Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, starting with the most recent one first today:
Gary Kolb(1940) utility fielder for the 1968-69 Pirates. From 1960 until 1965, Kolb played 190 games in the majors, split between three different teams. He spent all of 1966 in the minors with the Mets before they traded him to the Pirates in December of that year in a four player deal with two players going each way. Gary spent all of 1967 at AAA Columbus, where he hit .293 in 117 games. In 1968 he made the team out of spring training and he would become the jack-of-all-trades for the team. He started just 22 games all year but played another 52 off the bench and took the field at six different positions. Kolb even caught ten games that year, seven more than he caught his first five seasons in the majors. His versatility is what kept him on the team as he hit just .218 with six RBI’s in 119 AB’s. In 1969 he was very seldom used, going long period of time without playing. He played 29 games the entire year, getting only 39 plate appearances. He drove in three runs on the season, two in his last AB, which would turn out to be his last major league AB as well. Gary played another four seasons in the minors for the Pirates before retiring. Despite the fact he wasn’t a pitcher, and never pitched a game in the majors, he made 41 appearances in the minors, spread out over seven different seasons. His cousin Danny Kolb pitched for the Pirates in 2007.
Al Luplow(1939) outfielder for the 1967 Pirates. He was in his seventh season in the majors when the Pirates purchased his contract from the New York Mets on June 21,1967. In 41 games with the Mets he was hitting .205 with three homers. His best season in the majors was in 1962 as a rookie when he hit .277 with 14 homers for the Cleveland Indians. For the Pirates, Luplow played 55 games, mostly off the bench. He batted .184 in 103 AB’s with one homer and eight RBI’s. He went to spring training with the Pirates in 1968 but he was a late cut from the team and never played pro ball again, deciding to retire instead of accepting his minor league assignment.
Eddie Pellagrini(1918) infielder for the 1953-54 Pirates. He had six seasons of major league experience, prior to being picked up by the Pirates off waivers early in the 1953 seasons. He played for the Reds in 1952, hitting .170 with a homer in 46 games. Eddie was a .222 hitter before coming to Pittsburgh, where he would hit a career high .253 in 1953. He started 34 games, mostly at second base and played another 44 off the bench. The following season he had a similar role, except most of his playing time came at third base. Pellagrini hit .216 in 1954 with 16 RBI’s in 73 games. The Pirates released him immediately after the season ended and the 36 year old called it quits, taking up a coaching job three years later at Boston College, where he stayed for 32 seasons.
Chappie McFarland(1875) pitcher for the 1906 Pirates. He began his major league career at age 27 in 1902 with the Cardinals and had a 33-57 record over three full and two partial seasons. His ERA during that time was just 3.33 yet he finished in the top ten among NL pitchers in losses all three full seasons. The Pirates acquired him on June 3,1906 for young rookie starter Ed Karger, who posted a 1.93 ERA in his first 28 innings of work in the majors. McFarland made five starts for the Pirates, picking up just one win, which was a 3-0 shutout in his first start, ten days after trade. The Pirates put him on waivers in late July, where he was picked up by the Brooklyn Superbas. He lost his only start with his new team, giving up eight runs on ten hits and five walks. That would be his last game in the majors. In 1907 he had a 22-4 record in the minors but by the end of the 1909 season he was out of baseball for good. His older brother Monte pitched two years in the majors.
Just a reminder for fans of the Pirates history, you can find 250 total (and counting) articles on the team in three different places on the site: