Pittsburgh Pirates: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
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28. player. 4. . CF. 1927-41, 1944-45. Lloyd Waner

In parts of 17 seasons with the Pirates, Lloyd Waner put together an impressive Hall of Fame career. Beginning with his 223 hits in 1927, Waner delivered many consistent notable seasons. These include 220+ hits in each of his first three seasons. You’ll have a tough time finding a player burst onto the scene with as much firepower as this.

Waner’s 234 hits in 1929 set a personal career-high. For as great as this was, he only led the league once in this category when he struck 214 hits in 1931. As a member of the Pirates, Waner finished with 2,317 hits. Only five Pirates in franchise history have more.

Many of Waner’s numbers don’t stand out because he was primarily a singles hitter. His 198 singles in 1927 is a franchise record.

To understand how Waner played the game, it helps to know how well he was able to put his bat on the ball. His 43.4 at-bats per strikeout is the best in team history. In fact, only Willie Keeler and Joe Sewell have better totals in their MLB careers. This is some impressive company.

Waner’s single-season high for strikeouts came in his rookie campaign when he fanned 23 times. In 7,773 plate appearances with the Pirates, he only struck out 167 times.

At the end of his Pirates career, Waner produced a .319/.356/.399 slash line. Although many were singles, they helped make Pittsburgh better as a ball club. He was a dangerous run-scoring threat who always seemed to find a way to get on base and put the ball in play.