Going into the 1899 season the Pirates saw a chance to upgrade half of their double play combo of 2B Dick Padden and SS Bones Ely by acquiring a veteran star player from the lowly Washington Senators teams. The Senators never had a winning season in the eight year history of the franchise and they were coming off their first 100 loss season while also predictably drawing very poorly at the gates. They were always willing to sell or trade away a higher priced veteran in exchange for a profit by the end of the season.
The Senators prior to the 1898 season traded for star second baseman Heinie Reitz in a six player deal and they were hoping he could provide a big improvement over the incumbent second baseman John O'Brien, whom they gave up a lot to acquire two years prior, but ...
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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.