Pirates Look to Take the 1903 NL Pennant

The Pittsburgh Pirates started the 1903 season off as one of the favorites to win the National League pennant, which would be their third straight NL title if they could win it. They ran into a little trouble early in the year and dropped back to 3rd place in the standings behind the Cubs and Giants. That all changed with a run of six straight shutouts in early June which helped put them four games ahead of the Giants for 1st place by...

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The 1903 Pirates Season Part Two: The Streak

When I left off last week the Pirates had dropped to four games back in the standings, trailing the first place Cubs and also the Giants who were making their way to Pittsburgh for a pivotal three game series to start the month of June. On the mound for the Giants in game one was Christy Mathewson. He was just 22 at the time but establishing himself as the dominant pitcher he is now known to have been. Prior to 1903 he had a losing...

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The 1903 Season: Part One

The Pirates started the 1903 season in Cincinnati on April 16th, trying to defend their two straight National League pennant wins. The 1902 team was likely the best team in franchise history but they took a big blow in the offseason losing two of their top pitchers, Jack Chesbro and Jesse Tannehill. With both the Chicago Cubs and New York Giants fielding strong teams it would not be an easy task winning three straight titles....

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Turmoil of the 1902-03 Offseason

Prior to the 1903 season the Pirates were not hard hit by players jumping to the newly formed American League like some National League teams were. That all changed following the 1902 season despite the fact they had just completed their best season in team history. The Pirates had actually learned about their players signing 1903 contracts with the New York Highlanders (Yankees) before the 1902 season even ended, a practice common...

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1902 Pirates: Best Ever?

The 1902 Pirates team has the best winning percentage in the franchises 129 year history but are they the best Pirates team ever? They are one of only two Pirates teams to win 100 games and the other team, the 1909 Pirates, played 12 more games in their season. They have the lowest loss total in franchise history which is amazing partly due to the fact the 1882 team played 63 less games, and 22 other seasons they also played less...

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Sam Leever By The Numbers

In a previous article, I wrote about Sam Leever and mentioned just how good his career was, yet it goes almost unrecognized. He finished with a 194-100 career record, all compiled with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His career winning percentage ranks 18th all-time and only six of the players ahead of him have more career wins. Four of those guys are Hall of Famers: Christy Mathewson, Whitey Ford, Lefty Grove and Albert Spalding. One of the...

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