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Timeline

  1. 1887-1900
  2. 1901-1925
  3. 1926-1950
  4. 1951-1975
  5. 1976-2000
  6. 2001-Present
  7. Logo
  1. 1887-1900

    April 30, 1887 -- The Pittsburgh Alleghenies play their first National League game, defeating the defending league champion Chicago White Stockings, 6-2, in front of nearly 10,000 fans at Recreation Park.

    December 1891 -- The Alleghenies are renamed Pirates after signing second baseman Louis Bierbauer away from the Philadelphia Athletics.

    April 22, 1891 -- The Pirates play their first game at Exposition Park, located on the north shore of the Allegheny River across from downtown Pittsburgh, not far from the current site of PNC Park.

    In 1900, Barney Dreyfuss, owner of the defunct Louisville club, acquires controlling interest of the Pirates and brings 14 players with him, including future Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke.

  2. 1901-1925

    In 1901, led by Honus Wagner, who hit .353 with 126 RBI, the Pirates win the National League pennant for the first time, compiling an impressive 90-49 record.

    In 1902, the Pirates go a remarkable 103-36, finishing 271/2 games ahead of second place Brooklyn, en route to their second National League pennant.

    October 1, 1903 -- Deacon Phillippe defeats the legendary Cy Young as the Pirates down the hometown Boston Americans, 7-3, in the first World Series game in baseball history.

    October 6, 1903 -- A crowd of 18,801 fills Exposition Park as the Pirates defeat the Boston Americans, 4-2, in the first World Series game played in Pittsburgh. Boston, however, later emerges as the Series winner, overcoming a three-games-to-one deficit to win the best-of-nine competition, five games to three.

    May 6, 1906 -- The Pirates become the first team to use a canvas tarp to cover the infield when it rains.

    September 20, 1907 -- Nicholas Maddox becomes the first Pirates pitcher to throw a no-hitter by defeating Brooklyn, 2-1, at Exposition Park.

    June 30, 1909 -- An overflow crowd of 30,338 witnesses the Pirates fall to the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, in the first game played at Forbes Field, the nation's first ballpark made completely of poured concrete and steel.

    October 16, 1909 -- In a World Series showdown between two of baseball's premiere players - Honus Wagner vs. Ty Cobb - the Pirates down the hometown Detroit Tigers, 8-0, in Game Seven to become World Champions for the first time. The real star of the Series, though, is rookie pitcher Babe Adams, who notches three victories, including the decisive seventh game shutout.

    October 12, 1911 -- Honus Wagner closes out the season with a .334 average, good enough to earn the "Flying Dutchman" his National League record eighth, and final, batting title.

    In 1915, Fred Clarke, who led the Pirates to four pennants, a World Championship and more than 1,400 victories as a player-manager, retires after 16 years at the helm.

    August 5, 1921 -- KDKA, the world's first commercial radio station to schedule broadcasts on a regular basis, airs the first broadcast of a Major League game as Harold Arlin describes the action of the Pirates' 8-5 win over the Phillies at Forbes Field.

    October 15, 1925 -- In Game Seven of the World Series at Forbes Field, Kiki Cuyler laces an eighth-inning, two out, bases loaded, double off Washington's Walter Johnson to lead the Pirates to a 9-7 victory and their second World Championship.

  3. 1926-1950

    October 8, 1927 -- The National League Champion Pirates lose, 4-3, and are swept in four games by the New York Yankees and their famous "Murderer's Row" lineup featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

    May 25, 1935 -- At Forbes Field, Babe Ruth strokes the last three home runs of his career. The final blow is the first ever to clear the then 10-year-old right field roof.

    February 2, 1936 -- Honus Wagner joins Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson in being elected by the baseball writers as the first players to enter the new Baseball Hall of Fame. The actual induction ceremony doesn't take place until June 12, 1939.

    June 4, 1937 -- First baseman Gus Suhr sets the Pirates franchise record by playing in his 822nd consecutive game.

    September 15, 1938 -- Lloyd and Paul Waner hit back-to-back homers in the fifth inning at the Polo Grounds to become the first brothers to accomplish the feat in a major league game.

