We're starting Pirates week with a look at a historic year in the Pirates long and storied legacy.  Forbes Field, Honus Wagner and a World Series victory, it's obviously 1909.

From 1891 - 1909  the Pirates played their home games at Exposition Park, located alongside the Allegheny River.  With it's riverside location the park was susceptible to floods and was in a state of general disrepair. So it was with great joy and celebration that the Pirates moved to the newly built Forbes Field on June 30th, 1909.  In the first game at the new park the Pirates fell to the first place Chicago Cubs 3 -2. But the loss was minor because the focus was on the Pirates new home.  The new stadium held approximately 25,000 people and was the first stadium to include ramps, elevators and "luxury suites."   Forbes Field, named after General John Forbes, a French and Indian War hero, remained the home to the Pirates for over sixty years.


The 1909 Pirates were led by Hall of Fame SS Honus Wagner. 


"The Flying Dutchman"  had a career year in '09, leading the league in numerous categories including Batting Average (.339), On Base Percentage (.420), Doubles (39) and RBI's (100).  Honus led the 1909 Pirates to a 110 - 42 record and to a World Series meeting with Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers.

The battle of the league's two greatest hitters started off in Pittsburgh on October 8.  Pirates pitcher Babe Adams threw a six hitter in game one and the Pirates took the game 4 - 1.

Ty Cobb stole the show in game two, literally.  The future Hall of Famer stole home in the third inning and inspired the Tigers to a 7 - 2 game two victory.

In Detroit's Bennett Park for game three, Wagner took over and led the Pirates to an 8 - 6 victory.  Wagner dominated with three hits, three RBI's and three stolen bases. 

Game four went to Detroit as pitcher George Mullin struck out the Pirates ten times and threw a 5 - 0 shutout.

With the series tied at two, Babe Adams took the mound again and threw another six hit gem with the Pirates winning 8 - 4.

As expected, the Tigers took game six in Detroit, 5 - 4, and the clubs headed back to Forbes Field for game seven. 

With World Series ace Babe Adams on the mound for game seven the Pirates dominated and Adams threw his third six hitter, leading the Pirates to an 8 - 0 victory and their second official World Series.

Overall, Wagner outplayed Cobb in the battle of Hall of Famers.  Wagner had a .333 batting average while Cobb only hit .231 in his final World Series appearance.  Check out the simple but elegant jesey that the Pirates wore during this historic season.


May 24, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (1) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Some new MLB flannels just arrived!  Check them out.







May 6, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (2) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Happy Birthday Dock


Dock Phillip Ellis, Jr. was born 65 years ago today, on March 11, 1945, in Los Angeles.  He pitched in the major leagues from 1968 - 1979, spending the first eight years of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. There were some memorable moments in Dock's career including starting on the mound for the 1971 All Star Game and being a key member of the '71 World Series Champion Pirates.  Former Pirate Dave Parker once called Dock "one of the most intimidating pitchers in baseball."   But like it or not, Dock will always be remembered for one thing.  

We turn things over to our friends at No Mas to tell the story of June 12, 1970. Enjoy.

Pretty amazing, don't you think? And we're not just talking about Dock's accomplishment. How great is that video? We hope you like it as much as we do.

After stints with the Yankees, A's, Rangers and Mets, Dock returned to the Pirates in 1979 and soon retired. Upon retirement Dock returned to California where he started a career as a drug counselor. His counselor work included being hired by George Steinbrenner as a minor league drug counselor.

Dock passed away on December 19, 2008Happy 65th Dock!


March 10, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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On This Date in History: The Mazeroski Walk Off

On October 13, 1960, one of the greatest moments in baseball history took place.  The Pirates and Yankees were in facing off in game seven of the World Series.  The Yankees were favored to win the series but the resilient Pirates fought until the end.  In the ninth inning an unlikely hero became a legend.

We're working on that Mazeroski jersey now.  Look for it early next year.

October 13, 2009 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Happy 75th Birthday Roberto Clemente


Roberto Clemente was born on August 18, 1934 in Carolina, a city in northeast Puerto Rico.  If you are even the slightest fan of baseball you probably know that Clemente was not only one of the greatest players of all time, but also one of the greatest humanitarians to ever play the game.

On the baseball side of things, Roberto was known equally for his hitting and fielding skills.  He got his start with the Pirates in 1955 and remained with the team until his untimely death in 1972.  Here are just a few of his accomplishments:

  • Member of the 1960 and 1971 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 1961 - 1st Latin American player to win the National League batting title
  • 1966 National League MVP
  • Played in 12 All Star games
  • Won 12 Gold Gloves for his play in right field
  • Led the National League in outfield assists five times
  • Collected his 3,000 hit on the final day of the 1972 regular season (his last season)

In addition to all of his on field accomplishments, Clemente achieved just as much off the field.  Throughout his career he continued to go back to Puerto Rico in the off season to play winter baseball.  He felt an obligation to the people there and it was important to him that young kids had someone to look up to.

"A country without idols is nothing.  I send out 20,000 autographed pictures a year to the kids.  I feel proud when a kid asks me for my autograph.  I believe we owe something to the people who watch us.  They work hard for their money."

On December 23, 1972 a horrendous earthquake shook Nicaragua.  Clemente quickly orgainized a Puerto Rican relief effort and named himself as Chairman.  He organized all the fund raising, including going door to door himself asking for contributions.  When Roberto got word that the first shipments to arrive in Nicaragua ended up in the hands of a corrupt few, he decided that he would bring the next round himself.  On December 31st the plane carrying Clemente and the relief supplies crashed into the Atlantic Ocean a few miles off of the San Juan shore.  No bodies were ever recovered.

In March of 1973 the Baseball Writers Association of America waived the five year waiting period and gave Clemente immediate induction into the Hall of Fame.  Also in 1973, Major League Baseball renamed the Commissioner's Award the Roberto Clemente Award.  This annual award is given to the player who truly understands the value of helping others.

Watch this great clip to see the legend in action and to hear some interesting anecdotes about his career.



August 18, 2009 | E-mail | Comments (2) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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