On this date in 1962 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded star shortstop Dick Groat and pitcher Diomedes Olivo to the St Louis Cardinals for pitcher Don Cardwell and infielder Julio Gotay. In our November 4th article we covered the career of Dick Groat, who played nine seasons in Pittsburgh with a .290 batting average over 1258 games played. He was a three time all-star and the 1960 NL MVP, when he led the league in hitting with a .325 average. Olivo was 41 years old when he made his major league debut in 1960 pitching just four games. He returned to the majors in 1962 and pitched well, going 5-1 2.77 in 62 games. Cardwell had pitched six seasons between the Phillies and Cubs with his best season coming in 1961 when he went 15-14 3.82 for the Cubs. He never pitched for the Cardinals as they had just acquired him a month earlier. Gotay was a 23 year old infielder with one full season of pro ball, in 1962 when he hit .255 in 127 games for the Cardinals.
Gotay and Olivo basically were a wash as far as the trade went, neither played much with their new team and neither played well when they did. Olivo was gone by June while Gotay played just seven games in Pittsburgh over two seasons. Groat only played three seasons in St Louis and by 1965 he was on the downside of his career but he was an all-star during his first two seasons, finishing 2nd in the 1963 MVP voting thanks to a .319 average, 201 hits and an NL leading 43 doubles. He was nearly as good in 1964, hitting .292 with 70 runs and 70 RBI’s. Cardwell actually lasted the longest with his new team and while he pitched well at times, he finished his four seasons in Pittsburgh with a 33-33 3.38 record in 84 starts and 22 relief appearances. His best season was 1965 when he went 13-10 3.18 with 240 innings pitched.
Exactly 30 years later the Pirates would trade another longtime infielder, this time shipping Jose Lind to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for pitchers Joel Johnston and Dennis Moeller. Lind played six seasons with the Pirates from 1987-92, playing a total of 779 games. He wasn’t much of a hitter, batting a career high .265 in 1991 but he played strong defense at second base and had won the gold glove there in 1992. His contract was expensive at the time for a light hitting infielder (he hit just .235 in 1992 with no homers and three stolen bases) so the Pirates shipped him off to the Royals for two pitchers. Johnston was a 26 year old reliever who pitched great in his first shot at the big leagues in 1991 posting an 0.40 ERA in 13 games but struggled in his brief chance during the 1992 season. Moeller was a 25 year old starter who pitched well at AAA in 37 games over the 1991-92 seasons but in his only shot at the majors he was hit around.
Lind went on to have two typical seasons for him with the Royals, didn’t hit much but played strong defense in 1993, although by 1994 he was no more than league average. He started the 1995 season with the Royals but was released by early July, signed two weeks later with the Angels but barely lasted a month with them before being released again. That was his last year in the majors. The Pirates saved plenty of money getting rid of Lind but got little in return from their two new pitchers. Johnston had a decent 1993 season, posting a 3.38 ERA in 33 games but in 1994 he had three very rough outings out of spring training, got sent to the minors where he struggled and was released by May. He only pitched four other major league games, all with the 1995 Red Sox. Moeller fared even worse, pitching just ten games for the Pirates in 1993, five of them he was hit around pretty well. He finished the year in the minors and the Pirates got rid of him in October. He never pitched in the majors again.
Finally, born on this date way back in 1855 was pitcher John Driscoll, a member of the pitching staff on the 1882 Alleghenys of the American Association, the first team in the history of the Pirates franchise. He made his major league debut in 1880, pitching for the Buffalo Bisons of the National League. He spent the 1881 season bouncing around the minors before signing with the Alleghenys in 1882. He went 13-9 that season in 23 starts and lead the AA in ERA with a 1.21 mark. The following year the Alleghenys were a much worse team and despite having a losing record at 18-21, the rest of the team went just 13-46, making the record Driscoll posted seem much more impressive. He pitched briefly in 1884 with Louisville(AA) then spent the entire 1885 season in the minors. In 1886 he played three games in the minors but became ill with consumption and died at the age of 30 in July of that year.