penn League and Hickory of the Low-A South Atlantic League before the season was over. He hit .313 in 63 games between all three stops, with 25 runs, 24 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs and an .859 OPS. House spent the 2000 season at Hickory, where he hit .348 in 110 games, with 78 runs, 29 doubles, 23 homers, 90 RBIs and a 1.000 OPS. The Pirates skipped him up to Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League in 2001. He responded to that push by hitting .258 over 112 games, with 51 runs, 25 doubles, 11 homers, 56 RBIs and a .722 OPS. The injuries kicked in at that point, which caused him to miss time during both the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He played 50 games total at Altoona during that time, along with 25 rehab games in the Gulf Coast League. He had a .271 average, 12 runs, eight doubles, three homers, 13 RBIs and a .790 OPS in 35 games during the 2002 season. He finished the 2003 season with a .367 average, 28 runs, 15 doubles, six homers, 34 RBIs and a 1.058 OPS in 40 games. He had reconstructive elbow surgery in 2002 that limited his work during both years. The Pirates used him as a pinch-hitter in the 161st game of the 2003 season, then he reported to the Arizona Fall League to make up for some missed time. He singled in his first big league at-bat.
House spent most of 2004 in the minors, joining the Pirates for five games split between a July stint and a September stint. He hit .288 in 92 games for Nashville of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League that season, finishing with 38 runs, 21 doubles, 15 homers, 49 RBIs and an .852 OPS. He played in the Arizona Fall League for a second time following the 2004 season. He went 1-for-9 with a double during his big league time that year. House ended up needing another major surgery (rotator cuff), which cost him all of 2005. He was a star football player in high school, then decided to go to college to play football at West Virginia, which ended up being a one-year experiment. The Pirates released him at that time, then he resumed his baseball career in 2006. House spent most of 2006-11 in the minors, but he saw four games for the 2006 Houston Astros, 19 games for the 2007 Baltimore Orioles, then went back to Houston for his final three big league games in 2008.
House put up outstanding numbers in the minors in 2006, while splitting his time between Corpus Christi of the Double-A Texas League and Round Rock of the Pacific Coast League, the top two affiliates of the Astros. He combined to hit .345 in 128 games, with 83 runs, 38 doubles, 15 homers, 105 RBIs and a .913 OPS. He went 0-for-9 at the plate during his brief big league trial in late August of 2006. He became a free agent after the 2006 season, then signed with the Orioles. They called him up from Norfolk of the Triple-A International League in mid-August, after he hit .298 over 110 games, with 52 runs, 32 doubles, 11 homers, 66 RBIs and an .828 OPS. He batted .211/.268/.500 over 19 games for the 2007 Orioles, with five runs, two doubles and three RBIs, which came on three solo homers. House struggled during winter ball in the Dominican over the 2007-08 off-season, posting a .161 average and a .472 OPS over 21 games. He then signed a free agent deal with the Astros for the 2008 season. He hit .306 in 127 games for Round Rock that year, with 63 runs, 25 doubles, 18 homers, 60 RBIs and an .858 OPS. He got called up by the Astros for three games in August, going 0-for-3 (with an RBI) during his final big league stint.
House put up a .252 average, 58 runs, 24 doubles, nine homers, 53 RBIs and a .650 OPS over 127 games at Omaha of the Pacific Coast League for the Kansas City Royals in 2009. He then split the 2010 season between Buffalo of the International League with the New York Mets, and a stint in independent ball with Newark of the Atlantic League. He had a .253 average, 20 runs, 14 doubles, four homers, 29 RBIs and a .668 OPS in 67 games with Buffalo. He put up an .838 OPS in 66 plate appearances over 16 games with Newark. He played in both the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues during winter of 2010-11. He had a .785 OPS over 18 games in the Dominican. His Venezuelan time was limited to four games in which he went 6-for-13 at the plate, with two doubles and a 1.115 OPS. House finished his pro career independent ball in 2011 with Long Island of the Atlantic League. He played 113 games during his final season, finishing the year with a .305 average, 73 runs, 22 doubles, 19 homers, 81 RBIs and an .858 OPS. After retiring as a player, he managed for four seasons in the minors for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was then hired by the Cincinnati Reds in 2019 to be their third base coach and catching coach, which he has been doing through the 2023 season. His final big league stats show a .167 average in 32 games, with six runs, three doubles, three homers and four RBIs.
