Why These Pirates Ain’t Those Pirates: 1979 vs 2009 Pirates


Nobody smoked in the dugout last night.

Nobody wore a Jason Voorhees mask because their jaw and cheekbone were broke 16 days earlier.

No Pirate body slammed  anyone ending their career.

The 1979 Pirates spent a little over $4 million in payroll.  The 2009 Pirates spend a lot more than that in payroll. Yeh, the Pirates wore the jerseys from 1979 last night.  But these Pirates aren’t those Pirates at all

Let’s compare the position players and see how close they are…

Ed Ott was a bad ass, 23rd pick in 1970 from Muncy, PA.  Ott hit 273/314/385/699 had 51 RBI and 7 HR along with 20 doubles. He body slammed Felix Mann and ended his career.  (In 1991, he would get Rob Dibble in a choke hold and certainly would have had the tap out if not for the dogpile)

Ryan Doumit is hurt a lot.  His .224 BABIP is the lowest of any Pirate hitter.


Willie Stargell was the MVP at the age of 39.  In the World Series he played pretty well .400/.375/.833/ and his OPS was 1.208.  Muhahahaaha!

He was on the cover of SI as Sportsman of Year.

Stargell has a statue outside of PNC Park.  Stargell was pretty popular and hit 32 HR in 1979.  If Stargell played half his games at PNC Park, he would have hit…..what 75HRs?

Steve Pearce isn’t going to be the MVP.  SI is doubtful.  Ditto for a statue.


Phil Garner had the nickname ”Scrap Iron.”  His OPS in 1979 was .800 for the season.  That just got him warmed up for the postseason where his OPS was over 1200 against both the Reds and Orioles.  (And the Orioles had three 20 game winners) Just insane.

Delwyn Young just started playing second base like a professional this week. (Thanks Coach Hill)  He can rake and his average is over 300. We are unsure of his nickname, but beating Scrap Iron wil be tough to do.


Bill Madlock hated California and the Giants management so bad he got into a brawl with not one Braves pitcher, but two.

It would ensure that he would get himself traded from the Giants to the Pirates. Mad Dog got into a lot of trouble, on a yearly basis, including fighting John Montefusco for calling  the Giants, a bunch of losers.

Sure makes one wonder what he would do to Sean Burnett for the laughingstock comment doesn’t it?

Madlock also received a record setting suspension for feeding Umpire Gerry Crawford his fielders glove  Read about it here. Don’t miss the one where he punched a Pirate rookie pitcher for not throwing hard enough.  (FYI-Madlock’s stories are a helluva lot better than this lame post)

Andy LaRoche didn’t get in a fight to get kicked out of California.  LaRoche has shown a great glove since coming over from LA.  He has also shown plenty of warning track power so far.


Tim Foli broke into the big leagues at the age of 19 after being the first pick at age 17.   In 1979 “Crazy Horse” had 65 RBI by hitting 128 singles.  That’s not a misprint.  He had 23 doubles a triple and a homer too.  Foli was a free swinger that wouldn’t take a walk.  Loved to bunt and hit when it counted.  .333 in the postseason of 1979.

Ronny Cedeno has hit more homers in 18 games with the Pirates than Foli, but won’t see 65 RBI.


Bill Robinson was born in  McKeesport PA.  He was a stud.  Never forget Robinson teaching our YMCA camp when I was growing up.  RIP Bill Robinson.  In 1979, Robinson had 75RBI and 24HR

Lastings Milledge has all the potential in the world.  The fans are waiting patiently.  It took Robinson until he was 30 years old to start really dominating at the plate.  And he didn’t hit consistently until he was 33 years old.  Don’t make us wait Lastings.  The homerun last night was a blast, keep it coming Thrilledge.


Omar Moreno had a career year in 1979.  He played in 162 games, led the league in steals with 77.

Andrew McCutchen looks like he can be an All-Star.  Currently, this is the one Pirate who is better than the 1979 Pirate.  Perhaps he can catch the final out of a World Series one day.


Dave Parker was the baddest of bad asses on this team.  If you don’t know who ‘the Cobra’ was you’re not a baseball fan.  You’re a mutant.

The year was 1978, Parker would be named the league MVP.  But on June 30 he collided with Mets catcher John Stearns.  He broke his jaw and cheekbone.  He was back on July 16 because Tony Bartirome Pirates trainer said, “He wanted to play right away, so I knew I had to come up with something fast.”  You did well Tony.

The seven-time All-Star went on to dominate the league with a 334 average and 979OPS, he hit 30HR and 117RBI, all while wearing a sweet mask to protect his mug.  ( He modified it to a football version later in the year)

It’s hard to imagine how many HR’s Parker would have hit over the short porch in right field at PNC Park.

All photos from google.com so don’t even think about trying to sue me or I am calling The Cobra, Otter, Scrap Iron, Crazy Horse, Pops, or any of the other freak show known as the 1979 World Champions.