On this date in 1999 the Pittsburgh Pirates would trade second baseman Tony Womack to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor leaguer Paul Weichard and a player to be named later. Exactly six months later, the Diamondbacks sent pitcher Jason Boyd to the Pirates to complete the trade. Boyd’s career was covered here on Thursday.
Womack was drafted by the Pirates in 1991 and had spent the last two seasons(1997-98) and parts of three prior seasons in the majors. He led the NL in stolen bases each of his two full seasons(60 and 58) and was named to the all-star team in 1997. His first year in Arizona he won his third straight stolen base title, stealing a career high 72 bases while scoring 111 runs. The next year he led the league with 14 triples and he stole 45 bases while also scoring 95 runs. In 2001 he helped the Diamondbacks to their only World Series title. Weichard was just 19 at the time, having never played above rookie ball and he never got going for the Pirates, playing in the system until 2002. The outfielder topped out at AA, playing one game there his last season in the organization. Boyd pitched just four games for the Pirates before he was lost on waiver, see above link for details.
One Pirates player from last season and two old pitchers with something in common were born on this date.
Xavier Paul(1985) played outfield for the Pirates this past season. He began his pro career as a fourth round draft pick of the Dodgers in the 2003 amateur draft. Paul played parts of three seasons with Los Angeles in the majors starting in 2009, hitting .233 in 62 total games. He was picked up by the Pirates off waivers from the Dodgers on April 26, 2011 and in 121 games he hit .254 with 20 RBI’s and 16 stolen bases. He was released in November and signed by the Washington Nationals in December.
Jim Dunn(1931) pitcher for the 1952 Pirates. He pitched just three games in the majors, all in relief for the 1952 Pirates. He was signed by Pittsburgh out of the University of Alabama on August 11,1952 and brought right to the majors where he threw a total of 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. Dunn pitched in the minors from 1951 until 1959, playing in the Pirates system through the end of the 1955 season when he was lost in the November minor league draft. During spring training of 1953 Dunn started for the Pirates as they played an exhibition game against a Cuban all-star team in Havana. He took the loss, allowing five first inning runs in a game that ended 13-10. He was a late cut from the roster that year and was never able to come close to making the majors again.
Phil Slattery(1893) pitcher for the 1915 Pirates. Just like Dunn, Slattery’s entire major league career consisted of three games pitched with the Pirates. He began his pro career in 1914, pitching for three different minor league teams. In 1915 Phil spent the entire minor league season playing for the Marshalltown Ansons, a team named after Hall of Famer Cap Anson who was born in the town. That year Slattery won 21 games and pitched 320 innings. He joined the Pirates in September and was used three times in relief during a ten day stretch. He pitched a total of eight innings, allowing five hits, one walk, two hit batters but no runs. He returned to the Ansons the next season and was an impressive 22-11 2.14 in 303 innings but was not picked up by a major league team. He pitched in the minors until 1921 without getting another shot at the majors. Only two players in the history of the Pirates franchise pitched more innings without allowing a run, Morrie Critchley( 9 IP), who played for the team in 1882 while they were in the American Association and Timothy Jones(10 IP), who pitched for the 1977 Pirates. Honus Wagner pitched 8.1 innings with the Pirates without allowing an earned run but he gave up five runs total.