The following is from Pirates Prospects contributor John Dreker, as part of his ongoing Pirates History feature. The feature focuses on the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and every Sunday, John will take a look at a different piece of that history. This week John looks at one of the best purchases the Pirates have ever made.
As I mentioned in my last article, I'd cover the purchase of Jake Beckley and Harry Staley in this article. I chose to single out this move because it turned out to be one of the better ones in Pirates history, yet little is ever made of it. I think Beckley, because of how long ago he played, is an under appreciated all-time great with the Pirates. One of the reasons he loses a little luster in my opinion is he was part of the mass exodus of players leaving right before the 1890 season which in turn led the team to have their worst season in history. It's hard to blame him or any of the others for leaving, the Player's League was supposed to ...
John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.