Eight former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a major trade of note. Side note to this is that November 14th has one of the lowest total of MLB players born on this date with just 44 over the years. The odd part is that five of the first nine MLB players born on this date started their career with the Pirates (the last five played listed below).
On this date in 1996, the Pirates traded Dan Plesac, Orlando Merced and Carlos Garcia to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jose Silva and two minor league players, plus three players to be named later. Silva was the only player with Major League experience acquired in the deal by the Pirates, and he had just two games. Three of the players in the trade never made the majors, but the Pirates got some value out of Silva, Abraham Nunez and Craig Wilson, with the latter two joining the Pirates as PTBNL on December 11th. Plesac, Merced and Garcia were part of a cost cutting measure for the Pirates, as they tried to get their payroll down to $14,000,000 for the 1997 season. The Blue Jays didn’t get much value from their players, plus Plesac was the only one still around after the 1997 season. Merced and Garcia both had down years after the trade, as Toronto basically finished the same as the previous year, going from a 74-88 record to 76-86.
Abraham Nunez was said to be the key to the deal for the Pirates, but he never reached his potential, posting a 1.1 WAR over eight seasons in Pittsburgh. Silva stayed around five seasons, though he had a -0.5 WAR for his time with the Pirates. Wilson wasn’t originally the key, but he ended up being the best player in the entire deal for either side (after the trade that is). He had 94 homers and 282 RBIs for the Pirates over six seasons. His WAR value was only 4.6 in his six seasons in Pittsburgh, but he put up a positive number each year. The other three players who failed to make the majors were pitcher Jose Pett, infielder Brandon Cromer and pitcher Mike Halperin. Pett was actually a top 100 prospect in baseball twice, but he struggled badly in both of his trials in Triple-A. He ended up pitching just one game after 1997, with his career basically ending at 21 years old. He was sidetracked by a major car accident in 1995, then never fully regained the quality of his pitches. He received a $700,000 signing bonus at 16 years old. Cromer was a 34th overall pick in 1992, who had two brothers make it to the majors.
On this date in 1947, the Pirates purchased seldom used shortstop Stan Rojek from the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his first season in Pittsburgh, Rojek led the National League in games played, plate appearances and at-bats. He also finished tenth in the MVP voting, thanks in part to a .290 average and 85 runs scored. He would play two more full seasons in Pittsburgh (plus part of 1951) before they traded him to the St Louis Cardinals for Rocky Nelson and Erv Dusak. During his time in Pittsburgh, Rojek hit .266 in 384 games, with 185 runs scored, 99 RBIs and a .654 OPS. His 1948 season was worth 4.1 WAR, though the other three years combined he had 0.3 WAR.
Xavier Nady, outfielder for the 2006-08 Pirates. He played 12 years in the majors, seeing time with eight different teams. He was a fourth round draft pick by the St Louis Cardinals out of high school in 1997, though he did not sign. He was then a second round pick of the San Diego Padres out of the University of California in 2000. Nady actually debuted in the majors during his draft season, collecting a single during a late-season pinch-hit at-bat. It took three years before he played his second big league game. He played his first minor league games for Lake Elsinore of the High-A California League during the 2001 season, where he hit .302 over 137 games, with 96 runs, 38 doubles, 26 homers, 100 RBIs, 62 walks and a .908 OPS. Despite those strong results, part of the 2002 season was spent back in Lake Elsinore. He had a .278 average and a .962 OPS in 45 games during his return trip. The rest of the year was spent at Portland of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he hit .283 in 85 games, with 46 runs, 12 doubles, ten homers, 43 RBIs and a .752 OPS. Nady opened the 2003 season in the majors, though part of July and all of August were spent back at Portland. He had a .265 average, 19 runs, seven doubles, seven homers, 23 RBIs and an .800 OPS in 37 games for Portland. He hit .267 over 110 games for the Padres that season, with 50 runs, 17 doubles, nine homers, 39 RBIs and a .712 OPS. He spent more than half of the 2004 season back at Portland, where he dominated with a .330 average, 52 runs, 42 extra-base hits, 70 RBIs and a 1.019 OPS in 74 games. He hit .247/.301/.416 for the 2004 Padres, with seven runs, four doubles, three homers and nine RBIs in 34 games.
