Buddy Pritchard

Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 73 Weight: 195
Born: Saturday, January 25, 1936 in South Gate, CA USA
Died: in ,
Debut: 4/21/1957
Last Game: 9/1/1957
Full Name: Harold William Pritchard

Buddy Pritchard, infielder for the 1957 Pirates. He was signed by the Pirates in February 1957 directly out of college for a $30,000 bonus. Under the rules of the day, any amateur player signing for that amount fell under the “Bonus Baby” rule, which meant he had to spend the entire 1957 season on the Pirates big league roster. It was meant to keep teams with money from stockpiling all the best amateur talent, but in reality it was usually bad for the player signing the contract. Most players who signed those contracts sat on the end of their team’s bench and Pritchard was no different. Despite being on the roster the entire season, he played in just 23 games and only came up to bat 12 times. He started two games all year and did not play one complete nine inning game. He batted .091 (1-for-11), though his first big league hit came off of Don Newcombe.

If Pritchard had signed his contract a year earlier he would’ve had to spend two full seasons in the majors, but the Bonus Baby rule was rescinded in 1958 and he was shipped to the minors. He would end up playing eight seasons in the minors for the Pirates before he retired as a player, never making it back to the majors. He played just 652 games over those eight seasons, only breaking the century mark in games played three times, and he finished with a .256 average and 30 homers. Pritchard would later manage for the Pirates in the Gulf Coast League for two seasons, as well as do some scouting for the team before moving on to a job as an MLB scout.