Roberto Hernandez, pitcher for the 2006 Pirates. He played a total of 17 seasons in the majors, pitching 1,010 games. He recorded 326 saves, which ranks as the 19th most in big league history. He was an All-Star with the Chicago White Sox in 1996 and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999. Hernandez was a first round draft pick (16th overall) by the California Angels in 1986 out of the University of South Carolina Aiken. It’s a school that has produced 38 draft picks, but the other 37 players have a combined -0.5 WAR in the majors. It took him five years to make the majors after being draft, and he was with the White Sox by that time.
Hernandez made his pro debut in the short-season Northwest League, where he had a 4.58 ERA in 55 innings over ten starts, finishing with 42 walks, 38 strikeouts and a 1.80 WHIP. He played for Quad City of the Class-A Midwest League during the 1987 season, but only appeared in seven games (six starts) that entire year. He went 2-3, 6.86 in 21 innings, with one save, 21 strikeouts and a 1.71 WHIP. The 1988 season was split between Quad City (24 starts) and Midland of the Double-A Texas League (three starts). He combined to go 9-12, 3.41 in 177 innings over 27 starts. He had six complete games, one shutout, a 1.29 WHIP and 121 strikeouts. Hernandez was traded to the White Sox in August of 1989. He finished that year in A-Ball, despite seeing time back with Midland earlier that year. He also pitched with Palm Springs of the Class-A California League while still with the Angels. He went 4-12, 5.50 for three teams that year, with 92 strikeouts and a 1.64 WHIP in 131 innings. His best results came with South Bend of the Midwest League after the trade. Hernandez made 17 starts for Birmingham of the Double-A Southern League in 1990, where he had an 8-5, 3.67 record in 108 innings. He also made 11 starts for Vancouver of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he had a 2.84 ERA in 79.1 innings. He had a 3.31 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP and 111 strikeouts in 187.1 innings between both stops. He missed time during the 1991 season, but still made it to the majors by the end of the year. He made five rehab starts between the Gulf Coast League and Birmingham, plus another seven starts in Vancouver. Hernandez had a 2.58 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 73.1 minor league innings. He had a 7.80 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP in 15 innings with the 1991 White Sox, while making three starts and six relief appearances. Hernandez never started in the majors again.
Hernandez made nine appearances for Vancouver during the 1992 season, then spent the rest of the year in the majors. He had a 2.61 ERA, 23 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP over 20.2 innings for Vancouver. He had a 7-3, 1.65 record, an 0.92 WHIP, 12 saves and 68 strikeouts in 71 innings over 43 games for the 1992 White Sox. He had a 3-4, 2.29 record in 78.2 innings over 70 outings during the 1993 season, finishing with 38 saves, a 1.09 WHIP and 71 strikeouts. His numbers slipped during the strike-shortened 1994 season. Hernandez finished 4-4, 4.91 in 47.2 innings over 45 games, with 14 saves, 50 strikeouts and a 1.32 WHIP. He had a 3-7, 3.92 record in 59.2 innings during the 1995 season, with 32 saves, a 1.53 WHIP and in 84 strikeouts over 60 games. His strikeouts rate jumped that year, going from just south of 9.00 per nine innings each year (1992-93), to 9.4 in 1994, to 12.7 during the 1995 season. During his 1996 All-Star season, he went 6-5, 1.91 in 84.2 innings over 72 games. He had 85 strikeouts, a 1.21 WHIP and 38 saves. That performance led to a sixth-place finish in the Cy Young voting. Hernandez was with the White Sox until 1997, then started skipping around the majors. From late 1997 until he joined the Pirates in 2006, he played for the San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.
