First Pitch: Pittsburgh Pirates Father-Son Combos

If baseball didn’t shut down this year, Ke’Bryan Hayes would very likely be at third base today against the Toronto Blue Jays at PNC Park. Even if the Pittsburgh Pirates waited for the Super Two cutoff to pass, Hayes would have been up weeks ago by now.

On Father’s Day in 1996, Ke’Bryan’s father Charlie Hayes played third base at Three Rivers Stadium for the Pirates against the Florida Marlins. Those two are lining up to be the next father-son combo for the Pirates, so I thought I’d do a quick look at the other father-son combos for the Pirates.

The first father-son combo in franchise history was Joe Schultz and Joe Jr. The elder Schultz spent 11 seasons in the majors, mostly as an outfielder. He was with the 1916 Pirates. His son was a catcher with the Pirates for the 1939-41 seasons while his dad was the farm director for most of that time (he passed away in April, 1941). Schultz Jr played six more seasons after leaving Pittsburgh.

The second father-son combo came around a few years later. Clyde Barnhart spent his entire nine-year career with the Pirates and was part of the 1925 and 1927 World Series teams. His son was a shortstop for the 1944-46 Pirates, his only big league team.

A year after the younger Barnhart last played, the Pirates got their third father-son combo. Jim Bagby Sr and Jr each pitched one year for the Pirates, 1923 for the elder and 1947 for the son. They had nearly identical career paths, playing nine (Sr) and ten (Jr) years, spending most of their career with the Cleveland Indians, with both finishing their career with the Pirates.

There was a bit of a stretch before the next father-son combo. Vern Law is one of the team’s all-time great pitchers. His son began his big league career with the Pirates in 1980. He spent two years in Pittsburgh, while his dad was around for 16 seasons.

The fifth and most recent father-son combo each saw limited time with the Pirates. Tony Armas played four games for the 1976 Pirates before he was traded to the Oakland A’s. His son pitched 97 innings for the 2007 Pirates.

Five father and son combos in team history so far. Ke’Bryan Hayes will make it six.

** We will have at least five articles today, including the one you’re currently reading. If any news comes up (probably not on Sunday), we will have more. The other scheduled articles for today are as follows:

This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History – One of the recent power hitters for the Pirates is celebrating a birthday today

Card of the Day – A look at a popular 19th century card and the Pittsburgh catcher who is pictured on it.

1979 Season Recap – Pirates return home to face the Cubs. A look at how things stood 61 games into the 1979 season.

Pittsburgh Pirates Memorabilia – Another guest submitted article, this one showing an extremely rare pin of a 19th century player who lasted just three games with the Pirates.

Happy Father’s Day to all!




2015 Documentary on Vern Law

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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