Posted: Monday, December 2, 2002
On this date in Pirates history in 1967, the Bucs traded Bob Oliver to the Twins for pitcher Ron Kline. Ron was coming off a season where he went 7-1 with 5 saves in 54 relief appearances. Kline, who was 36 at the time, would have a great year in 1968 as he went 12-5 with 7 saves in 56 appearances and post an ERA of just 1.68. He would struggle, however, the next season as he played in just 20 games for the Bucs before moving on to the Giants then Red Sox and then the Braves in 1970. He would end his career appearing in just 5 games that year. Kline posted a 1-3, 5.81 record in 1969 with the Bucs.
Kline opened his career with the Bucs in 1950 as a 20 year old and struggled, going 0-7 in 27 games, 11 starts. He would not appear with the team till 1955 when he went 6-13 for the last place Bucs. Kline would have 4 straight losing seasons with the Bucs thru 1958 making 6 in a row before moving on to the Cardinals in 1959. In fairness to Kline, the Bucs were usually 7th or 8th place teams during his first stint. Kline's career record for the Bucs is 66-91 over 288 games.
Bob Oliver played just 3 games for the Bucs, batting twice with no hits during the 1965 season. He played left field in all 3 games. Oliver was 24 at the time of the trade and never appeared for the Twins, playing his next games for the expansion Royals in 1969.
On this date in 1970, the Pirates traded Freddie Patek to the Royals in a 6 player deal that brought Bob Johnson to the Bucs. Bob would go 9-10, 3.45 for the World Series winning 1971 team. He also won game 3 of the NLCS pitching 8 innings and giving up no earned runs in a 2-1 win. He would go 0-1 in the W.S. giving up 5 runs in 5 innings, but the Pirates won anyway so all is forgiven.
During the next 2 seasons, appearing mainly in relief, Johnson would go a combined 8-6 over 81 games and saved 7. He posted a career low 2.96 ERA in 1972 and pitched 6 innings over 2 games of the NLCS that year, giving up 2 runs with no decisions.
Freddie Patek played 3 years at shortstop for the Bucs from 1968-70. He split time with Gene Alley, who also played some 2b during this time. At the age of 23 in 1968, as a rookie, Patek hit .255 and stole 18 bases. In 1969, Patek would bat just .239 with 32 RBI's and 15 stolen bases as the everyday shortstop, but the Bucs were forced to use him everyday because of injuries to Bill Mazeroski and Alley. In 1970, Freddie batted .245 over 84 games and appeared in 1 game during the NLCS going 0-3.
Patek, who was one of the smallest players ever at 5"5', would go on to be an All-Star with the Royals. He stole 385 bases in his career, 9 times ranking in the top-10 in the league.
Former Bucs born on this date include Mike Wilson who appeared briefly for the Bucs in the middle of the 1921 season. Wilson, who was born in 1896, would catch parts of 5 games for the Bucs, batting 4 times with no hits.
Johnny Welsh, born in 1906, finished his 9 year career in 1936 as a member of the Bucs. Coming over from the Red Sox during the season, he would appear in 9 games, starting 1 and saving 1 with a record of 0-0, 4.50. He was just 29 at the time of his last game and finished with a 35-41 4.66 record overall.
Roscoe Miller, born in 1876, was a starting pitcher for the 1904 Pirates after coming over from the Giants the previous season. Miller went 7-7, 3.35 for the Bucs, pitching 11 complete games and 2 shutouts. Miller was a 23 game winner his rookie year in 1901, but wouldn't play after the 1904 season, finishing with just 39 career wins.
Finally, Andre Rodgers, born in 1934 played for the Bucs from 1965-67. He played all 4 infield positions and even a little outfield, serving as the utility player for the Bucs. He would bat 287 his first year over 75 games, but just .184 and .230 the next 2 years playing just 83 games combined. He missed significant time during the 1966 season with a leg injury and retired after the 1967 season ending his 11 season career.