Chronicle-Telegraph Cup

The Chronicle-Telegraph Cup was the trophy awarded to the winner of a postseason competition in American professional baseball in 1900. The series, played only once, was a precursor to the current World Series.

1900 Chronicle-Telegraph Cup Series
The Chronicle-Telegraph Cup on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Champion:Brooklyn Superbas (3)
Runner-upPittsburgh Pirates (1)
Dates:October 15–18
Location:Exposition Park, Allegheny City, Pennsylvania
Umpires:Tim Hurst, Ed Swartwood
Hall of Famers:Superbas:
Ned Hanlon (mgr.)
Hughie Jennings
Willie Keeler
Joe Kelley
Joe McGinnity
Fred Clarke‡ (mgr.)
Jack Chesbro
Rube Waddell
Honus Wagner
‡ elected as a player.

The Pittsburgh Pirates[1] finished in second place, 4.5 games behind the Brooklyn Superbas, in the 1900 National League season (the only Major League in American baseball at the time). Fans of the Pittsburgh club felt their club was every bit the equal of the Brooklyn nine. While Brooklyn led the league in offense, Pirates fans claimed their team, which led the NL in strikeouts and ERA, boasted the pitching to best Brooklyn. A local newspaper, the Pittsburgh Chronicle Telegraph, offered to award a silver cup to the winner of a best-of-five series between the two teams.

Despite the series being held in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, which was annexed into Pittsburgh in 1907, the Superbas prevailed, 3–1. The teams were evenly matched in most statistical categories — both totaled 15 runs apiece, batted about .230 and had comparable numbers of extra-base hits (neither team hit any home runs) and walks. Both teams' ERAs were below 1.30.

However, Pittsburgh committed 14 errors to Brooklyn's 4, letting the Superbas win by comfortable margins. Three unearned runs in the top of the sixth inning of Game 2 allowed the Superbas to break a 1–1 tie, and Pirates pitcher Sam Leever's crucial fourth-inning error in Game 4 broke the game open for Brooklyn. A 10–0 blowout behind Deacon Phillippe's six-hitter in Game 3 gave the Pirates their only win in the series.

Pirates' outfielder Honus Wagner led his team in batting average (.400), hits (6), doubles (1), RBIs (3) and stolen bases (2). Brooklyn's Wee Willie Keeler also cranked out 6 hits to lead his club, posting a .353 average. The Superbas' Fielder Jones had 4 RBIs.

The Pirates won the next three National League pennants and played in the inaugural World Series in 1903. The Brooklyn baseball club did not win another postseason series until 1955, their first World Series championship.

The series

1900 Brooklyn Superbas

Game 1

October 15, 1900

Two future Hall of Famers faced off as NL ERA leader Rube Waddell of the Pirates threw against Joe McGinnity, who led the league with 28 wins. McGinnity shut out the Pirates for eight innings before two unearned runs in the top of the ninth denied him the shutout. Waddell gave up 13 hits but only five runs, despite four errors by his fielders.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 003 101 000 5131
Pittsburgh 000 000 002 254
W: Joe McGinnity (1–0)   L: Rube Waddell (0–1)   Att.: 4,000

Game 2

October 16, 1900

Fielding flubs continued to stymie the Pirates in the second game as they held Brooklyn only one earned run, but allowed three unearned in the top of the sixth thanks to a series-high six errors in the field. Brooklyn hurler Frank Kitson held Pittsburgh to four hits.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 010 003 000 470
Pittsburgh 000 100 100 246
W: Frank Kitson (1–0)   L: Sam Leever (0–1)   Att.: 1,800

Game 3

Deacon Phillippe pitched a six-hit shutout for Pittsburgh in Game 3.

October 17, 1900

Pittsburgh avoided the sweep by battering Harry Howell for 13 hits — all singles — and 10 runs. It was Brooklyn's turn to hurt themselves, as seven of the 10 runs were unearned. Deacon Phillippe threw a six-hit shutout.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 000 000 000 063
Pittsburgh 310 020 13x 10131
W: Deacon Phillippe (1–0)   L: Harry Howell (0–1)   Att.: 2,500

Game 4

October 18, 1900

Joe McGinnity was shaky in the final game, allowing nine hits, but the Brooklyn defense returned to form (they had the second-fewest errors in the league) as it allowed only one run to score. McGinnity did not allow an earned run in his two complete game wins during the series. Three Brooklyn singles coupled with a fielding error by Pittsburgh hurler Sam Leever in the fourth inning gave the Superbas a comfortable 4–0 cushion which they would not relinquish.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 100 311 000 680
Pittsburgh 000 001 000 193
W: Joe McGinnity (2–0)   L: Sam Leever (0–2)   Att.: 2,335

Series stats


Willie Keeler416060006110000.3750.3890.3750.76461001.000
Duke Farrell28030003000100.3750.3750.3750.750120011.000
Lave Cross418250107000100.2780.2780.3890.667417100.952
Deacon McGuire28121003000010.2500.2500.3750.62592100.909
Fielder Jones418350005010110.2780.3160.2780.59471001.000
Tom Daly413221003130010.1540.2940.2310.52567001.000
Bill Dahlen417330105000110.1760.1760.2940.471512100.941
Joe Kelley417230003020000.1760.2630.1760.440100001.000
Hughie Jennings418131004010010.1670.2110.2220.433442001.000
Joe McGinnity26110001100000.1670.1430.1670.31006001.000
Frank Kitson13000000010000.0000.2500.0000.25021001.000
Harry Howell13000000000000.0000.0000.0000.0000010n/a


Joe McGinnity2201814530300.941.500.00
Frank Kitson11094211200.562.000.00
Harry Howell1018133211031.8811.253.38


Honus Wagner415261007001200.4000.4380.4670.904100001.000
Claude Ritchey416351006010000.3130.3530.3750.72869001.000
Bones Ely414141005010200.2860.3330.3570.690913100.955
Ginger Beaumont415240004110100.2670.2940.2670.56190001.000
Jack O'Connor24010001000000.2500.2500.2500.50050110.800
Sam Leever24010001000100.2500.2500.2500.50024200.667
Jimmy Williams414030003010000.2140.2670.2140.48148700.417
Tommy Leach417430003010010.1760.2220.1760.399131001.000
Rube Waddell25010001000000.2000.2000.2000.40011001.000
Chief Zimmer39110001011110.1110.2730.1110.384143110.941
Tom O'Brien416121003000000.1250.1250.1880.313344200.947
Deacon Phillippe14100000000000.0000.0000.0000.00012001.000
Pop Schriver11000000000000.0000.0000.0000.0000000-.---


Deacon Phillippe11096520000.890.000.00
Rube Waddell2011414730741.214.502.57
Sam Leever2021313440811.315.540.69

See also


  • Ivor-Campbell, Frederick and Pietrusza, David, "Postseason Play" in Total Baseball: The Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball, Total Sports Publishing (1989), ISBN 1-930844-01-8
  • 1900 National League,
  • Joe McGinnity, Society for American Baseball Research Baseball Biography Project


  1. The name of Pittsburgh at this time was often spelled without the 'h'.
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