The Honus Wagner Trade

The Honus Wagner Trade
John Dreker

In 1899 the Louisville Colonels of the National League were in danger of folding. The National League was looking to scale down to 8 teams. At the same time, their team owner Barney Dreyfuss had purchased a half interest in the Pittsburgh Pirates team, realizing that his Louisville team was likely to be one of the teams trimmed from the NL. In doing so he was able to turn the Pirates into a powerhouse for most of the next decade.

Before the Colonels were bought out by the NL, Dreyfuss reached an agreement to accept less money for the buyout in exchange for moving his best players to Pittsburgh in a one-sided trade. Club President Harry Pulliam, who would follow Dreyfuss to Pittsburgh, made the following trade that changed Pirates history forever:

Honus Wagner

Louisville got Jack C...

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John Dreker

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.

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