A Look Back: First 10 Years in the NL

As mentioned here several times, the Pirates began play in the National League in 1887 after spending their first five seasons in the American Association. They compiled a record of 236-296 from 1882-1886 with their best season coming in 1886 when they went 80-57, good enough for 2nd in the AA that year. In this article I will recap the first ten years in the National League, as they went from the Alleghenys to the Innocents...

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Pink Hawley

In the previous article I had mentioned that Frank Killen had two 30 win seasons with the Pirates, and was also the last pitcher to accomplish that feat while with the Pirates. Since they moved to the National League in 1887, they have actually only had one other thirty win season. The 30 win plateau was actually easier to reach the first twenty years of baseball because teams expected a starting pitcher to start every game and if...

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Frank Killen: 30 Game Winner

When the Pirates traded catcher Duke Farrell and $1500 to the Washington Nationals on March 21, 1893, they were taking a real chance. Farrell was a good hitting catcher who had a down year in 1892 with the Pirates, his only season with the team. They moved him strictly to 3B and he hit just .215 after leading the American Association in both home runs and RBIs the previous season. The chance they were taking was that not only were...

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Back When Things Went Right – Part Three

Check out Part One and Part Two of this series. This was originally going to be just a two-part piece about the building of the 1970s Pirates, but in the course of writing Part Two I got interested in the trades they made during the decade. Consequently, I decided to summarize all the trades they made during the 1970s that involved players who had major league careers of any significance after the trades. This is a long list and I...

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1893 Pirates: Best Offense Ever?

When looking for the best hitting team in Pirates history one place to start that search would be with the first powerhouse team they fielded in the National League. The Pittsburgh Pirates scored more runs in 1893 than any other year in franchise history and they played just 131 games that season. The team wasn’t built on home runs as you would expect from a team that scored 7.4 runs per game for a total of 970 runs.  They hit...

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Star-Studded Outfield of 1893-96

There is no doubt the Pirates franchise has had some great outfields over the years. If you check the members of the Hall of Fame you’ll see a long list of players enshrined who spent a lot of time with the Pirates including Paul and Lloyd Waner, Fred Clarke, Kiki Cuyler, Max Carey, Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente. Fans of the team since the 80’s will tell you that the outfield of Barry Bonds, Bobby...

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