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1908 Pittsburgh Pirates season

1908 Pittsburgh Pirates
Major League affiliations
Location
  • Exposition Park (since 1891)
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (since 1887)
  • Other information
    Owner(s) Barney Dreyfuss
    Manager(s) Fred Clarke
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    The 1908 Pittsburgh Pirates season was a season American baseball. The team finished tied for second place in the National League with the New York Giants, one game behind the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates spent 46 days in first place, and were on top on October 3. However, they lost their last game to the Cubs, which set up a replay of the infamous "Merkle" game between the Cubs and the Giants. The Cubs took it to win the pennant. Pittsburgh finished tied for second place with the Giants, just one game back. It was one of the closest races in baseball history.

    Shortstop Honus Wagner had one of the most dominating hitting performances of all-time. The "Flying Dutchman" led the majors in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs batted in, and stolen bases. He missed the triple crown by two home runs. For his efforts, Wagner was paid $5,000, possibly the most on the team.

    Regular season

    Season summary

    The Pirates opened the season by winning three straight games in St. Louis. On Opening Day, the Pirates committed four errors while the Cardinals committed six.[1] Fans were concerned because Honus Wagner—who in 1907 led the National League in hitting, slugging, and stolen bases—was not at the game, and there were concerns that he was taking the year off. On April 17, Charlie Starr, who was Wagner’s replacement, committed two errors. Afterwards, Wagner would sign with the Pirates. The home opener for the Pirates was a 5–1 victory for the Pirates over the Cardinals. From April 26 to May 9, the Pirates played only 3 games due to poor weather.[2]

    On June 30, the Pirates took first place, as the Chicago Cubs lost to the Cincinnati Reds.[3] Starting on July 2, the Pirates started a critical five game series against the Cubs. In the first game, Three Finger Brown threw a six hit, no walk shutout, winning the game 3–0.[4] The Pirates scheduled a doubleheader on the Fourth of July and more than 30,000 fans showed up. The Cubs won the first game 2–0 as Three Finger Brown only allowed two hits.[5]

    Season standings

    Template:MLB standings


    Opening Day lineup

    Roster

    1908 Pittsburgh Pirates
    Roster
    Pitchers Catchers

    Infielders

    Outfielders

    Other batters

    Manager

    Player stats

    Batting

    Starters by position

    Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
    C Gibson, GeorgeGeorge Gibson 143 486 111 .228 2 45
    1B Swacina, HarryHarry Swacina 53 176 38 .216 0 13
    2B Abbaticchio, EdEd Abbaticchio 146 500 125 .250 1 61
    SS Wagner, HonusHonus Wagner 151 568 201 .354 10 109
    3B Leach, TommyTommy Leach 152 583 151 .259 5 41
    LF Clarke, FredFred Clarke 151 551 146 .265 2 35
    CF Thomas, RoyRoy Thomas 102 386 99 .256 1 24
    RF Wilson, ChiefChief Wilson 144 529 120 .227 3 43

    Other batters

    Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
    Kane, JimJim Kane 55 145 35 .241 0 22
    Starr, CharlieCharlie Starr 20 59 11 .186 0 8
    Sullivan, JohnJohn Sullivan 1 1 0 .000 0 0

    Pitching

    Starting pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G IP W L ERA SO
    Camnitz, HowieHowie Camnitz 38 236.2 16 9 1.56 118
    Leifield, LeftyLefty Leifield 34 218.2 15 14 2.10 87

    Other pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G IP W L ERA SO
    Leever, SamSam Leever 38 192.2 15 7 2.10 28
    Brandom, ChickChick Brandom 3 17 1 0 0.53 8
    McCarthy, TomTom McCarthy 2 6 0 0 0.00 1

    Relief pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G W L SV ERA SO
    Hillebrand, HomerHomer Hillebrand 1 0 0 0 0.00 1

    Awards and honors

    League top five finishers

    Howie Camnitz

    • #4 in NL in ERA (1.56)

    Fred Clarke

    • #4 in NL in runs scored (83)

    Tommy Leach

    • #3 in NL in runs scored (93)

    Honus Wagner

    • MLB leader in batting average (.354)
    • MLB leader in RBI (109)
    • MLB leader in stolen bases (53)
    • MLB leader in on-base percentage (.415)
    • MLB leader in slugging percentage (.542)
    • #2 in NL in home runs (10)
    • #2 in NL in runs scored (100)

    Notes

    1. ^ Crazy ’08: How a cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads and Magnates created the Greatest Year in Baseball History, p. 68, by Cait Murphy, Smithsonian Books, a Division of Harper Collins, 2007, ISBN 978-0-06-088937-1
    2. ^ Crazy ’08, p. 69
    3. ^ Crazy ’08, p. 95
    4. ^ Crazy ’08, p. 99
    5. ^ Crazy ’08, p. 101

    References