This Date in Pirates History: November 18

On this date in 1998 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded pitcher Ricardo Rincon to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Brian Giles. The trade was a one-sided win for the Pirates as Giles was an all-star outfielder and Rincon was a lefty reliever, who pitched 207 games for the Indians but only amassed 154.1 innings over four seasons and his last two years there his ERA was well over 4.00. Rincon had spent two seasons in the Pirates pen, his first big league experience. He was 28 years old and had a 3.17 ERA with 18 saves in 122 games at the time of the trade. Giles was 27 years old and had played two partial seasons and two full seasons with the Indians. In 299 games for them he had a .284 average with 39 homers and 157 RBIs.

Giles received MVP votes in each of his four full seasons in Pittsburgh

Giles broke out right away with the Pirates, hitting .315 with 39 homers, 115 RBIs, 95 walks and 109 runs scored in 1999. He followed that up by hitting .315 again in 2000 with a career high 123 RBI’s and 114 RBI’s along with his first all-star appearance. In 2001 Giles made his second straight all-star team, hit .309 with 111 runs scored, 90 walks and 95 RBIs. Giles just missed hitting .300 for a fourth straight year in 2002, batting .298 but he walked 135 times, the second highest single season total in Pirates history. He was traded away during the following season for Jason Bay and Oliver Perez. With the Pirates Giles hit .308 with 501 runs scored and 506 RBIs in 715 games. His 1.018 OPS is the highest in team history.

Also on this date in 1947 the Pirates traded pitcher Al Lyons, outfielder Jim Russell and catcher Bill Salkeld to the Boston Braves in exchange for outfielder Johnny Hopp and infielder Danny Murtaugh. Lyons had played parts of four seasons in the majors, pitching 32 games total, all but one in relief and he had a 6.08 ERA at the time of the trade. For the Pirates he had pitched 13 games in 1947 with a 7.31 ERA after coming over from the Yankees in early August. Salkeld had a strong rookie season in 1945, hitting .311 with 15 homers. He hit .294 in a backup role the next season then really struggled in 1947 hitting just .213 in 47 games. Russell was the only significant player the Pirates traded away, he was a regular from 1943-47 playing 718 games over those five seasons with 412 runs scored and 288 RBI’s.

The Pirates got a 31 year old outfielder with a .297 career average in Johnny Hopp. He hit .288 with 58 walks and 74 runs scored in 1947 and prior to that he had three seasons in which he hit .300 or more. Murtaugh was a regular for three seasons from 1941-43 but after serving in the war, he was unable to get a regular job in the majors, playing just nine games between 1946 and 1947. Murtaugh had two strong seasons for the Pirates, in 1948 and 1950 but the true value in the trade was getting him in the organization. He eventually made his way to the major league manager role, winning two World Series titles and 1115 games total. Hopp hit .310 over three seasons with the Pirates. Lyons pitched just seven games with the Braves while Salkeld and Russell each lasted two seasons in Boston with neither putting up big numbers giving the Pirates the advantage in the trade even without considering what Murtaugh did for the team after his playing career ended.

Finally, born on this date in 1924 was outfielder Rocky Nelson who had two stints with the Pirates, first in 1951 and then again from 1959-61. He began his pro career in 1942 with the Cardinals but did not make the majors until 1949. He was a part time player for St Louis until they traded him to the Pirates along with Erv Dusak for Stan Rojek on May 17,1951. Nelson played 71 games with the Pirates, hitting .267 with 14 RBI’s before they put him on waivers in September, where he was picked up by the White Sox. He played briefly with the 1952 Dodgers then between 1953 and 1955 Nelson played just 4 games in the majors,all  during the 1954 season with the Indians. In 1956 Rocky started a pattern of returning to old teams, splitting the season between the Dodgers and Cardinals. He spent the 1957-58 seasons in the minors when the Pirates picked him up again in the rule V draft on December 1,1958.

Nelson had his best seasons his first two years back with the Pirates in a backup first baseman-pinch hitting role. In 1959 he hit .291 with six homers and 32 RBI’s in just 175 AB’s. In 1960 he hit a career high .300 with seven homers and 35 RBI’s in 200 AB’s. In game seven of the World Series that season, Nelson hit a two run homer in the first inning, giving the Pirates an early lead on their way to a 10-9 win and their third championship in team history. Rocky played one more season with the Pirates, hitting .197 in 75 games in 1961. That was his last season in the majors, he played one more year in the minors before retiring.

Other Pirates players born on this date include:

Mark Petkovsek (1965) Relief pitcher for the 1993 Pirates. Had a 3-0 record in 26 appearances, despite posting a 6.96 record. He played nine years in the majors, starting and ending his career with the Texas Rangers.

Jim Shellenback (1943) Pitcher for the 1966-67 and 1969 Pirates. In his three partial seasons in Pittsburgh, he went 1-1, 3.35 in two starts and 14 relief outings. He played nine years in the majors, going 16-30, 3.81 in 454 innings. His uncle pitched for the 1919 Chicago White Sox team known as the Black Sox.

Curt Raydon (1933) Right-handed pitcher for the 1958 Pirates. Played just one season in the majors, going 8-4, 3.62 in 20 starts and 11 relief appearances. He came to the Pirates organization from the Milwaukee Braves as part of a six player and cash deal for Danny O’Connell following the 1953 season. Raydon spent a total of eight seasons in the minors, the last seven in the Pirates organization. In his first year of pro ball while still with the Milwaukee organization, he went 11-7, 3.50 in 20 starts and 12 relief appearances for Jacksonville of the South Atlantic League. In 1955, he won 14 games for New Orleans of the Southern Association and in 1959, Raydon went 7-4, 2.92 for Columbus of the International League.

Gene Mauch (1925) Middle infielder for the 1947 Pirates. He hit .300 in 16 games for the Pirates. Mauch was involved in two big trades with the Pirates and Dodgers. In mid-May of 1947 and then in December that year. Hit .239 in 304 games over nine seasons in the majors. Managed for 26 seasons in the majors, winning 1902 games and twice finishing first.

Roy Wise (1923) Pitcher for the 1944 Pirates. He made just two appearances in the majors, coming on back-to-back days in mid-May of 1944 for the Pirates. Wise allowed three runs over three innings and was released by Pittsburgh at the end of June. That season was also his only year of pro baseball.

Bill Hughes (1896) Pitcher two innings for the Pirates on September 15, 1921. Not too many men could claim to be a 300 game winner by 1939 and none could do it with as little fanfare as Hughes. He won 302 career games, all of them in minor league ball. He played 20 seasons and had just two 20-win seasons during that time. His big league career consisted of his one late-season appearance for the Pirates.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

John Dreker

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.

This Date in Pirates History: November 17

Next Story »

This Date in Pirates History: November 19

Latest Analysis

  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    23 hours ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    3 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    4 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    5 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    6 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    1 week ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Peacock Nevarez

    Will One of These Pirates Minor League Pitchers Be the Next John Holdzkom?

    2 weeks ago

    By now you probably know that John Holdzkom rose from independent ball last year and made it to the majors. It was one of the best stories in ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More