Barney Dreyfuss

Bernhard Dreyfuss
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2008
Primary team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Primary position: Executive

An innovative team owner and policy maker, Barney Dreyfuss was one of the most highly regarded executives in organized baseball. During his career, he merged his Louisville Colonels with the Pittsburgh Pirates to form a National League powerhouse, was one of the original advocates of a commissioner's office in baseball, helped to establish the modern World Series and was the Senior Circuit's first vice president. As president of the Pirates from 1900 until his death in 1932, Pittsburgh won six pennants, two World Series, and finished in third place or better 21 times.

Dreyfuss made history on Dec. 10, 1919, when he spearheaded the National League's decision to ban all new spitball pitchers.

Dreyfuss, one of baseball's early power brokers, campaigned to eliminate the spitball from pitchers' arsenals. One year after the NL banned new spitball pitchers, both Major Leagues adopted a rule that banned the pitch entirely -- save for 17 spitballers who were allowed to keep throwing the pitch under a "grandfather" clause. Three of those 17 -- Stan Coveleski, Red Faber and Burleigh Grimes -- went on to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Coveleski had already pitched nine big league seasons when the spitball was banned, averaging better than 22 wins a season from 1917-20 with the Cleveland Indians. In the 1920 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, Coveleski won three games -- all complete games -- while allowing just two earned runs in 27 innings, helping Cleveland capture its first World Series title.

Coveleski continued his success into the '20s, leading the Washington Senators to the 1925 American League pennant with a 20-5 record. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969 after finishing his 14-year big league career with a 215-142 record and a 2.89 ERA.

Faber spent his entire 20-year career with the Chicago White Sox, and was 23-13 during 1920 -- when the Sox's pennant drive was truncated by the suspension of the players who allegedly participated in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Faber won 25 games in 1921 and 21 more in 1922, finishing his career with a 254-213 record and a 3.15 ERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964.

Grimes was the last legal spitball pitcher, retiring after the 1934 season. Grimes won 23 games in 1920, then posted four more 20-win seasons over the next eight years. He was 17-9 in 1931 at the age of 37, then won two more games in the World Series to help the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Philadelphia A's in the Fall Classic. He finished his career with a record of 270-212 and a 3.53 ERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964.

Several pitchers claimed to use the spitball effectively long after it was banned, including Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry and Brooklyn star Preacher Roe. But the rule banning the pitch has never been repealed.

Grandfathered Spitball Pitchers, 1921-34
Doc Ayers
Ray Caldwell
Stan Coveleski
Bill Doak
Phil Douglas
Red Faber
Dana Fillingim
Ray Fisher
Marv Goodwin
Burleigh Grimes
Dutch Leonard
Clarence Mitchell
Jack Quinn
Dick Rudolph
Allan Russell
Urban Shocker
Allen Sothoron

"[Dreyfuss] discovered more great players than any man in the game, and his advice and counsel always were sought by his associates. "
John Heydler

Career stats

Year Inducted: 2008
Primary Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position Played: Executive
Birth place: Freiburg. Germany
Birth year: 1865
Died: 1932, New York, New York