Barney Dreyfuss

Barney Dreyfuss

Bernhard "Barney" Dreyfuss (February 23, 1865 – February 5, 1932) was a German-Jewish-American executive in Major League Baseball who owned the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise from 1900 to 1932.

He is often credited with the creation of the modern baseball World Series. He also built one of baseball's first modern steel and concrete baseball park, Forbes Field, in 1909. During his period of ownership, the Pirates won six National League pennants, and World Series titles in 1909 and 1925; the team finished below fourth place only four times, and only the New York Giants won more NL championships (10) during the same period.

Dreyfuss was born in Freiburg, Grand Duchy of Baden as the son of Samuel Dreyfuss, who was a U.S. citizen since about 1861. After training in a bank in Karlsruhe he emigrated in 1881 to the U.S. to escape conscription. In the U.S. he lived and worked with the Bernheim family in Paducah, Kentucky. The Bernheims were relatives of his grandfather Leon Bernheim. In 1888 he moved with the Bernheim family to Louisville, Kentucky.

As a successful entrepreneur in Louisville, he was able to purchase the Louisville Colonels baseball team. One of his best decisions was hiring a local city editor and educated lawyer, Harry Clay Pulliam (who taught him to speak English), as his club secretary; he later appointed him president. It was Pulliam who convinced Dreyfuss to hire a young awkward player by the name of Honus Wagner. Dreyfuss became owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and took Pulliam to serve as president and negotiated with Wagner to come along. Wagner emerged as the National League's biggest star, leading the Pirates to a pair of World Series and being enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame following a twenty-one year career with the ballclub.

In 1912 Dreyfuss became one of the major stockholders of Welte & Sons Inc. Dreyfuss died at age 66 in New York City. He is buried in West View Cemetery in Pittsburgh. Upon his passing, his wife received control of the Pirates. Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the commissioner of baseball, attended his funeral.

A small stone monument to Dreyfuss was installed in straightaway center field at Forbes Field, halfway between the 457 and 436 feet markers in deep left center and deep right center respectively. When the Pirates moved to Three Rivers Stadium in 1970, the monument was brought along and displayed in the stadium concourse.

Dreyfuss was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 following his election by the Veterans Committee.

External links

* [ Baseball Hall of Fame - 2008 inductee profile]
* [ Dreyfuss instrumental in game's early development]
* [ Dreyfuss becomes lucky 13th in Hall for Pirates]
* [ BaseballLibrary] - career highlights
* [ Barney Dreyfuss' Photo & Gravesite]

NAME=Dreyfuss, Barney
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Dreyfuss, Bernhard
SHORT DESCRIPTION=baseball executive
DATE OF BIRTH=February 23, 1865
PLACE OF BIRTH=Freiburg im Breisgau, Grand Duchy of Baden
DATE OF DEATH=February 5, 1932

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