40 days until the Pittsburgh Pirates have their first Spring Training workout

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates are now just 40 days away from their first organized team workout at Pirate City in Bradenton

Temperature wise it may currently be in the negatives here in Pennsylvania, but here are some warm thoughts for you. Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training is just around the corner! In 40 days, Pirate pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout from Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.

As any fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates will tell you the number 40 is an important one in team history. The number 40 is one of ten numbers that is retired by the franchise. The reason the number is retired is due to it being worn by former Pirate manager Danny Murtaugh.

Many people, myself included, will tell you that Danny Murtaugh is the greatest manager in the illustrious history of the Pirate franchise. Murtaugh spent nine seasons as a second baseman in the Major Leagues. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies/Blue Jays, Boston Braves, and the Pirates.

He would spend the final four years of his playing career as a member of the Bucs. Murtaugh then became the Pirates’ manager for the first time in 1957.

Danny Murtaugh had four stints as the Pirates’ manager that covered 15 seasons. During his time as Pirate manager Murtaugh managed all-time greats such as Bill Mazeroski, Dave Parker, Manny Sanguillen, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell.

Murtaugh won 1,115 games as Pirate manager, which is the most in franchise history. When he retired, Murtaugh was one of just 36 managers in Major League history to win 1,000 games. He also led the Pirates to four National League Eastern Division Champions, two National League pennants, and the 1960 and 1971 World Series Championships. Murtaugh was also named National League Manager of the Year in 1960 and 1970.

Under the guidance of Danny Murtaugh the Pirates saw some of their most successful seasons in franchise history. He also helped create the ‘Lumber Company’ teams that put fear into National League pitching staffs throughout the 1970s.

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The Chester, Pennsylvania, native died in his hometown on December 2, 1976, at the age of 59. The following season, the Pirates retired Murtaugh’s number 40. There is no denying that Danny Murtaugh is one of the best, if not the best, manager in the franchise’s 130 year history.