1908 Pittsburgh Pirates

From BR Bullpen

1908 Pittsburgh Pirates / Franchise: Pittsburgh Pirates / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 98-56, Finished 2nd in National League (1908 NL)

Managed by Fred Clarke

Ballpark: Exposition Park

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1908 season is famous for the rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and New York Giants that hit its peak in the Merkle Bonehead Play game on September 23rd, but the 1908 Pittsburgh Pirates were also contenders, finishing only one game out. Honus Wagner utterly dominated the National League, leading the loop in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, while several Pirates pitchers turned in excellent performances.

The Pirates spent 46 days in first place, and were on top on October 3rd. However, they lost the last game of the season to the Cubs, 5-2, which set up a replay of the Merkle game (which had been ruled a tie) between the Giants and Cubs to decide the pennant winner. The Cubs beat the Giants in that game, meaning Pittsburgh finished in second place, ahead of New York by percentage points.

Further Reading[edit]

  • G.H. Fleming: The Unforgettable Season, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2006 (originally published in 1981).
  • Cait Murphy: Crazy '08: How a cast of cranks, rogues, boneheads and magnates created the greatest year in baseball history, Smithsonian Books, Washington, DC, 2007.
  • Steve Steinberg: "1908's Forgotten Team: The Pittsburgh Pirates", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 47, Nr. 2 (Fall 2018), pp. 103-111.
  • Stew Thornley: "Regular Season Showdowns", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 47, Nr. 1 (spring 2018), pp. 85-90.