Buccos.com -- an appreciation of the 25th man.  There are plenty of places on the 'Net to look up the Stargells and Parkers; *this* site will acknowledge the Stan Fanslers and Rich Sauveurs of the Pirates family. 

"Who??"

Exactly.  In general, if he isn't on a Pirates baseball card, he should be here.  Eventually. 

 

 

 

Joe Vitelli, pitcher, and Andy Poklemba.  This photo is from 1945 Spring Training, in Muncie IN.  Joe got into four games (at the age of 36) for the Pirates in 1944. Andy stayed in the minors his entire career.

 

 

Clarence 'Hooks' Iott, pitcher.  Lefthander with a strong arm, whose inability to throw strikes kept him from big league success.  Invited to Pirates Spring Training in the early '50s, Hooks didn't make the parent club. Played briefly with the StL Browns and NYGiants in the '40s.

 

Lenny Yochim, pitcher.  Cup of coffee with the Bucs in 1951 and '54, then became a Pirates scout, retiring after 36 years of service.

 

 

Dick Smith, infielder.  Dick played for the Bucs from 1951-5, totaling 25 hits in 186 at-bats.

 

 

Al Grunwald, pitcher.   Lefthander "Stretch" Grunwald pitched in three games for the 1955 Pirates.  Also had two singles in four at-bats.

Gene & George Freese.   Gene's 12-year career included two stints with the Bucs, 1955-8, and 1964-5.  His older brother George played 50 games at third base for the Pirates in 1955.    

 

 

Coot Veal.  Acquired by the Pirates in 1962 to start at short.  Incumbent SS Dick Groat was to move to third, in turn benching the on-the-trading-block 3B-man Don Hoak.  Hoak forced the Pirates to abort this plan however, by hitting the cover off the ball in Spring Training, therefore retaining his third base job and placing Coot on the bench.  Coot's entire Bucco playing career was a single pinch-hit appearance in April 1962, a strikeout by Cubs hurler Jack Curtis.

 

Larry Elliot, and Gary Rushing.  Primarily a pinch-hitter, Larry got 14 at-bats in 12 games for the Pirates in 1962 and '63.  Gary was MVP for the Pirates' AA farm team Columbus Jets in 1961, and was invited to 1962 Spring Training with the Bucs.  

 

 

Del Crandall, catcher.   This five-time all-star played 16 years in the bigs, the first 13 with the Braves.  Pirates acquired Del for Bob Priddy and Bob Burda in 1965, Del's only season with the Bucs.  

 

 

Bob Oliver, outfielder.   A Pirates farmhand, got a total of two at-bats with the parent club, in 1965.   Bucs sent him to the Twins in 1967 to re-acquire Ronnie Kline.  Oliver enjoyed four nice seasons for the Royals and Angels, 1970-73.  Best season was 1970: 27 HR and 99 RBI for Kansas City.

 

 

Gary Kolb, catcher.  Traded from the Mets to the Pirates in exchange for Don Cardwell, Gary spent the final two years of his MLB career (1968 and '69) as a Buc.    

 

 

 

 

Bo Belinsky, pitcher.   More famous as a partier and studmuffin, Bo in fact originally signed with the Pirates, 1956.  Saw no action with the parent club, a 1962 no-hitter while a rookie with the Angels was the highlight (baseball, anyway) of an otherwise uneventful (baseball, anyway) career.  He was sober enough in 1969 to slink his way back to Pittsburgh and throw in eight games, compiling an 0 and 3 record as a Buc.

 

 

 

Dick Sharon, outfielder.  First round draft choice (9th overall) by the Pirates in 1968, Dick stayed in the Bucs' minor league system.  Traded to the Tigers in 1972 for pitchers Jim Foor and Norm McRae.

 

 

Jim Sadowski, relief pitcher.  Appeared in four games, early 1974.  Later traded to the Reds for Tom Carroll.

 

 

 

Sam McDowell, pitcher.  Had a couple HOF-type years for the Indians in the late '60s.  Sam concluded his long career with one season as a Bucco reliever (1975), going 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA. 

 

 

 

Rich Gossage, relief pitcher.  A fan favorite in Pittsburgh, "Goose" Gossage perhaps had his best MLB season his only year as a Buc in 1977:  151 strikeouts in 133 innings, with a superb 1.62 ERA.    

 

 

 

 

Dave Pagan, pitcher.   An original Seattle Mariner, Bucs traded Rick Honeycutt to the Mariners to get him.  Pagan pitched in all of ONE game for the Pirates, in 1977.  Potential plus, as Pagan threw harder than anyone around; comparisons to Nolan Ryan were bandied about.  Trouble was, when Duffy Dyer put the mitt up for a target, Pagan just couldn't hit the thing with regularity. Neither could Ryan at first, but he improved just a bit; Pagan blew out his arm.

 

 

 

 

Gary Hargis, infielderA second round draft choice in 1974, Gary was a September callup in 1979.  He was a pinch runner for a single game, vs the Cubs.

 

 

 

 

Stan Fansler, pitcher.  Called up in September 1986, Stan started five games for the Pirates, earning an 0-3 record despite a 3.75 ERA.  Returned to the minors, 1987-1998.

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

Rich Renteria, catcherWas the Pirates' first round pick (20th overall) in the 1980 draft.  Called up for September 1986, Rich was mainly a pinch-hitter, with 3 singles in 12 at-bats.  Traded following the season to Seattle for Bob Siegel, who didn't advance past A-ball in his only season with the Bucs.

 

 

 

 

Tito Landrum, outfielder.   Spring Training only, 1988.

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

Archie Corbin, pitcher.     Spring Training only, 1994. 

 

 

 

 

Ray Sadler, outfielder.     Started three games in left for the Bucs in May 2005.  Got a homer and single in eight times up.

 

 

 

Total Pirates featured here:  26.  100 or so still to follow.


Until then, here're some links to other stuff.

Pirates games on videotape  
Unique Pittsburgh memorabilia  
Programming recorded from television 
DVDs and music  
9/11 coverage  

 

Suggestions, etc. -- email me:  jay at buccos dot com.

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