Max Carey

Max Carey autograph
Birthdate1/11/1890
Death Date5/30/1976
Debut Year1910
Year of Induction1961
Teams Dodgers, Pirates
Position Center Field

Max Carey led the National League in stolen bases ten times during his 20-year career. He held the NL career mark until Lou Brock broke it in 1974.

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In the collection:

Max Carnarius changed his last name to Carey to protect his amateur status

Max Carnarius changed his last name to Carey to protect his amateur status

Born in 1890 to Prussian immigrants, Max Carey’s name at birth was Maximilian George Carnarius. With his parents pushing him to become a minister, Carey graduated from a seminary in Indiana before attending Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in his quest to fulfill his parents’ wishes. Whil
Carey held the NL career record for stolen bases until Lou Brock broke it in 1974

Carey held the NL career record for stolen bases until Lou Brock broke it in 1974

Max Carey played 20 years in the big leagues. Seventeen of those seasons were spent with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The speedy center fielder led the NL in stolen bases ten times with the Pirates. Carey finished with 738 stolen bases and held the Senior Circuit’s career mark until Lou Brock surpa
Carey kept in touch with his wife during the season through letter-writing

Carey kept in touch with his wife during the season through letter-writing

The life of a baseball player seems glamorous to outsiders. What casual observers don’t realize is that the season separates the players from their loved ones from February’s Spring Training until the season ends at the start of October. Max Carey stayed in touch with his wife Aurelia du
Carey wrote this letter to his wife on the last day of the 1913 season

Carey wrote this letter to his wife on the last day of the 1913 season

“Shoot it, lost again! Great ball-club we are. We couldn’t beat the St. Louis Feds,” a downcast Carey writes at the start of this letter. “Well, the season will be over and maybe the sooner the better.” An October 6 date appears at the top of the letter and coincides with Pittsburgh’s last game of the season. An interesting point about Carey: when he was young, his mother
Carey's tone in the letters is that of a loving and devoted husband

Carey's tone in the letters is that of a loving and devoted husband

As the letter continues, Carey’s tone softens as it turns to personal thoughts with his wife. “Honey, did you get my letters? I thought I wrote every day all except one I think. Maybe it took a couple of them longer to reach you…Oh hon, I wish you were here by my side every minute.” The former seminary student seems to be very much in love with his bride.
Honus Wagner befriended Carey when the speedster joined the Pirates in 1910

Honus Wagner befriended Carey when the speedster joined the Pirates in 1910

Almost from the day Max Carey arrived in Pittsburgh in 1910, Pirates star Honus Wagner took him under his wing. Wagner advised Carey to take extra care to keep his legs in shape, believing that speed was the tool with which Carey would make his mark. The pair played alongside each other for eight ye
As a Hall of Famer, Carey got invited to many Cooperstown parties

As a Hall of Famer, Carey got invited to many Cooperstown parties

One of the perks of being National League president is interacting with former players. In this letter dated March 8, 1969 NL boss Warren Giles writes to Max Carey saying in part, “The Commissioner’s Office, the National and American Leagues are jointly entertaining all living members of
Baseball threw a centennial celebration in 1969 - Max Carey attended

Baseball threw a centennial celebration in 1969 - Max Carey attended

Bowie Kuhn became commissioner of baseball in 1969 just in time for the Centennial celebration. A three-day event, it included pre-game festivities at Washington, D.C.’s RFK stadium. All living members of the Hall of Fame were invited. In this letter to Max Carey, Commissioner Kuhn acknowledge
Max Carey was one of 22 members of the Hall of Fame to attend the 1970 induction

Max Carey was one of 22 members of the Hall of Fame to attend the 1970 induction

Each summer the living members of the Hall of Fame flock to Cooperstown to attend the induction ceremony. It’s an annual event that the men look forward to. Max Carey attended the 1970 festivities along with 21 other Hall of Famers. Inducted that day was 1927 Murderers’ Row leadoff man E

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"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…"

~Jacques Barzun, 1954