This Date in Pirates History: April 25

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, one played for a World Series winner. Starting with the youngest player first.

Brad Clontz(1971) Pitcher for the Pirates during the 1999-2000 seasons. He had played parts of four seasons in the majors prior to joining the Pirates. In 1996, Clontz pitched an NL leading 81 games. In 1998 he split the season between the Mets and Dodgers. posting a 6.08 ERA in 20 appearances. Brad was signed by the Red Sox in the 1998-99 off-season, but they released him just as the season was starting. The Pirates picked him up two days later and he ended up pitching 56 games out of the Pittsburgh bullpen, with a career best 2.74 ERA in 49.1 innings. In December 1999, the Pirates traded Clontz to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league pitcher, Robert Manzueta. Brad was released at the end of Spring Training and resigned with the Pirates. He ended up struggling with his control in five April outings before the Pirates sent him to the minors. He underwent elbow surgery that May and while he ended up pitching until 2006, he never returned to the majors.

Bob Johnson(1943) Pitcher for the 1971-73 Pirates. He was originally signed by the Mets in 1964 as an amateur free agent and made his major league debut with the 1969 World Series champion Mets team. Bob was traded to the Royals in December of 1969 and almost exactly a year later, the Pirates acquired him from Kansas City in a six player deal covered here.  He had pitched over 200 innings with the Royals during his only season there, striking out 206 batters along the way. Johnson became a part of the Pirates rotation during that World Series winning season. He made 27 starts(four relief outings) and had an overall record of 9-10 3.45 in 174.2 innings. He started and won game three of the NLCS, going up against the great Juan Marichal. In the WS, Bob started game two and took the loss in Baltimore. In 1972, he started the year in the Pirates rotation, but was moved to the bullpen after an 0-3 4.60 start in his first eight games. Bob thrived in the new role, going 4-1 with three saves the rest of the way while lowering his ERA to 2.96 by the end of the season. In 1973, he pitched 50 games, posting a 3.62 ERA in 92 innings. In the off-season he was traded to the Indians for a young outfielder named Bill Flowers, a second round pick in 1970, that never made the majors. Bob ended up pitching for Cleveland in 1974, then went to the minors for two seasons before finishing his major league career with the 1977 Atlanta Braves.

Jimmy Brown(1910) Infielder for the 1946 Pirates. From 1937 until 1943, Brown was a star infielder for the St Louis Cardinals, twice leading the league in AB’s and twice he was among the top-6 in MVP voting. He made the NL all-star squad in 1942. Jimmy left for military duty in WWII during that 1943 season and served until late 1945 before being discharged. The Pirates bought his contract from the Cardinals in early January of 1946. Brown played 79 games for the Pirates in 1946, starting 26 times at shortstop, twenty at second base and nine times at third base. He hit .241 with 23 runs scored, 18 walks and he struck out only five times all season. Jimmy was released by the Pirates that November and finished his playing career two years later in the minors. He also began a career in managing in 1947 and continued on through 1964, winning over 1000 minor league games.

Fred Hartman(1868) Third baseman for the 1894 Pirates. He was a local boy, who made his major league debut in late July of 1894 after playing five seasons in the minors, spending time with teams from Pennsylvania towns such as Altoona, Johnstown, Wilkes-Barre and Erie. Hartman was the Pirates starting third baseman for most of the second half of the 1894 season. He hit .319 with 20 RBI’s and 41 runs scored in 49 games. He was signed to be the Pirates substitute infielder on July 26th after Pittsburgh released Jim Ritz, who played just one major league game, which came six days earlier. Despite the strong stats, he returned to the minors for the next two seasons before reappearing in the majors with the 1897 St Louis Browns. In 1895, Fred hit .357 in 113 games playing in the Western League, a top minor league at the time. He ended up playing five more seasons in the majors(1897-99,1901-02) and twice batted over .300 on the year. He also drove in 88 runs in 1898 and 89 runs during the 1901 season. Hartman finished his pro career in the minors in 1907 playing for the McKeesport(Pa.) Tubers, his hometown team. (UPDATE: Recent research has corrected his birth date from April 25, 1868 to the newly accepted April 21, 1865)

Tom Quinn(1864) Catcher for the 1886 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He made his major league debut on September 2,1886 for the Alleghenys. Quinn played three games that season for Pittsburgh behind the plate, going 0-11 with a run scored and a stolen base. He spent the next two seasons playing minor league ball before coming back to the majors in 1889, when he played for the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association. Quinn spent the 1890 season playing for the Pittsburgh Burghers of the Player’s League, his last year in the majors. Tom finished his career by playing two more years in the minors. He was a .189 hitter in 113 major league games and during the three years he played in the minors(only counting seasons with completely known stats), he never batted above .207 in any of those seasons.