    July 8, 1941 -- At Detroit's Briggs Stadium, Pittsburgh's Arky Vaughan becomes the first player to hit two home runs in an All-Star Game, cracking a pair of two-run homers in the National League's 7-5 loss.

    April 26, 1948 -- Legendary announcer Bob Prince broadcasts his first Pirates game, joining another Pittsburgh favorite, Rosey Rowswell on the air. "The Gunner", as Prince was known, goes on to describe Pirates action for 28 years.

  4. 1951-1975

    May 6, 1951 -- Cliff Chambers pitches the second no-hitter in Pirates' history, a 3-0 victory in the second game of a doubleheader at Boston.

    September 27, 1952 -- Ralph Kiner finishes the season with a league-leading 37 homers to clinch his seventh consecutive N.L. home run crown.

    June 4, 1953 -- General manager Branch Rickey traded future Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, the only man to lead his league in home runs for seven consecutive seasons.

    April 13, 1954 -- Seven years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, Pittsburgh rookie second baseman Curt Roberts makes his major league debut during the season opener at Forbes Field to become the first African American to play for the Pirates.

    April 17, 1955 -- Roberto Clemente, a 20-year-old rookie from Carolina, Puerto Rico, makes his Major League debut in right field at Forbes Field.

    May 28, 1956 -- First baseman Dale Long sets a major league record by hitting a home run in his eighth consecutive game, a 3-2 win over the Brooklyn Dodgers at Forbes Field.

    August 4, 1957 -- Former Pirates' second baseman Danny Murtaugh makes his managerial debut after being hired by General Manager Joe L. Brown to replace Bobby Bragan at the helm.

    May 26, 1959 -- In baseball's most remarkable pitching performance, Harvey Haddix throws 12 perfect innings against the Braves in Milwaukee, only to lose the game, 1-0, in the 13th on an error, sacrifice bunt, intentional walk and double.

    October 13, 1960 -- In Game Seven of the World Series at Forbes Field, Bill Mazeroski leads off the bottom of the ninth with the most dramatic home run in Series history, a blast over the left field wall, breaking a 9-9 tie with the Yankees and bringing Pittsburgh its third World Championship.

    April 25, 1968 -- Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for Three Rivers Stadium, the new home of the Pirates (and Steelers) to be constructed on Pittsburgh's North Side. Among the featured speakers is former track star and Olympic Champion Jesse Owens.

    September 20, 1969 -- At New York's Shea Stadium, Bob Moose stops the pennant-bound Mets, 4-0, with a no-hitter, just the third in franchise history.

    June 12, 1970 -- At Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, Dock Ellis no-hits the Padres, 2-0, to become the fourth Pirates pitcher to accomplish the feat.

    June 28, 1970 -- The Pirates sweep a doubleheader from the Chicago Cubs, 3-2 and 4-1, in the final games at 61-year-old Forbes Field.

    July 16, 1970 -- In the first game at Three Rivers Stadium, the Pirates take the field in revolutionary double knit uniforms, and leave the field 3-2 losers to the Cincinnati Reds.

    September 1, 1971 -- The Pirates field what is believed to be baseball's first all-minority lineup in a 10-7 win over the Phillies at Three Rivers.

    October 13, 1971 -- At Three Rivers Stadium, Milt May drives in the winning run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth as the Pirates defeat the Baltimore Orioles in Game Four of the Fall Classic, the first night World Series game in baseball history.

    October 17, 1971 -- Steve Blass hurls a four-hitter and Roberto Clemente homers as the Pirates win Game Seven of the World Series, 2-1, at Baltimore, earning Pittsburgh its fourth World Championship.

    September 30, 1972 -- At Three Rivers Stadium, Roberto Clemente hits a fourth-inning double off Jon Matlack and becomes only the 11th player in major league history to reach the 3,000 hit plateau.

    September 16, 1975 -- Rennie Stennett sets a modern major league record by going 7-for-7 in a nine-inning game at Chicago's Wrigley Field.

