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Friday, December 2, 2022

This Date in Pirates History: October 9

On this date in 1947 former Pirates pitcher Bob Moose was born. He was drafted by the Pirates in the 18th round of the 1965 amateur draft at age 17 and it took him just two years to make the majors. He flew through the minor league system posting a 29-10 record on his way to the majors, making his pro debut 20 days before his 20th birthday on September 19, 1967. In his second career start ten days later he threw a complete game victory over the Astros allowing just one run.

Moose, shown here in 1969, no-hit the Mets that season

In 1968 Moose started the year in the bullpen but moved to the starting role in early June and finished the season with an 8-12 record despite an ERA of just 2.74 over 170.2 innings pitched. At age 21 he led the NL in winning percentage with his 14-3 record, with 19 of his 44 appearances as a starter. His ERA was actually 17 points higher in 1969 over the previous season when he had a losing record. On September 20th of that 1969 season Moose pitched a no-hitter over the Mets at Shea Stadium, the team that went on to win the World Series that year.

For the next four seasons Bob was mostly used in a starter role and he won at least 11 games each year. In 1974 he missed most of the season due to a blood clot in his right shoulder. In 1975 he suffered a bad thumb injury which required him to spend part of the year in the minors on rehab. The following year he was used almost exclusively in relief, making just two starts and 51 relief appearances. He recorded ten saves that season, one more than his previous nine years combined. Sadly, today is also the 35th anniversary of his death. He died shortly after the 1976 season ended, in a car accident, on his 29th birthday.

Moose finished his career with a 76-71 3.50 record, starting 160 games and relieving in another 129. He spent all ten of his seasons in the majors as a member of the Pirates.

On this date in 1960 the Pirates beat the New York Yankees in game four of the World Series by a 3-2 score in front of 67,812 fans in Yankee Stadium. Vernon Law started for the Pirates and pitched 6.1 innings allowing two runs and getting the win. Elroy Face pitched the final 2.2 IP for the save. He retired all eight batters he faced including the final two hitters of the 7th with two inherited runners on base when he came into the game. Law drove in the Pirates first run of the game with a 5th inning double and he scored the eventual winning run one batter later on a two run single by Bill Virdon.

In 1972 on this date the Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS by a 3-2 score to give them a 2-1 lead in the five game series. Bruce Kison picked up the win in relief of starter Nelson Briles and Manny Sanguillen picked up two RBI’s including a solo home run in the 5th inning. Roberto Clemente went 1-3 with a walk. He would play just two more games in his career after this game.

Born on this date in 1865, Al Maul played outfield, first base and pitched for the 1888-89 Pittsburgh Alleghenys, then again in 1891 when the team changed their name to the Pirates. Maul began his major league career in 1884 as an 18-year-old, pitching one game in the Union Association, a one-season major league that folded as soon as the season ended. Maul spent the next two years as a pitcher/outfielder in the minors, returning to the big leagues with the 1887 Philadelphia Quakers. The Alleghenys purchased his contract on January 3,1888 for $1,000. Maul had batted .304 in limited time in 1887, but he hit just .208 in 74 games for the Alleghenys during his first season with the team. He also struggled during his limited time on the mound, going 0-2, 6.35 in 17 innings. The next season, Maul was even worse on the mound, posting a 9.86 ERA in 42 innings. His batting however, came around in 1889, as he hit .276, with 16 extra base hits and 44 RBI’s in 68 games.

Most of the good players in the NL, left for the newly formed Player’s League for the 1890 season. When that season ended, the league folded and most players returned to their former teams. Maul finally pitched well with the Pirates in 1891, posting a 2.35 ERA in 39 innings, but his batting fell well off, hitting .188 in 47 games. Maul had to return to the minors in 1892 to work his way back to the majors. He ended up making it back in 1893 and sticking around until 1901. In 1898, for the Baltimore Orioles, Maul won 20 games. He finished his career with a 84-80, 4.43 record in 187 games and a .241 batting average in 410 games, with 179 RBI’s and 193 runs scored.

Arnie Stone (1892) Pitcher for the 1923-24 Pirates. The 6’0″ lefty didn’t make his debut in the majors until after his 30th birthday. The Pirates acquired him midseason from Hartford of the Eastern League, where he had a 2.01 ERA and 8-1 record in 112 innings. Stone joined the Pirates in late July 1923 and pitched nine games in relief, posting an 8.03 ERA in 12.1 innings. He was mostly used in a mop-up role, appearing in just one game that the Pirates won. In 1924, Stone started off strong once he got into games. He threw 2.2 perfect innings during his season debut on April 27th, then tossed one-hit ball over five innings on May 3rd. That got him more time on the mound and eventually he made two starts. On July 5th, he pitched a complete game victory over the Reds, allowing just one earned run. Stone finished with a 2.95 ERA in 64 innings despite being one of the most contact-oriented pitchers in history. In his 35 career appearances, he recorded more than one strikeout just once, racking up two against the Cardinals during a three inning outing in 1924. After that 1924 season, Stone never pitched in the majors again, finishing his career in the minors the next year.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


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