On this date in 1973 the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies completed a two player trade with the Pirates sending second baseman Dave Cash to Philadelphia in exchange for pitcher Ken Brett.
Cash was drafted by the Pirates in the 5th round of the 1966 amateur draft as an 18-year-old. In his first full season of minor league ball in 1967 he hit .335 in 114 games with Gastonia. Just two seasons later he would make his debut in the majors playing 18 games as a September call-up. After a brief stay in the minors in 1970 Cash was in the majors to stay and he would hit .314 that year. The next year he played in 123 games, his high while in Pittsburgh. In the postseason against the Giants he would go 8-19 (.421) to help the Pirates advance to the World Series. In his five seasons in Pittsburgh he hit .285 in 420 games.
Brett at the time of the trade was coming off a 13-9 3.44 season with 211 innings pitched as a 24-year-old. He had already pitched four full seasons and three partial seasons in the majors at that point with a career record of 30-36 4.16 in 136 games, 71 as a starter. The trade worked out well initially for both teams, Brett basically duplicated his 1973 season, making 27 starts and going 13-9 3.30 in 191 innings. Cash hit .300 with 20 steals, 206 hits and he lead the NL in at-bats, something he would do for all three seasons in Philadelphia. He was durable for the Phillies, missing just two games in his time there. Brett would play one more season for the Pirates and he missed time during the year with an elbow problem but pitched well when he was able to go. He finished the season with a 9-5 3.36 record.
Cash was granted free agency following the 1976 season and he went on to play three years in Montreal before finishing his career in 1980 with the Padres. Brett was traded following the 1975 season along with Dock Ellis and Willie Randolph to the Yankees for Doc Medich. Brett finished his career in 1981 playing with the Royals alongside his brother, Hall of Famer George Brett.
Lefty pitcher Garrett Olson, who was born on this date 1983, pitched for the Pirates in 2011. The Pirates selected him off waivers from the Mariners in March of this year and Olson pitched four games in relief before being sent to the minors where he pitched for Indianapolis the rest of the way. In parts of five seasons with the Orioles, Mariners and Pirates he has a 14-22 6.14 record in 103 games, 44 as a starter. Olson during January 2009 was traded to the Cubs from the Orioles. Ten days later, he and (then)current Pirates shortstop Ronny Cedeno were dealt together to the Mariners.
Also born on this date was Phil Morrison, who pitched one game for the 1921 Pirates. He was the brother of Johnny Morrison, a pitcher who went 89-71 in eight seasons with the Pirates. Phil got his only major league game in on September 30, 1921 and faced three batters, giving up one hit and retiring the other two, one by strikeout. In the minors, he put together two straight 20 win seasons to start his career, then really struggled in 1923, going 6-20 in the Southern Association. That would be his last full season of pro ball.
Born on this date in 1859 was Cliff Carroll, an outfielder very briefly for the Pirates with a great story. He was a mediocre player when the Pirates signed him in 1888, not a star by any stretch but not bad. He played just five games that season for the Pirates and for good reason, he went 0-for-20 with no walks, eight strikeouts and three errors. After that he quit baseball to go back to farming, missing the entire 1889 season as well. He decided to return to the game in 1890 and he would not only hit a career high .285 average but he would score 134 runs and lead the NL in at-bats with 592. He didn’t have any other seasons quite like that but it’s tough not to be impressed by an average player taking two years off from the game only to return to the majors and play at such a high quality of play like he did.
Other Pirates players born on this date include:
George Hendrick (1949) Right fielder for the 1985 Pirates. He had a successful 18 year career in the majors, but his time in Pittsburgh wasn’t among his highlights. Hendrick batted .230 with two homer and 25 RBIs in 69 games and Pirates fans were on him for his last of hustle, which earned him the nickname “Jogging George”. The Pirates traded Hendrick away on August 2,1985 in a six player deal with the Angels. He played a total of 2048 career games, hitting .278 with 267 homers and he drove in 1111 runs. He was a four time All-Star and twice drove in over 100 runs in a season.
Andy Hassler (1951) Lefty pitcher for the 1980 Pirates. Hassler had a lot in common with Hendrick in that his time in Pittsburgh didn’t amount to much, yet he still had a long productive career. He too was also involved in a deal between the Pirates and Angels. Hassler signed with the Pirates as a free agent after the 1979 season. He made just six appearances out of the bullpen before the Pirates sold him to the Angels in early June. Hassler allowed six runs(five earned) over 11.2 innings. He pitched well as a long reliever for the Angels for the next 3 1/2 seasons before being released. Hassler pitched a total of 14 seasons in the majors, making 112 starts and 275 relief appearances. He went 44-71, 3.83 with 29 saves.
Hans Lobert (1881) Infielder for the 1903 Pirates. Lobert is a sign of just how good the Pirates were during the early part of the century. He was a very good player that they had no room for and he went on to have a strong career elsewhere. Lobert played five late season games for the 1903 Pirates, the team that played in the first World Series. He went 1-for-15 at the plate and played three games at third base and one each at shortstop and second base. Lobert next appeared in the majors in late 1905 with the Cubs and played another 12 seasons after that. He was one of the fastest players during his time, going from home plate to home plate in under 14 seconds. He was a .274 hitter in 1317 games and he stole 316 bases during his career. Lobert was signed out of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and he came from a big baseball family. His brother Frank Lobert played one year in the majors. His cousin Joe Schultz Sr. played 11 years in the majors, including one year(1916) with the Pirates. Joe’s son Joe Schultz Jr., played nine years in the majors, spending his first three years(1939-41) with the Pirates.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.