Pivotal World Series Moments
1909: Abstein Kills 9th Inning Rally
1909 World Series - Game 6: Pittsburg Pirates @ Detroit Tigers
Pittsburg 1B Bill Abstein had not had a good World Series, but what he did in the 9th inning of Game 6 made him the goat of goats and almost cost his club the world championship.
Abstein entered the Series with a reputation as "one of the best first basemen in the National League" and "the best first baseman Pittsburg has had in years - perhaps ever." However, he walked in the second inning of Game One and was picked off. The next day, he stuck out three times and committed the first of his five Series errors. Game Three was his best effort. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. But in Games Four and Five, he went 0-for-7 and committed two more errors.

L-R: Bill Abstein, George Mullin, Dots Miller, Chief Wilson
Nevertheless, the Pirates led three-to-two going into Game Six back in Detroit on a 40° Thursday afternoon before a disappointing crowd of only 10,535 at Be­nnett Park. With Detroit leading 5-3 in the top of the ninth, Tigers ace George Mullin weakened. 2B Dots Miller started a rally with a single. Although Mullin fanned him twice earlier in the game, Abstein came through with another single to send Miller to third. RF Chief Wilson surprised the Tigers by bunting. Miller scored, and Abstein went all the way to third when Wilson leveled 1B Tom Jones, causing him to drop the throw and knocking him out of the game. Trailing by only one run, the Pirates had runners on the corners with no out and seemed assured of at least tying the game. The next hitter, C George Gibson, rapped a grounder right to the new 1B Sam Crawford. For some reason, Abstein decided to go home and was easily tagged out. That took the steam out of the rally. With Wilson on second and Gibson on first, PH Ed Abbaticchio struck out, and C Boss Schmidt - he of the dropped third strike in Game One of the 1907 series - threw out Wilson trying to steal third to preserve the victory and force a Game Seven.

L-R: Tom Jones, Sam Crawford, Ed Abbaticchio, Boss Schmidt
The Pirates blasted Detroit 8-0 two days later behind pitching sensation Babe Adams to win their first World Series.
Although there was plenty enough blame to go around, Abstein was pilloried by the press and even his own teammates for the Game Six loss. Later that day, Bill got into a fight in the hotel lobby with inebriated P Vic Willis, who made snide comments in a loud voice about Abstein. Manager Fred Clarke got wind of the altercation and was furious with both players. Willis never pitched another game for the Pirates, and Abstein was on the bench when Game Seven began. However, an injury prompted a lineup shuffle that put Bill into the game. Given a last chance to redeem himself, he struck out for a record ninth time and commit­ted another baserunning blunder.
Abstein did not play another game for the Pirates who sent him to the St. Lou­is Browns via waiver sale before the 1910 season. He played 25 games for the Browns before finishing his career in the minor leagues.