After eighteen years of losing, Pirate fans are used to things not working. Lots of things not working. Baseball teams make many decisions in the course of just one season, let alone eighteen, and some are going to turn out well even if it’s just by accident, but you can’t have very many turn out well if you’re going to keep losing for eighteen years. At that point, you’ve defeated the laws of chance. Yet there was a time when the Pirates had a lot of things go right, when they made many moves that turned out well.

No, really . . . .

One such time was 1969. True, they didn’t win anything that year.  But the front office engineered a very successful transition from a series of not-quite-good-enough teams in the mid-1960s to a powerhouse that would dominate the newly created Eastern ...

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