1909 World Series

In the 1909 World Series featured the Pittsburgh Pirates[1] and the Detroit Tigers. The Pirates won the Series in seven games to capture their first championship of the modern Major League Baseball era and the second championship in the club's history. This Series is best remembered for the amazing play by the two best players at the time, Honus Wagner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers.

The Pirates had won the pennant in 1909 behind the brilliant play of Honus Wagner, who led the league with a .339 batting average and 100 RBI.

Detroit returned for their third consecutive Fall Classic determined to erase the memories of their previous efforts. The Tigers were also backed up by the heavy bat of Ty Cobb (who had just won his third consecutive American League batting title) and a formidable pitching staff.

They might have finally won the Series in their third try had it not been for Pirates rookie Babe Adams. Manager Fred Clarke started him, on a hunch, in Game 1. Adams won that game and two more, setting a World Series record for rookies.

The Tigers thus became the first AL team to win three consecutive pennants and the first team to lose three straight World Series (the New York Giants would lose three straight Series during 1911–1913).

The Pirates ran at will against the weak Detroit catching corps, stealing 18 bases in seven games.

A Honus Wagner baseball card, c. 1909–1911
1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb bat on shoulder
A Ty Cobb baseball card, c. 1909–1911
1909 World Series
Team (Wins) Manager(s) Season
Pittsburgh Pirates (4) Fred Clarke (player/manager) 110–42, .724, GA: ​6 12
Detroit Tigers (3) Hughie Jennings 98–54, .645, GA: ​3 12
DatesOctober 8–16
UmpiresJim Johnstone (NL), Billy Evans (AL), Bill Klem (NL), Silk O'Loughlin (AL)
Hall of FamersUmpires: Billy Evans, Bill Klem
Pirates: Fred Clarke, Honus Wagner, Vic Willis
Tigers: Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb, Hughie Jennings (manager)
World Series

The "Krauthead" story

Ty Cobb had a fairly quiet Series, going 6 for 26 with two stolen bases and one caught stealing. There is a long-standing legend that Cobb, standing on first base, called the German-ancestored Honus Wagner "Krauthead", told him he was going to steal second, and was not only thrown out but that Wagner tagged him in the mouth, ball in hand, drawing blood from Cobb's lip. However, an examination of the play-by-play does not indicate that such a play occurred. In the one "caught stealing" charged to Cobb, during the first inning of Game 4, he was actually safe at second due to a throwing error by first baseman Bill Abstein. This story is largely attributed to the creative press at the time, and Wagner and Cobb were actually on good terms.

For the first time, four umpires were used at the same time, with the standard plate umpire and base umpire along with two outfield umpires.

On June 14, 2009, the series' 100th anniversary was celebrated, when the Tigers and Pirates played each other in Pittsburgh. Both teams wore throwback uniforms similar to those worn in 1909. The stadium's public address and sound systems were also turned off, simulating the game conditions in 1909. The Pirates won the game, 6–3.[2]


NL Pittsburgh Pirates (4) vs. AL Detroit Tigers (3)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 8 Detroit Tigers – 1, Pittsburgh Pirates – 4 Forbes Field 1:55 29,264[3] 
2 October 9 Detroit Tigers – 7, Pittsburgh Pirates – 2 Forbes Field 1:45 30,915[4] 
3 October 11 Pittsburgh Pirates – 8, Detroit Tigers – 6 Bennett Park 1:56 18,277[5] 
4 October 12 Pittsburgh Pirates – 0, Detroit Tigers – 5 Bennett Park 1:57 17,036[6] 
5 October 13 Detroit Tigers – 4, Pittsburgh Pirates – 8 Forbes Field 1:46 21,706[7] 
6 October 14 Pittsburgh Pirates – 4, Detroit Tigers – 5 Bennett Park 2:00 10,535[8] 
7 October 16 Pittsburgh Pirates – 8, Detroit Tigers – 0 Bennett Park 2:10 17,562[9]
Bennett Park on October 11, 1909, for the third game of the 1909 World Series.


Game 1

Friday, October 8, 1909 2:00 pm (ET) at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 4
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 X 4 5 0
WP: Babe Adams (1–0)   LP: George Mullin (0–1)
Home runs:
DET: None
PIT: Fred Clarke (1)

I'll never forget the look on Adams' face when I told him I wanted him to pitch the opener.

— Pirates Manager Fred Clarke

Rookie Babe Adams, who had compiled a 12–3 record during the regular season, unexpectedly drew the start for Game 1. He responded with a six-hit, 4–1 victory sparked by Clarke's game-tying home run in the bottom of the fourth.