The 2005 season was the first full year that Nady spent in the majors. He moved all around that year, getting into 13+ games at all three outfield spots and first base. He hit .261 over 124 games, with 40 runs scored, 15 doubles, 13 homers, 43 RBIs and a .760 OPS. He was traded to the New York Mets for veteran outfielder Mike Cameron on November 18, 2005. Nady batted .264 during his short stay in New York, with 37 runs, 15 doubles, 14 homers, 40 RBIs and an .813 OPS in 75 games. He was acquired by the Pirates from the Mets at the 2006 trade deadline, in exchange for pitchers Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez. Nady hit .300 in 55 games for the 2006 Pirates, with 20 runs, 13 doubles, three homers, 23 RBIs and a .761 OPS. He had a .790 OPS in 130 games between both stops. He played in 125 games for the 2007 Pirates, while seeing most of his time in right field. He finished that year with a .278 average, 55 runs scored, 23 doubles, 20 homers, 72 RBIs and an .805 OPS. He hit .330 for the 2008 Pirates, with 50 runs, 26 doubles, 13 homers, 57 RBIs and a .919 OPS in 89 games, before being traded to the New York Yankees. He was sent to New York along with Damaso Marte, in exchange for Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen and Jose Tabata. Nady had a .301 average, 125 runs scored, 62 doubles, 36 homers and 152 RBIs in 269 games with the Pirates. He hit .268 in 59 games for the 2008 Yankees, with 26 runs, 11 doubles, 12 homers, 40 RBIs and a .794 OPS. His combined total of 76 runs, 37 doubles, 25 homers and 97 RBIs that year all set career highs.
After leaving the Pirates, Nady played for the Yankees (2008-09), Chicago Cubs (2010), Arizona Diamondbacks (2011), Washington Nationals (2012) and San Francisco Giants (2012). He spent 2013 in the minors, playing for both the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals, before finishing his career in 2014 with the Padres (in the majors) and Seattle Mariners (in the minors). Nady had Tommy John surgery in 2001 in the minors. He missed very little playing time due to the timing of the surgery and the shorter rehab period for position players with that surgery. However, he needed a second Tommy John surgery early in 2009, which limited him to just seven games all season. He became a free agent after the 2009 season, then signed with the Cubs. He hit .256 over 119 games in 2010, with 33 runs scored, 19 extra-base hits, 33 RBIs and a .660 OPS, while seeing most of his time at first base. He signed with the Diamondbacks for 2011, where he remained at first base. He batted .248 over 82 games that season, with 26 runs, 15 extra-base hits, 35 RBIs and a .646 OPS. The Nationals signed him for 2012, though they released him in July. He finished the year with the Giants, where he picked up a World Series ring. However, he hit just .184/.253/.316 in 59 games between both stops that year, which led to his full 2013 season in the minors.
Nady had solid overall results while splitting the 2013 season between Omaha and Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League. He batted .296 in 124 games between both stops, with 69 runs, 26 doubles, 15 homers, 65 RBIs and an .816 OPS. His 2014 return to the Padres amounted to just 22 games. While he hit three homers in 37 at-bats, he had just two other hits, ending his time there with a .135 average and a .644 OPS. He also played 22 minor league games that season with Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League, where he had a .236/.296/.337 slash line, while playing in a hitter-friendly park/league. Nady had a .268 average in 961 big league games over 12 seasons, with 365 runs scored, 159 doubles, 104 homers and 410 RBIs. He’s credited with compiling 2.9 WAR during his time in Pittsburgh. He had a total of 0.8 WAR over the rest of his career. While his numbers on offense were a little better than that total, his career total of -4.3 dWAR brought down his overall total WAR.
Paul Wagner, pitcher for the 1992-97 Pirates. He was drafted by the Pirates in the 12th round of the 1989 amateur draft out of Illinois State. He made his big league debut as a spot starter in July of 1992. He debuted in pro ball with Welland of the short-season New York-Penn League, where he went 4-5, 4.47 over 50.1 innings, with 34 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP. Wagner pitched mostly as a reliever in 1990, splitting the season between Low-A Augusta of the South Atlantic League and Salem of the High-A Carolina League, with more time at the lower level. He combined to go 7-8, 3.50 over five starts and 41 relief appearances, with 99 strikeouts, six saves and a 1.45 WHIP in 108 innings. He switched back to starting full-time in 1991, when he spent the season with Salem. He posted an 11-6, 3.12 record, a 1.16 WHIP and 113 strikeouts in 158.2 innings over 25 starts. He was at Carolina of the Double-A Southern League for most of 1992, where he had a 6-6, 3.03 record, a 1.24 WHIP and 101 strikeouts in 121.2 innings over 19 starts. He also made eight starts with Buffalo of the Triple-A American Association, where he had a 5.49 ERA, 19 strikeouts and a 1.65 WHIP in 39.1 innings. After his one mid-season spot start for the 1992 Pirates, he was recalled in September for five relief appearances. He finished his first big league season with a 2-0, 0.69 record and a 1.08 WHIP in 13 innings.
