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Pittsburgh Pirates Tickets

Pittsburgh Pirates

League: National League (NL)

Division: NL Central

Stadium: PNC Park (capacity 38,747)

Manager: Derek Shelton (2020-present)

Star Players: Bryan Reynolds, Ke'Bryan Hayes, Mitch Keller (pitcher), David Bednar (pitcher), Andrew McCutchen (pitcher)

2022-23 Regular Season: 76-86 (4th in NL Central)

2023 Postseason: Did not qualify

Legendary Former Players: Roberto Clemente, Honus Wagner, Barry Bonds, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, Arky Vaughan, Bob Friend (pitcher), Babe Adams (pitcher)

World Series Titles: 5 (1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979)

Pittsburgh Pirates

For anyone under the age of 50 these days, stories of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ glories are no more than the stuff of legend, stories passed down from dads or grandfathers or other old fans with gray hair ringing the edge of their yellow and black baseball caps. The Pirates have indeed been (mostly) very bad for many years, punctuated by one of the worst slumps in MLB history, where they failed to record a single winning season (over .500) between 1993 and 2012 (a very much unwanted major league record), spending most of that time in the Davy Jones’s locker of the NL Central division. Much like the Golden Ages of actual pirates, the team’s best days require some archaeology to discern, hearkening back to the turn of the century when the PIrates, who had been around since 1882, won the last two National League championships leading up to the first proper World Series in 1903. The Pirates won the National League again, earning the right to play the Boston Americans (soon to become the Boston Red Sox) in a nine-game (!!) series, but lost five games to three. Led by the statuesque Honus Wagner, the Pirates tried again in 1909, battling the Detroit Tigers through six tough games before blowing their opponents away 8-0 in Game Seven to bring the World Series to Pittsburgh for the first time. They would add a second title in 1925, coming from behind after being down three games to one against the Washington Senators (later the Minnesota Twins) and from 7-6 down in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game Seven to claim the World Series in front of a delirious home crowd of over 40,000. The Pirates would be put to the sword two years later by the New York Yankees and Babe Ruth’s “Murderers Row” in a four game sweep, but get revenge, albeit served cold (long after the Babe’s death) in 1960. This third World Series triumph for the Pirates is often considered one of the best, and certainly most dramatic, of all time, with Bill Mazeroski clubbing a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth in Game Seven to avoid extra innings and win the Series on a walkoff home run for the first time in history (Joe Carter, in 1993 for the Toronto Blue Jays, has been the only other man to do it). One of the best players ever to swing a bat in the major leagues, and the first massive Latin-American star of the game, Roberto Clemente, would lead the Pirates back to the promised land, when they faced the surging Baltimore Orioles in the 1971 World Series. The Orioles had won the previous year and were considered heavy favorites, but the series was a back and forth battle to the end, with the O’s going up 2-0 at home before the Pirates took all three games in Pittsburgh to head back to Baltimore with the advantage. Baltimore leveled matters with a 3-2 extra innings win in Game Six, thrilling their home fans by scoring the winning run with a close play at the plate. All the momentum seemed on the Orioles’ side going into Game Seven, but the Pirates won 2-1 on the back of a home run from Clemente. The Pirates went on to have a strong decade throughout the 1970s, beating the Orioles again in the 1979 World Series, again in seven games, this time overturning a three games to one series deficit. Willie Stargell hit the Pirates out of trouble in Game Seven, going four for give and hitting a massive two-run dinger in the sixth from which they never looked back. To a Pirates fan embarking on the beginnings of the 1980 season, success must have seemed the only landmark on the horizon ahead. But alas, apart from a brief resurgence in the early 1990s with (pre-musclebound) Barry Bonds leading the team to three consecutive NLCS appearances (the last two lost to the Atlanta Braves, each in seven games), there has been very little for baseball fans in Pittsburgh to get excited about since the end of the Cold War. With so much great history, however, and such a passionate fanbase that still packs out spectacular new PNC Park, we may not have seen the last postseason voyage of the Pirates just yet. 

Pittsburgh Pirates Rivalries

The Pittsburgh PIrates have developed historical rivalries with many of the geographically nearby teams that have shared the league with the Pirates since the early days, particularly teams in the New York Yankees, the Cincinnati Reds, the Detroit Tigers, and (especially) their fellow Pennsylvanians, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Pirates’ two dramatic World Series victories over the Baltimore Orioles also give encounters between the two teams added spice. Interleague play has led to the Tigers rivalry being embraced by fans in recent years already captivated by the heated NHL hockey rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins


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