Game 2

Saturday, October 9, 1909 2:00 pm (ET) at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 2 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 7 9 2
Pittsburgh 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 1
WP: Wild Bill Donovan (1–0)   LP: Howie Camnitz (0–1)

The Tigers began their 7–2 comeback win (after a two-run Pirate bottom of the first) with three runs in the top of the third, tying the Series at one game apiece. Ty Cobb stole home to start the rally.

Game 3

Monday, October 11, 1909 2:00 pm (ET) at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 10 2
Detroit 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 2 6 11 5
WP: Nick Maddox (1–0)   LP: Ed Summers (0–1)

Honus Wagner had three hits, three RBI and three stolen bases as the Pirates regained the lead in the Series, two games to one.

Game 4

Tuesday, October 12, 1909 2:00 pm (ET) at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 6
Detroit 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 X 5 8 0
WP: George Mullin (1–1)   LP: Lefty Leifield (0–1)

The win-swapping continued with Detroit taking Game 4. Tiger ace George Mullin threw a five-hit shutout while striking out 10 Pirates, again evening the Series at two games apiece.

Game 5

Wednesday, October 13, 1909 2:00 pm (ET) at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 4 6 1
Pittsburgh 1 1 1 0 0 0 4 1 X 8 10 2
WP: Babe Adams (2–0)   LP: Ed Summers (0–2)
Home runs:
DET: Davy Jones (1), Sam Crawford (1)
PIT: Fred Clarke (2)

Babe Adams threw another six-hitter, for an 8–4 triumph and a 3–2 Series lead for his Pirates.

Game 6

Thursday, October 14, 1909 2:00 pm (ET) at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 8 1
Detroit 1 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 X 5 10 2
WP: George Mullin (2–1)   LP: Vic Willis (0–1)

Mullin, after being roughed up for three first-inning runs, surrendered only one more and wound up with the win, knotting the Series at three games apiece.

Game 7

Saturday, October 16, 1909 2:00 pm (ET) at Bennett Park in Detroit, Michigan
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh 0 2 0 2 0 3 0 1 0 8 7 0
Detroit 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 3
WP: Babe Adams (3–0)   LP: Wild Bill Donovan (1–1)

With the Series coming down to a climactic seventh game (the first to go the distance), Pittsburgh's Fred Clarke went with two-game winner Babe Adams as his pitcher, while Detroit Manager Hugh Jennings decided on Bill Donovan, a complete-game winner in Game 2.

Donovan got off to a miserable start. He hit the first Pirate batter and went on to walk six in the first two innings. He was pulled after three with Adams confidently holding a 2–0 lead. Pittsburgh never looked back, as Babe nailed his third six-hitter and third win of the Series for an 8–0 championship victory.

Honus Wagner continued to prove his Cooperstown worthiness by hitting .333, with seven RBIs and six stolen bases. On the other side, Ty Cobb didn't fare as well. Appearing in what would be his last Series (although he would remain active through 1928), Cobb batted only .231 although he did lead the Tigers, losers of their third Series in three years, with six RBIs.

No two professional sports teams from Detroit and Pittsburgh would meet in a postseason game again until Game 1 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Composite line score

1909 World Series (4–3): Pittsburgh Pirates (N.L.) over Detroit Tigers (A.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates 11 4 1 3 2 4 4 2 3 34 50 12
Detroit Tigers 3 4 3 5 3 3 4 1 2 28 56 17
Total attendance: 145,295   Average attendance: 20,756
Winning player's share: $1,825   Losing player's share: $1,275[10]


  1. ^ In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the name of Pittsburgh was often spelled without the 'h'.
  2. ^ "Tigers.com Game recap June 14, 2009". Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  3. ^ "1909 World Series Game 1 – Detroit Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "1909 World Series Game 2 – Detroit Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "1909 World Series Game 3 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "1909 World Series Game 4 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "1909 World Series Game 5 – Detroit Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "1909 World Series Game 6 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  9. ^ "1909 World Series Game 7 – Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  10. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved June 14, 2009.


  • Cohen, Richard M.; Neft, David S. (1990). The World Series: Complete Play-By-Play of Every Game, 1903–1989. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 27–31. ISBN 0-312-03960-3.
  • Reichler, Joseph (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.). Macmillan Publishing. p. 2117. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.

External links

1907 Detroit Tigers season

The 1907 Detroit Tigers won the American League pennant with a record of 92–58, but lost to the Chicago Cubs in the 1907 World Series, four games to none (with one tie). The season was their 7th since they entered the American League in 1901.

1909 Detroit Tigers season

The 1909 Detroit Tigers won the American League pennant with a record of 96–56, but lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1909 World Series, 4 games to 3. The season was their 9th since they were charter members of the American League in 1901. It was the third consecutive season in which they won the pennant but lost the World Series. Center fielder Ty Cobb won the Triple Crown and pitcher George Mullin led the league in wins (29) and win percentage (.784).