Wagner spent the entire 1993 season with the Pirates, where he went 8-8, 4.27 in 141.1 innings over 17 starts and 27 relief appearances. He had 114 strikeouts, a 1.31 WHIP, one shutout and two saves. He made 17 starts and 12 relief appearances in 1994, finishing the strike-shortened season with a 7-8, 4.59 record, 86 strikeouts and a 1.55 WHIP over 119.2 innings. He led the National League in losses during the 1995 season, posting a 5-16, 4.80 record and a 1.49 WHIP. He set career highs that year with 165 innings pitched and 120 strikeouts. Wagner continued a downward trend in 1996, going 4-8, 5.40 over 15 starts, marking his fourth straight season in which he ERA increased. He had 81 strikeouts and a 1.53 WHIP in 81.2 innings that year. He was on the disabled list for inflammation in his pitching (right) arm in June. He then went down with an elbow injury a month later, which required surgery in early August. It was originally believed that he would miss a full year, but he was back in the majors on July 18, 1997, after pitching 12 minor league rehab games. He struggled during that minor league time, posting a 10.13 ERA and a 2.56 WHIP in 16 innings for Carolina, though the Pirates still brought him back. He pitched 14 games out of the Pirates bullpen before he was released in late August of 1997, despite putting up a respectable 3.94 ERA in 16 innings. He had a 26-40, 4.58 record in 536.2 innings with the Pirates over six seasons, while making 75 starts and 67 relief appearances.
Wagner signed with the Milwaukee Brewers one week after being released by the Pirates. He finished the season in the majors, though he pitched just two innings over two games. He then had a 1-5, 7.11 record, 37 strikeouts and a 1.76 WHIP in 55.2 innings over nine starts and four relief appearances for the 1998 Brewers, before being released in late July. He signed with the Atlanta Braves one week later, but he was released after four weeks without pitching in the majors. He posted a 5.52 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP over 31 minor league innings that year, including some time while still with the Brewers. He signed with the Cleveland Indians for 1999, then spent most of the year with Buffalo of the Triple-A International League, where he had a 3.82 ERA, 95 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP in 129.2 innings over 23 starts. During his brief big league time for the Indians that year, he gave up four runs over 4.1 innings in three relief outings. Wagner signed with the New York Mets in 2000, but he had a torn rotator cuff that kept him from pitching that season. The Mets paid for his surgery, then released him unconditionally. He returned to the Mets in 2001 as a minor league free agent, but he was released on May 22nd after allowing 12 hits and six runs over 6.2 innings for Norfolk of the International League, which ended his career. His final career stats show a 29-45, 4.83 record over 598.2 innings, with 452 strikeouts and a 1.49 WHIP.
Claude Willoughby, pitcher for the 1931 Pirates. He made his pro debut at 24 years old with Waterloo of the Class-D Mississippi Valley League in 1923, where he had a 5-3 record and a 1.35 WHIP over 63 innings. He spent most of 1924 back in Waterloo, while also getting a brief trial with Milwaukee of the Double-A American Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He had a 21-7 and a 1.13 WHIP over 259 innings for Waterloo. While his ERA isn’t available for that time, it’s known that he allowed just 2.99 runs per nine innings. His Milwaukee time amounted to a 1-2 record and a 21.64 WHIP in 42 innings pitched over six games. Willoughby returned to Waterloo in 1925, where he had a 10-15 record and a 1.28 WHIP in 194 innings, while seeing his runs per nine innings increase to a 4.69 mark. He still did well enough that the 1925 Philadelphia Phillies gave him three September starts, in which he posted a 1.96 ERA, 11 strikeouts and a 1.61 WHIP over 23 innings. He remained in the majors until his time with the Pirates was over. He split between starting and relief work in 1926, pitching a total of 168 innings over 18 starts and 29 relief appearances. He had an 8-12, 5.95 record and a 1.72 WHIP that year, while leading the league in earned runs allowed and wild pitches. He also had an odd 71:37 BB/SO ratio. His season high was five strikeouts in a game.
