Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2003
On this date in 1954, the Pirates traded pitcher Murry Dickson to the Phillies for Andy Hansen and Jack Lohrke. Dickson had been with the Bucs since 1949, but was the league leader in losses his last 2 years with the team. After winning 20 games in 1951 he went 14-21 in 1952 and 10-19 in 1953. The next season with the Phillies he would lead the NL in losses for the 3rd straight season when he lost 20 against just 10 wins. Both of the players the Pirates acquired would not appear in a game for them, or appear in the majors after the trade.
Lots of birthdays today to get to so I'm going to keep them brief when possible.
First, Spades Wood who pitched for the 1930-31 Pirates teams was born on this date in 1909. Spades, who's real first name was Robert, was a small lefty pitcher from Spartanburg S.C. He made his ML debut on August 16, 1930 and on the season went 4-3 in 9 games, 7 of them as a starter. He also threw 2 shutouts, but when his stuff was off on the mound he was bad. He had an ERA of 5.12 and allowed on average, over 1.5 runners per inning. The next season he would struggle, pitching 15 games with a record of 2-6 6.05. He walked 46 batters in 64 innings and also gave up over a hit an inning. That 1931 season would be his last in the majors.
Ben Guintini, who played 2 games for the 1946, Pirates was born on this date in 1920 and he turns 83 today. He made his ML debut on April 21st of that year for the Bucs and he would play in just 1 game after that. In his career he played just 3 more games in the majors, all as a member of the Philadelphia A's in 1950. Ben played one game in right field and one as a pinch hitter and went 0-3 as a Pirate. In his career he went 0-7. While with the Bucs he wore #49
Ron Brand, who made his ML debut for the 1963 Pirates, turns 63 today. A catcher, he played 46 games, 33 behind the plate and 2 each at 2nd base and 3rd base. Ron batted .288 in 66 at-bats with a homer and 7 RBI's. Brand batted .239 career over 8 seasons, with the rest of his time split between the Astros and Expos. Brand was a small guy, but was known for his great arm and he was also used at every position in his career except 1st base and pitcher. He wore #16 while with the Bucs.
Jim Foor was a left-handed pitcher who played for the 1973 Pirates team. He was born on this date in 1949 and he came over to the Bucs from the Tigers who he appeared briefly for in the previous 2 seasons. As a Pirate he pitched 3 games as a reliever, giving up no runs and 2 hits in 1 1/3 innings pitched. He had no record as a Pirate and career overall he was just 1-0 in 13 games.Despi appearing in those 13 games, he pitched just 6 innings, while giving up 8 runs for an ERA career of 12.00. The 1973 season would be his last in the majors.
Goat Anderson played just one season in the majors, but he was the Bucs everyday starter in the outfield during the 1907 season. Born in 1880 his real first name was Edward. He was a lefty hitter but threw righty. Goat played all 3 outfield positions spending a majority of his time in right field. He batted just .206 with only 12 RBI's in 413 at-bats. Despite those low stats he was still among the league leaders in walks with 80 (good for 5th in the NL) and in runs scored with 73. He played in 127 games total and even played 5 games at 2nd base.
Fred Schulte was a 9 year veteran when he joined the Pirates in 1936. A center fielder, he had a career average of just under .300 before he joined the Pirates, but his first year he batted just .261 in 74 games. Schulte was a backup that season for Hall of Famer Lloyd Waner and when Fred played he was alongside another future Hall of Famer and brother of Lloyd, Paul Waner.
The next season he lasted just 29 games with the team and he batted just 20 times with only 2 hits. He was mainly used as a pinch runner and pinch hitter that year and despite just 2 hits he scored 5 runs and drove in 3. That would be his last season in the majors and he finished a .291 hitter in 1179 games. He scored 90 or more runs 4 times in his career, twice reach the century mark and he batted .294 or higher in 6 of his 11 seasons.He was born in 1901.
Jud Smith, who was born in 1869, played for the Pirates in 1896 and then again in 1901 when the Bucs finished first for the first time. During the 1896 season he batted .343 in 10 games at 3rd base. Before the 1896 season he had played just 1 year in the minors, back in 1893. He next played for the Senators in 1898 and hit .303 in 66 games. Despite the batting average, he wouldn't appear again till 1901. In what would be his last ML experience, he played in just 6 games,hitting .143 in 21 at-bats and the Bucs would finish that year 90-49, 7.5 games ahead of the 2nd place Phillies.
Odell Jones, who was born on this date in 1953, played for the Pirates in 1975,77-78 and 1981. He played 2 games in 1975 as a late season callup and gave up no runs in 3 innings. After spending all of 1976 in the minors he pitched 34 games for the 1977 Bucs going 3-7 5.08 with 15 games coming as a starter. Despite pitching just 3 games in 1978 he went 2-0 2.00, but went to the Mariners the next season. He came back to the Pirates during the strike 1981 season and went 4-5 3.31 in 13 games. Career he finished 24-35 4.42 in 201 games.
Finally, Elmer Dessens, who pitched for the 1996-1998 Pirates and who was just signed by the Diamondbacks, turns 31 today. He made his ML debut on June 24th, 1996 and posted an 0-2 8.28 record in 15 games that season. In 1997, he was loaned to the Mexico City Red Devils most of the season, but returned at the end of the year to pitch 3 games in relief giving up 0 runs. After starting 1998 on the DL, he went 2-6 5.67 in 43 games and he would be released right before the start of the 1999 season.