Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Pirates play baseball as a member team of the National League (NL) Central division. The Pirates play their home games at PNC Park. Founded in October 1881 as Allegheny, the franchise has won five World Series championships. The Pirates are also often referred to as the "Bucs" or the "Buccos" (derived from buccaneer, a synonym for pirate).
The franchise joined the NL in its eighth season in 1887 and enjoyed some early success winning three NL titles from 1901 to 1903, playing in the inaugural World Series in 1903 and winning their first World Series in 1909.
The Pirates roll of success has been considerable. Apart from the five World Series, which will be analysed below, they have won nine NL pennants, nine East Division titles, and three Wild Card berths – these in seasons 2013-2015.
The 1909 World Series victory was against the Detroit Tigers and went to seven games with the lead see-sawing between the two sides until the Pirates won the final game 8-0. Their next victory was in 1925 when they overcame the previous year’s winners the Washington Senators who built up a 3–1 Series lead. Pittsburgh then won three consecutive games and became the first team to overcome a 3–1 Series deficit to win the championship.
It was 35 years before their next World Series victory, this time against the New York Yankees. It is most notable for the Game 7, ninth-inning home run hit by Bill Mazeroski, winning the game for the Pirates 10–9 and thus the World Series.
The 1971 World Series matched the Pirates against defending champions Baltimore Orioles with the Pirates again winning in seven games. Game 4, played in Pittsburgh, was the first-ever World Series game scheduled to be played at night.
The 1979 World Series matched the Pittsburgh Pirates against the American League's Baltimore Orioles, with the Pirates coming back from a three games to one deficit to win the Series in seven games. The Pirates were famous for adopting Sister Sledge's hit anthem "We Are Family" as their theme song.
A list of the big names in Pirates history must begin with Honus Wagner (1900-1917) – one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. He was in the inaugural Hall of Fame receiving as many votes as Babe Ruth. Barry Bonds only spent seven years with the Pirates but his last three seasons were spectacular and he won two MVP awards and was unlucky not to have a third. Roberto Clemente won 4 batting titles (’61, ’64, ’65 & ’67), appeared in the All-Star game 12 years, and won an impressive 12 consecutive Gold Gloves in right field.
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