  5. 1976-2000

    April 10, 1976 -- Lanny Frattare makes his major league broadcast booth debut as the Pirates defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-4, at Veterans Stadium.

    August 9, 1976 -- The 500th game in Three Rivers Stadium history turns out to be one of the most memorable as John Candelaria throws the first-ever no-hit, no-run game by a Pirates' pitcher in Pittsburgh, a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    October 17, 1979 -- In Game Seven at Baltimore, Willie Stargell's third World Series homer lifts the Pirates to a 4-1 win and their fifth World Championship. Stargell is named Series MVP after the Pirates erase a three-games-to-one deficit and ground the Orioles.

    July 21, 1982 -- Willie Stargell hits his club record 475th home run, an eighth-inning, game-winning, pinch-hit solo shot at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium.

    September 21, 1990 -- Barry Bonds becomes the first Pirates' player (and just the second major leaguer) in history to hit 30 or more homers and steal 50 or more bases in the same season.

    July 12, 1994 -- The largest crowd in Pittsburgh baseball history, 59,568, turns out as Three Rivers Stadium plays host to baseball's 65th All-Star Game. In a Midsummer Classic that is truly a classic Tony Gwynn leads off the 10th with a single and comes around to score the game-winning run in dramatic fashion on a double by Moises Alou as the National League posts an 8-7 victory.

    February 14, 1996 -- Kevin McClatchy and his financial partners purchase the Pirates and save the franchise from a move out of Pittsburgh by other potential buyers.

    July 12, 1997 -- In front of a sellout crowd at Three Rivers, Mark Smith's pinch-hit, three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th caps off a no-hitter by Francisco Cordova (nine innings) and Ricardo Rincon (one inning), the first combined, extra-inning no-hitter in major league history.

    April 7, 1999 -- PNC Park ceremonial groundbreaking takes place and the Sixth Street Bridge is renamed the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

    October 1, 2000 -- A crowd of 55,351, the largest ever to see a regular season baseball game in Pittsburgh, watches the Pirates fall to the Chicago Cubs, 10-9, in the final game at Three Rivers Stadium.

  6. 2001-Present

    April 9, 2001 -- PNC Park, the fifth home of the Pittsburgh Pirates since their inception in 1887, opens along the shore of the Allegheny River and adjacent to Federal Street.

    In 2002, coming off the franchise's first 100-loss season in 16 years, the Pittsburgh Pirates showed a marked improvement in 2002. Thanks in large part to the offseason acquisitions of starters Kip Wells and Josh Fogg, relievers Brian Boehringer and Mike Williams, and second baseman Pokey Reese, the Bucs improved by 10.5 games over the previous season.

    In 2004, while fielding one of the least experienced teams in baseball in 2004, the young Bucs provided hope for a bright future for the franchise. Left fielder Jason Bay, despite missing the first month of the season, became the Bucs' first NL Rookie of the Year Award winner after setting a club rookie record with 26 home runs. Jack Wilson earned his first All-Star berth and nabbed a Silver Slugger Award after becoming the first Pirates shortstop since Honus Wagner to collect 200 or more hits in a season. The pitching staff was anchored by Oliver Perez, a hard-throwing southpaw who finished in the top-10 in the NL in ERA and strikeouts.

    In 2005, it was front page news when a promising Pirates club reached the .500 mark on June 11 at 30-30. But the Bucs endured a 37-65 from then on and Lloyd McClendon was fired after nearly five seasons as manager in early September. A few bright spots did emerge, though, from this otherwise disappointing year. Rookie left-hander Zach Duke was the league's rookie of the month in July and August, finishing the year at 8-2 with a 1.82 ERA. And Jason Bay became Pittsburgh's first player to ever hit .300 with at least 30 homers, 40 doubles, 20 stolen bases, 100 runs scored and 100 RBI in a season.

