This Date in Pirates History: March 7

Light day on the calendar for former Pittsburgh Pirates but I promise to make it up tomorrow when we will have eight former players celebrating birthdays. Today we have just three and no big names. Starting off with the most recent first, we have Albert Hall(1968) who played for the 1989 Pirates. He played parts of eight seasons in the majors prior to joining the Pirates, all of those years with the Atlanta Braves. He was drafted in the sixth round of the amateur draft by the Braves in 1977. In 1980, playing for Durham of the Carolina League he stole 100 bases. The next three seasons he stole a combined 168 bases in the minors and made brief appearances in the majors each year without collecting a single base hit in any year.

Hall spent all of 1984 in the majors then split the next two years between AAA/Braves. He stole 72 bases in AAA in 1986. Albert had his best season in 1987, hitting .284 with 33 stolen bases and 54 runs scored in 92 games. He was released by the Braves late in spring 1989 and signed with the Pirates near the end of May. He played 90 games in AAA and got into 20 games with the Pirates as a September call-up. That would be his last season in baseball. He played 375 major league games and hit .251 with 67 stolen bases.

Also born on this date, in 1931, was catcher Dick Rand, who played for the 1957 Pirates. He signed with the Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1949 and played over 100 games each of eight straight seasons in the minors before joining the Pirates. Pittsburgh had traded catcher Toby Atwell to the Cardinals early in the 1956 season and after the year was over, they received Rand as a player to be named later  in the deal, which also included the Pirates getting cash. With the Cardinals he made brief appearances during the 1953 and 1955 seasons, getting into 12 total games. The 1957 season was the only year he spent all of in the majors. He played 60 total games, 57 behind the plate and 34 of those games as a starter. Rand hit .219 with nine RBI’s in 122 plate appearances. He played all of 1958 in the minors and prior to the 1959 season the Pirates traded him back to the Cardinals for minor league 1B/OF Tom Burgess. Rand played two more seasons in the minors before retiring.

Finally, born on this date in 1881, was pitcher Doc Scanlan, who played for the 1903-04 Pirates. He played two years of minor league ball before joining the Pirates at the very end of the 1903 season. Pittsburgh had already clinched their third straight NL pennant and with two games left in the season they let Scanlan start against the second place New York Giants. He threw a complete game, losing 7-2 but must have impressed the Pirates enough to bring him back next season. He made two early season starts, winning his first game but losing 15-3 in his second outing. He didn’t make his third start until two months later and it would be his last one for Pittsburgh. He was sold to the Brooklyn Superbas on August 1, 1904 after making just four appearances all season(he lost his only relief appearance). He ended up winning 64 games over seven seasons with Brooklyn, including a high of 18 in 1906, before he retired from baseball to take up a medical practice. He had a brother named Frank, who pitched in the majors with the 1909 Phillies.

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