The 1908 Pittsburgh Pirates season was a season American baseball. The team finished tied for second place in the National League with the New York Giants, one game behind the Chicago Cubs. The Pirates spent 46 days in first place, and were on top on October 3. However, they lost their last game to the Cubs, which set up a replay of the infamous "Merkle" game between the Cubs and the Giants. The Cubs took it to win the pennant. Pittsburgh finished tied for second place with the Giants, just one game back. It was one of the closest races in baseball history.
The Pirates opened the season by winning three straight games in St. Louis. On Opening Day, the Pirates committed four errors while the Cardinals committed six. Fans were concerned because Honus Wagner—who in 1907 led the National League in hitting, slugging, and stolen bases—was not at the game, and there were concerns that he was taking the year off. On April 17, Charlie Starr, who was Wagner’s replacement, committed two errors. Afterwards, Wagner would sign with the Pirates. The home opener for the Pirates was a 5-1 victory for the Pirates over the Cardinals. From April 26 to May 9, the Pirates played only 3 games due to poor weather.
On June 30, the Pirates took first place, as the Chicago Cubs lost to the Cincinnati Reds. Starting on July 2, the Pirates started a critical five game series against the Cubs. In the first game, Three Finger Brown threw a six hit, no walk shutout, winning the game 3-0. The Pirates scheduled a doubleheader on the Fourth of July and more than 30,000 fans showed up. The Cubs won the first game 2-0 as Three Finger Brown only allowed two hits.
^Crazy ’08: How a cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads and Magnates created the Greatest Year in Baseball History, p. 68, by Cait Murphy, Smithsonian Books, a Division of Harper Collins, 2007, ISBN 978-0-06-088937-1