1909 Major League Baseball season

The 1909 Major League Baseball season. The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Detroit Tigers 4–3 to win the World Series.

1909 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 28th season for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise, during which they won the National League pennant with a record of 110–42 and their first World Series over the Detroit Tigers. Led by shortstop Honus Wagner and outfielder-manager Fred Clarke, the Pirates scored the most runs in the majors. Wagner led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and runs batted in. Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss opened the Pirates' new ballpark, named Forbes Field, on June 30, 1909.The Pirates' 110 wins remain a team record, a record they set in the last game of the season by beating the Cincinnati Reds 7–4 in muddy conditions on October 5. It is in fact the best regular season win percentage by any World Series winning team.

1910 World Series

The 1910 World Series featured the Philadelphia Athletics and the Chicago Cubs, with the Athletics winning in five games to earn their first championship.

Jack Coombs of Philadelphia won three games and Eddie Collins supplied timely hitting. The 2nd greatest Cubs team in history closed out its glory years, only ten years into the new century.

Bill Abstein

William Henry Abstein (February 2, 1883 – April 8, 1940), nicknamed "Big Bill", was a professional baseball and amateur soccer player. He played all or part of three seasons in Major League Baseball player, from 1906 to 1910, primarily as a first baseman. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Browns. He played in 170 games, with 150 hits, one home run and a batting average of .242. He played for Pittsburgh during the 1909 World Series, appearing in all seven games and getting six hits.Abstein spent the 1904–05 St. Louis Association Foot Ball League season with Diel F.C. which was managed by Thomas Cahill. He later played for Memphis Chicks in the Southern League. During those years, he also played soccer as a midfielder for St. Leo's in the St. Louis Soccer League during the off-season.

Fred Clarke

Fred Clifford Clarke (October 3, 1872 – August 14, 1960) was an American Major League Baseball player from 1894 to 1915 and manager from 1897 to 1915. A Hall of Famer, Clarke played for and managed both the Louisville Colonels and Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a left fielder and left-handed batter.

Of the nine pennants in Pittsburgh franchise history, Clarke was the player-manager for four of them. He and fellow Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Vic Willis led Pittsburgh to a victory over Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers in the 1909 World Series. Clarke batted over .300 in 11 different seasons. His 35-game hitting streak in 1895 was the second-longest in Major League history at the time. For six years, Clarke held the Major League record for wins by a manager.

George Gibson (baseball)

George C. Gibson (July 22, 1880 – January 25, 1967), nicknamed Mooney, was a Canadian professional baseball player, coach, scout, and manager. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball from 1905 to 1918 during a period in baseball history known as the Dead-ball era. Gibson spent the majority of his athletic career with the Pittsburgh Pirates before serving as a player-coach for the New York Giants for his final two seasons. He later became a minor league manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs before returning to the major leagues as a manager for the Pirates and the Chicago Cubs.Gibson was regarded as one of the National League's premier catchers because of his impressive defensive skills and his strong, accurate throwing arm. He was also known for his smart pitch-calling and his ability to hold runners on base. His reputation as a defensive stand out is enhanced because of the era in which he played. In the deadball era, catchers played a huge defensive role, given the large number of bunts and stolen base attempts, as well as the difficulty of handling the spitball pitchers who dominated pitching staffs. He had to catch every type of pitch imaginable, such as shine balls, spitballs, knuckleballs, and emory balls. Gibson was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1958 and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.

Harry Krause

Harry William "Hal" Krause (July 12, 1888 – October 23, 1940) was a Major League Baseball player. He was a pitcher over parts of five seasons (1908–1912) with the Philadelphia Athletics and Cleveland Naps. He led the American League in earned run average in 1909 while playing for Philadelphia. For his career, he compiled a 36–26 record, with a 2.50 ERA and 289 strikeouts.

Honus Wagner

Johannes Peter "Honus" Wagner (; February 24, 1874 – December 6, 1955), sometimes referred to as "Hans" Wagner, was an American baseball shortstop who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1897 to 1917, almost entirely for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wagner won his eighth (and final) batting title in 1911, a National League record that remains unbroken to this day, and matched only once, in 1997, by Tony Gwynn. He also led the league in slugging six times and stolen bases five times. Wagner was nicknamed "The Flying Dutchman" due to his superb speed and German heritage. This nickname was a nod to the popular folk-tale made into a famous opera by another Wagner.

In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Wagner as one of the first five members. He received the second-highest vote total, behind Ty Cobb and tied with Babe Ruth.

