Pittsburgh Pirates: Teams You Didn’t Know These Players Played For

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Pittsburgh Pirates
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Bob Veale – Boston Red Sox

Bob Veale is arguably the only pitcher who can rival Bob Friend as the best starting pitcher in Pirate history. The southpaw and two-time all-star was one of baseball’s best strikeout pitchers through the 1960s. From 1963 until the turn of the decade in 1970, Veale had the 9th highest strikeout rate at 20.9% (min. 500 IP). He just was outdone by Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins while outdoing other names like Luis Tiant (20.6%), Tom Seaver (19.8%), and Hoyt Wilhelm (19.9%).

Veale had a phenomenal 2.93 ERA and 2.73 FIP. He also had the third-best HR/9 at 0.41. The lefty’s only weakness was command. He had a 10.5% walk rate, which back then was in the bottom 20 of pitchers. Most of his time with the Pirates was as a starting pitcher. He served as a swingman/long reliever in 1963 and solely out of the bullpen in 1971.

1922 would be the last season Veale would pitch with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In September, after pitching horribly in 1971, Veale’s contract was purchased by the Boston Red Sox. Veale only pitched a total of 57.1 innings with the Sox from 1972 through 1974, though he did have solid numbers as a closer for the team in 1973.