Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2003
On this date in 1988, Willie Stargell was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers of America. He was named on 82% of the ballots and was the only player elected that year. It marked the first time since 1965, when former Pirate Pud Galvin was elected, that only one person gained induction.
Stargell played his entire career for the Bucs from 1962-1982 and is the teams all-time leader in homeruns with 475 (tied for 22nd all-time with Stan Musial) and RBI's with 1540. Pops was a 7 time All-Star, helped the Bucs win 2 W.S. (1971, 1979) and was the MVP during the 1979 season.
Former players born on this date include Rich Loiselle, who played for the Pirates from 1996-2001. Rich, a big right-handed pitcher born in 1972, was a 38th round draft pick of the Padres. He would be traded to the Astros in 1995 before being dealt to the Pirates on July 23, 1996 for Danny Darwin. Loiselle made his ML debut that September 7th during a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers. Rich went 1-0 3.05 in 5 games, 3 as a starter that year. In 1997, he moved to the bullpen for good, and pitched a team high 72 games, saving 29 games and posting a 3.10 ERA.
Starting late season 1999, the injury bug began to plague Loiselle. He went just 2-7 3.44 in 54 games, but had 19 saves to lead the team. He also missed a month of the season on the disabled list, but it would get worse the next season when he was on the DL from May 8th till the end of the year. In 2000, he would twice miss a month and a half to injuries, but still got into 40 games. In 2001, he struggled pitching 18 games with a 11.50 ERA. He didn't play during the 2002 season in the majors and to this point his career stats include a 9-18 4.38 record in 202 games with 49 saves.
Ed Swartwood, who was born in 1859, ended his career with the 1892 Pirates. He hit .238 in 13 games with 4 RBI's while playing right field. Ed had played just one season in the majors since 1887, but it was a good one as he hit .327 in 126 games for Toledo of the American Association in 1890. The 1890 season was the second and last season 3 majors leagues competed at the same time (The NL, AA and the Players League) ,with 1884 being the only other year (NL, AA and the Union Association). Swartwood had also played for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys of the American Association from 1882-1884. In 1883, he batted .357 to lead the AA. Ed was also a resident of Pittsburgh after his playing days.
Tom Kinslow, who played for the 1895 Pirates, was born on this date in 1866. He had been a platoon catcher for parts of 7 seasons for 4 different teams before joining the Bucs. While with the Pirates he was a 2nd string catcher behind Joe Sudgen, but lost that job when Bill Merritt was reacquired. On the season Kinslow hit .226 with 5 RBI's in 19 games. He did score 10 runs and only struck out twice in 62 at-bats. Tom played in the majors till 1898, but died shortly after that in Washington DC where he was a lifelong resident. During his career he hit .266 over 10 seasons, but he played in just 380 games, 373 as a catcher.
Finally, Ed Stevens, who played for the Pirates from 1948-1950, turns 78 today. Ed, a lefthanded hitting first baseman had played parts of 3 years for the Dodgers before coming to the Bucs. He earned the starting job his first year, replacing HOF'er Hank Greenberg who retired after the 1947 season. Stevens hit .254 with 10 HR and 69 RBI's. The next season Stevens lost his job to Johnny Hopp, who was traded to the Dodgers, but then came back to the Pirates after just 8 games. Stevens played 67 games and hit .262 with 32 RBI's.
His last year with the Bucs would also be his last season in the majors and he hit just .196 in 17 games finishing his career as a .252 hitter over 375 games. Stevens was a good fielder and even led the NL in fielding in 1948 when made just 4 errors in 117 games at first. Stevens was the Dodgers starting first baseman in 1946, but lost his job to Jackie Robinson when Robinson made his ML debut. For Jackie, that would be his only full season at first base.