On this date in 1927 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded star outfielder Kiki Cuyler to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Sparky Adams and outfielder Pete Scott. Cuyler at the time of the trade had been benched by manager Donie Bush, who refused to use him in the World Series despite being swept in four games. The Cubs easily got the best of the deal as Cuyler was a Hall of Fame caliber player in the prime of his career and both players they received in return did very little for the Pirates.
Cuyler had been with the Pirates since September of 1921 although he had played just four full seasons and three partial years, totaling 525 games. Cuyler accumulated a .336 average while with the Pirates, he scored 415 runs including a league leading 144 in 1925 when the Pirates won their second World Series title. That run total is the third highest in team history and most since 1894. He also drove in 92 runs in 1924 and 102 in 1925.
Adams had led the NL in at-bats three seasons in a row from 1925-27 and in each of those years he scored between 95-100 runs.In 672 games with the Cubs he batted .292 with 401 runs scored and 201 RBI’s. He played most of his games the last three seasons at second base although in 1927 he played at least 40 games at 2B,SS and 3B. Scott made the majors in 1926 as a 28 year old. He played just 144 games in his two years in Chicago but batted .299 in those games including a .314 average in 1927.
Cuyler would go on to play eight years in Chicago batting .325 during that time including a .355 average in 1930 and a career high .360 in 1929. He led the NL in stolen bases for three straight seasons from 1928-30.and during the 1930 season he set career highs in hits with 228, runs with 155,doubles with 50 and RBI’s with 134. He helped the Cubs get to the WS in both 1929 and 1932. Adams hit .276 in 1928 for the Pirates in 135 games. He scored 91 runs that year but the following year he lost his starting job and was sold to the Cardinals following the season. He lasted five more years in the majors. Scott hit .311 in 60 games in 1928 but was injured and never played in the majors again
Also on this date in 1962 the Pirates traded thirdbaseman Don Hoak to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for infielder Pancho Herrera and outfielder Ted Savage. Hoak had spent four seasons in Pittsburgh but had struggled in 1962 and he was 34 years old at the time. He was just two years removed from finishing second to teammate Dick Groat for the 1960 MVP. Herrera hit .281 with 17 homers and 71 RBI’s in his rookie season in 1960. He hit .258 in 1961 with 13 homers but struck out a lot both seasons. He spent the entire 1962 season in the minors hitting 32 homers with 108 RBI’s. Savage hit .266 with seven homers in 127 games as a 25 year old during his rookie season in 1962.
Herrera would spend three full seasons in the minors with the Pirates and a small part of 1966 before going to the Tigers organization but he never played in the majors again. Savage was a backup outfielder used often as a pinch hitter and he was not successful in the role for the Pirates. He hit .195 with five homers in 149 at-bats in 1963 then spent the entire 1964 season in the minors before being traded to the Cardinals in late 1964. Hoak hit just .231 in 115 games in 1963 as the Phillies third baseman. He lost his job going into 1964 and lasted just six games, all as a pinch hitter. That was his last season in baseball.
Former Pirates Players Born on This Date Include:
Heinie Peitz (1870), catcher for the 1905-06 Pirates. The Pirates brought in the veteran Peitz in a February 1905 trade, but he soon lost his job to rookie George Gibson, who impressed the Pirates with his advanced defense and strong throwing arm. In two seasons in Pittsburgh, Peitz hit .228 with no homers and 47 RBIs in 128 games. He played 16 seasons in the majors and hit over .290 four times.
Lee Fohl (1876), catcher for the Pirates on August 29, 1902. Fohl played just one game in Pittsburgh, going 0-for-3 at the plate, though he did drive in a run in the team’s 9-3 loss that day. Fohl was brought in to catch Harvey Cushman, a young pitcher who had trouble with wildness. Cushman actually went 0-4 in four starts for the best team in franchise history, the 1902 club that finished 103-36. Fohl ended up playing another four games in the majors for the 1903 Reds. He ended up playing in the minors until 1914, then took over the role he is better know for, Major League manager. Fohl managed 11 years in the majors, splitting his time between the Indians, Browns and Red Sox. He had a 713-792 record.
Max West (1916) First baseman/outfielder for the 1948 Pirates. West made the ultimate sacrifice for a baseball player, giving up three full seasons to serving in WWII. Before he left, he was a strong hitting outfielder for the Braves for five seasons, but when he returned he wasn’t the same player. For the 1948 Pirates, he .178 with eight homers in 87 games. It was his last season in the majors, but he played another six years in the minors before retiring.
Dave Augustine (1949) Outfielder for the 1973-74 Pirates. Augustine played his entire brief career in Pittsburgh, hitting .207 in 29 games. He played 11 games in 1973, all off the bench. Augustine got four starts during the 1974 season. He had a strong minor league career, playing from 1969 until 1983, spending 12 of those seasons in the Pirates system.
Sixto Lezcano (1953) Outfielder who finished his 12-year career with the 1985 Pirates. Lezcano played 72 games for the Pirates, hitting .207 with three homers. In his career, he hit 148 round-trippers in 1,291 games.
Jose Parra (1972) Pitcher for the 2000 Pirates. Went 0-1, 6.94 in two starts and four relief appearances for Pittsburgh. Played five years in the majors, seeing time with five different teams. He was 7-12, 6.09 in 19 starts and 63 relief outings.