Plenty of trades in Pittsburgh Pirates history on this date, including two that involved Hall of Fame players and the same player getting traded in back-to-back years. We also have two former players born on this date.
1983: Marvell Wynne (pictured above) from the Mets for Junior Ortiz. Wynne was a 23-year-old minor leaguer at the time of the deal. He made his debut right after the trade, spending the rest of 1983 and each of the next two seasons manning center field for the Pirates, before he was dealt to the Padres for pitcher Bob Patterson. Ortiz, the 23-year-old backup catcher for Pittsburgh, had just 12 games of Major League service in at the time. He would hit .236 with no homers and 23 RBIs in 108 games for New York before returning to the Pirates in the 1984 Rule 5 draft. Also included in this deal were two pitchers, one going each way, neither played in the majors for their new team. The Pirates gave up Arthur Ray, while getting back Steve Senteney.
1982: Eddie Solomon to the White Sox for Jim Morrison. Solomon was a 31-year-old starting pitcher, in his third season with the Pirates. He pitched well the first two years, but he was struggling in 1982 with a 2-6, 6.75 record. He lasted just three weeks and six relief appearances with the White Sox before they released him, ending his big league career. Morrison was a 29-year-old infielder with some pop in his bat. In 1980 he had 15 homers and 40 doubles. At trade time, he was hitting .223 with seven homers in 51 games. He ended up playing six seasons in Pittsburgh, mostly at third base, with a .274 average, 57 homers and 241 RBIs in 552 games.
1954: Hal Rice to the Cubs for Luis Marquez. This was the second straight year that Rice got traded of this date. The 30-year-old corner outfielder was hitting .173 with nine RBIs over 28 games at the time of the trade. Marquez hit .197 with the Braves during his rookie season in 1951, then spent the next two years in the minors. Returning to the majors in 1954, the 28-year-old outfielder had one hit in 14 plate appearances, with three stolen bases. After the deal, he also had one hit in 14 plate appearances with the Pirates, although he did take four walks. Marquez spent the next nine seasons in the minors without a return trip to the big leagues. Rice hit .153 in 51 games for the Cubs, his last season in the majors.
1953: Pete Castiglione to the Cardinals for Hal Rice. Castiglione was a 32-year-old infielder, in his seventh season with the Pirates. He had a .258 average with 24 homers and 147 RBIs in 473 games for Pittsburgh. He was hitting .208 at the time of the deal and he batted .173 afterwards in limited time for St Louis. His career lasted just five more games in 1954, without him getting an at-bat. Rice was in a platoon role in 1952 and played well, hitting .288 with 45 RBIs in 98 games. In 1953 however, he had batted just eight times, all as a pinch-hitter. Rice batted .311 with 42 RBIs in 78 games for the Pirates in 1953.
1940: Ray Berres to the Boston Bees for Al Lopez. Berres was a 32-year-old catcher, with 288 games of Major League experience, 144 with the Dodgers and 144 with the Pirates. His highest average in five seasons was .240 and he had one career homer. After the deal he hit .197 in 205 games for the Braves, before moving on to the New York Giants for four seasons as a seldom-used backup catcher. Lopez was 31 years old, in his 12th season in the majors. He had caught over 100 games in a season ten times, and during four of those years he got MVP votes for his work behind the plate and solid hitting. With the Pirates he hit .254 with 196 RBIs in 656 games. From 1942-44, he led the NL each year in caught stealing percentage, throwing out a high of 66% in 1942. While he had a very solid Major League career, Lopez made the Hall of Fame as a manager in 1977. The Braves also got $40,000 cash in this deal.
1917: Doug Baird to the Cardinals for Bob Steele. The 23-year-old Steele, had a 6-18 record in two seasons for the Cardinals, despite a decent 3.36 ERA. He was even better with the Pirates, posting a 2.87 ERA, but the Pirates were a bad team and his record stood at 7-14 when he was sold to the Giants in July of 1918. He went just 3-6 with the Giants despite an even lower, 2.74 ERA. His final career record stands at 16-38 with a 3.05 ERA. Baird was a 25-year-old third baseman, who batted under .220 in each of his first two seasons, leading the NL in strikeouts as a rookie. In the field, he was slightly below average. At the time of the deal he was hitting .259 in 43 games and he carried that batting over to St Louis, where he hit .253 in 104 games. He played for four different teams over the next three seasons, with his career ending in 1920
1892: Pud Galvin to the St Louis Browns for Cub Stricker. Before Stricker even played a game for the Pirates, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Adonis Terry. Galvin was near the end of his Hall of Fame career, winner of 360 games at the time. The 35-year-old pitcher was 5-6, 2.63 in 12 starts. After the deal, he matched his Pirates record, going 5-6 in 12 starts with the Browns, in what would turn out to be his last season in the majors. His 365 wins at the time were a Major League record. Stricker was a tiny (5″3 138, which is why he was nicknamed Cub) light-hitting second baseman with a solid glove. At age 33, he was nearly done as a player, hitting .204 at the time of the deal, and he played just 134 games after being dealt the second time. Despite his .239 career average, the speedy Stricker was able to score at least 80 runs a year each season from 1887-1891.
Randy Tomlin, pitcher for the 1990-94 Pirates. The Pirates drafted him in the 18th round of the 1988 draft out of Liberty University. Randy shot through the Pirates minor league system, winning 30 games, with an ERA well below 3.00, making it to the majors 26 months after being drafted. He went 4-4, 2.55 in 12 starts for the Pirates in 1990. The following year he made 27 starts for the NL East champs, going 8-7 with a 2.98 ERA in 175 innings. Tomlin started game four of the NLCS, giving up two first inning runs before shutting down the Braves for the next five innings. He won a career high 14 games in 1992, as the Pirates won their third straight division title. Tomlin pitched 208.2 innings, making 33 starts. In the playoffs, he pitched twice in relief.He made just 18 starts in 1993, missing all of June and September, then requiring elbow surgery the second time he got hurt. His record fell to 4-8, 4.85 in 98.1 innings. He spent half of the strike-shortened 1994 season in the minors, and went 0-3, 3.92 while he was with the Pirates. He made four starts and six relief appearances, but got in just 20.1 innings pitched. The Pirates let him go following the 1994 season. He pitched for the Orioles, then the Giants, in Spring Training in 1995, but didn’t pitch again until 1996. His career ended in 1997 without making it back to the majors.
Mark Lee, pitcher for the 1980-81 Pirates. He was a 13th round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 1976. Lee made it to the majors in two seasons, going 5-1, 3.28 in 56 appearances as a rookie for the Padres in 1978, while pitching a total of 85 innings. His ERA dropped to 4.29 in 46 games the next season, and by the start of 1980 he was back in Triple-A. The Pirates acquired him as the player to be named later in an early August trade during that 1980 season. The original deal saw the Pirates get Kurt Bevacqua for Luis Salazar and Rick Lancellotti. Lee would get a September call-up to Pittsburgh, making four appearances out of the bullpen. He was also a September recall in 1981, posting a 2.75 ERA in 12 games for the Pirates. During Spring Training in 1982, he was sold to the Detroit Tigers. He spent that entire season in Triple-A before retiring from baseball.
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.