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Barney Dreyfuss

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Pirates
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Bernhard Dreyfuss (1865-1932) embodied the American Dream. An immigrant Jew escaping Prussian army service, he arrived in the USA with little money and a job promise from relatives in a Kentucky distillery. He learned the language and fell in love with the national game, gradually building a stake in the local Louisville Colonels franchise. In the tumultuous lead-up to modern baseball, Dreyfuss seized the opportunity to acquire the Pittsburgh club and moved his top players to the Steel City: Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Rube Waddell, Deacon Phillippe, Tommy Leach and others. No wonder Branch Rickey said Dreyfuss was the “best judge of players” he had ever seen. With that corps of elite athletes, Dreyfuss built a powerhouse on the banks of the Allegheny and, in 1909, built the finest baseball venue in the country: Forbes Field. His Pirates beat Cobb’s Tigers in that year’s Series and Dreyfuss would gain one more title in 1925.

  • Many credit Dreyfuss as the genius behind the establishment of the Fall Classic
  • Was beloved by fans and players to whom he showed great generosity
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 2008

Auction History

Charles Comiskey

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Sox
  • League: American League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Charles Albert Comiskey (1859-1931) rose from decent first-baseman to become one of the foremost managers and owners of baseball’s early decades. “The Old Roman’s” leadership skills emerged with his first team, the newly-minted St. Louis Browns whom he piloted to four pennants. He would go on to compile an outstanding 840-541 record. His .608 winning percentage is third-highest behind Joe McCarthy and Jim Mutrie. “Commy” parlayed his ownership of the Western Association’s Dubuque Rabbits into a franchise in the American League which he helped found in 1901. He built the White Sox stadium in 1910 which would bear his name for the next 81 years and presided for the next decade over one of the most talented and troubled teams in history. While many dismiss the charge that it was Comiskey’s penurious ways that “drove” his 1919 squad to infamy, there is no doubt he was a cheapskate of the first order. He underpaid, over-promised and reneged with abandon, epitomizing the arrogance of the reserve-clause era.

  • Charles is credited with revolutionizing play at first-base, innovating play off the bag
  • Owned the Chicago White Sox from 1901-1931, winning two World Series
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1939

Auction History

Denny McKnight

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Pirates
  • League: National League

Harmar Denny McKnight (1848-1900) was an owner/mgr in the early tumultuous days as the AA sparred with the NL. McKnight founded the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in the AA in 1881. The club was crippled in 1890 by the Player’s League recruiting most of the team. Undaunted, McKnight took over that short-lived franchise and established the Pirates in the NL.

  • Was president of the American Association from 1882-86
  • Managed the Alleghenys (Pirates) in 1884

Auction History