Thursday, June 28, 2018

Pirates' All-Time Team

Everybody likes lists, right? I sure do, especially Highly Subjective ones. Here are my picks for the All-Time Pirates Team, with a hat tip to for some photos and for some hints on the older generation's greats.

Catcher - Jason Kendall
- Pirates' All-Time Leader in HBP
- 3X All-Star as a Pirate
- hit .306 as a Pirate

First Base - Willie Stargell
-All-Time Pirates' leader in HR, RBI, and Walks.
- 1979 NL MVP
- 2X World Series Champ (1971 and 1979)
- 7X All-Star
- Hall of Famer

Second Base - Bill Mazeroski
- Pirates' All-Time Leader in Defensive WAR
- 10X All-Star
- 8X Gold Glove Winner
- 2X World Series Champ (1960 and 1971)
- Hall of Famer

Third Base - Pie Traynor
.320 Average, 2400+ hits, 1100+ Runs
1923 NL Triples Leader
2X All-Star (The first two all-star games)
World Series Champ (1925)
Hall of Fame

Short Stop - Honus Wagner
Pirates' All-Time Leader in WAR, Runs Scored, Times on Base. Tied for most games played.
8X NL Batting Champion
World Series Champ (1909)
723 Career Stolen bases (10th all-time in MLB history)
3420 Career Hits (8th all-time in MLB history)
252 Career triples (3rd all-time in MLB history)
1739 Career Runs Scored
Hall of Fame

Left Field  Right Field  - Roberto Clemente
(in left because Paul Waner has less range. Updated- of course he's in Right, don't know what I was thinking)
Pirates' All-Time Leader in Hits and Total Bases - Tied for most games played
15X All-Star
1966 NL MVP
12X Gold Glove Winner
2X World Series Champ (1960 and 1971)
1971 WS MVP
4X NL batting champ
Hall of Fame

Center Field - "Scoops" Carey
Pirates' All-Time leader in Stolen bases and sacrifice hits
10X NL Stolen base champ
World Series Champ (1925)
735 career Stolen bases (9th all-time in MLB history)
5th All-time in MLB history in Range Factor as a CF.
7th All-time in MLB history in OF Assists
2600+ career hits
1500+ career runs scored
Hall of Fame

Right Field  Left Field  - Paul "Big Poison" Waner
Pirates' All-Time leader in doubles, Runs Created
4X All-Star
3X NL batting champ
1927 NL MVP
National League Pennant winner (1927)
3100+ Career Hits
191 Career Triples (10th All-time in MLB history)
Hall of Fame

Bench -  Ralph Kiner, Arky Vaughn, Barry Bonds, Andrew McCutchen, Manny Sanguillen
Kiner (1B/RF/LF) - Pirates' All-time leader in AB/HR, 6X All-Star, 7X NL HR champ, HOF
Vaughn (3B/SS/2B) - 9X All-Star, 1935 batting champ (.385/.491/.607), HOF
Bonds - Pirates' All-Time leader in Power/Speed rating, 1990 and 1992 MVP, 3 Gold Gloves as Pirate.
McCutchen - 5X All-Star, 2013 NL MVP, 2012 NL Hits leader, 2014 NL OBP leader. 2012 GGlove
Sanguillen - Pirates' All-Time Leader in Smiles. 4th in Defensive WAR. RH pinch hit specialist.
1977 Dover Classic Baseball Cards Reprints - [Base] #BAAD - Babe Adams (Cracker Jack) - Courtesy of
photo courtesy of COMC

1986 TCMA All Time Pittsburgh Pirates - [Base] #10-PIR - Wilbur Cooper - Courtesy of
Photo courtesy of COMC

1911 T205 - [Base] - Piedmont Factory 25 Back #SALE - Sam Leever [GAI 4] - Courtesy of
photo courtesy of COMC

Starting Rotation - Babe Adams, Wilbur Cooper, Bob Friend, John Candelaria, Sam Leever.
Adams - 2X World Series Champ (1909 and 1925), Pirates' All-Time leader in Pitching WAR, shutouts
Cooper - Pirates' All-Time leader in Wins, 279 Career Complete Games, 35 Career Shutouts
Friend - Pirates' All-Time leader in Innings, Strikeouts, 3X All-Star, World Series Champ (1960) 
Candelaria - Pirates' All-Time leader in WPA, 1977 All-Star and ERA title. WS Champ (1979)
Sam Leever - 4X 20 game winner, 1903 ERA title, WS Champ (1909), 39 Career Shutouts

Bullpen - Kent Tekulve, Dave Giusti, Mike Williams, Tony Watson
Teke - Pirates' All-Time leader in ERA+, 1980 All-Star, WS Champ (1979), saved 3 games in 79 series
Giusti - 133 Saves as a Pirate, 1973 All-Star, WS Champ (1971), 1971 NL Saves leader.
Williams - 2X All-Star, 140 Saves as a Pirate, 11.7 K/9 in 1999
Tony Watson (Gotta have a LOOGY) - 2014 All-Star, NL Leader in Games Pitched (2014). career 2.61 ERA

Closer- Roy Face
Pirates' All-Time Leader in Games, Games Finished, Saves.
6X All-Star (in 3 different years)
World Series Champ (1960)
3X NL Saves Leader

Manager - Danny Murtaugh
2X World Series Champ as Manager (1960 and 1971)
1115 Career Wins


  1. I think you did really well with this list.
    The main thing that any Pittsburgh sports fan will tell you is Clemente goes to RightField not Left. The Pirates had a lot of RF talent over the years, but Clemente is the best. He was so good they named the RF wall after him and it is 21 feet tall to represent his number.

    I would put Bonds or Kiner in left and have Waner off the the bench.

    I probably would have found space for Vern Law (1960 cy young) in rotation.
    As for Watson being the LOOGY, he has always shown great splits against both lefties and righties.

    Really great team you put together.

    1. Thanks! I think you are absolutely right about Clemente, it's a mistake to put him in left.
      The only reason Bonds isn't starting is that his Pirates career was so short. Waner got a bump for longevity.

  2. It's kind of strange to see all of the great position players the Pirates have had, and yet they've never had an all-time great pitcher. The outfield is loaded, you can't go wrong with any combo of modern and historic stars. But I agree with CC, Clemente belongs in RF.

    1. Yeah, they have a crowded outfield for sure, didn't even mention Dave Parker, Omar Moreno, Lloyd Waner ...
      They've had some good to great pitcher's, but not many that have stayed with the team for long periods of time.

  3. Love "list" posts! Solid team. Gonna do any other all-time teams?

    1. I'm thinking about it, this was fun to research!