    In 2006, the Pirates finished the 2006 season with a disappointing record on the field, posting a 67-95 record and fifth-place finish in the National League Central Division, the same as the 2005 season. And yet it was a memorable year in other ways as the Pirates hosted the All-Star Game for the fifth time in franchise history and the first at PNC Park. The Pirates also became the first team in baseball history to host a Midsummer Classic at three venues (Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium and PNC Park). Freddy Sanchez added to the franchise's record list of batting champions by hitting .344 to win the NL batting crown, the 25th Pirate to league the league in batting. The 2006 season saw the arrival of manager Jim Tracy and a new coaching staff, catcher Ronnie Paulino was among the NL's top rookies after hitting .310 and All-Star outfielder Jason Bay, the franchise's first Rookie of the Year Award winner the previous season, enjoyed an outstanding sophomore season, hitting .286 with 35 homers and 109 RBIs. Right-hander Ian Snell led the Pirate staff with 14 victories.

    In 2007, a disappointing 68-94 finish for the club was largely the result of inconsistencies on both the offensive and pitching ends. It also proved to be a season of transition. Manager Jim Tracy and his staff returned for their second season in Pittsburgh, but was dismissed at the end of it. Changes would also be evident in ownership, as Kevin McClatchy stepped aside and Bob Nutting moved in as the principal owner. General manager Dave Littlefield was replaced in September by Neal Huntington. On the field, Matt Capps emerged as one of baseball's top young closers. He converted saves in 18 of 20 opportunities. Second baseman Freddy Sanchez made his second consecutive All-Star appearance and led the team with a .304 batting average. Tom Gorzelanny topped all starters with 14 wins.

    In 2008, new manager John Russell led his team to a thrilling 12-11, 12-inning win in the season opener. However, by the end of the season, the overall result (67-95) would be no better than the previous three seasons. Russell and his new staff coached one of the league's most prolific offensive attacks until both Jason Bay and Xavier Nady were dealt at the Trade Deadline in moves that reaffirmed a retooling within the organization. The Pirates also made a big splash by drafting highly touted college third baseman Pedro Alvarez with the No. 2 pick in the June First-Year Player's Draft. Despite disappointing team results, Paul Maholm and Nate McLouth emerged with two of the best storylines. McLouth earned a starting spot out of Spring Training and parlayed that into an eventual All-Star invite and Gold Glove award. He finished atop the team in almost every offensive category. Maholm led the staff with nine wins and a 3.71 ERA.

    In 2009, with the club's 17th consecutive losing season, the Pirates made an infamous mark on history by the time the 2009 season came to an end. Many will remember the season solely for that. However, the year was largely defined by a transition from the old to the new. Within a two-month period, the Pirates dealt away the likes of Jack Wilson, Nate McLouth, Freddy Sanchez and Nyjer Morgan, among others. Undoubtedly, the bevy of trades hampered the offense considerably. But openings allowed Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones, both of whom received votes for the Rookie of the Year award, to come up from Triple-A and shine. Zach Duke rediscovered himself on the mound and Ross Ohlendorf established himself as a Major League starter while the pitching staff underwent a facelift. Off the Major League field, the Pirates again proved that they were going to continue to be aggressive in the amateur Draft and finished as one of the Major's top spenders in it. The Pirates also opened a new training facility in the Dominican Republic, the latest proof of the club's rejuvenated effort in scouring for international talent.

    From a record standpoint, 2010 was a forgettable year in Pittsburgh. With a record of 57-105, the Pirates finished with fewer wins than any Pittsburgh team to play a 162-game schedule. The club's .352 winning percentage was the franchise's lowest since 1954, and the Pirates' 17 road wins were the fewest by any team to play 81 games away from home. The club finished last in the National League in hitting (.242 batting average), defense (.979 fielding percentage) and pitching (5.00 ERA). The starting pitching was especially poor, as five different starters lost at least 10 games and the rotation dropped 84 games as a whole. A year that began with increased expectations ended with manager John Russell being fired one day after the season ended. The season was Russell's third with the organization. Despite the record, there were reasons for optimism in Pittsburgh by the end of the year. Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata each made their Major League debuts and had successful rookie seasons. Rookie Neil Walker also emerged on the scene and put himself in position to be the Pirates' second baseman of the future based on his stellar performance. Breakout seasons from Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek also had the Pirates feeling plenty confident about the future back end of their bullpen.

