This Date in Pirates History: December 30

On this date in 1943 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded catcher Babe Phelps to the Philadelphia Phillies for first baseman Babe Dahlgren. Phelps hit .284 in 95 games for the Pirates in 1942 but he did not play during the 1943 season. The Pirates also included cash in the deal. Dahlgren played for six different teams from 1940-43, hitting .287 with 50 walks and 56 RBIs in 136 games in 1943. Phelps never did play a game for the Phillies so all they got out of the deal was the cash. Dahlgren played 158 games for the Pirates in 1944, the highest game total in a single season since 1915. He hit .289 that year with 101 RBIs and a team leading 12 home runs, earning himself MVP support, finishing 12th in the voting. The following year he hit .250 with 75 RBIs in 144 games. The Pirates sold him to the Browns in the off-season and he hit just .175 in 28 games before being released, which ended his 12-year career.

Viox got NL MVP votes in both 1913 and 1914

Born on this date in 1890 was Jim Viox who was an infielder for the Pirates from 1912 to 1916.  Viox played three seasons in the minors for Lexington of the Blue Grass League before joining the Pirates at the beginning of the 1912 season. He played just 33 games that year, hitting .186 while playing some time at 2B/SS/3B/RF. He became the everyday second baseman the next year and did well, hitting .317( 3rd in NL)  with 86 runs and 65 RBIs. He became the first Pirates starter, other than Honus Wagner, to lead the team in batting average since 1902.

In 1914 his numbers slipped although he played 143 games, six more than the previous experience. He hit .265 with 63 walks and 57 RBIs. Viox played a career high 150 games in 1915, drawing 75 walks, the third highest total in the National League. Despite the amount of playing time he received in 1915 he only lasted until late July of 1916 before he was let go by the Pirates. He returned to the minors and hit .313 in 42 games in 1916, then .315 in 92 games the following year but never made it back to the majors. He finished his playing career in 1924 and also managed six seasons in the minors. Viox had a .273 average in 506 career major league games.

Also born on this date, in 1888, was Ovid Nicholson, who was a teammate of Viox on the 1912 Pirates team. Ovid just finished his third season in the minors when the Pirates called him up in mid-September 1912 to make his major league debut. He played six games over a ten day stretch, hitting .455 in 11 at-bats with three RBIs. He played four games in left field and two off the bench. Nicholson returned to the minors where he finished out his playing days in 1917. He later coached and managed in the minors, last taking the helm in 1935. He is the only player in major league history with the name Ovid.

Finally, one recent player born on this date in 1985. Sean Gallagher was picked up from the Padres on July 7, 2010 and finished the season in the Pirates bullpen. He posted a 6.03 ERA in 34.1 innings for the Pirates after posting a 5.40 ERA in 15 games for the Padres. He pitched for Indianapolis(AAA) in 2011 and went 5-12, 5.11 in 29 games, 23 as a starter. He signed with the Reds for the 2012 season.

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: December 29

Next Story »

This Date in Pirates History: December 31

Latest Analysis

  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    10 hours ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    2 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    3 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

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

    4 days 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

    6 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

    7 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

    1 week 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

    1 week 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

    2 weeks 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

    2 weeks 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
  • Browse More Articles