Hernandez had a 2.44 ERA and 27 saves in 1997, before being sent to the Giants in a nine-player deal. He had 2.48 ERA in 32.2 innings after the deal, finishing the season with a 10-3, 2.45 record, a 1.30 WHIP and 82 strikeouts in 80.2 innings. He signed with the Devil Rays as a free agent prior to the 1998 season. He went 2-6, 4.04 during his first season in Tampa Bay. He finished that year with 26 saves, 55 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP in 71.1 innings over 67 appearances. He was an All-Star during the 1999 season, while finishing tenth in the Cy Young voting. He went 2-3, 3.07 in 73.1 innings that year, with 69 strikeouts, a 1.38 WHIP and a career high 43 saves over 72 appearances. He went 4-7, 3.19 during the 2000 season, with 32 saves, a 1.35 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 73.1 innings over 68 games. He was traded to the Kansas City Royals in January of 2001, as part of a three-team deal that included seven players. He went 5-6, 4.12 for the 2001 Royals, with 46 strikeouts, a 1.40 WHIP and 28 saves in 67.2 innings over 63 games. He then had a 1-3, 4.33 record during the 2002 season, with 26 saves, 39 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP in 52 innings over 53 appearances. It was his last season in a full-time closer role. Hernandez became a free agent at the end of the 2002 season, then signed with the Braves. He went 5-3, 4.35 in 60 innings over 66 games for the 2003 Braves, finishing the year with 45 strikeouts and a 1.73 WHIP. He signed with the Phillies as a free agent in 2004, then had a 4.76 ERA, 44 strikeouts and a 1.68 WHIP over 56.2 innings, while making 63 appearances. He was signed by the Mets after the 2004 season. He had an 8-6, 2.58 record in 69.2 innings over 67 games for the 2005 Mets, with 61 strikeouts and a 1.22 WHIP. He had four saves that season, after failing to collect any during the previous two seasons.
The Pirates signed Hernandez as a free agent in December of 2005. He posted an 0-3, 2.93 record, 33 strikeouts, a 1.63 WHIP and two saves in 43 innings over 46 appearances, before being traded mid-season to the Mets for Xavier Nady. He had a 3.48 ERA, 15 strikeouts and a 1.11 WHIP in 20.2 innings over 22 appearances after the trade. Hernandez split his final big league season (2007) between the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers, giving him ten teams total during his career. He struggled with both teams during that last year at 42 years old, posting a 6.23 ERA in 26 innings with the Indians and a 6.64 ERA in 20.1 innings with the Dodgers. He finished the year with 31 strikeouts and a 1.81 WHIP. He was released by the Indians in late June, then signed eight days later with Los Angeles. Hernandez finished his big league career by going 67-71, 3.45 over 1,010 games, with 945 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP in 1,071.1 innings. Through 2023, he ranks 14th all-time in games pitched.
Rey Quinones, shortstop for 1989 Pirates. He was originally signed at 18 years old in 1982 by the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent out of Puerto Rico. He debuted in 1983 with Elmira of the short-season New York-Penn League, where he hit .295 over 67 games, with 38 runs, 11 doubles, 12 homers, 55 RBIs and an .848 OPS. He moved up to Winston-Salem of the Class-A Carolina League in 1984, where he batted .279 over 132 games, with 53 runs, 30 doubles, six triples, 11 homers, 69 RBIs, 14 steals and a .792 OPS. Quinones then jumped to New Britain of the Double-A Eastern League in 1985, where he hit .257 over 134 games, with 67 runs, 33 extra-base hits, 50 RBIs, 73 walks and a .756 OPS. He played for Pawtucket of the Triple-A International League during the 1986 season, though he made it to the majors in mid-May after posting a .264 average and a .759 OPS in 24 games. Quinones played 62 games with the Red Sox in 1986, before being traded mid-season to the Seattle Mariners. He combined to hit .218 in 98 games that year, with 32 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs and a .574 OPS. The majority of his big league time came in Seattle, where he played 318 games over the 1986-89 seasons, including a total of 275 games during the 1987-88 seasons.
Quinones had a solid 1987 season as Seattle’s starting shortstop, hitting .276 in 135 games, with 55 runs scored, 18 doubles, 12 homers, 56 RBIs and a career best .715 OPS. The 1988 season was his best in the majors. He hit .248 over 140 games that year, with 63 runs scored, 30 doubles, 12 homers, 52 RBIs and a .677 OPS. After leading all American League shortstops with 25 errors during the 1987 season, he posted a 1.2 dWAR mark in 1988. Despite that success, he had just one season left in the majors. His pro career was nearly done as well. Quinones played seven games for the Mariners in 1989, before he joined the Pirates on April 21, 1989 as part of a five-player deal that didn’t work out well for either team. He hit .209 over 71 games in Pittsburgh with 21 runs, 11 doubles, three homers, 29 RBIs and a .551 OPS. He was released on July 22, 1989. He played winter ball over the 1989-90 off-season in Puerto Rico, but his only other pro experience came during the 1999 season, when he played 37 games for the independent Atlantic City Surf of the Atlantic League. He said in late 1989 that he had offers to play in Triple-A, but he turned them all down because he believed he was a Major League player. The Pirates cut ties with him because his reputation as a player who didn’t give full effort was bad for the clubhouse. That showed up during winter ball as well, when he got released for failing to show up to games, while putting forth poor effort in other games. He hit .243 over 451 games during his four big league seasons, with 173 runs scored, 75 doubles, 29 homers and 159 RBIs. Despite stealing 14 bases in 19 attempts during his first full season of pro ball, he stole a total of 14 bases in 33 attempts during his other seven seasons combined. That was including a 5-for-16 mark in the majors.