Willoughby had a 3-7, 6.54 record and a 1.83 WHIP in 97.2 innings over six starts and 29 relief appearances in 1927. He managed to pick up just 14 strikeouts all year. The Phillies were 51-103 that season, so he wasn’t really hurting their chances of winning with his performance. He went 6-5, 5.30 in 130.2 innings over 13 starts and 22 relief appearances for the 1928 Phillies, with 83 walks, 26 strikeouts and a 2.01 WHIP. He had his best year in 1929, which coincided with offense starting to increase around baseball. He finished 15-14, 4.99 in 243.1 innings over 35 starts and 14 relief appearances, with 108 walks, 50 strikeouts and a 1.63 WHIP. He set a career high with 14 complete games, which was nearly half of his career total. Willoughby had a tough 1930 season that saw him go 4-17, 7.59 in 154 innings, with 38 strikeouts and a 2.02 WHIP. It was a huge year for offense all around baseball, but that ERA was still well above league average (4.97). He went 38-56, 5.83 in five seasons for Philadelphia, before getting traded to the Pirates on November 6, 1930. The Phillies received Dick Bartell in the deal, while the Pirates got Willoughby and Tommy Thevenow. It was a one-sided deal, with the young Bartell going on to become a superstar player. The Pirates were banking on Willoughby turning things around after that rough 1930 campaign, but things didn’t get any better, even with offense around baseball starting to return to normal levels. He lasted just two starts and seven relief appearances with the 1931 Pirates. The 32-year-old Willoughby went 0-2, 6.31 in 25.2 innings in Pittsburgh, with four strikeouts and a 1.71 WHIP. That ended up being his last season in the majors. The Pirates sold him to the San Francisco Seals of the Double-A Pacific Coast League on June 5, 1931.
Willoughby played until 1937 in the minors before retiring, spending about half of that time with Little Rock of the Class-A Southern Association. He won a total of 110 games in the minors over ten seasons. He had a 10-11, 3.57 record and a 1.49 WHIP in 159 innings with San Francisco to finish out the 1931 season. He split 1932 between five games with San Francisco and 194 innings with Little Rock. He went 2-2 in 19 innings for San Francisco, then had a 15-9, 4.31 record and a 1.41 WHIP with Little Rock. He remained in Little Rock until the middle of the 1935 season. Willoughby posted a 13-20, 3.71 record and a 1.28 WHIP over 269 innings in 1933. He had an 11-15, 3.92 record and a 1.16 WHIP over 225 innings in 1934. He joined New Orleans of the Southern Association mid-1935, combining with his Little Rock time for a 9-15 record in 153 innings over 41 games pitched. He joined Davenport of the Class-A Western League for his final two seasons. He had a 17-10, 3.07 record, 94 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP over 214 innings in 1936. That was followed by a 5-1, 3.42 record over 71 innings in 1937, with 30 strikeouts and a 1.24 WHIP. He was a manager for Bartlesville of the Class-D Kentucky-Oklahoma-Missouri League in 1946, which was an affiliate of the Pirates. He led them to a 47-73 record. While he has no stats, records indicate that he played at least one game at 47 years old. His son Keith played for the team, so there’s some question as to whether Claude actually played. At minimum, he played during a mid-season exhibition game in which he threw four innings. Willoughby finished his big league career with a 38-58, 5.84 record and a 1.80 WHIP in 101 starts and 118 relief appearances. He had 33 complete games, four shutouts and nine saves (not an official stat at the time). He finished with 406 walks and 175 strikeouts in 841.1 innings.
Joe Leonard, third baseman for the 1914 Pirates. He debuted in pro ball at 18 years old with Des Moines of the Class-A Western League. He spent his first two seasons there before joining the Pirates after scout Chick Fraser recommended him to Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss. That led to Leonard’s purchase from Des Moines for $3,000 on July 31, 1913. When his purchase was announced, it was also said that he wouldn’t report to Pittsburgh until Spring Training of 1914. Leonard hit .282 for Des Moines during the 1912 season, with 20 extra-base hits in 112 games. He made his impression on the Pirates by putting up a .277 average, 28 doubles, nine triples and four homers over 154 games in 1913. The Pittsburgh papers had quotes from August of 1913, which were given by two big league veterans in the Western League, saying that Leonard was the best looking infield prospect in that league for quite some time. His rookie season didn’t go quite so well, though he was just 20 years old at the time. It’s a bit surprising that the Pirates didn’t hold on to him longer, especially considering the price they paid and the scouting reports. He hit .198/.268/.246 over 53 games for the 1914 Pirates, with 17 runs, four extra-base hits and four RBIs in 145 plate appearances. Modern metrics rate his defense slightly above average, though his range and fielding percentage were both worse than league average.
