Barney Dreyfuss Buys Pittsburgh

By Bob Bailey

This article was published in the Spring 2019 Baseball Research Journal.

In 1899 Barney Dreyfuss purchased the Pittsburgh National League club, arranged a trade with the team he previously owned, the Louisville Colonels, and spirited away all of Louisville’s best players, including Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, and Rube Waddell. This established the Pirates as one of the dominant National League teams for more than a decade. However, the acquisition of the team was much more complicated than is commonly believed. As the story goes, in 1899 Barney Dreyfuss purchased the . . .

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