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 Louis Bierbauer's career, including how the Pirates got their team name from signing him.
Some people may have heard or seen the name Louis Bierbauer already around the ballpark or at least recognize the last name from the food stand at PNC park. Very few people actually know the man behind the story of how the 1890 Alleghenys (also know as the Innocents for a time that season) became the 1891 Pirates.
When the Player's League was formed prior to the 1890 season many of the best players jumped ship to the new league. They were tired of the low pay, the reserve clause that binded them to teams and wanted to show the owners they could run their own league and keep the money of the people paying to see them...
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.