Saturday, May 6, 2017

5/6 Birthdays: HBD Loose, Lute, Bob, Earl, Dick & Alberto

  • 1883 - RHP Ed “Loose” Karger was born in San Angelo, Texas. Karger started his six-year MLB career with the Bucs in 1906, going 2-3/1.93 in six outings before being flipped for veteran Chappie McFarlane. Bad move; McFarlane was waived in August while Karger would toss a 1907 perfecto (off the books; it was only seven innings) and won 46 games as a hard-luck hurler with a career 2.79 ERA. There’s some debate over his moniker; some say it was a description of his demeanor while others claim it was because of his easy delivery on the mound.
  • 1890 - IF Lutellus "Lute" Boone was born in Pittsburgh. After four years with the Yankees, the Pirates brought Lute to Pittsburgh to help fill the hole left by the retired Hans Wagner. He couldn’t quite fill those shoes (he batted .198 for the Buccos) and that ended his big-league days. He continued to soldier on in the minors with 14 years in the American Association and played for four minor league pennant winners. He retired from baseball in 1936, took up residence in Brentwood and went to work for Mesta Machine Company in Homestead.
Bob Chesnes 1949 Bowman
  • 1921 - RHP Bob Chesnes was born in Oakland California. He’s a story of what coulda been. As a 27-year-old back from the service, he spent three years dazzling minor league hitters before the Pirates bought his contract from the San Francisco Seals for $100,000 and four players in 1947. He went 14-6 the next season with 15 complete games and a 3.57 ERA/.275 BA (he was a former SS). But he only won 10 games in the next two seasons, the victim of a burned out arm, and was done as an MLB player by 1950.
  • 1923 - C Earl Turner was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Earl’s MLB days were spent with cups of coffee in Pittsburgh in 1948 and again in 1950, hitting .240 in his 42-game career. Turner spent most of 1950-52 in the upper minors before retiring from baseball.
  • 1926 - IF Dick Cole was born in Long Beach. Cole played for Pittsburgh in 1951 and again in 1953-56, batting .253 mostly as a bench player, although he was a regular in 1954. Later, after a stint with the Central Scouting Bureau, Cole became a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1970 to 1974, earning the title of Scouting Supervisor the last three years.
Alberto Lois 1978 Topps
  • 1956 - OF Alberto Lois was born in Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic. He played briefly for the Bucs in 1978-79. He was a big-time, five-tool prospect signed as a 17-year-old by super-scout Howie Haak, but a series of nagging injuries gave him a rep as a malingerer that dogged him in the minors. Still, he got a quick look in ‘78 and was called up during the ‘79 dog days. Lois got into 11 games, all of them as a pinch runner, and flashed his wheels by scoring six runs. The Pirates never got a chance to polish his game. One night that winter, he drove his pickup truck into a stalled train sitting at an unlit crossing that he said he never saw. The wreck killed several of his friends and disfigured his right eye, closing the book on his career.

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