Leonard was playing sparingly with the Pirates through early June of 1914, until he was slowed by an ankle injury. The Pirates cut veteran third baseman Mike Mowrey in early August, then the August 17th newspapers declared that the 20-year-old Leonard was now the team’s starting third baseman. However, he started just five games after that point of the season. The Pirates handed the job to Alex McCarthy instead, who was batting .085 at that time (he finished with a .150 average). Part of the reason for the change was that Leonard missed over a week with the flu, which hit him the same day that he was announced as the new starter. Leonard last played for the Pirates on September 13, 1914. On April 21, 1915 (seven days after Opening Day), the Pirates sold him to Columbus of the Double-A American Association, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He didn’t appear in a game for the Pirates before the sale, and he didn’t stick with Columbus for the entire season either. He spent part of the year with the Kansas City club in the American Association. He hit .281 over 127 games between both stops, with 60 runs, 28 extra-base hits, 16 steals and 73 walks.
Leonard opened the 1916 season with Columbus, where he had a .269 average and 22 extra-base hits in 99 games. He joined the Cleveland Indians in mid-August for four games (online stats show three, but he played four), then was traded to the Washington Senators as part of a four-player deal. He had a .271 average, 21 runs, seven doubles, 14 RBIs and a devilishly mediocre .666 OPS over 46 games in 1916. He served in a utility role with the 1917 Senators, mostly playing the corner infield spots. He hit just .192 in 99 games, with 30 runs, six doubles, seven triples, 23 RBIs, 45 walks and a .562 OPS. He missed the 1918 season due to service in WWI, then returned to the 1919 Nationals. He batted .258 over 71 games that year, with 26 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 20 RBIs and a .687 OPS. He pinch-ran in the sixth game of the 1920 season, which ended up being his final big league game. Leonard had appendicitis, then died just eight days after his final big league game at 26 years old. It was said that he visited a doctor five days before his passing, but that doctor didn’t diagnose the appendicitis, letting him leave untreated. He had an operation after it ruptured four days later. His actual cause of death was pneumonia that he got while at the hospital. He finished his big league career as a .226 hitter in 269 games, with 94 runs, 23 doubles, 12 triples, two homers and 61 RBIs.
Jim Wallace, right fielder for the 1905 Pirates. His big league career lasted all of six days, but he got into seven games during that brief stretch. Wallace went 6-for-29 for the 1905 Pirates, with three runs, a double, three RBIs, two steals and a .523 OPS. He also picked up three outfield assists. Wallace never played in the majors again, but he had a decent minor league career spent solely throughout the Northeast. He was born in Massachusetts, where he spent most of his nine-year career. He began at 22 years old in 1904, playing for Haverhill of the Class-B New England League. He hit .284 over 108 games that year, with 16 doubles and two triples among his 114 hits. His best minor league season was during the 1905 campaign, which got him his big league shot. He hit .315 in 98 games for Haverhill, while also getting a brief trial with Rochester in the Class-A Eastern League, which was the highest level of the minors at the time. He had a .194 average and seven hits (one triple) in 11 games with Rochester. The Pirates purchased Wallace from Haverhill for an undisclosed price on August 23, 1905, with owner Barney Dreyfuss completing the deal quickly because other Major League teams were also after the young outfielder. The scouting report was strong, noting that he could also pitch, but he was better as a hitter/fielder. While it was noted that he hit the ball hard, more attention was paid to his defense, with Wallace being called the best outfielder in the league. He had plenty of speed, which allowed him to cover a lot of ground.
