Pittsburgh Pirates Trivia -A Rundown of our Battling Buccos


By: Paula Green

You’ve gotta love our Battling Buccos!  Sometimes the Pirates’ season can play out like the Hollywood movie – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  Over the years, we’ve had many good players, managers and exciting games.  On the flip side, we’ve also had some bad players, managers and heart-breaking losses. 

For the ugly – the team was founded in 1887 when they were known as The Pittsburgh Alleghenies.  In 1890, after stealing away second-baseman Louis Bierbauer from the Philadelphia Athletics, a local newspaper called the team “a bunch of pirates.”  The name stuck, but the move didn’t pay off as the Pirates sunk to the bottom of the National League with an awful 23-113 record.  Another ugly occurrence was the team’s 20-year losing streak which final got snapped in 2013.

According to www.thisgreatgame.com – The Pirates’ ten greatest hitters were – Honus Wagner (1990-17), Paul Waner (1926-40), Arky Vaughan (1932-41), Ralph Kiner (1946-53), Willie Stargell (1962-82), Max Carey (1910-26), Fred Clarke (1900-15), Barry Bonds (1986-92), Roberto Clemente (1955-72) and Dave Parker (1973-83).  Five of these sluggers had their numbers retired – Kinear #4, Stargell, #8, Waner #11, Clemente #21 and Wagner #33.

Homerun leaders according to http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com were – Stargell, Kiner, Clemente, Bonds, Parker, Brian Giles, Frank Thomas, Andrew McCutchen, Jason Bay and Bill Mazeroski.

Mazeroski was renowned for his ninth-inning, seventh-game homerun that allowed the Pittsburgh Pirates to beat the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series.  A tragic day in Pirates’ history came on December 31, 1972, when Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash while helping earthquake victims in Managua, Nicaragua.

Historically, The Pirates played in the first World Series in 1903, and lost to the Boston Americans. The Pirates became the first team to use an all-minority lineup on September 1, 1971. The lineup consisted of Rennie Stennett, Gene Clines, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Dave Cash, Al Oliver, Jackie Hernandez and Dock Ellis.

In the pitching realm – The Pirates had two Cy Young award winners – Vern Law (1960) and Doug Drabek (1990).  Left fielder, Jason Bay was honored in 2004 as Rookie of the Year.  We’ve also had some MVP (Most Valuable Player) recipients.  Paul Waner (1927), Dick Groat (1960), Roberto Clemente (1966), Dave Parker (1978), Willie Stargell (1979), Barry Bonds (1990 & 1992) and Andrew McCutchen (2013).  Two of the Pirates’ leaders have captured Manager of the Year Awards – Jim Leyland in 1990 & 1992 and Clint Hurdle in 2013.

The team has won nine National League pennants and five World Series. Pirates’ fans should be proud of their team and the stadium, PNC Park has a reputation for being one of the best ballparks in baseball.

Since we’ve pitched some Pirates’ history, let’s now walk through this Bucco’s query.  Get set to “Raise those Jolly Rogers,” because it’s time to get a little trivial.

  1. Name the first Pittsburgh Pirate to be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame?
  2. What statistic is shared by all of the Pirates’ World Series wins?
  3. Pirates’ announcer Bob Prince made this famous?
  4. Which Pirate finished his career with 3,000 hits?
  5. How many years did the Pirates play at Forbes Field?
  6. What year did the Pirate Parrot emerge as the team’s mascot?
  7. This famous actor/singer owned the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1940’s.
  8. On May 26, 1959, this Pirates’ pitcher threw a perfect game for 12-innings, and lost in the 13th inning 1-0 to the Milwaukee Braves.
  9. Pierogi Race (5th inning) – there’s Cheese Chester, Jalapeno Hannah, Oliver Onion, Sauerkraut Saul and sometimes Potato Peter. Which pierogi was added this year?
  10. Who led the Pirates pitching staff in wins in 1979?
  11. How many Gold Gloves did Andy Van Slyke win from 1988-1992?
  12. What was Willie Stargell’s nickname?
  13. How many World Series championships did Danny Murtaugh manage?
  14. On July 12, 1997, Francisco Cordova & Ricardo Rincon did this at Three Rivers Stadium?
  15. What did Pirates’ manager Lloyd McClendon do on June 27, 2001 after he was ejected for arguing a call?

Answers:  1. Honus Wagner 2. each was a game seven series  3. Green Weenie  4.  Roberto Clemente  5. 62 (from 1909-1971) 6. 1979 7. Bing Crosby 8. Harvey Haddix  9. Bacon Burt  10. John Candelaria (14) 11. five 12. Pops  13. two (1960 & 1971)  14. they threw a combined no-hitter 15. he stole first base

Sources: http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nl/pittpirates/pirates.html, http://www.thisgreatgame.com/Pittsburgh-pirates-top-10-hitters leacherreport.com/articles/1034905-pittsburgh-pirates-the-10-proudest-moments-in-franchise-history, http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/, http://www.triviaquestions.net/sport/baseball/pirates, www/funtrivia.com, http://www.123facts.com/play-quiz/The-Pittsburgh-Pirates-4390.html