Classic Bucs: The 50 Greatest Games in Pittsburgh Pirates History

Classic Bucs: The 50 Greatest Games in Pittsburgh Pirates History

by David Finoli

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Overview

A countdown of the greatest games of a Steel City institution

When slow-footed former Pirate Sid Bream broke the heart of the “Bucco” nation, it was Game Seven of the 1992 NLCS. He slid across the plate in the bottom of the 9th for the Braves, giving them the pennant with a heart-wrenching 3–2 victory. The run began a mind-numbing slide that enters its third decade of sub .500 performances. The curse of Sid Bream was born.

Until the surprising 2012 campaign, a generation of Steel City baseball fans had hungered for the Pirates to be involved in an actual pennant race, a goal that even the most diehard could not have imagined. There was a time that it wasn’t a far-off dream, but instead an annual right. From 1970 through 1979, Pittsburgh won six eastern division crowns and two national championships. While impressive, the 1970s were only the second-best decade in franchise history. Classic Bucs looks back to the beginning of the twentieth century, the indisputable best decade of the Pittsburgh Pirates, when a young and brash team captured four senior circuit titles and their initial World Series in 1909.

During the years between those two memorable seasons, the club won two other world championships in 1925 and 1960, the latter of which culminated in arguably the greatest contest in the history of the game. On a memorable fall afternoon on October 13, 1960, a second baseman known more for his defensive prowess than his bat became the only man in the history of the World Series to end the last game of the fall classic with a home run. The second baseman was Bill Mazeroski, and he smacked a Ralph Terry pitch over the left field wall at Forbes Field to give the Bucs a wild 10–9 victory over the New York Yankees and send the town into hysterics.

Incredible moments like this are the inspirations for this book chronicling the 50 greatest Pirate games of all time. Memories of these games are sure to bring a collective smile to the Pirates Nation. Classic Bucs tells the story of this celebrated old franchise to a new generation of Pirate fans, a generation that has been looking for its own Mazeroski moment ever since Bream slid across home plate three decades ago.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606351604
Publisher: Kent State University Press
Publication date: 03/15/2013
Pages: 172
Sales rank: 1,168,238
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Finoli has followed the trials and tribulations of his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, for over six decades and had a front row seat to their last world championship in 1979 when he was a freshman at Duquesne University. He graduated from Duquesne in 1983 with a B.A. in journalism. Since then, Finoli has penned eleven books, mostly on the history of sports in Western Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, with his wife and three children.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

#50: A Glimpse of the Future

Pirates vs. Washington Nationals, August 1, 2009 3

#49: The Marathon

Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, July 6, 1980 9

#48: A Day in the Sun

Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals, May 30, 1939 15

#47: The Knockout Punch

Pirates vs. Montreal Expos, September 25, 1979 19

#46: Stayin' Alive

Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds, October 10, 1990 25

#45: K's Galore

Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies, June 1, 1965 29

#44: The Coming-Out Party

Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves, August 1, 1970 33

#43: It Ain't Over Till It's Over

Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals, July 12, 2008 37

#42: The Opening Act

Alleghenies vs. Chicago White Stockings, April 30, 1887 43

#41: The Mentor and the Prodigy

Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals, August 16, 1947 47

#40: Bringing the Curtain Down on Forbes

Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, June 28, 1970 51

#39: The Last Title

Pirates vs. New York Mets, September 27, 1992 57

#38: For One Day

Pirates vs. Boston Braves, May 6, 1951 61

#37: Grand Slam Celebration

Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies, August 5, 1979 65

#36: The First Gem

Pirates vs. Brooklyn Superbas, September 20, 1907 71

#35: Hometown Boy Makes Good

Pirates vs. New York Mets, September 20, 1969 75

#34: Roberts Chokes the Padres

Pirates vs. San Diego Padres, August 25, 1979 79

#33: The Postseason Tradition Begins

Pirates vs. Brooklyn Superbas, October 17, 1900 85

#32: Flawed Perfection

Pirates vs. San Diego Padres, June 12, 1970 89

#31: Control Pitcher Extraordinare

New York Giants vs. Pirates, July 17, 1914 93

#30: The Gunner Comes Home

Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, May 3, 1985 97

#29: Robertson Blasts the Giants

Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants, October 3, 1971 103

#28: Dynasty in the Making, 10 Years Later

Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals, September 30, 1990 109

#27: The Dawn of a Dynasty

Pirates vs. Brooklyn Superbas, September 27, 1901 113

#26: Down But Not Out

Pirates vs. Washington Senators, October 13, 1925 117

#25: 10 Years Later

Pirates vs. New York Mets, September 27, 1970 121

#24: 714

Pirates vs. Boston Braves, May 25, 1935 125

#23: The Streak

Pirates vs. Brooklyn Dodgers, May 28, 1956 129

#22: Overcoming Obstacles

Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds, October 5, 1979 133

#21: Celebrating a Fallen Icon

Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals, April 6, 1973 137

#20: Comeback for the Ages

Pirates vs. Houston Astros, July 28, 2001 143

#19: The Prize, Murderers' Row

Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds, October 1, 1927 147

#18: Slaying the Beast

Pirates vs. New York Mets, September 5, 1990 151

#17: The Candy Man Can

Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, August 9, 1976 155

#16: The Perfect Day

Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, September 16, 1975 159

#15: Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, April 21, 1991 165

#14: The Freak Show

Pirates vs. Houston Astros, July 12, 1997 171

#13: The Hurdle

Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds, October 2, 1979 177

#12: Turn On the Lights

Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles, October 13, 1971 183

#11: On the Back of Robertson

Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, October 2, 1974 189

#10: It Takes a Team to Win a Title

Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants, October 6, 1971 195

#9: 3,000

Pirates vs. New York Mets, September 30, 1972 201

#8: And a Babe Shall Lead Them

Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers, October 16, 1909 205

#7: Breaking Barriers

Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies, September 1, 1971 211

#6: The Greatest Game Ever Pitched

Milwaukee Braves vs. Pirates, May 26, 1959 217

#5: An American Tradition Begins

Pirates vs. Boston Americans, October 1, 1903 223

#4: Pops Becomes an Icon

Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles, October 17, 1979 227

#3: Rule 801

Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles, October 17, 1971 233

#2: The Glorious Downpour

Pirates vs. Washington Senators, October 15, 1925 237

#1: The True Shot Heard Round the World

Pirates vs. New York Yankees, October 13, 1960 243

Notes 251

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Classic Bucs: The 50 Greatest Games in Pittsburgh Pirates History 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book; hard to put down! Whether you are a Pirate fan or not, you will enjoy it! Bound to start some arguments!