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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