How the Pittsburgh got the Pirates
No Smoky City club ever had a nickname until 1890. Then the team, which lost 113 games while winning only 23, was tagged the Innocents--apparently being innocent of victorious aspirations. In 1890, during the off-season, Pittsburgh owners signed second baseman Louis Bierbauer, whom the bankrupt Athletic club of Philadelphia had forgotten to reserve. The Pittsburgh club, picking up Connie Mack about the same time, became known as the Pirates, in reference to so-called "pirating" of players. The Chicago Player's League club of 1890, managed by Charles A. Comiskey, also was called the Pirates for a time because of having lifted so many players from the St. Louis Browns.