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Friday, March 24 2023 @ 12:22 am UTC
This Day in Pirate History - 2/9   
By 81omar_moreno

Former Bucs players born on this date include pitcher Eddie Solomon, who played for the Pirates from 1980-82. Being the only player born on this date that I've seen play out of the 7 guys born on this date, I decided to start with him. Acquired from the Braves on March 28, 1980 in exchange for pitcher Greg Fields, Eddie was coming off a season where he went 7-14 4.21 in 31 games. Born in 1951, Eddie had his best years while with the Bucs, going 7-2 2.69 in 26 games (12 as a starter) in 1980 and then 8-6 3.12 in 22 games (17 starts) in the strike shortened 1981 season.

After struggling in early 1982 the Pirates traded Solomon to the White Sox for Jim Morrison. Eddie Pitched just 6 games for them, going 1-0 3.68 and that would be the end of his 10 year career. He pitched in the minors in 1983, but was released early 1984. In his only postseason appearance, he threw 2 scoreless innings in Game 3 of the 1974 NLCS as a member of the Dodgers vs the Pirates. The Bucs won that game 7-0, but lost the series 3 game to 1. Sadly, Eddie passed away in a car accident early in 1986, just prior to his 35 birthday.

Dutch Dietz, who was born in 1912, was a right handed pitcher for the Pirates from 1940-1943. He made his ML debut with the Bucs on April 26, 1940, but lasted just 4 games going 0-1 5.87 before being sent back to the minors. The next year he was the Bucs top reliever, while occasionally starting and he had his best season. In 33 games, 6 as a starter, he went 7-2 2.33 in 100 1/3 innings. He threw 4 complete games, with one shutout and also 1 save.

In 1942, the Pirates won just 66 games after winning 81 the previous season and Dietz struggled along with the team. He posted a 6-9 record in 40 games (13 starts), but his ERA was still a respectable 3.95. His 40 pitching appearances were the 7th highest in the NL. In 1943, after losing 3 games in relief and posting a 6.00 ERA, Dietz was sent to the Phillies where he finished his ML career later that season.

Sumner Bowman, who was born in 1867 in Millersburg, PA played briefly for the Pirates in 1890, the worst season in franchise history. He made his ML debut just days prior to joining the Bucs as a member of the Phillies. On June 11, 1890 the left handed pitcher started the game, throwing 8 innings, giving up 7 runs and taking a no decision. With the Pirates (Then nicknamed the Innocents because of all the young players on the team without experience) he went 2-5 6.62 in 9 games, 7 as a starter. He was 1 of 20 guys to start a game for Pittsburgh that year,with the team leader in wins being Billy Gumpert who recorded 4! Sumner's last big league experience was with Philadelphia of the American Association in 1891. A decent hitter, he played a few games in the outfield and batted .266 career.

Wally Hood, who was born in 1895, had a short stint with the Pirates in the 1920 season. He made his ML debut with the Dodgers earlier that year, and played just 7 games before coming over to the Pirates for 2 games. He was used as a pinch hitter in both games and he went 0-1 with a walk, stolen base and run scored. He was a righty outfielder who played all 3 spots in his brief career. In 1921, he went back to the Dodgers and was used as a reserve, playing 55 games with just 65 at-bats. In his last season he pinch ran twice and scored 2 runs for the Dodgers, ending his career with more runs than hits (23-19). His son, Wally Jr., pitched 2 games for the 1949 Yankees.

Roy Mahaffey, born in 1903, played 2 years for the Bucs in 1926-27. Nicknamed Popeye, he made his ML debut with the '26 Pirates, pitching 4 late season games in relief. In 4 2/3 innings he gave up no runs and struck out 3. The next season he had just 2 appearances, but started and won a game. However he gave up 8 runs in 9 1/3 innings. The Pirates that year played the Yankees in the W.S. and lost (the last time the Bucs lost the W.S.), but Roy did not appear in the postseason. He went on to play 7 more seasons, 6 for the A's and in a 3 year period from 1931-33 he won 41 games.

Jim Campanis, born in 1944 was another Pirate born on this date with just a handful of games. He was a catcher who had played previously for the Dodgers from 1966-68 and Royals in 1969-70, but had not appeared in the majors the previous 2 seasons when he came up with the Bucs in 1973. With the Pirates he played 6 games, all as a pinch hitter and he had just 1 single. It would be his last appearance in the majors and he finished with a .147 average over 113 games.

Finally, Arthur "Hi" Ladd, born in 1870 played one game for the Pirates back in 1898. A tall left handed hitting, righty throwing outfielder, he made his ML debut with the Bucs on July 12th of that season, and he pinch hit, making an out in his only at-bat and in the process ending his Pirates career. He played just 1 more game in the majors as a member of the Boston Braves later that same season. He started in left field, had a single in 4 at-bats, scored a run and handled both balls hit to him without an error.

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