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Monday, January 30 2023 @ 08:21 am UTC
This Day in Pirate History - 2/13   
By 81omar_moreno

Former Pirates players born on this date include Pete Castiglione, who was a 3rd baseman / infielder for the Bucs from 1947-1953. Born in 1921, Pete was a September call up in 1947. He played just 17 games total between his first 2 seasons. In 1949 Frankie Gustine, who spent the previous 10 seasons with the Bucs, was now a member of the Cubs, and it opened a spot for Castiglione. In 118 games, Pete hit a career high .268 with 43 RBI's and 57 runs scored. He played 98 games that season at 3B, but also played 17 games at shortstop without an error.

In 1950, the Pirates lost 96 games and they went through a ton of players at 2B/SS/3B. Castiglione played at all 3 positions, and he was joined by fellow infielders Danny Murtaugh, Danny O'Connell, Bob Dillinger, Stan Rojek, Nanny Fernandez, Hank Schenz, Johhny Berardino and George Strickland who all saw regular time at one or all of those positions sometime during the season. Pete hit .255 in 94 games, but would go on to set career highs in many categories the next season.

Back as the regular 3B in 1951, he hit .261 with 42 RBI's and had career highs in games played (132), at-bats (482), runs scored (62,) hits (126), HR's (7) and walks with 34, while striking out just 28 times. In 1952, Pete missed significant time with a broken bone in his elbow and he appeared in just 67 games total. In 1953, he lasted just 45 games, hitting .208, before being sent to the Cardinals where he would finish his career the next season appearing 5 times as a defensive replacement for Ray Jablonski, who was a good hit/no field 3rd baseman for the Cards.

Frederick "Crazy" Schmit was known as the most eccentric player of his time. Born in 1866, he was a heavy drinker, who played one season for the Pirates in 1890. In his rookie season, the lefty starter pitched 11 games, going just 1- 9 5.83 with his one win coming by shutout. After leaving the Bucs he next played in 1892-93, then not again till 1899 and came back in 1901 to pitch for the Baltimore Orioles in their inagural season in the AL(for those that don't know, the original Baltimore Orioles team, is now known as the NY Yankees, the franchise moved to NY in 1903). Schmidt had the luck of playing for 2 of the worst major league teams ever, the 1890 Pirates and the 1899 Cleveland Spiders who had a combined record of 43-247! Crazy finished with a 7-36 5.45 career record in 54 games.

Harl Maggert, who played briefly for the 1907 Pirates, was born on this date in 1883. As a left handed hitting, righty throwing outfielder he played 3 games for the Bucs, 2 in left field. He made his ML debut on September 4th and went 0-6 on the season but walked twice and had 1 steal and 1 run scored. His only other appearance in the majors was with the 1912 Phillies, where he played 74 games and hit .256 with 39 runs scored and 10 steals. He started games at all 3 outfield positions that season. His son Harl, was an OF/3B/PH for the 1938 Boston Bees (Braves).

Bobby Rhawn who was born in 1919, like Maggert also played 3 games total for the Pirates. In 1949 Rhawn joined the Pirates at the end of the season, it was his 3rd team that year, starting with the Giants, then going to the White Sox before joining the Bucs. He went 1-7 with a single, playing 2 games at 3B, in what would be his last games in the ML. He started his career in 1947, but played just 90 games over his 3 seasons, hitting .237 total. He wore #17 while with the Bucs.

Oad Swigart, who was born in 1915, played 2 seasons in the majors from 1939-40, spending both years with the Pirates. A right handed pitcher, he made his ML debut on September 14th during a doubleheader with the Dodgers at Forbes Field. He went 1-1 4.44 that season in 3 starts and even pitched a shutout on September 21st vs the Braves (That would end up being his only career win). In 1940, Oad again joined the team late season and he would pitch 7 games, 2 as a starter and go 0-2 4.43 in just over 22 innings pitched. As a batter, Oad hit lefty and went 3-13 with 3 RBI's.

Herman Layne played just one season in the majors, but he was a member of the 1927 Pirates who went on to the World Series. Layne made the team out of spring training as a backup outfielder, but would be used mainly as a pinch runner. He lasted just 11 games, batting 6 times with no hits (just like Hal Maggert), but he scored 3 runs. He played one game in left field, 1 in center and made an error on the only ball hit to him finishing with a career fielding and career average exactly the same. Layne wasn't around for the World Series, going back to the minors where he finished his playing career.

Finally, Al "Stretch" Grunwald was a big lefty pitcher who made his ML debut for the 1955 Pirates. He made the opening day roster but had just 3 relief appearances before being sent to the minors where he would stay till making one last big league stay in Kansas City for the A's in 1959. As a Pirate he went 0-0 4.70 in 7.7 innings. He gave up 7 hits, 7 walks and struck out 2. On the bright side, he did bat .500 while with the Bucs, getting 2 hits in 4 at-bats. Al turns 73 today.

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