In September of 1896 baseball held a Rule 5 draft where they selected minor leaguers from non-affiliated teams for their upcoming season. The Pirates took a 22 year old pitcher named Jesse Tannehill who had pitched 5 games previously in the majors as a teenager with the 1894 Reds. He was very successful in the minors with Richmond of the Virginia League going 49-24 between 1895-1896. He started 16 times for the 1897 Pirates and occasionally pitched in relief going 9-9 4.25 for the 8th place Pirates.
In late July of 1898 the Pirates signed 27 year old Bill Hoffer who had started off slow in 1898 going 0-4 but had gone 78-24 the previous three seasons for the Baltimore Orioles, winners of NL title in both 1895 and 1896 with Hoffer as their ace. He was the National Leagu...
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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.