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The Pirates were one of MLB’s dominant franchises in the 1970s. Their record that decade included two world championships, six division titles, three second-place finishes, and one third-place finish. With the exception of the 1973 team, which went 80-82 in the wake of Roberto Clemente’s tragic death, their worst record was 88-74 in 1974, and they still won the division.

The 1970s teams started off with a strong core from the Pirates teams of the early and mid-1960s in Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski and Steve Blass, but the team’s success was built on a long run of top-flight production from its farm system. In fact, while frustrated fans often accuse today’s Pirates of serving as a farm system for other teams, that was far more true o...

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