In triumphing over the Rangers on Monday, Pittsburgh finally lurched over the .500 mark and thereby joined a proud, and recently underpopulated, list of winners in the Steel City. Let’s take a stroll back through the annals of successful buccaneering, shall we?
1671 – This dominating season saw Henry Morgan seal his case for the Pirate Hall of Fame, completing the unprecedented feat of sacking and burning the city of Panama.
1925 – These Pirates rode future Hall of Famers Kiki Cuyler and Pie Traynor to a pennant and, ultimately, a seven-game world championship for their second time in history.
1535 – The legendary Barbarossa was at the helm for this memorable campaign, capping a series of victories with the capture of the isle of Capri just off Naples.
1979 – “We Are Family” was heard throughout Pirate Nation as this year’s Bucs — featuring sluggers Dave Parker and 39-year-old Willie Stargell, workhorse Bert Blyleven, and ace closer Kent Tekulve — stormed their way to their fifth and final world championship.
1662 – This season climaxed with one of the most stunning upsets in Pirate annals, as the Ming renegade Koxinga mustered 25,000 men and seized the entire island of Taiwan from the Dutch.
1971 – A banner year for the Bucs. In their first full season at Three Rivers Stadium, they became the first team ever to field an all-black lineup. Roberto Clemente hit .341, Willie Stargell bashed 48 home runs, and Steve Blass and Dock Ellis took care of the pitching as Pittsburgh triumphed over the Orioles in another down-to-the-wire Series.
1523 – This edition of the Pirates was captained by superstar Jean Fleury, who captured three Spanish ships carrying Aztec treasures from Mexico to Spain.
1909 – Led by the sensational Honus Wagner, player-manager Fred Clarke, and pitching phenom Babe Adams, the Pirates cruised to a team-record 110 wins and defeated the Tigers in seven for their first world title.
75 BC – A band of Cilicians accomplished one of the most notable feats in Pirate history, kidnapping Julius Caesar and holding him for ransom on the islet of Pharmacusa.
1960 – The Pirates of 1960 featured a hot-hitting Dick Groat, a 25-year-old Roberto Clemente, and a solid rotation anchored by Bob Friend and Vern Law. Oh, and some guy named Bill Mazeroski — whose legendary walkoff home run sealed their third world title over the heavily-favored Yankees.
1810 – With their skipper Ching Shih retiring at season’s end (as perhaps the most successful of all female Pirates), this year’s Bucs sent her off in style with an unbroken winning streak in the South China Sea.
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