This Date in Pirates History: January 4

On this date in 1993, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed free agent outfielder Lonnie Smith to a one year contract. Smith was 37 at the time of the deal, a veteran of 15 major league seasons who had hit .247 with 6 homers and 33 RBIs in 84 games for the Braves in 1992. He had stolen as many as 68 bases in a season, four times topping 40 but since stealing 25 bases in 1986, he had topped 10 steals just once in the last six seasons. He hit...

Read More

Historical Context For The Big Four

In the second half of the 2010 season, the Pirates offense was paced by Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez. The success of these young players was encouraging for a franchise mired in a hopeless multi-decade stretch of losing baseball. Walker is the oldest of the quartet, and he did not turn 25 until September. All four finished the season with a Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) above the league average mark....

Read More