Marking Time highlights one of the more than 2,500 markers that have been installed throughout the state since 1914 as part of the Pennsylvania Historical Marker Program, operated by PHMC's State Historic Preservation Office.

One of the most influential figures in Pennsylvania sports history was a German Jew who came to the United States in the early 1880s. Barney Dreyfuss (1865-1932) went to work as a bookkeeper in a distillery in Paducah, Kentucky, where he began his association with baseball by organizing a semi-professional baseball club. After moving to Louisville with his company, he bought into the Louisville Colonels. After Louisville lost its franchise in the National League, Dreyfuss was offered part interest in the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dreyfuss brought a number of his best players with him to Pittsburgh, including Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Rube Waddell, and Deacon Phillippe, and turned the Pirates into a successful major league team. The Pirates won three consecutive pennants and competed in the first World Series in 1903, losing to the Boston Americans.

Soon after acquiring the team, Dreyfuss began looking for a place to build a new ballpark. On the advice of Andrew Carnegie, he scouted the OakĀ­land neighborhood, where he found a suitable property. In 1909, Forbes Field – the largest modern ballpark to date – opened to a crowd of nearly thirty – five thousand spectators. That year the Pirates won their first World Series, beating the Detroit Tigers. The team won its second World Series in 1925 against the Washington Senators.

Forbes Field, which Dreyfuss also rented to the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro League, was the home of the Pirates until 1970 when the team moved to Three Rivers Stadium in downtown Pittsburgh. Forbes Field was tom down in 1971 – all that remains is part of the outfield wall, which has fallen into disrepair. Efforts are underway to assess the wall’s condition for possible preservation. Three Rivers Stadium was imploded in February 2001, and the Pirates moved to a new stadium, PNC Park.

The state historical marker honoring Barney Dreyfuss was cosponsored by the Rauh Jewish Archives and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, both housed at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District. The marker is located on Bigelow Boulevard near the University of Pittsburgh’s Posvar Hali, which was built on the former infield of Forbes Field. The home plate from the last game played at the ballpark has been preserved in the floor of Posvar Hall.