Scott Loucks, outfielder for the 1985 Pirates. He was born in Alaska, where he is one of just 12 big league players from the state. Just six of those dozen are position players. When he made his Major League debut in 1980, he was just the third player from the state to make it to the big leagues. Loucks was a fifth round draft pick out of college (Southeastern Oklahoma State) by the Houston Astros in 1977. It took him just three years to make the majors, though he never played a full season during any of his five years at the big league level. He made his pro debut with the Astros affiliate in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, where he batted .268 over 46 games, with 41 runs scored, 20 RBIs, 17 stolen bases and a .780 OPS. He had ten extra-base hits that year, including seven triples. Loucks played 43 games with Daytona Beach of the Class-A Florida State League during the 1978 season, as well as another 76 games for Columbus of the Double-A Southern League. He struggled with both teams, combining to hit .197 in 119 games, with 59 runs scored, 16 extra-base hits, 26 RBIs, 47 steals and 80 walks. He had a .617 OPS, with a significantly higher OBP than slugging. He had a brief stint with Columbus in 1979, going 1-for-8 at the plate over nine games. The rest of the year was spent back at Daytona Beach, where he hit .246 over 108 games, with 80 runs, 11 extra-base hits, 18 RBIs, 46 steals, 77 walks and a .686 OPS. He hit .243 over 137 games for Columbus in 1980, with 90 runs, 29 extra-base hits, 45 RBIs, 53 steals, 75 walks and a .686 OPS. He hit ten home runs that year, after hitting six total during his first three seasons combined. Loucks was a September call-up by the Astros in 1980, when he played eight games without making a start. He went 1-for-3 with a single and four runs scored.
Loucks had a similar experience in 1981, coming up in September for ten games. That was after hitting .271 over 88 games for Tuscon of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, with 60 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs, 35 steals and a .700 OPS. He got his first career big league start on the final day of the 1981 season, then he picked up three hits that day. He went 4-for-7 with two runs and a stolen base during his second big league trial. His best big league season was 1982, when he came up in late April for nearly two months, then returned during September. Loucks started six of the final nine games that season, after making just two starts earlier that season. He batted .224/.269/.265 in 52 plate appearances over 44 games for the 1982 Astros, with six runs, two doubles, three RBIs and four stolen bases. He put up a .265 average, 48 runs, 18 extra-base hits, 21 RBIs, 43 steals and a .677 OPS in 74 games for Tuscon that season. He was a September recall in 1983, when he played just seven games after having his best minor league season. Loucks hit .287 in 138 games for Tuscon, with 107 runs scored, 33 doubles, 13 triples, eight homers, 71 steals, 66 walks and an .804 OPS. He went 3-for-14 for the 1983 Astros, with two runs, two singles and two steals.
Loucks split the 1984 season in Triple-A between the Astros (Tuscon) and Montreal Expos (Indianapolis of the American Association), without making a big league appearance. His average dropped down to .223 over 84 games that year, and he stole just 12 bases in 20 attempts. He had 36 runs, 12 extra-base hits, 23 RBIs and a .601 OPS. He then joined the Pirates as a free agent signing on March 1, 1985. Most of his time that year was spent with Hawaii of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, other than four straight late May games for the Pirates. He was called up by the Pirates on May 24th, then sent down on May 30th, when the Pirates acquired infielder Johnnie LeMaster. Loucks went 2-for-7 during his brief time with the Pirates. He batted .282 in 91 games for Hawaii, with 61 runs, 21 doubles, five homers, 27 RBIs, 34 steals and a .786 OPS. He did not play pro ball after the 1985 season. He went to Spring Training in 1986, but a sore right arm due to bone spurs kept him out of action and required surgery in early April. It was originally deemed to be season-ending surgery, but it actually ended his career when he retired in July. His final big league stats show a .263 average in 73 games, with 15 runs scored, four doubles, four RBIs and seven steals. He stole 359 bases in the minors.
