Pittsburgh Rebels

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This article is about the Pittsburgh Stogies of the Federal League. For other uses, see Chicago Browns/Pittsburgh Stogies.
Pittsburgh Rebels
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Ballpark Exposition Park
Year founded 1912
Year folded 1915
League championships 1 (1912)
Former name(s)
  • Pittsburgh Rebels (1914–15)
  • Pittsburgh Stogies (1913)
  • Pittsburgh Filipinos (1912–13)
Former league(s)
Colors Navy, White
         
Ownership
Manager
General Manager
  • Rebel Oakes (1914–15)
  • Doc Gessler (1914)
  • Deacon Phillippe (1912–13)
Media Pittsburgh Press

The Pittsburgh Rebels were a professional baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team was a member of the short-lived Federal League, which was a minor league in 1913 but a full-fledged outlaw major league the next two years. The team was originally called the Pittsburgh Filipinos after their manager, Deacon Phillippe, and began play in 1912 in the United States Baseball League. The team then moved to the new Federal League in 1913 and, for a short time, was later renamed the Pittsburgh Stogies after an earlier Pittsburgh team that played in the Union Association in 1884. They finished the year as the Pittsburgh Rebels. The team played all of its home games at Exposition Park, located on Pittsburgh's Northside. The Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League left the stadium for Forbes Field in 1909. After the Rebels left Exposition Park in 1915, the field was demolished and its property became part of the rail yards.

United States Baseball League[edit]

In 1912, a Pittsburgh-based team was established and began play in the outlaw United States Baseball League. The team was known as the Pittsburgh Filipinos in honor of their manager, Deacon Phillippe, a former pitcher with the Pittsburgh Pirates and a member of their 1901 and 1902 National League Championship teams as well as their 1909 World Series team. The Filipinos finished in first place during the league's inaugural season, which lasted only one month, with a 19-7 record.

Federal League[edit]

In 1913 he moved his Pittsburgh team, still called the Filipinos, to the Federal League, a year before it became a "major" league. The Federal League was established in April 1913 and the Filipinos were one of the original teams established by the league. The team was later renamed the Stogies that season.

In early 1914, the Federal League president James Gilmore discussed with Robert B. Ward, owner of the Brooklyn Tip Tops, that he was concerned about the financial backing of the Stogies franchise. Ward then found Edward Gwinner, a railroad contractor with deep pockets. Gwinner was then partnered with architect C. B. Comstock as the new backers of the Pittsburgh Stogies. Doc Gessler was named the Stogies' manager. However he was fired after only one month. Gessler was replaced by player-manager, Rebel Oakes. The team then took on the nickname of the Rebels, after Oakes took over as the team's manager. With some strong financial backing, the team did not fare so well on the field. They ended up in seventh place (next to last) that season, with a 64-86 record.

During the 1915 season, the team finished in third position with an 86-67 mark, 0.5 games behind the first place Chicago Whales, who would go on to win the league pennant. That season Frank Allen pitched the first no hitter of the season, after the Rebels defeated the St. Louis Terriers 2-0 on April 24, 1915.

Notable players[edit]

Some Rebels players had American and National leagues experience. Pitcher Cy Barger played two seasons with the New York Highlanders (later renamed the New York Yankees) and another three seasons with the Brooklyn Superbas-Dodgers before joining the Rebels. Meanwhile fellow pitcher Howie Camnitz played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1904 until 1913 and was a member of their 1909 World Series team. First baseman Ed Konetchy, played for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pirates, before playing for the Rebels. After the team and the league folded in 1915, Konetchy continued his playing career with the Boston Braves, Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies.

See also[edit]

References[edit]