Wallace batted lead-off in both games of a doubleheader during his first day with the Pirates, just one day after he was purchased. The Pirates were playing in Boston at the time, so he was able to join the team right away. He did well that first day, collecting three hits. The lineup behind him during those games was pretty formidable, with Fred Clarke, Tommy Leach and Honus Wagner in the 2-4 spots. When the Pirates returned home on August 31st, they had a new outfielder named Bob Ganley, who they wanted to try out. Manager Fred Clarke said that Wallace was a good player, who needed more seasoning in the minors before he was big league ready. However, that six-day stint with the Pirates turned out to be his only big league time. He was released on August 30th, just one day after his final two games. He struck out four times during that doubleheader, then got pinch-hit for in the ninth inning of the second game. His minor league stats are spotty, but his travels were documented. He played for Rochester and Toronto of the Eastern League in 1906, combining to put up a .240 average, eight doubles, a homer and 11 steals over 92 games. He played for Brockton of the New England League and Utica of the Class-B New York State League during the 1907 season. Only the Brockton stats are available, which show a .231 average and two doubles in 15 games.
Wallace had a .240 average, 33 runs, 12 extra-base hits and 17 steals in 69 games for Hartford of the Class-B Connecticut State League during the 1908 season. He then settled in for a bit with Lynn of the New England League, staying there until 1912. He played 71 games for Lynn in 1908, where he had a .253 average, 39 runs, 25 extra-base hits and ten steals. He hit .236 in 124 games during the 1909 season, with 15 doubles, four triples and two homers. Wallace batted .312 for Lynn in 1910, with ten doubles, seven triples and one homer over 88 games. He hit eight homers in 1911, which was two more than what he hit in his other eight seasons combined (noting that stats from Utica in 1907 are missing). He batted .246 over 125 games during that 1911 season, while finishing with 13 doubles and four triples. He played for Lynn and Worcester of the New England League in 1912, which was his last season of pro ball. He hit .239 between both stops, with 20 doubles and four triples.
Fred Carisch, catcher for the 1903-06 Pirates. He was born on the same day as Jim Wallace (1881), who was his teammate briefly in 1905. Carisch debuted in pro ball at the highest level at the time, playing at 19 years old for St Paul of the Class-A Western League for the 1901 season. There are no stats available for that season, but he was ten years younger than the average player in the league. He played 78 games (only stat available) for Sioux Falls of the Class-D Iowa-South Dakota League during the 1902 season. He then returned to Class-A ball for the 1903 season season. Carisch was acquired by the Pirates as a package deal from Helena of the Pacific National League in August of 1903, after he put up a .310 average and 22 extra-base hits over 103 games. He came along with pitcher Gus Thompson, which actually happened quite a few times back then. A new pitcher would be signed by a big league time, plus his personal catcher would come along. Carisch debuted with the Pirates on August 31, 1903, five days after he reported to the team. He didn’t play his second game until three weeks later. He went 6-for-18 in five games for the 1903 National League champs, with four runs, four doubles, a home run and five RBIs. Carisch homered during his 14th big league at-bat (fourth game), then never homered again in the majors. It was an inside-the-park homer off of Brooklyn’s Oscar Jones. Carisch was eligible for the postseason, as the two sides agreed that anyone with the team before September 1st could play, but he didn’t appear in the World Series.
Carisch split the 1904 season between the Pirates and Jersey City of the Class-A Eastern League, where he went for most of July. A bout of typhoid fever caused him to not play after August 27th. He hit .248/.299/.288 in 37 games for the Pirates, finishing with nine runs, four extra-base hits, eight RBIs and nine walks. He had a .286 average and three doubles in 24 games with Jersey City. His only full season with the Pirates was in 1905, when he had a .206 average, seven runs, eight RBIs and a .89 OPS over 32 games. He had three extra-base hits that year, which were all triples. He played four April games for the 1906 Pirates between the 15th and 19th of the month, then went 28 days without playing again, before being released to Rochester of the Eastern League. However, his final games with the Pirates came on May 9th and 10th, when he caught a pair of exhibition games on consecutive days off. Carisch was a .229/.265/.298 hitter over 78 games as the backup catcher for four seasons with the Pirates. After being shipped to Rochester, he didn’t make the majors again for another six seasons. He then had a nine-year stretch before he finished his big league career with two games for the 1923 Detroit Tigers at 41 years old.
