The history of the Pittsburgh Pirates features a few moments of achievement surrounded by several long bouts of losing. One of Major League Baseball’s most manic teams, when the Pirates are good they are very good but when they’re bad they’re usually very bad for a long time.
The Pirates play in the Central Division of the National League and were founded in 1887, although professional baseball had been played in Pittsburgh, in some form or another, since 1876.
In 1903, the Pirates lost to the Boston Red Sox (known then as the Americans) in the first ever World Series. Six years later, the Pirates, one of the league’s most dominate franchises in the century’s first decade, won their first World Series thanks to the leadership of Honus Wagner.
Known as one of the greatest, if not the greatest shortstop of all-time, Wagner finished his amazing career with a .327 batting average, 3,415 hits and 1,732 runs batted in. In 1936 Wager became one of the first five members elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
However, when Wagner started to decline so did the Pirates. In 1917, the Pirates posted a 51-103 record. It was the first of five 100-loss seasons the team would suffer in 20th century—the worst being 112 losses in 1953. As bad as that season was it didn’t compare to their 1890 campaign when they finished 23-113.
Between the awful seasons of 1917 and 1953, the ... Read more