Bob Long, pitcher for the 1981 Pirates. He was selected in the 17th round of the 1976 draft by the Pirates out of Shorter University (Georgia). It’s a school that has produced 15 draft picks over the years, but Long is the only player from that group to make the majors. The Pirates actually drafted/signed three of his teammates in 1975. While he was a full-time starter during his first season in the minors, he pitched mostly as a reliever over the next four years. During his pro debut in 1976, the 21-year-old Long went 3-5, 4.10 over 11 starts for Niagara Falls of the short-season New York-Penn League. He had a 1.60 WHIP and more walks (35) than strikeouts (32) over 68 innings that season. He moved up to Charleston of the Class-A Western Carolinas League for the 1977 season, when he had a 6-4, 3.39 record, 57 strikeouts and a 1.42 WHIP in 85 innings over nine starts and eight relief appearances. The next year was spent at Salem of the Class-A Carolina League, where he went 8-4, 2.81 over 33 games (two starts), with 81 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP in 93 innings. Long was with Buffalo of the Double-A Eastern League for all of the 1979 season. He had a 4-10, 3.42 record, 73 strikeouts, a 1.65 WHIP and ten saves in 92 innings over 44 relief appearances. He moved up to Portland of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League for the 1980 season, where he posted a 4-4, 4.26 record, 54 strikeouts, a 1.37 WHIP and five saves in 93 innings over 33 games. Long was moved back to a starter role for the 1981 season, when he went 15-3, 2.98 in 157 innings over 20 starts and six relief appearances at Portland, with 97 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP. That performance earned him a September trial with the Pirates. He had a 1-2, 5.95 record, a 10:8 BB/SO ratio and a 1.68 WHIP in 19.2 innings, which were spread over three starts and two relief outings. That ended up being his only season with Pittsburgh.
Long struggled back at Portland in 1982, finishing the year with a 5-13, 5.78 record, 91 strikeouts and a 1.39 WHIP over 157.1 innings, while making 18 starts and 13 relief appearances. He had 73 walks and 26 homers allowed that year. The Pirates released him after the 1982 season. He signed with the Chicago White Sox, though they released him just three weeks later. He signed with the Seattle Mariners in May of 1983, then spent his slightly abbreviated season at Chattanooga of the Double-A Southern League, where he had a 3.33 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, 44 strikeouts and 12 saves in 48.2 innings over 33 appearances. He was with Salt Lake City of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 1984, where he had a 6-3, 5.16 record, ten saves, 73 strikeouts and a 1.43 WHIP in 90.2 innings over 50 appearances. Seattle’s Triple-A affiliate switched to Calgary of the Pacific Coast League in 1985. Long was strong there early on, compiling a 2.10 ERA, 32 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP in 34.1 innings. His only other big league experience outside of Pittsburgh was 28 relief appearances for the 1985 Mariners. He got called up in June, then stayed for the rest of the season. He had a 3.76 ERA, 29 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP in 38.1 innings during his second big league stint.
Long was released shortly after the 1985 season ended. He spent the next two seasons in the minors before retiring, playing at both Double-A and Triple-A each year. He played for the Atlanta Braves in 1986, then the Baltimore Orioles during the 1987 season. He did well during his Double-A time those years, posting a 2.38 ERA, 48 strikeouts, a 1.30 WHIP and 16 saves over 45.1 innings for Greenville of the Southern League in 1986. That was followed by 2.14 ERA, 55 strikeouts, a 1.02 WHIP and 16 saves over 54.2 innings for Charlotte of the Southern League in 1987. His Triple-A time didn’t go as well, with a 5.21 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP over 19.1 innings for Richmond of the International League in 1986. He then had a 4.32 ERA and a 2.04 WHIP over ten appearances for Rochester of the International League in 1987. His final big league numbers show a 1-2, 4.50 record over 58 innings, with 37 strikeouts and a 1.38 WHIP.