Although Cobb is frequently cited as the greatest player of the dead-ball era, some contemporaries regarded Wagner as the better all-around player, and most baseball historians consider Wagner to be the greatest shortstop ever. Cobb himself called Wagner "maybe the greatest star ever to take the diamond." Honus Wagner is also the featured player of one of the rarest and most valuable baseball cards in existence.

Howie Camnitz

Samuel Howard (Howie) Camnitz (August 22, 1881 – March 2, 1960) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies (1913) in the National League and for the Pittsburgh Rebels (1914–15) in the Federal League. A native of Covington, Kentucky, he batted and threw right-handed.

In an 11-season career, Camnitz posted a 133–106 record with 915 strikeouts and a 2.75 ERA in 2085.1 innings pitched.

Camnitz pitched briefly with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1904 and 1906. In his first full season in 1907, he had a 13–8 record with a 2.15 ERA in 180 innings, including a five-inning no-hitter against the New York Giants on August 23. The next year, he went 16–9 with a 1.56 ERA and 15 complete games in 19 starts.

With an excellent curveball, Camnitz collected three 20-win seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1909 to 1912, leading his team to the 1909 World Series after winning 25 games in the regular season and tying Christy Mathewson for the National League lead winning percentage (.806).

Camnitz pitched at least 240 innings for seven consecutive years (1908–14) with a career-high 283 innings in 1909, winning 20 games in 1911 and 22 in 1912. After a 6–17 start in 1913, he was sent by the Pirates to the Philadelphia Phillies in the midseason. He pitched in nine games for them and had a 3–3 record, then jumped to the Pittsburgh Rebels in the Federal League in 1914 and posted a 14–19 mark. After battling arm problems, he retired in 1915.

Camnitz died in Louisville, Kentucky, at age of 78.

Jim Johnstone (umpire)

James Edward Johnstone (December 9, 1872 - June 13, 1927) was a professional baseball umpire. Johnstone worked in three Major leagues in his career, the American League (1902), National League (1903-1912), and the Federal League (1915). He umpired 1,736 major league games in his 12-year career. Johnstone umpired in the 1906, and 1909 World Series.

Joe S. Jackson

Joseph S. "Joe" Jackson (July 1871 – May 19, 1936) was an American sportswriter and editor for the Detroit Free Press, The Washington Post and The Detroit News. He was the founder and first president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, holding the office from 1908 to 1919.

List of World Series starting pitchers

The following chart lists starting pitchers for each Major League Baseball World Series game.Decisions listed indicate lifetime World Series W/L records as a starting pitcher; a pitcher's wins and losses in World Series relief appearances are not included here.

‡ denotes a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Pittsburgh Filipinos

The Pittsburgh Filipinos were a minor league baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team began play in 1912 in the United States Baseball League. The team played all of its home games at Exposition Park, located on Pittsburgh's Northside. The Filipinos were named in honor of their manager, Deacon Phillippe, a former pitcher with the Pittsburgh Pirates and a member of their 1901, 1902, 1903 and 1909 National League pennant winning teams as well as their 1909 World Series championship team.The Filipinos finished in first place during the league's inaugural season, which lasted only one month, with a 19-7 record.In 1913, the team became a charter member of the Federal League, which was still a minor league at the time. The club was renamed that season as the Pittsburgh Stogies after an earlier Pittsburgh team that played in the Union Association in 1884. The following season, the Federal League declared itself major league. Therefore the Pittsburgh club then became a direct predecessor to what would become the Pittsburgh Rebels.

Pittsburgh Pirates award winners and league leaders

This is a list of all awards won by players and personnel of the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball team.

Pittsburgh Rebels

The Pittsburgh Rebels were a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1914 and 1915. The team was a member of the short-lived Federal League.They finished the 1914 season as the Pittsburgh Rebels. The team was originally called Pittsburgh Stogies after an earlier Pittsburgh team that played in the Union Association in 1884. They finished the year as the Pittsburgh Rebels. The team played all of its home games at Exposition Park, located on Pittsburgh's Northside. The Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League left the stadium for Forbes Field in 1909. After the Rebels left Exposition Park in 1915, the field was demolished and its property became part of the rail yards.

The Winning Season (2004 film)

The Winning Season is a 2004 television film with elements of a fantasy drama. It chronicles a young boy's dream in 1985 with playing with the Pittsburgh Pirates' great Honus Wagner. The film follows the dream to the point where the boy is assisting Wagner in his 1909 World Series duel with fellow hall-of-famer Ty Cobb. It is adapted from the children's novel Honus & Me by Dan Gutman.

Pittsburgh Pirates 1909 World Series champions
World Series
Championships (5)
League pennants (9)
Division titles (9)
Wild Card berths (3)
Important figures
Minor league affiliates
Key personnel
World Series
championships (4)
American League pennants (11)
Division titles (7)
Wild card berths (1)

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