Posted: Monday, January 6, 2003
Former Bucs players born on this date include Lee Walls, who made his ML debut with the 1952 Pirates team as a teenager. Walls, born in 1933, played 18 games in center that year, 32 games all together and hit just .188 over 80 at-bats. He wouldn't play again in the majors till 1956 when he would be an everyday player, hitting .274 in 143 games. He had double figures in HR's, triples and doubles in 1956 and scored 72 runs while driving in 54.
In 1957, Walls would last till just May 1st with the Bucs before being traded to the Cubs along with Dale Long for Dee Fondy and Gene Baker. While with the Bucs that season, he hit .182 over 8 games. His first full season with the Cubs would be his best year of his 10 year career. In 1958, he hit .304 with 24 HR's and 72 RBI's, all career highs. Lee wore #6 in his first stint with the Bucs and #16 the last 2 seasons.
George Grant, who played for the 1931 Pirates, was born on this date in 1903. A right-handed pitcher, he had played parts of 6 seasons in the majors between 1923-1930 before joining the Bucs. Prior to joining the Bucs, he had a career record of 15-20 over 103 games with an ERA of 5.50. Grant pitched 11 games in 1931, all in relief and he had no record with an ERA of 7.41. He allowed 35 base runners in 17 innings while striking out 6. That season would be his last in the majors.
Chuck Workman, who played for the 1946 Pirates, was born on this date in 1915. A left-handed hitting righty throwing outfielder he came over midseason from the Braves in a trade for Johnny Barrett and hit .221 with 16 RBI's over 58 games. That would be his last season in the majors and he finished with a career .242 avg. 50 HR's and 230 RBI's in 526 games over 6 seasons. His best year came the year before he joined the Bucs when he hit .274 with 25 HR's and 87 RBI's.
He had success prior to and after his ML career while in the minors. Chuck hit 52 HR's and drove in 182 runs in 1948 and then followed that up by hitting 41 homers the next year. Unfortunately, Chuck was bothered by ulcers his whole career and died from them in 1953 just days shy of his 38th birthday. He wore #41 while with the Bucs.
Like Workman, Phil Masi born on this date in 1916 also joined the Bucs in a midseason trade from the Braves and played just the partial year for the Pirates. Masi was the Braves starting catcher from 1946 till the trade in 1949 and had been with Boston since getting called up from the minors in 1939. While with the Pirates, he hit .274 in 48 games and made just 1 error in 44 games behind the plate. Phil was sold to the White Sox in the off-season and he would go on to lead all AL backstops in fielding that year. Masi wore #17 while with the Bucs.
Finally, Doe Boyland, who played on the last World Series winning Pirates team in 1979, turns 48 today. Boyland, a 2nd round draft pick in 1976, joined the team in 1978 and was used mainly as a pinch hitter, while playing one game at 1st base. In 6 games total, he went 2-8 with an RBI. In the minors that year he hit .291, 12 HR's, 61 RBI's before being called up on Sept. 4th. In 1979, Boyland played just 4 games for the Pirates, 3 as a pinch hitter going 0-3 and 1 game as a pinch runner. He did not appear in the postseason. After spending all of 1980 in the minors, Boyland would make his last appearance in the majors in 1981, going 0-8 as a pinch hitter with a walk. He also appeared in 2 games as a pinch runner and finished his ML career going 2-19 total in 21 games.