In 1899, Patsy Donovan and Bill Watkins piloted the club to a 76-73 record. Why in 1916 would this be an important fact, because those two were the last managers of the Pirates before Fred Clarke’s 16-season run. Clarke retired following the 1915 campaign, and chosen as his replacement was James “Nixey” Callahan. There had been rumors in the off season that Tommy Leach, Honus Wagner or Harry Smith would get the post, but Dreyfuss went with experience, choosing Callahan who managed the White Sox on two different occasions totaling 5 seasons and had the distinction of being the first man in American League history to throw a no-hitter in 1902.
Although the Boston native had piloted Chicago for five campaigns, he came into the job with only a marginal record of 309-329 and would be incapable of directing the Pirates in the right direction unable to capitalize on the destruction of the rival Federal League, and more importantly, the Pittsburgh Rebels, as they were shut out on 27 occasions.
Two more former World Series stars would see their stars go down as Wagner, who was hitting .341 in July only to fall to .287 after splitting the webbing between his fingers in early August and Babe Adams, who tossed a one-hitter against the Cardinals on the second game of the season only to loose his curveball on his way to an embarrassing 2-9-5.72 campaign had poor seasons. Adams was unceremoniously waived by the clubby the end of the year.
Bill Hinchman again was the offensive star, hitting .315, third in the senior circuit with a third best 76 RBI’s, while leading the league in triples with 16. Max Carey won his third stolen base title in four years with 63.
While Adams struggled on the mound, Al Maumaux won 20 games again with a 21-15 mark. Wilbur Cooper rebounded from his lackluster effort in 1915 to post a 12-11 record and NL 4th best 1.8.
Clarke certainly was missed in 1916; unfortunately the bottom was not yet reached as the club found out in 1917. What it also found out was Nixey Callahan was no Fred Clarke.By Pirates Encyclopedia
- Al Mamaux, Babe Adams, Barney Dreyfuss, Bill Hinchman, Fred Clarke, Harry Smith, Honus Wagner, Max Carey, Nixey Callahan, Tommy Leach, Wilbur Cooper