MLB - NL CENTRAL
Stadium: PNC Park
Manager: Derek Shelton
2021-2022 TEAM LEADERS
Pittsburgh Pirates Summary
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball team based out of Pittsburgh, PA. The Pirates compete in the National League Central Division. They were established in the early 1880s making them one of the longest-running franchises in the Major Leagues.
The Pirates were originally called the Allegheny which referenced the Allegheny River, but later adopted the nickname of the Pirates which has lasted ever since.
The Pirates’ color scheme consists of black, gold, and white. The team has called PNC Park home since 2001, and it is considered one of the nicest stadiums in Major League Baseball.
The Pirates have captured nine National League Pennants and five World Series Titles over the course of their franchise history.
Pittsburgh Pirates History
Pittsburgh baseball stems back to 1876 when the Pittsburgh Alleghenys participated in independent baseball in the city. However, it was in 1882 that the team joined the American Association which made the Alleghenys a professional baseball team.
The Pirate nickname stemmed from an accusation from a rival team.
When Pittsburgh signed a star player who had formerly been on the Philadelphia Athletics, the Athletics immediately accused Pittsburgh of “pirating” the player away from them. Pittsburgh decided to lean into the accusation and adopted the nickname during the process in 1891.
The early 1900s is when the Pirates first began to see consistent success. The team captured consecutive National League Pennants from 1901-1903. However, they fell short in the World Series in each of those seasons.
The Pirates won their first World Series championship in 1909. The Pirates have gone on to win four more World Series Titles in 1925, 1960, 1971, and 1979.
Pittsburgh was a part of the National League East for a significant amount of years. During their time in the East, they won the division on nine separate occasions. However, they have yet to win a division title since joining the National League Central Division.
They were able to earn Wild Card berths in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
2022 Key Stats
The Pirates finished the 2021 campaign with the fourth-worst record in baseball. Additionally, they have not made the postseason since their 2015 Wild Card berth.
Pittsburgh is in the midst of a multi-year rebuild and the postseason still seems out of reach heading into 2022. The team does feature some quality young talent in budding superstar Ke’Bryan Hayes and outfielder Bryan Reynolds. They also have a number of young prospects with high ceilings developing in the minor leagues.
It is conceivable that the Pirates piece together a winning roster in the near future. But 2022 will likely see them near the bottom of the NL Central once again barring a surprise breakout campaign.
Pittsburgh Pirates World Series Victories
The Pirates won their first official World Series Title in 1909 after defeating the Detroit Tigers in seven games. This World Series featured two baseball legends in the Tigers Ty Cobb and the Pirates Honus Wagner which drew plenty of mainstream attention to the series.
The Pirates once again went the distance in 1925, as they took down the Washington Senators in seven games to win their second World Series championship. The Senators led Game 7 by a score of 7-6 heading into the bottom of the eighth before Pittsburgh capitalized on a three-run inning to ultimately win the game 9-7.
The 1960 World Series is one of the most memorable Fall Classics in baseball history.
The Pirates were looking to win their first World Series since 1925 against the heavily favored New York Yankees who featured baseball legends such as Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. But Pittsburgh forced another Game 7 pushing the Yankees to the brink.
The Yankees held a fairly comfortable 7-4 lead following the conclusion of the top of the eighth. But then Pittsburgh posted five runs in the bottom of the half to take a 9-7 lead. But the Yankees answered with two runs in the top of the ninth to even the game at nine.
In the bottom of the ninth, Bill Mazeroski stepped up to the plate to leadoff the inning. Mazeroski was a solid player, but he certainly was not known for his ability to hit for power. The most home runs he ever hit in a single season was 19 and he finished his career with 138 total long balls.
But Mazeroski sent a 1-0 delivery over the fence to give the Pirates a walk off victory and their third franchise World Series win.
The Pirates once again won in seven games against the Baltimore Orioles in 1971.
While the Mazeroski home run may be the most memorable moment in Pirates history, the 1979 Pirates are the most memorable team. They featured a “We are Family” slogan and the team featured stars such as Willie Stargell and Dave Parker.
The Pirates went on to win the World Series in seven games yet again. This was their fifth World Series Title in franchise history and they have not won a Fall Classic since.
Important Team Events
The 1960 World Series excited the people of Pittsburgh. The Pirates leaned into the underdog role and overcame the odds to upset the Yankees on the walk off home run.
The 1979 Pirates popularized baseball from a national perspective. All of America enjoyed watching the team and found themselves rooting for them in the World Series.
The move to PNC Park from Three Rivers Stadium in 2001 granted the Pirates a beautiful new stadium. Although the team has lacked much success since moving to their new venue, many people around the league consider PNC Park to be the best stadium to watch a ballgame in throughout all of baseball.
The Best Pirates Players
Honus Wagner is a baseball legend. He was one of the first great shortstops who combined hitting, fielding, and speed to make him a truly elite talent. Wagner finished his Pirates career with a .325 batting average to go along with over 600 stolen bases.
You can’t talk about the Pirates without mentioning the great Roberto Clemente. Clemente was a pure hitter who could drive the ball with authority to all parts of the field. Additionally, he was a tremendous fielder who had one of the best-throwing arms in all of baseball.
Fred Clarke is remembered as one of the greatest managers in baseball history. Clarke finished his career in Pittsburgh with an astounding .595 winning percentage which included over 1,400 victories from 1900-1915. Clarke also led Pittsburgh to their first World Series championship in 1909.
Bill McKechnie managed the Pirates from 1922-1926 and led them to a World Series win in 1925. He left the Pirates with a .583 winning percentage.
Danny Murtaugh coached the team for 15 seasons and won two championships in 1960 and 1971. Murtaugh led the Pirates to over 1,100 victories and a .540 winning percentage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Willie Stargell (475)
Roberto Clemente (3,000)