PSA Article: From Dynasty to Doom

Pro Sports AddictsContributor INovember 30, 2009

Being a Pirates fan is hard these days. We have a 15 year losing streak, and no titles since 1979. In my whole life, I have never seen a Pirates winning season. That's rough. And the fact that we have such a great legacy makes it even harder. Let's start from the beginning.

The Pittsburgh Alleghenys were formed in 1872. In 1890, they had such a bad team that they went 23-113. ( I'm betting Willie Randolf was their manager) However, their luck (and their name) changed when they got many good players in a huge trade from the Louisville Colonels in 1899. In that trade was Hall-of-Famer Honus Wagner. "The Flying Dutchman," as they called him, led the Pirates to the first World Series, only to lose to the Boston Americans. However, 6 years later, in 1909, the Pirates won their first world title, beating Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers.

After their World Series win, the Pirates got a little worse. In 1917, they suffered a losing record of 51-103. However, they got better, and with great players such as Max Carey and Pie Traynor, the Pirates overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat the Washington Senators in the 1925 World Series. They made it back again 2 years later, but got swept by the loaded New York Yankees. After that, the Pirates went downhill.

In the 30's, 40's, and 50's, the Pirates kindled some great players (Paul Waner, Arky Vaughn, Ralph Kiner), but they never made much noise. In fact, in 1952, they had a major league worst record of 42-112. But with the addition of GM Branch Rickey (the same guy who brought Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers), the Pirates got some key players, such as Bill Mazeroski and Roberto Clemente. Danny Murtaugh took over as manager, and the Pirates made their way into the 1960 World Series. However, they were playing another stacked Yankees team, with greats such as Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Whitey Ford. The series went to 7 games. In game 7, with the score tied 9-9 in the bottom of the 9th when Bill Mazeroski hit the most famous walk-off home run in baseball history. The Pirates were champions once again. (Quick Stat: In the series, the Yanks outscored the Pirates 55-27)

One of Pirates Greats, Paul Waner. Then come the 70's powerhouse Pirates. From 1970 to 1979, the Pirates would win 5 division titles and two world series. The 1971 Pirates were led by a line-up including Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Manny Sanguillen and Al Oliver. (Note: the 70's Pirates were the first team to have an all african-american line-up.) The Pirates would win the Series over the Orioles in 7 games. However, the Pirates suffered a great loss in 1973 when Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash. He was immediately voted into the Hall-of-Fame and his number was retired. But only a few years later, under Chuck Tanner, the Bucs won the 1979 World Series over the Orioles.

Alas, this comes to the end of the greatness. Though the Pirates did okay in the early 80s and 90s with players like Andy Van Slyke and Barry Bonds, Kevin McClatchy and Dave Littlefield did their best to screw up the Pirates since 1992. They traded or released our somewhat good players over the years (Aramis Ramirez, Jose Guillen, Brian Giles, Barry Bonds, and now Xavier Nady) and have brought misery to Pirates fans everywhere.

A Brief Summary of the Pirates.

1: 5 World Series Titles (1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979)
2: 41 Hall-of-Famers (including managers)
3: Walk-off Game 7 Home Run in 1960
4: GMs messed up current Pirates
And the Misery of being a Pirates Fan Goes on.