A Brief History about the Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates is an American baseball team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States of America. They are often commonly called the “Bucs,” and it’s one the oldest teams in baseball that have won the World Series at least five times in the years 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, and 1979 respectively. The team was originally named the Pittsburgh Allegheny’s, ad it was founded in 1882. They were on the American Association League before moving up in ranks to the National League in 1887. It was common for league officials to accuse Allegheny’s of “pirating” because they stole talented players from their rivals. The club embraced the nickname by 1891, and it became their namesake.
The Early Hits
There are a few tidbits of history about the team that stands out in their long history. One of these is the long run of some of their players back in the early days with signature Shortstop Honus Wagner as one of their most successful players. The man would go on and play with the Pirates from 1900 to 1917. He was a very proficient baseball player. He won at least eight batting titles, and he was one of the first players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Wagner also was with the team as he led the Pirates on three straight pennants at the beginning of the 20th century. He also was with the team in the first World Series played in 1903, when the team lost to the Boston Red Sox.
The Pirate’s Struggle to the Top
The Pirates finally scored their first World Series title in 1909, but they wouldn’t see another victory for at least six more years when they faced the Washington Senators in 1925. The team managed to reach the World Series again in 1927, but their adversaries where a strong the New York Yankees squad that had Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in their line-up. After a few bad years the Pirates, found their inspiration again, led by Roberto Clemente. They won the 1960 World Series in one of the most dramatic games recorded in history with Bill Mazeroski’s hitting a home run in the ninth inning of the seventh game.
Moving on with the Times
During the ’70s the Pirates left their longstanding home in the Forbes Field, to move to the Three Rivers Stadium. The power of players such as Willie Stargell and Dave Parker helped them get on top of the National League Eastern Division at least six times, and they managed to win the World Series in 1971 and 1979. In the ’80s the Pirates acquired a couple of powerhouses known as Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla. With a fresh line-up, the team managed to score the top spot on the Eastern Division in three consecutive seasons during the early, but they failed to reach the coveted World Series each year.
The Dark Days
In 2013 the Pirates had accumulated a very long streak of losing seasons that was broken in 2013, when the Bucs, led by Andrew McCutchen, won 94 games and scored a berth in the post-season. The team would go on and win a one-game playoff but was eliminated in the NL Division Series. The Pirates returned in full force next year just to lose in the Wild Card game. By 2015 the team managed to win 98 games. It was the best season they had since the Bonds era, and they set a new record of second most wins in the major leagues that year. They still had to struggle for a place in the top in the Wild Card contest. The Pirates still are trying to get past that milestone to this day.