I wanted to do this article last week when 1950’s infielder Dick Smith celebrated his 92nd birthday, but I had other articles to get to first. About seven years ago back when Pirates Prospects had a separate blog site, I posted an article on the ten oldest living former Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a popular article back then, but a lot has obviously changed between that list and the one you will see below. Just two players from that original list are still with us today. So to me it’s important to give a hat tip to the former players while they are still around. Here are the ten oldest former Pittsburgh Pirates, along with their birth dates in parenthesis next to their name.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 3-0 to the New York Mets on Saturday night. The Pirates will send out Chris Archer for the series finale. He pitched against the St Louis Cardinals in each of his last two starts, going six innings each time. In those 12 innings, he allowed seven runs on 12 hits and four walks, with 14 strikeouts. Archer has a 6.91 ERA in eight road starts. The Mets are countering with veteran lefty Jason Vargas, who has a 3.96 ERA in 88.2 innings, with 76 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP. His last start five days against the San Diego Padres was one-hit ball over six shutout innings, with eight strikeouts. Vargas had a 2.68 ERA at home and 5.03 on the road.
The minor league schedule includes the first start back in Indianapolis for Brandon Waddell. In seven starts for Altoona, he had a 2.23 ERA over 36.1 innings, with a 1.05 WHIP and 42 strikeouts. Including his time in Indianapolis earlier this year, he has 79 strikeouts in 66.1 innings. Cody Bolton makes his sixth start for Altoona. His last outing was three runs over three innings in a game that had a long rain delay. His previous start was six shutout innings on one hit.
Conner Loeprich makes his second start for Bradenton. He allowed one run over six innings in his debut, picking up six strikeouts. His previous career long was five innings, set earlier this year with Greensboro in a spot start. Will Kobos gets the start for Greensboro. Despite a 6.05 ERA with Morgantown, his last start was five shutout innings eight days ago. Jose Maldonado gets the start for Bristol. He had a 2.45 ERA in his first three starts combined, but since then he’s be unable to get through three innings, giving up a total of 11 runs over seven innings in his last three outings. The GCL Pirates and both DSL Pirates are off on Sundays.
MLB: Pittsburgh (46-58) @ Mets (49-55) 1:10 PM
Probable starter: Chris Archer (5.40 ERA, 112:47 SO/BB, 96.2 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (53-51) @ Rochester (51-54) 1:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Brandon Waddell (8.70 ERA, 37:25 SO/BB, 30.0 IP)
AA: Altoona (52-51) vs Richmond (39-64) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cody Bolton (5.79 ERA, 17:8 SO/BB, 23.1 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (57-47) vs St Lucie (57-48) 1:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Conner Loeprich (1.50 ERA, 6:1 SO/BB, 6.0 IP)
Low-A: Greensboro (63-41) vs Kannapolis (45-59) 4:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Will Kobos (NR)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (21-19) @ State College (22-20) 6:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD
Rookie: Bristol (18-19) vs Elizabethton (20-17) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Jose Maldonado (6.23 ERA, 21:12 SO/BB, 21.2 IP)
GCL: Pirates (10-16) vs Braves (10-14) 12:00 PM 7/29 (season preview)
DSL: Pirates1 (23-25) vs Rangers1 (38-10) 10:30 AM 7/29 (season preview)
DSL: Pirates2 (40-8) vs Mariners (20-27) 10:30 AM 7/29 (season preview)
From Altoona, for the second day in a row only one highlight was posted, but this was a good one. Robbie Glendinning went 2-for-2 with two walks on Friday. Included in that line was his 13th home run of the season, a three-run shot
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) July 26, 2019
7/27: Pirates claim Parker Markel off waivers from Seattle Mariners.
7/27: Angel German activated from suspended list.
7/27: Daniel Amaral sent to GCL Pirates on rehab
7/26: Pirates sign Lewys Guzman, Jose Vasquez, Pedro Figuereo, Juan Santos
7/26: Osvaldo Bido promoted to Bradenton. Noe Toribio promoted to Greensboro. Trey McGough promoted to Morgantown. Lizardy Dicent assigned to Bristol on rehab.
7/25: Pirates recall Alex McRae. Luis Escobar optioned to Indianapolis.
7/25: Will Kobos promoted to Greensboro.
7/24: Keone Kela added to Pirates roster. Clay Holmes placed on injured list.
7/24: Angel German suspended by Altoona.
7/23: Brandon Waddell promoted to Indianapolis. Nicholas Economos promoted to Altoona. Conner Loeprich promoted to Bradenton. Winston Nicacio promoted to Greensboro. Oliver Garcia promoted to Morgantown. Miguel Peralta released.
7/23: Luis Nova placed on Greensboro injured list. Nick Mears placed on Bradenton injured list.
7/23: Tyler Lyons placed on paternity list. Eric Wood placed on temporary inactive list.
7/22: Saul de la Cruz promoted to Bristol. Wilger Camacho sent to GCL Pirates.
7/22: Elvis Escobar assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.
7/20: Michael Gretler placed on injured list. Victor Ngoepe promoted to Greensboro.
7/19: Jerrick Suiter placed on Altoona injured list. Bralin Jackson activated from injured list.
7/18: Mike LoPresti promoted to Greensboro.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus two trades of note. We start with the players and two of them were born on this date in 1867 and they both pitched for the 1890 team, which was the worst in franchise history. Duke Esper and Bill Day couldn’t help a team that went 23-113, as they combined to go 0-8 in their eight starts. Esper also pitched for the Pirates in 1892 and went 2-0 in three starts for a much better team. The other player born on this date is Carmelo Martinez, who joined the Pirates 100 years after the other two players. He was with two pennant winners during the 1990-91 seasons He didn’t last long with the Pirates, who acquired him at the end of August 1990 and traded him away the following May.
The trades on this date include first baseman Gus Suhr for pitcher Max Butcher, which was a one-sided deal as far as career stats, with Suhr being one of the best first baseman in team history. In 1939, he was near the end of his career and the Pirates shipped him to the Phillies for Butcher. The Pirates got 67 wins out of Butcher during his time in Pittsburgh, while Suhr played just 70 games before he was released.
The other trade on this date was in 2000, when the Pirates dealt outfielder Wil Cordero to the Indians for infielder Enrique Wilson and outfielder Alex Ramirez. Wilson didn’t stay long, as he was dealt to the Yankees the following season for Damaso Marte. Ramirez struggled in his time in Pittsburgh and was sold to Japan that off-season. Between the majors, minors and Japan, he hit 505 career homers.
One game of note and it’s from the 2001 season, when the Pirates trailed 8-2 to the Astros in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and no one on base. They managed to score seven runs, capping it off with a walk-off grand slam from Brian Giles. The Pirates had five hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. Here is the boxscore from that game and a description can be found in the link above.