    After surprising the baseball world by contending in the NL Central for the first four months of the 2011 season, the young Bucs struggled in August and September. The Pirates had a 53-47 record and were in first place after beating the Braves on July 25. Beginning with their 19-inning loss in Atlanta on July 26, the Bucs went 19-43 in their final 62 games. Pittsburgh finished the season 72-90. The 72 wins were the most for the club since 2004 and represented a 15-game improvement over 2010. The record was good for a fourth-place finish in the National League Central division. The Pirates had not finished that high since 2003. "It's a push forward," first-year manager Clint Hurdle said. "We wanted more. We were shown why we didn't get more. We got 72. That's what we've got. We've got a lot of work to do." The boost in the win column was due largely because of improved pitching, which exceeded all expectations. The Pirates' staff finished the season with a 4.04 ERA, which ranked 11th in the NL. When compared to 2010, though, the improvement was fairly substantial. The club finished last in the Majors in ERA in 2010 with a 5.00 mark. In his first season as the team's full-time closer, Joel Hanrahan earned an All-Star Game invite and did not blow a save until after the All-Star break. Offensively, the club's two young leaders -- Andrew McCutchen and Neal Walker -- continued to mature. McCutchen led the Pirates in homers, RBI and stolen bases, and became just the eighth player to team history to have at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season. Walker spent his first full season in the Majors and led all National League second basemen with 83 RBIs - the most by a Bucco second baseman since Tony Piet had 85 in 1932. The 2011 Bucs had their highest total of stolen bases (108) since 1999, but they ranked 12th in the National League in team batting (.244) and established a club record with 1308 strikeouts, whiffing at least 10 times in a games on 53 occasions. Regardless of how the season ended, the Pirates' play through the first four months turned heads around baseball. Few had predicted such a drastic turnaround taking shape, and though the Pirates couldn't maintain the pace, it gave Pittsburgh fans hope that perhaps winning baseball wasn't so far away.

    In 2012, the Pirates eerily duplicated the previous season: They led the Central as late as July 18, and still had a lead for one of the two NL Wild Card postseason spots as late as Aug. 21, but it all went up in the smoke of a 12-27 finish. That stretch also took the gloss of several individual breakouts, most notably by center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who won both a Gold Glove for his defense and a Silver Slugger for his .327 average, and 31 homers and 96 RBIs. He, Pedro Alvarez (30 homers) and Garrett Jones (27) combined for the fifth-highest total of any trio in club history. On he mound, A.J. Burnett (16-10) gave the club a genuine ace and Joel Hanrahan (36 saves) became the second reliever (Kent Tekulve, 1978-79) in team annals to post 30-plus saves in consecutive seasons. The fans were as accomplished as the team: The 30 crowds of 30,000-plus at PNC Park were the second-most in the Pirates' 127-year history, and helped set season attendance at 2,091,918 -- also the second-best ever.

    The 2013 Pirates won 94 games in the regular season and three more in the playoffs, won the hearts of 2,256,862 fans, won major awards -- MVP Andrew McCutchen, Manager of the Year Clint Hurdle, Comeback Player of the Year Francisco Liriano -- and even won a share of a home-run crown (Pedro Alvarez's 36 tied him with Paul Goldschmidt). As dramatic as was the rebirth of a proud franchise, it promised to be only the first stage of an era of sustained glory: The Bucs fielded nine former No. 1 Draft choices, comprising a young core. The Pirates recovered from a 1-5 getaway to move permanently over .500 by mid-April, were the first team in the Majors to post 50 wins (June 29) in the midst of a nine-game winning streak, and led the NL Central for 56 days before settling for the NL's No. 1 Wild Card seed. In the middle of all this, the Pirates' surge back into the nation's consciousness was confirmed by a quintet of selections to the NL All-Star Team: Lefty Jeff Locke; the nails bullpen tandem of Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli; and McCutchen and Alvarez.