This Date in Pirates History: February 2
Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date starting with a member of the first team in franchise history to win the World Series. Bill Abstein (1883) played three seasons in the minors before he made his major league debut with the 1906 Pirates in late September. Pittsburgh purchased his contract that season after he hit .311 in 127 games for the Shreveport Pirates of the Southern Association. He batted .200 in eight games for the Pirates, then was assigned to the Providence Grays of the Eastern League for the 1907 season. He spent two full years there, hitting .276 with 31 triples over 281 games. The Pirates made him the everyday first baseman in 1909 and he would end up batting .260 with 70 RBIs in 137 games, helping Pittsburgh to it’s second World Series appearance. In the seven game series against the Detroit Tigers, Abstein hit .231 with two RBIs and the Pirates took the series four games to three. Following the season Abstein was put on waivers where he was picked up by the St Louis Browns. He lasted just 25 games, hitting .149 before returning to the minors where he finished his baseball career in 1916.
Others former Pirates players born on this date include:
Ronny Cedeno (1983) Shortstop for the Pirates from 2009 until 2011. He began his major league career in 2005 and was struggling through the 2009 season with the Mariners, hitting just .167 in 59 games, when the Pirates acquired him in a seven player deal at the trading deadline. Cedeno replaced Jack Wilson, who went to Seattle in the trade, as the everyday starting shortstop. In his two plus seasons in Pittsburgh, Ronny hit .254 with 15 homers and 91 RBI’s in 313 games. He was granted free agency in October 2011 and signed with the New York Mets the following January.
Pat Clements (1962) lefty pitcher for the Pirates during the 1985-86 seasons. He had started his major league career in 1985 for the Angels going 5-0, 3.34 in 41 relief appearances before the Pirates acquired him in a six player deal in early August. Clements would go 0-2, 3.67 in 27 games for the Pirates to finish out the year. In 1986 he pitched 65 games, a total of 61 innings and had a record of 0-4 with a 2.80 ERA. Following the season he was dealt to the Yankees in a six player trade along with Cecilio Guante, who was covered here yesterday. The Pirates also gave up Rick Rhoden and received back Doug Drabek in that deal. Clements would pitch in the majors until 1992 and finish with a 17-11, 3.77 ERA in 288 games. He briefly pitched in the minors with the Orioles in 1993 before retiring. In the entire history of the Pirates franchise, 250 players have pitched for the team without recording a win, Clements with his 92 appearances tops that list with 45 more games than the second highest total.
Manny Sarmiento (1956) Pitcher for the Pirates during the 1982-83 seasons. He played parts of five seasons in the majors before the Pirates purchased his contract from the Red Sox after the 1981 season. His only full season in the majors prior to joining Pittsburgh was in 1978 when he went 9-7, 4.38 in 63 games for the Cincinnati Reds. He had spent the entire 1981 season in the minors where he posted a 2.34 ERA in 96 innings over 47 relief appearances in AAA. For the Pirates he began the 1982 season in the minors but was recalled after a month. Sarmiento was used out of the bullpen at first, then moved to the starting rotation in June and made a total of 17 starts that year. In his 35 appearances he went 9-4, 3.39 in 164.1 innings with four complete games. He was moved to a bullpen role for 1983 and in 52 games he pitched 84.1 innings with a 3-5, 2.99 record. During his first inning of work during spring training in 1984, Sarmiento injured his elbow and missed the entire year after surgery shut him down. He returned for one season of AAA in 1985 before retiring.
John Tudor (1954) Lefty pitcher for the Pirates in 1984. He had been in the majors with the Red Sox for five seasons before the Pirates acquired him in December of 1983 in exchange for Mike Easler. Tudor had won 13 games in each of his last two seasons with Boston. For the Pirates he went 12-11, 3.27 in 32 starts, throwing a total of 212 innings. Almost a year to the day the Pirates traded for him, they dealt him to the Cardinals in a four player deal that got them George Hendrick, who would later be used in the deal to get Clements. Tudor would have a career year in 1985 leading St Louis to the World Series with 21 wins and 10 shutouts. He never won more than 13 games in any of his other 11 seasons in the majors and threw just six other shutouts in his entire career.
Fred Waters (1927) Lefty pitcher for the Pirates during the 1955-56 seasons. He was originally signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949 as an amateur free agent, moving on to the Braves early in 1953 before the Pirates traded for him later that year. He was one of six players, plus cash, that the Pirates received in return for second baseman Danny O’Connell in a trade covered here. Waters had won 18 games his first season in the minors but never approached that win total in any of the six seasons since when the Pirates called him up in mid-September 1955. He pitched two games in relief, allowing two runs in five innings. He began the 1956 season back in the minors before being called up for a July 14th doubleheader in which he pitched in both games. He would go on to pitch 23 games, five as a starter and finish with a 2-2, 2.82 record. He would return to the minors for five more seasons before retiring as a player. Waters would then go on to manage 21 years in the Twins farm system, spending the last 12 years at the helm of their rookie league club in Elizabethton, Tennessee.
Since this article was originally published, one more player has been added to this list. Travis Snider (1988) plays right field for the Pirates. He joined the team during the 2012 season, coming over in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays for Brad Lincoln. In 161 games with the Pirates, he has hit .226 with six homers and 34 RBIs in 389 at-bats.