Carisch had a .226 average and seven extra-base hits in 57 games for Rochester to finish out the 1906 season. He played semi-pro ball in Washington during the 1907 season, despite the New York Giants and Philadelphia Athletics attempting to sign him. He then returned to the minors in 1908 with Newark of the Eastern League, where he hit just .131 in 25 games, with no extra-base hits. The next four seasons were spent in the Class-A American Association, where he saw time with four different teams, before returning to the majors for the 1912 Cleveland Naps (Indians). Carisch had a .257 average, 32 runs, 19 extra-base hits and ten steals in 118 games for St Paul during the 1909 season. He spent the 1910 season with Columbus, where he dropped to a .213 average and 13 extra-base hits in 90 games. He split the 1911 season between Indianapolis and Toledo, combining to put up a .268 average and 19 extra-base hits in 131 games. Before joining the Naps in August of 1912, Carisch had a .249 average, 17 runs, seven extra-base hits and two steals over 58 games for Toledo. He hit .275/.286/.348 in 24 games that year with Cleveland, finishing with four runs, four extra-base hits, five RBIs and three steals.
Carisch spent the entire 1913-14 seasons in the majors with the Naps. He hit .216 over 82 games in 1913, with 11 runs, six extra-base hits and 26 RBIs. Due to a mediocre walk rate and no power, he finished with a .539 OPS. He batted .216 over 40 games in 1914, with eight runs, five extra-base hits and five RBIs, while slightly improving to a .583 OPS. The 1915 season was spent with Portland of the Double-A Pacific Coast League. He was then out of affiliated ball for the next four seasons. Carisch had a .268 average and 16 extra-base hits (15 doubles) in 86 games for Portland. He played semi-pro ball in Arizona during 1916 season as a member of the Copper Belt League. He said that he was offered a lucrative deal that he couldn’t pass up. He also did some managing after that point in semi-pro ball. He returned to pro ball in 1920 as a player-manager of Sioux Falls of the South Dakota League for one year, then the team was part of the Dakota League during the 1921-22 seasons. That team played Class-D ball all three years, which was five levels below the majors at the time. He hit .275 over 85 games in 1920. He then had a .297 average and nine extra-base hits in 1921. That was followed by a .309 average and two doubles in 33 games during the 1922 season. Carisch signed on with the 1923 Detroit Tigers as a coach, then appeared in two games. Both were as a defensive replacement behind the plate late in the game. He didn’t get to bat in either game. He wasn’t officially a player-coach at the time, but the American League had a rule that allowed someone to play up to five games with a team without signing an official contract. He finished his big league career as a .227 hitter in 226 games, with 43 runs, 17 doubles, nine triples, one homer and 57 RBIs.
Sam Gillen, shortstop for the 1893 Pirates, as well as a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh. He spent most of his ten-year pro career in the minors, playing three games for the 1893 Pirates and 75 games for the 1897 Philadelphia Phillies. Those two stops would be his only time in the majors. Gillen made his pro debut in 1889 for a team from Davenport, Iowa according to an 1893 article detailing his pro ball work. However, online sources now list his debut as being 1890, playing for Erie of the New York-Penn League (no stats available). He probably did play in Davenport during the 1889 season, but some record-keeping from back then didn’t list stats for minor league players who participated in fewer than ten games. His Davenport time may have been brief, or he may have been playing semi-pro ball. It was said that he received an offer to play for San Jose in the California League for 1891, but he decided to stay closer to home. He spent part of that year at Elmira of the New York-Penn League, where he had a .173 average and three extra-base hits in 23 games. The rest of the year was with Davenport of the Illinois-Iowa League, where he hit .227 in 60 games. Gillen played for Macon of the Class-B Southern Association for part of the 1892 season, batting .254 over 61 games, with 34 runs scored, 14 extra-base hits and 12 steals. He also played for Quincy of the Illinois-Iowa League, where he hit .177 in 34 games, with 13 runs, no extra-base hits and four steals. He was back in Macon for early 1893, where he finally found his hitting stroke. He batted .343 in 91 games, with 77 runs scored, 18 doubles and seven triples. It was announced in the papers that he signed with the Pirates on August 19th for the remainder of the season.