Lee Howard, lefty pitcher for the 1946-47 Pirates. Before his big league stint with the Pirates, Howard missed three years (1943-45) due to serving in the Navy during WWII. He had very little pro experience before joining the war effort at 19 years old, but the Pirates were very high on the young player. He was discovered by Pirates scout Hollis Thurston, who started following Howard when he was 14 years old. Thurston got him to join the Pirates on a tryout out of high school during Spring Training in 1942. The interesting part about that time spent following him before he signed was that Howard reportedly “hadn’t pitched more than five games in his life” before pro ball. He pitched 154 innings for Hutchinson of the Class-C Western Association during his first taste of pro ball in 1942, putting up a 10-8 record and a 1.83 WHIP. His ERA isn’t available, but he’s credited with allowing 7.42 runs per nine innings. It was a high-offense league, but a few teammates who allowed fewer runs per nine innings had records well below the .500 mark. The Pirates purchased his contract on March 15, 1943 from their Harrisburg affiliate, even though he was already in the military at the time. He returned in 1946 to pitch for York of the Class-B Interstate League, where he had a 9-7, 3.52 record, 106 strikeouts and a 1.41 WHIP in 143 innings, before being called up by the Pirates on September 10th. He went to Spring Training with the Pirates that year, but he was an early cut. He made two starts and one relief appearance for the 1946 Pirates, debuting as a starter 12 days after he joined the team. He allowed two runs over five innings during that first game, then faced three batters in relief two days later. He took the tough loss on September 29th, when he allowed one run over eight innings.
Howard spent most of 1947 at Selma of the Class-B Southeastern League, where he went 13-6, 3.00 in 165 innings, with 85 walks, 88 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP. He played his final two big league games for the 1947 Pirates in late September. Both appearances that year were during one-sided losses, though he gave up just one run in 2.1 innings during those games. The season ended on September 28th, then Howard was released that same day to Indianapolis of the Triple-A American Association. He played until 1949 before retiring, but he never made it back to the majors. He finished his big league time with a 0-1, 2.25 record, a 1.69 WHIP and a 9:8 BB/SO ratio in 16 innings. He struggled a bit in 1948 with New Orleans of the Double-A Southern Association, going 2-8, 5.74 in 94 innings over 35 appearances. He had a 1.79 WHIP, 60 walks and 27 strikeouts that year. He dropped down two levels to Spokane of the Class-B Western International League for the 1949 season, where he went 5-4, 6.14 in 88 innings, with 51 strikeouts and a 1.83 WHIP. More than half of his appearances that year came as an outfielder. He batted .249 in 80 games, with 14 runs, 16 extra-base hits and 39 RBIs. He was a holdout for Spokane in 1950, while also saying that he would rather play first base than pitch, but he ended up retiring instead. When he passed away in 2018 at age 94, he was one of the oldest living former Pirates player. He had the nickname Lefty for obvious reasons.
Charlie Hastings, pitcher for the 1896-98 Pirates. He began his pro career and his Major League career with the 1893 Cleveland Spiders, going 4-5, 4.70 in 92 innings over 15 games, with nine of those coming as a starter. He was a pitch-to-contact guy, striking out just 14 guys total during his first shot at the majors. He had a 1.75 WHIP that year, though it’s important to point out that the 1893 season was the year that the pitching distance was pushed back and new rules were put in place for what pitchers could do before delivering the ball. It took pitchers some time to adjust, which led to more offense during the 1893-95 seasons. Hastings then spent the next two seasons in the minors, struggling in 1894 with a 7-20, 5.21 record, 90 strikeouts and a 1.94 WHIP over 243.2 innings for two Western League clubs (Kansas City and Milwaukee). He turned around in 1895, when he had a 28-14, 3.53 record over 342 innings for the Kansas City. That led to his next shot at the majors. Hastings was used sparingly during each of his three years with the Pirates, getting occasional starts and some relief work. The Pirates had star pitchers Pink Hawley, Frank Killen and Jesse Tannehill receiving most of the starts during his three seasons. Hastings got 36 total starts and 16 relief appearances for Pittsburgh, going a combined 14-24, 4.51 in 379.1 innings.
Hastings had a 5-10, 5.88 record during the 1896 season, with a 1.63 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 104 innings pitched over 13 starts and four relief outings. He was sent back to the minors mid-season, where he played for Minneapolis of the Western League. He returned to the Pirates in July after a successful run of starts according to the papers (no stats available). Hastings improved during the 1897 season to a 5-4, 4.58 record and a 1.57 WHIP in 118 innings over ten starts and six relief appearances. His strikeout rate doubled, giving him 42 strikeouts on the season. He had his best big league season during his final season with Pittsburgh, though it didn’t show in his record. He went 4-10, 3.41 in 137.1 innings, with 12 complete games in 13 starts. He had 40 strikeouts and a 1.41 WHIP. He was among five players sold to the Kansas City of the Western League on February 25, 1899, ending his time with the Pirates.
