Pittsburgh Pirates Information
The Pirates is a baseball franchise that is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that plays in the Major League. The Pirates currently participates in the Central Division of the National League. Fans of the Pirates also refer to the baseball team as “the Bucs” or “the Buccos.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates had its beginnings as early as 1882, when they were still known as Pittsburgh Alleghenies, when the team joined the American Association. The Pittsburgh ball club failed to gain success in the league, and the franchise decided to switch to the National League in 1887. The Pittsburgh team changed names in 1890 and came to be known as the Innocents. This name would eventually change due to an incident involving the dissolution of the Players League after the 1890 season, and players from the defunct league would be assimilated by exciting teams from the other leagues. Prized second baseman Lou Bierbauer, who used to play for the Philadelphia Athletics prior to joining the Players League, was awarded to Pittsburgh because the A’s failed to reserve Bierbauer. The disgruntled A’s called the Pittsburgh team “Pirates” and the name stuck ever since.
The Pirates enjoyed much success during the first decade of the 1900’s. Much to the enjoyment of Pittsburgh fans with Pirates tickets , the team bagged the 1901, 1902, and 1903 National League pennants, and participated in the first ever World Series in 1903 against the American Leagues’ Boston Americans, now known as the Red Sox. The Pirates eventually lost to the Americans in a 5-3 series. The Pirates enjoyed much success due to their powerhouse line-up consisting of players such as Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Ginger Beaumont, Deacon Philippe, and Sam Leever. The Pirates eventually won their first World Series in 1909 against the Detroit Tigers, in a 4-3 series. The Pirates would then come to a slump due to its aging stars, but would return to contending form in 1925 led by players such as Max Carey, Pie Traynor, and Kiki Cuyler. The Pirates then bagged the National League pennant and went on to win their second World Series title, battling the Washington Senators, whom they defeated in a sweeping comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.
In 1927, the Pirates bagged the National League pennant to advance to the World Series. The Pittsburgh team faced the Yankees, which dispatched the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 4-0 sweep. After losing the 1927 World Series, the Pirates would not be able to win any National League pennant, and went on a slump until 1958, where the Pirates finished 2nd in the National League, posting a season win-loss record of 84-76.
In 1960, much to the delight of Pittsburgh fans with Pirates tickets, the ball club took the National League pennant and was again set to face the New York Yankees. Led by Bill Mazeroski and Puerto Rican superstar Roberto Clemente, the Pirates took home the World Series title in a hard-fought 4-3 win, which culminated in walk-of homerun by Bill Mazeroski. It was the first World Series that was finished with a home run.
After the 1960 World Series, the Pirates struggled for the much of the rest of that decade. They picked up their pace in 1969, finishing 3rd in the National League with a season win-loss record of 88-73. The next season, the Pirates was able to advance up to the National League Championship series, but were dispatched by the Cincinnati Reds in a 3-0 sweep.
1971 was a break-out year for the Pirates. The Pittsburgh Pirates dispatched the San Francisco Giants in front of fans with Pirates tickets in a 3-1 series to win the National League pennant. They were then set to face the defending World Series champions, the Baltimore Orioles. The Pirates fielded the very first all-black starting line-up in the person of Rennie Stennett, Gene Clines, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Dave Cash, Al Oliver, Jackie Hernandez, and Dock Ellis. The Pirates took the World Series title by defeating the Orioles in a 4-3 series. Roberto Clemente was named World Series MVP.
1972 was also a good season for the Pirates; however, it was also mixed with tragedy. On the 31st of December, 1972, superstar Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash during a flight which carried relief supplies for the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. The Pittsburgh Pirates finished the 1972 season when they faced the Cincinnati Reds for the National League pennant, but lost in a 3-2 series.
The Pirates would eventually return to the World Series in 1979. The Pirates were led by talented players in the person of Willie Stargell, Omar Moreno, and Dave Parker. The Pirates used the popular disco song “We Are Family” as the team’s theme song. The Pirates again faced the Baltimore Orioles, whom they defeated in 7 games. Willie Stargell was named the World Series MVP.
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