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 how the 1888 team was built.
In their first season in the NL, the Pittsburgh Alleghenys finished a disappointing 55-69, in 6th place (out of 8 teams) and 24 games back of the leader. In this article I'm going to break down how the team, led by returning manager Horace Phillips, attacked their first offseason, way back before relievers and a deep bench were part of team's off-season checklist.
First I'll start with the who was new for the beginning of the year. Right after the 1887 season ended they acquired a veteran 2B, 28 year old Fred "Sure Shot" Dunlap, for the price of approximately $4,000 from the first place Detroit Wolverines. In the previous article I noted that Sam Barkley took over at 1B when Al...
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.