Analysis

Sam Leever

Sam Leever

When the Pirates signed pitcher Sam Leever in 1898, he was already 26 years old with no prior major league experience, and he only began is pro career in the minor leagues the previous season. A signing like that these days would likely fly totally under the radar, but Leever went on to be one of the greatest Pirates pitchers ever.

Sam had played baseball regularly prior to 1897, but his real profession was as a school teacher and he only pitched on Sundays. He was supposedly overlooked as a potential major leaguer because he didn't throw hard but he had a devastating curveball with pinpoint control that eventually got him enough notice to sign with a minor league team in Richmond, where he would post 21 wins that 1897 season. That led the Pirates to signing him for the 1898 season, but an arm injury prior to the start of the year led him back to Richmond where he had to prove he was healthy before the Pirates would take him back. He pitched well enough to earn his first trip to th...

This content is for Pirates Prospects subscribers only. Subscribe today to access all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system, with rates lower than $2.25 per month. If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail tim@piratesprospects.com.

Analysis

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

More in Analysis

Tyler Glasnow 3

Don’t Expect Tyler Glasnow in the Majors This Year

Tim WilliamsJuly 27, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Pirates Continue to Roll, Led By More Strong Pitching

Sean McCoolJuly 26, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Middle Relief Problems Continue For Pirates in Loss

Pete EllisJuly 26, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

How Will Aramis Ramirez Shake Up the Pirates Lineup?

Pete EllisJuly 25, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Backup Plan For Antonio Bastardo

Ryan PalencerJuly 25, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Polanco Stays Short, Goes Deep in Pirates Victory Over Washington

Pete EllisJuly 25, 2015

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2015 Pirates Prospects