Thursday, November 12, 2009
Pittsburg Pirates Custom Fitted
The postwar Pirates would have only one winning season until 1958, Danny Murtaugh's first full season as their manager. Murtaugh is widely credited for inventing the concept of the closer by frequently playing pitcher Elroy Face late in close games. The 1960 team featured eight All-Stars, but was widely predicted to lose the World Series to a powerful New York Yankees team. In one of the most memorable World Series in history, the Pirates were defeated by ten or more runs in three games, won three close games, then recovered from a 7–4 deficit late in Game 7 to eventually win on a walk-off home run by Mazeroski, a second baseman better known for defensive wizardry. (The 1960 Pirates were the only team between 1945 and 2001 to have not succumbed to the so-called "Ex-Cubs Factor" in the postseason. They were also unique for winning a World Series on a home run, a feat duplicated by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993, though it should be noted that Joe Carter's home run came in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series--Mazeroski's is the only Game 7 walk-off in World Series history.)
The 1960s would continue with extremely solid defensive play by Mazeroski and the first Puerto Rican superstar, Roberto Clemente. Clemente was regarded as one of the game's best all-time hitters, and possessed a tremendous arm in right field. Although not the first black-Hispanic baseball player (an honor belonging to Minnie Miñoso), Clemente's charisma and leadership in humanitarian causes made him an icon across the continent. During his playing career, Clemente was often overlooked. Looking back, however, many consider Clemente to have been one of the greatest right fielders in baseball history.
Even with Clemente, however, the Pirates struggled to post winning marks from 1961–64, and Murtaugh was replaced by Harry Walker in 1965. With Walker, a renowned batting coach, at the helm—and the hitting of Clemente, Matty Alou, Manny Mota and others—the Pirates fielded contending, 90-plus win teams in both 1965 and 1966. However, Pittsburgh had no answer for the pitching of the Dodgers and the Giants, and finished third each season. In 1967, they fell back to .500, and did not contend through the rest of the 1960s.
Logo is vintage 1960's patch made for kids baseball team jacket