Gillen made his Major League debut on August 19, 1893 for the Pirates, playing both games of a doubleheader against the first place Boston Beaneaters. It was said that he held his own at shortstop, though he made an error and wasn’t able to collect a hit. Despite the good play, it was questioned by the local writers as to why the Pirates would use Gillen in a big situation over Jim Gray, a veteran baseball player from Pittsburgh. Gray played two games for the Pirates days earlier as a fill-in for star shortstop Jack Glasscock. Gillen’s first game was started by Glasscock, though the latter was forced out of the game early by a leg injury, so he got replaced by Gillen. The next three games of the Boston series ended up getting rained out, which likely cost him big league playing time. He would play just one more game with the Pirates, coming in as a sixth-inning defensive replacement for Glasscock on August 26th during a blowout loss. Gillen finished 0-for-6 at the plate for the Pirates, while making two errors in eight chances. He remained with the club for a time after his final game, and actually played in an exhibition game on September 5th as the starting shortstop.
Gillen signed with Wilkes-Barre of the Eastern League for the 1894 season. He hit .333 in 106 games that year, with 89 runs, 41 extra-base hits and 17 steals. He spent the next two seasons with Detroit of the Class-A Western League (highest level of the minors at the time), though it was said that he was reserved to Wilkes-Barre and violated rules by signing with Detroit. While stats are unavailable for the 1896 season, his 1895 stats show a .344 average in 125 games, with 95 runs, 44 doubles, five triples, nine homers and 16 steals. He hit .259 over 75 games for the 1897 Phillies, with 32 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 27 RBIs and a .671 OPS. He played his final big league game on August 5th, then returned to the Western League for 41 games at St Paul, where he had a .291 average, 40 runs, ten extra-base hits and 12 steals. Gillen played for St Paul again during the 1898 season, where he hit .246 in 136 games, with 76 runs, 30 extra-base hits and 19 steals. His 1899 stats aren’t available, but we know that he split the year between Columbus of the Western League and Fort Wayne of the Class-B Interstate League. That was his final season, though he said that he intended to play again in the summer of 1900. Gillen passed away at 37 years old in 1905. He is buried in Union Dale Cemetery in Pittsburgh. He often went by “Sammy”, and it was said that his actual last name was Gilleland.
Otto Schomberg, first baseman for the 1886 Alleghenys. He made his pro debut at 19 years old in 1884, playing for Stillwater of the Northwestern League, where he hit .249 over 43 games, with 29 runs scored and ten extra-base hits. His only records from 1885 show him putting up a .241 average, three runs scored and no extra-base hits over eight games for Omaha of the Western League. He also played later in the season for a team from Leavenworth, Kansas, which had a Western League club starting during the 1886 season. Schomberg debuted in the majors with the Alleghenys on July 7, 1886, during their last season as a member of the American Association. Prior to joining Pittsburgh, he was playing for Utica of the International League. He also saw time with Providence of the Eastern League that year. He did well with both teams, including a .324 average, ten runs, six doubles and one steal in 20 games with Providence. He also had a .357 average, 17 runs, five doubles, a homer and two steals in 17 games for Utica. The Alleghenys purchased his released for $800 (it’s also listed one place as $600). As a 21-year-old rookie with the 1886 Alleghenys, he had a .272 average, 53 runs scored, six doubles, six triples, one homer, 29 RBIs, 57 walks, a .417 OBP and a .775 OPS in 72 games. The Alleghenys traded Schomberg in early December of 1886 to the St Louis Maroons (National League) for first baseman Alex McKinnon. Schomberg was sold to to the Indianapolis Hoosiers (National League) three months later, when St Louis folded before the 1887 season.
Schomberg hit .308 over 112 games for the Indianapolis in 1887, with 91 runs scored, 18 doubles, 16 triples, five homers, 83 RBIs, 21 steals, 56 walks and an .860 OPS. He almost didn’t play in the majors during the 1888 season, because he refused to sign for less than $2,000 for the season. He was still holding out for more money as of mid-March. Schomberg was released after playing just 30 games with the Hoosiers in 1888, ending his big league career at 23 years old. He hit .214 that season, with 11 runs, seven extra-base hits, ten RBIs and a .594 OPS. He played his last game in the majors on July 14th, though he was released on August 21st. It was said in a local Indianapolis paper right after he was released, that he went out and bought a livery stable. After his big league career ended, he played semi-pro ball off-and-on until 1890, while also doing some umpiring work. He said that he had offers to play minor league ball for the 1890 season, but decided to remain retired because his lumber business he ran with his brother in Milwaukee made him more money than he ever made as a baseball player. His name was often misspelled as “Shomberg” in the papers during his career. He had a .283 average in 214 games over three big league seasons, with 155 runs, 29 doubles, 23 triples, seven homers, 122 RBIs and 34 steals.