There’s a very distinguishable characteristic that nearly every member of this team features, speed. The Pittsburgh Pirates team is loaded with two of the most famous names in the history of baseball and feature a long list of speedsters. Right off the top, Carey is a great hitting center fielder with 668 steals in his Pirates career. Right after him is Wagner who has a places a close second with 638. This team will utilize the speed of it’s top two hitters as well as those in the rest of the lineup to make pitching very difficult for opponents.
1. Max Carey, CF (S)
2. Honus Wagner, SS (R)
3. Roberto Clemente, RF (R)
4. Willie Stargell, 1B (L)
5. Arky Vaughan, 3B (L)
6. Jason Kendall, C (R)
7. Fred Clarke, LF (L)
8. Bill Mazeroski, 2B (R)
9. Babe Adams, P (R)
Manager: Fred Clarke
1996-04: 706 Runs, 67 HR, 471 RBI, 140 SB, .306 BA/.387 OBP/.418 SLG
At the catcher spot for the Pirates is Jason Kendall. He spent nine years with the club and was rated pretty well defensively. The two time All Star was a contact bat for the majority of his time and often hit close to the .300 mark. While the power wasn’t there, Kendall was surprisingly fast and recorded six straight seasons of double digit steals. He’ll be a great bat to add to the lineup and should see quite a few opportunities to score.
Honorable Mentions: Manny Sanguillen, Tony Pena
1962-82: 1,194 Runs, 475 HR, 1,540 RBI, 17 SB, .282 BA/.360 OBP/.529 SLG
The slugging first baseman Willie Stargell is the pick here. He provides much needed power to the lineup and will operate as the team’s cleanup hitter. During his prime, Stargell was a great power hitting slugger who hit over 100 RBI each season. His strikeout rate was a bit high though he did draw a decent amount of walks each season. In 1979, at the age of 39, Stargell won his only MVP award after hitting 47 homers and knocking in 105 runs.
Honorable Mentions: Al Oliver, Jake Beckley, Elbie Fletcher
1956-72: 769 Runs, 138 HR, 853 RBI, 27 SB, .260 BA/.299 OBP/.367 SLG
Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski is perhaps one of the weaker batters in this lineup but that doesn’t mean he can’t help the team. He played tremendous defense at the second base position for his entire career and leads the franchise in career defensive WAR. He’ll likely hit near the bottom of the order though will still be a dangerous presence for opposing pitchers. He’s got some pop in his bat and carried a good average for a few seasons during his 17 year career. Mazeroski is a very solid hitter for this ball club but more importantly, will be a big addition for the defense.
Honorable Mentions: Claude Ritchey, George Grantham
1900-17: 1,521 Runs, 82 HR, 1,474 RBI, 639 SB, .328 BA/.394 OBP/.468 SLG
One of the best shortstops to ever play the position and the face on the most expensive baseball card ever is Honus Wagner. During his 18 year span with the Pirates, Wagner was one of the best all around players in the league. He had tremendous speed and could easily hit anywhere in the lineup with his contact abilities. He led the league in batting average eight different seasons and was consistently one of the best hitting bats in the Pittsburgh lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Gene Alley, Dick Groat
1932-41: 936 Runs, 84 HR, 764 RBI, 86 SB, .324 BA/.415 OBP/.472 SLG
Yet another Hall of Famer to take the infield is third baseman Arky Vaughan. He’s got a great eye at the plate as evidenced by his ;career walk numbers and a very steady bat in the lineup. While there’s not much power, he’s likely to hit over .300 on a yearly basis. The 9 time All Star played the majority of his time at short though he’s going to place at third in this lineup. His defense in the infield was good at best.
Honorable Mentions: Tommy Leach, Pie Traynor, Richie Hebner
1900-11, 13-15: 1,015 Runs, 33 HR, 622 RBI, 261 SB, .299 BA/.379 OBP/.418 SLG
While he did play a century ago, Fred Clarke was an integral part of the early Pirates team and operated as a great contact hitter. He operated as a player-manager during his tenure with the team and was often seen directing the squad from his spot in left field. He helped lead the Pittsburgh team to multiple pennants and eventually a World Series title in 1909.
Honorable Mentions: Ralph Kiner, Starling Marte, Brian Giles
1910-26: 1,414 Runs, 67 HR, 721 RBI, 688 SB, .287 BA/.363 OBP/.391 SLG
Watching Andrew McCutchen play in Pittsburgh for so many years of my childhood, it was hard not selecting him for this spot. However, there’s no denying that Hall of Famer Max Carey was a very capable player both offensively and defensively. He was a tremendous leadoff hitter during his time with the team and led the team in steals year in and year out. He definitely deserves the top spot in the lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Andrew McCutchen, Andy Van Slyke, Lloyd Waner
1955-72: 1,416 Runs, 240 HR, 1,305 RBI, 83 SB, .317 BA/.359 OBP/.475 SLG
Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente was a great ballplayer but an even more historical figure off the diamond. He was a great Puerto Rican player whose career was unfortunately cut short when he passed in late 1972. He had a storied career and one of the most memorable players in Pirates history. The hit machine will place in the middle of the lineup and be one of the most historical yet dangerous bats in the lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Paul Waner, Dave Parker, Bob Elliot
1907-26: 194-139 Record, 2.74 ERA, 3.1 K/9, 1.3 BB/9
While Wilber Cooper and Bob Friend were both very good pitchers, Babe Adams edges them out with his great ERA and command. His lifetime ERA is the lowest among the three and sowed consistently results on a year-by-year basis. With the exception of the 1916 season and the tail end of his career, Adams showed great results each year. He’s not going to be the best pitcher compared to the aces of other teams but should nevertheless provide good results.
Honorable Mentions: Wilber Cooper, Bob Friend, Sam Leever
It’s a tough call at the managerial spot as Fred Clarke is the franchise leader in wins but Danny Murtaugh has led his teams to two World Series wins. We’ll go with Fred Clarke here who’s the only Hall of Famer out of the pair. He had a great career as a player manager during his time with Pittsburgh from 1900 to 1915 and helped in winning their 1909 World Series. This is Clarke’s second appearance on this list after showing up as the team’s left fielder.
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