Hastings first start with the Pirates was an interesting one. The Pirates played Brooklyn in Pittsburgh on May 20, 1896. He wasn’t doing well in the first three innings, allowing two runs each frame. He was replaced for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the third, and that is when things got interesting. It began to rain hard, so the Pirates manager Connie Mack told his team to go easy in the field, hoping that the game would be called before it was official. If that happened, it would have to be replayed from the start the following time the two teams met (It was a getaway day for Brooklyn, while Pirates took on the Philadelphia Phillies the next day). So the Pirates replacement pitcher Jot Goar came in and started lobbing the ball over the plate. Brooklyn caught on and tried to make outs of their own to make sure the game reached five innings, but the Pirates anticipated the game being called as the weather got worse. It was never called much to the Pirates dismay, because the weather cleared up, leaving the Pirates in a 17-0 hole after five innings. When they realized the game was going to be official they began to play hard again. The Brooklyn pitcher, Bert Abbey, was told not to strain his arm though with the score out of hand, so he began lobbing the ball over the plate, allowing the Pirates to score six runs in the last two innings for a 25-6 final.
Hastings returned to the minors in 1899, where he played pro ball until retiring after the 1904 season. He returned to Kansas City of the Western League in 1899. Before he was done with baseball, he would play for a total of seven teams in his final six seasons. That included him seeing time with Buffalo during three straight seasons (1899-1901) in different leagues. His 1899 stats from Kansas City and Buffalo of the Western League are unknown. He split 1900 between Minneapolis and Buffalo, both of the Class-A American League. That was the highest level of the minors at the time, and the only year that the American League wasn’t a Major League. He combined for an 11-11 record and a 1.32 WHIP over 195 innings pitched that year. Hastings had a 14-17 record over 36 appearances in 1901, while splitting the year between Buffalo and Hartford, both of the Class-A Eastern League. He went 13-12 over 27 appearances for Worcester of the Eastern League in 1902. His final pro experience shows him going 2-3 over six games for New Orleans of the Class-A Southern Association in 1903. Hastings was a solid big league hitter, batting .233 during both the 1897 and 1898 seasons. His only career homer came against a pitcher named Charlie Brown, who made four career starts with the 1897 Cleveland Spiders. It was an inside-the-park homer. During his four seasons in the majors, Hastings had an 18-29, 4.55 record, 115 strikeouts and a 1.57 WHIP over 451.1 innings. He made 45 starts and 22 relief appearances, finishing with 36 complete games and two saves.
Joe Battin, third baseman for the 1882-84 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. During the first season of Major League Baseball in 1871, he was the youngest player in the National Association. Battin played a total of ten seasons in the majors over a 20-year time-frame. His big league career ended in 1890, but his pro career wrapped up in 1894 at 40 years old. Besides the National League and the National Association, he also saw time in the Union Association and the American Association, making him one of the few players to play in four different Major Leagues. There were no minor leagues until 1877, so his early pro years were all spent in the majors, while he got most of his early experience playing amateur/semi-pro ball. He was 17 years old when he played for the Cleveland Forest Citys on August 11, 1871. He played just that one game in right field, going 0-for-3 with a walk. He played one game two years later in center field for the Philadelphia Athletics of the National Association, where he put up a great performance. He went 3-for-5 with a walk and four runs scored. He was signed by the Athletics for the 1874 season in September of 1873, when he was referred to as the “young player of Easton”. He mostly played second base during the 1874 season, when he hit .230 in 51 games, with 40 runs scored, 11 doubles, one triple, 27 RBIs and a .521 OPS. He joined the St Louis Brown Stockings in 1875, where he batted .250 over 67 games, with 31 runs, nine extra-base hits, 33 RBIs, 15 steals and a .542 OPS. That year was the final season of the National Association.
Battin played for the St Louis Brown Stockings of the newly-formed National League in 1876. He batted .300 over 64 games that season, which set a career high for batting average. He also had 34 runs, 16 extra-base hits, 46 RBIs and a .682 OPS. He batted .199/.220/.288 for St Louis in 1877, with 28 runs, 11 extra-base hits (seven triples) and 22 RBIs over 57 games. He didn’t play in the majors again until his time with Pittsburgh. Battin played minor league ball for five different teams during the 1878-79 seasons, then played two seasons in Philadelphia 1881-82, before joining the Alleghenys in their first season of existence. There appears to be no record of him playing in 1880, and there are almost no stats available from that time. He played for the Lynn and New Bedford franchises in the International Association 1878. Both of those clubs relocated during the season. His 1879 stats show only games played for the individual teams, which breaks down to 31 games for Utica, five for Springfield and eight for Washington, which were all teams in the National Association. He’s credited with putting up a .190 average and 24 runs over his 44 games that year. His time in Philadelphia in 1881 was spent in the Eastern Championship Association, while the 1882 season saw him play with Philadelphia in the League Alliance. No stats are available from either team.
