This Day in Pirate History - 1/27

Wednesday, January 27 2010 @ 05:23 am UTC

Contributed by: Staff

By 81omar_moreno

Only one former Pirates born on this date, so today's article will be a short one. Otis Clymer, who played for the Bucs from 1905 till 1907, was born on this date in 1876 in a town called Pine Grove Pa. A switch-hitting right fielder, Otis made the 1905 team to start the season and he made his ML debut on April 14th of that year which was opening day. The Pirates won that game 9-4 over the Reds in Cincinnati.

On the 1905, season Clymer batted .296 in 96 games, drove in 23 runs, stole 23 bases and scored 74 runs. Both the runs scored and stolen base totals placed him 3rd on the team behind Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke. Clymer played 85 games in right field and 4 games in left that year. The Pirates were coming off a 4th place finish in 1904 (after winning the NL title in 1903) and they improved to 2nd place in 1905 with a 96-57 record, 9 games behind the New York Giants.

The next year was a tough one for Clymer. After finally getting his chance in the majors the season before at age 29, Clymer played in just 11 games after suffering a broken ankle. Otis hit .244 in 45 at-bats that season. He was replaced by Bob Ganley, who made his debut in 1905 with the Bucs just like Clymer, but played only 32 games that year, and Ganley hit .258 with 19 stolen bases in 137 games. That season the Bucs would win 93 games but finish in 3rd place, an unbelievable 23.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs who went 116-36.

In 1907 Clymer lasted just 22 games with the Pirates before being sent to the Washington Senators where he finished the season hitting .294 with 22 stolen bases over 79 games. He played 2 more years for the Senators before going to the minors. He reappeared in 1913 with first the Cubs for 30 games, then the Braves for 14 games to finish his career. His final totals include a .267 average over 385 games (129 spent with the Pirates). The 1907 Pirates won 91 games, but the Cubs again had an incredible year, this time winning 107 games.

Making a little stretch just so this article isnt too small, I'll include the birthday of Al Wickland who played for the Pittsburgh Rebels in 1915 in the Federal League. Born in 1888, Al was a left handed hitting/fielding left fielder who played 110 games and hit .301 for the Rebels that year. He stole 23 bases and scored 63 runs on a team that included for Pirates great Howie Camnitz who won 116 games while in a Bucs uniform. Wickland played 5 seasons in the majors for 5 different teams and batted .270 over 444 games.

Other Pirates players on that team include Ed Konetchy (1914 Pirates), Mike Mowrey (1914)Jim Kelly(1914). Paddy O'Connor(1908-1910) and Ralph Comstock would go on to play for the Bucs in 1918. Catcher Orie Kerlin played 3 games for the Rebels that year behind the plate, but batted just once, going 0-1 in what would be his only ML experience. His autograph can be viewed below.