The Pittsburgh Pirates are an American professional baseball team based in Pittsburgh. The Pirates compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Founded as part of the American Association in 1881 under the name Pittsburgh Allegheny, the club joined the National League in 1887 and was a member of the National League East from 1969 through 1993. The Pirates have won five World Series championships, nine National League pennants, nine National League East division titles and made three appearances in the Wild Card Game.
Despite struggling in the 1880s and 1890s, the Pirates were among the best teams in baseball shortly after the turn of the 20th century. They won three consecutive NL titles from 1901 to 1903, played in the inaugural World Series in 1903 and won their first World Series in 1909 behind Honus Wagner. The Pirates took part in arguably the most famous World Series ending, winning the 1960 World Series against the New York Yankees on a walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski, the only time that Game 7 of the World Series has ever ended with a home run. They also won the 1971 World Series, led by the talent of Roberto Clemente, and the 1979 World Series under the slogan “We Are Family”, led by “Pops” Willie Stargell. After a run of regular-season success in the early 1990s, the Pirates struggled mightily over the following decades with 20 consecutive losing seasons from 1993 to 2012—the longest such streak in American professional sports history. The Pirates returned to the postseason in 2013 and advanced to the NLDS. The team qualified for the postseason again in 2014 and 2015. The Pirates currently have the sixth-longest World Series championship drought (behind the Cleveland Guardians, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners—all except the Guardians have never won a World Series), second-longest World Series appearance drought in Major League Baseball (behind only the Mariners, who have never appeared in a World Series), the longest pennant drought in the National League (their most recent showing being their victory in the 1979 World Series), and the longest League Championship Series appearance drought in either league. From 1882 to 2021, the Pirates have an overall record of 10,625–10,547 (.502 winning ‘percentage’).
The Pirates are also often referred to as the “Bucs” or the “Buccos” (derived from buccaneer, a synonym for pirate). Since 2001 the team has played its home games at PNC Park, a 39,000 seat stadium along the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh’s North Side. The Pirates previously played at Forbes Field from 1909 to 1970 and at Three Rivers Stadium from 1970 to 2000. Since 1948 the Pirates’ colors have been black, gold and white, matching the other major professional sports teams in Pittsburgh, the Steelers and the Penguins (and the minor league Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC). These colors are derived from the flag of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh is the only North American city where all the professional sports teams share the same colors.
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