It was said in July of 1882 that Battin would likely take an umpiring job during the 1883 season. However, he was in the Alleghenys lineup at third base just one month later, where he impressed defensively. He batted .211/.228/.286 in 34 games to finish out the 1882 season, collecting 13 runs and seven extra-base hits during that time. Battin led the league with 98 games played in 1883. He put up a .214 average that year, with 42 runs, 16 extra-base hits and a .511 OPS. He hit .177/.198/.209 in 43 games for the 1884 Alleghenys. They were the first of three teams he played for that season. He actually played with Pittsburgh again that yeart when Chicago’s Union Association team transferred to Pittsburgh to end the season, though they didn’t actually last until the end. The Pittsburgh club only existed a short time, playing their last game on September 18th, four weeks before the season ended. Battin finished the year with the Baltimore club of the Union Association, which was the last club that Pittsburgh (Union Association) played before folding. He hit just .148/.148/.172 in 35 Union Association games. He combined to hit .164 over 78 games between all three stops, with 21 runs, four doubles and two triples. During both the 1883 and 1884 seasons, which were two of the worst years in Pirates franchise history, Battin managed the team for 13 games each year. He’s credited with going 8-18 during that time. He’s also credited with going 1-5 as the manager of the Chicago/Pittsburgh Union Association team. He hit .205/.225/.262 over 175 games during his time in Pittsburgh with the Alleghenys.
Battin was a player-manager in the minors during the 1885-86 seasons, but he moved around a lot before he got one final shot at the majors. He played for Waterbury in three different leagues during the 1885 season (Connecticut State League, Eastern League and Southern New England League), as well as Cleveland of the Western League and Binghamton of the New York State League. He’s credited with putting up a .172 average, 30 runs, 14 doubles and two triples in 74 games that season, though that’s missing his Binghamton and Waterbury/Eastern League time. Battin played for Waterbury in the Eastern League in 1886, where he had a .228 average, 42 runs and 20 extra-base hits over 94 games. He played for Syracuse during the 1887-91 seasons in four different leagues. He posted a .321 average, 48 runs, 14 extra-base hits and seven steals over 53 games with Waterbury in 1887, while spending time that year with Syracuse of the International Association (no stats available). He remained with Syracuse for all of 1888 in the same league, hitting .196 over 110 games, with 52 runs, 22 extra-base hits and 31 steals. Syracuse moved to the International League in 1899, when Battin hit .167 over 107 games, with 44 runs, 12 extra-base hits and 15 steals. He was with Syracuse of the American Association for 29 games during the 1890 season, when he posted a .210 average, 15 runs, three extra-base hits, 13 RBIs, eight steals and a .504 OPS. That stint ended his big league time. He also played for Saginaw-Bay City of the International Association, and Utica of the New York State League in 1890. No stats are available for Utica, but his Saginaw-Bay City time shows a .208 average in 27 games, with 16 runs, two doubles, two homers and two steals.
The 1891 season saw Battin play one game for Syracuse of the Class-A Eastern Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He spent the start of that season working as an umpire in the Eastern Association, where it was said that he received a lot of complaints about his work. He worked as a scout for the Chicago White Stockings for a brief time, but then became a National League umpire. He umpired a total of 55 big league games over six seasons, but the 1891 season was the only one in which he saw regular work. Battin has no 1892 records, though he was found playing semi-pro ball with two different teams early in the year, before taking an umpiring job in the Eastern League to finish the year. He then decided to go back to working as a bricklayer late in the year. He played four games for Reading of the Pennsylvania State League in 1893, after beginning the season with Buffalo of the Eastern League, where he was released by early May. He did some umpiring work that year as well. He finished up with 16 games for Easton of the Pennsylvania State League and two games with Buffalo of the Eastern League in 1894, combining to hit .200 over 65 at-bats, while collecting 11 runs and zero extra-base hits. It was said that he signed with a team from Augusta, Georgia in May of 1895, but he was doing umpiring work by the end of the month. He also did some umpiring work in 1896 and 1897, while also playing some semi-pro ball in the Buffalo area during that latter season. Battin finished his ten-year big league career with a .225 average, 228 runs scored, 51 doubles, 25 triples and three homers in 480 games.