Max Carey

Max Carey

January 11, 1890
5' 11"
170 lbs
Major League Debut:
10-03-1910 with PIT
Hall of Fame:


Little Max Carey had every intention of being a Lutheran minister, but he ended up as a thief. The finest defensive center fielder in the National League during his prime, "Scoops" led his circuit in stolen bases ten times and retired as the most prolific base swiper in league history. His career with the Pittsburgh Pirates bridged the days of Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke to the dawn of Pie Traynor and Paul Waner.

Replaced By

Late in 1926, when Carey was waived by the Bucs, left fielder Kiki Cuyler moved to center field to fill the void. In 1927, 21-year old rookie Lloyd Waner was in center for Pittsburgh, giving the Pirates three Hall of Fame center fielders from 1916-1939.

Best Season

At age 32, Carey set career high's in OBP (.408) and runs (140) on his way to a 207-hit season (also a career-best). He hit 28 doubles, 12 triples, and ten homers, driving in 70 runs and walking 80 times. He led the NL in steals with 51 and was only caught twice! In the outfield he led NL flychasers in putouts.

Factoid 1

Max Carey led the National League in stolen bases a record ten times.

Factoid 2

On July 15, 1913, Max Carey scored five runs without collecting a single hit. He reached base on four walks and an error in the Pirates 12-2 victory. He also swiped four bases in the game.


Carey traveled with major league All-Star teams to Japan in the 1930s as a coach, helping to spread the game to the Far East. He was especially helpful in teaching the art of bunting, base running, and outfield play.


August 13, 1926: Selected off waivers by the Brooklyn Robins from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Carey was released by the Pirates after he had a run-in with Fred Clarke, his former teammate and manager who was serving as a coach in 1926. After being unceremoniously released by the Pirates after 17 years of service, Carey returned to Pittsburgh's Forbes Field in a Brooklyn uniform on July 26, 1927. He stoled home against his former team, giving him 33 swipes of home in his career, a National League record that still stands.






Carey first saw Ty Cobb play in a 1924 exhibition game. He immediately adopted Cobb's hands-apart batting grip and the next season, at the age of 35, he batted a career-high .343. He hit that way the rest of his career, a constant reminder of the "deadball era" style of play.

1961 Hall of Fame, Baseball History, Max Carey, Pittsburgh Pirates
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