So many things to say about the 1979 Pirates..."We Are Family", "Pops" and Stargell's Stars, Kent Tekulve's pitching motion and on and on. But since we're in the jersey business, let's start there.
The 1979 Pirates had three jerseys, three pants and two caps. In today's game teams also have three jerseys, three pants and two or three caps, but the difference is that the Pirates used to mix and match the three. Can you imagine that happening today?
Here's what John Hallahan, Pirates equipment manager in the 1970's had to say about the potential 18 different uniform combinations:
"If it was cold, we'd wear all black. If it was hot, we'd wear the whites. In the 1979 Series we mostly wore yellow tops with black pants. The players always voted. One time they wanted each guy to wear a different combination, but we didn't want to make a mockery of it, which of course it already was."
So let's take a look at the 1979 World Series vs. the Orioles, what the Pirates wore and how they did.
Game 1 - black jersey / gold pants / gold caps
In Baltimore, Orioles win 5 - 4. Stargell hits a HR but Bruce Kison can't get the win as the Orioles score five runs in the first.
Game 2 - gold jersey / black pants / black cap
Again in Baltimore, but this time the Pirates get the win, 3 - 2. Bert Blyleven gets the win and Kent Tekulve gets the save.
Game 3 - white jersey / white pants / black cap
The Pirates are back home for game three but the home cooking didn't do much to help. The Orioles take game three 8 - 4.
Game 4 - gold jersey / gold pants / black cap
The Pirates give up six runs in the eighth inning as the Orioles take the lead in the series with a 9 - 6 victory.
Game 5 - black jersey / gold pants / gold cap
Pirates ace Bert Blyleven comes through when he has to and pitches a six hit gem for a Pirates 7 - 1 win. The Orioles still lead the Series 3 - 2.
Game 6 - gold jersey / black pants / black cap
The Series heads back to Baltimore for game six. With John Candelaria on the mound, the Pirates score two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings for a 4 - 0 win, sending the Series to a seventh game.
Game 7 - gold jersey / black pants / black cap
The Pirates become only the fourth team in history to come back from a 3 - 1 deficit as they win their second World Series of the decade. The Pirates beat the Orioles 4 - 1 as pitching ace Kent Tekulve gets his third save of the Series.
So it looks like the gold / black / black combination was the luckiest of the four combinations worn during the World Series. It's definitely one of the best from a fashion perspective too, although an all black mix would have been interesting too.
What are your thoughts on the mix and match uniforms of the 1979 Pirates?